Monthly Archives: June 2013

Chemical Brain Drain… What Are We Thinking?

This is the most significant issue I have with MCS/ES, the ways my brain (and functioning) are affected from exposures to chemicals in everyday products.

I suspect (and I am not the only one) that some of the bigger problems we are seeing in society now, are due to widespread neuro-toxic chemicals (in addition to wireless radiation) affecting too many people’s ability to think clearly.

Philippe Grandjean:

Our intelligence depends on the integrity of the complete organ. Even subtle effects, such as memory deficits, attention problems, or motor dysfunction, can seriously impact on our health. Thus, the brain differs substantially from other important organs, such as the kidney or the liver, where we can lead successful lives without maximal function…

Our brain functions are valuable to ourselves and to society. Data on exposures to lead, mercury, and pesticides suggest that the losses to society amount to hundreds of billions of dollars every year. This calculation is based solely on losses of income and does not take into account less tangible damages associated with chemical brain drain

http://braindrain.dk/

chemical brain drain 1

Known chemical brain drainers

(chemicals known to cause brain toxicity and neurological symptoms in humans)

Someone needs to check IFRA’s list of ingredients to see how many of these are used in fragrances, I think too many…

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Parabens: endocrine disruptors in cosmetics and food?

Paul Whaley posted this eye-opening news at the Health & Environment blog:

Parabens: endocrine disruptors in cosmetics and food?.

“Parabens … are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics…  and have appeared in the news because of concern about their endocrine-disrupting potential, in particular their ability to mimic oestrogen…”

“However, people may be less aware of the use of parabens in foodstuffs, identifiable on labelling as additives E214-219. The most commonly-used parabens in food are methylparaben (food additive E218) and ethylparaben (E214)…”

I had no idea! And I’ve looked into a lot of contamination issues with foods! These are chemicals we wouldn’t normally think we are ingesting orally. Pesticides we now know about, some of us knew about phthalates, but parabens too?

Ok, it turns out some folks already knew, but only so far as those that are listed on labels, (and I haven’t bought much food requiring a label in years) but this new research shows them also appearing in foods that do not require ingredient labels! And these weren’t just the naturally occurring parabens, (as there are some, it turns out) but  synthetic parabens were also found!

phthalates and parabens are found in almost all supermarket foods that were tested

phthalates and parabens are found in almost all supermarket foods that were tested

I recently wrote about other research that confirmed how commonly phthalates are found in supermarket foods, contamination from fragrance and plastic, but it seems we have more reasons to be careful about the foods and drinks we choose:

From the Abstract: “Parabens are esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid and are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, including beverages”

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Endocrine Disruption… Huh? Why Should We Care?

Many of us have no idea what “those people” are talking about when they mention endocrine disruptors. Sounds like something foreign and insignificant, or at least it did to me, until something caught my attention a few years ago.

It turns out that the endocrine system is a hugely busy and important system in our bodies, one well worth looking into and trying to understand. When we start to understand how important this system is, we might start to notice how we are (unwittingly) damaging ourselves, or rather, being damaged, because there are so many endocrine disrupting chemicals allowed into our daily lives now.

It is so much easier to stop causing harm (in whatever ways we are able) when we understand what the problems are, and so difficult, if not impossible, when we remain oblivious. In this case, sticking our heads in the sand will not only harm us, it has the potential to also harm our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

endocrine system

 

(image from EcoWatch, link below)

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The Marketing of Febreze

The Marketing of Febreze
(and Other Ways We’ve Been Had)

The commercials and advertisements we see are almost all carefully crafted by teams of “scientists”so that they have the greatest impact possible, resulting in people believing that we NEED to buy and use these products for our lives to be complete.

Here’s how Febreze was marketed and we the people have been manipulated into buying and using an unnecessary and toxic product.

Some excerpts from an article well worth reading:

Febreze

How Companies Learn Your Secrets

By CHARLES DUHIGG

… “When they got back to P.& G.’s headquarters, the researchers watched their videotapes again. Now they knew what to look for and saw their mistake in scene after scene. Cleaning has its own habit loops that already exist. In one video, when a woman walked into a dirty room (cue), she started sweeping and picking up toys (routine), then she examined the room and smiled when she was done (reward). In another, a woman scowled at her unmade bed (cue), proceeded to straighten the blankets and comforter (routine) and then sighed as she ran her hands over the freshly plumped pillows (reward). P.& G. had been trying to create a whole new habit with Febreze, but what they really needed to do was piggyback on habit loops that were already in place. The marketers needed to position Febreze as something that came at the end of the cleaning ritual, the reward, rather than as a whole new cleaning routine.

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Free Learning Online

More and more free courses, documentaries and reading materials are being offered online, and for free! This is great for those of us who are housebound and not independently wealthy, but still want to keep our minds open and growing…

When Brain Fog is an issue, learning at our own pace is possible with some courses, but I haven’t explored them in any detail to see how many of the following ones can be taken at your own speed, or if schedules need to be maintained.

I would love to hear about your favorite resources, and especially those that will help prepare us for the challenges we are facing in this changing world (ie developing community, growing food, respecting resources, citizen empowerment, etc). Please leave your suggestions in the comments and I will update this post into a page at some point in the future, (one that stays at the top of this site) and include them there.

There’s already something for everyone here!

Enjoy!

online freebies

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Fragrance-Free and Healthy Schools

I’ve updated this post here:

https://seriouslysensitivetopollution.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/fragrance-free-and-healthy-schools-updated/

Look who’s squealing now: GMO lovers freak over new study of sick pigs

We are what we eat…

Do you know where your bacon is coming from?

Grist

OK, everyone have a seat and take a few deep breaths. Go to your calming place. Ready? Good. Because I’m about to talk about a new study that suggests that eating genetically modified crops might not be the best thing for us.

OK, another deep breath. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Tom, didn’t we settle this issue already?” After all, as the “plant science” industry group CropLife — you know, the one that hates First Lady Michelle Obama — likes to say, “more than 150 scientific studies have been done on animals fed biotech crops and to date, there is no scientific evidence of any detrimental impact.”

You’ll remember, I’m sure, the recent brouhaha over a French study by scientist Gilles-Eric Séralini that purported to find evidence that a GMO-based diet caused tumors in rats. Critics immediately raised significant questions about that study and the consensus quickly…

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