In a bottle, mix 1 part aluminum-free baking soda
(we use Bob's Red Mill) to 3 parts Water.
Shake well to mix.
Squeeze or pour the baking soda solution
onto your dry hair, then massage your scalp
for several seconds.
Leave in for 1-3 minutes then rinse well.
In another bottle, mix 1 part organic white
vinegar to 4 parts Water. If you prefer a
scented mixture, add essential oils, herbs
or a stick of cinnamon and 1/2 t vanilla. This masks the
vinegar smell, and leaves your hair smelling spicy and
lovely. Note that insects may be drawn to your hair if they
find the scent enticing!
Leave the vinegar solution on your hair for several
seconds, then rinse.
used to, this formulation will leave you hair squeaky clean
BODY CARE PRODUCTS
|If it isn't safe to eat, then think twice before placing it on your body.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Anything you place on your skin is readily absorbed by the body.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate these products since they are not foods.
This allows manufacturers free reign to add toxic chemicals and misleading labels on the safety of products.
At greatest risk are products labeled for infants and children.
When you ingest toxic substances, they are processed through the liver and have a chance
of being eliminated from the body.
However, when absorbed through the skin, the same toxic substances generally do not reach the liver
and often are stored in the tissues of the body where, through time, they accumulate and
are the cause of cancer and many other debilitating diseases.
Take time to educate yourself before using cosmetics, sunscreen, shampoo, soap, body lotion, toothpaste,
deodorant, powder or any other substances on your body.
That's because the chemicals you swallow can be
somewhat detoxified by enzymes in the liver. We
expose ourselves to the daily, year after year. And the
daily exposure is also frequently prolonged when we let
the products sit on our skin rather than immediately
wash them off.
This provides increased opportunity for absorption. To
make matters worse, most of the products on the market
today contain penetration enhancers - designed to deliver
a more complete or lasting effect. But in doing so, they
make our skin even more permeable, helping other
ingredients to penetrate the skin more easily and deeply
(very dangerous if those ingredients are toxic).
The latest penetration enhancer: nanoparticles, added to
make skin cream products absorb deep into the skin, into
the bloodstream and through the produce cumulative
effects. And we aren't speaking only of grown-ups.
Think of all the powders and lotions marketed for babies.
A baby's skin is dramatically more sensitive to
carcinogens than adults and their fast metabolism means
absorption of any kind of lotion or powder product is
exacerbated. According to a 2008 survey in the journal,
babies who journal, babies who were recently shampooed,
rubbed with lotion or were powdered were found to have
elevated levels of phthalates, a disease-causing chemical,
in their urine.
In 1994 and again in 1996, the Cancer Prevention
Coalition (CPC) and the New York Center for
Constitutional Rights (NYCCR) petitioned the FDA to
demand talc genital dusting powder be
labeled with a cancer warning. The FDA denied this
petition. In 1997, Sen. Edward Kennedy publicly urged
the FDA to place a cancer warning label on talc products
(as well as other products containing known carcinogens)
and to this date, the agency has still not responded.
Hormone disrupters (preservatives, detergents, solvents,
sunscreens, etc.) are chemicals that are harmful to the
body's endocrine system (the adrenal, thyroid and
pituitary glands, ovaries, pancreas and testicles).
When our body mistakes these synthetic chemicals for its
own natural hormones, our body's natural process
While it is difficult to control our exposure to the
carcinogens in our air and water, what we put on our
skin is something that is truly up
to us... should we choose to educate ourselves.
The sad fact that we have been losing the war against
cancer is made more so because so much of this is
avoidable. According to Dr. Epstein, a 1990 survey taken
in many major industrialized countries showed that
cancers not related to smoking are responsible for about
75 percent of the overall increased occurrences of cancer
The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat,
the prescription drugs we take, and the cosmetics and
personal care products we use have become pervasively
contaminated with toxic carcinogens and we are
continuously (and unknowingly) exposed to a huge
amount of 'avoidable' carcinogens that can have long-
lasting neurological, reproductive, and immunological
Toxic Beauty is an excellent eye-opening read that
to learn about the harmful effects of the products we
every day. And because we cannot depend on the
industry to take any action that does not serve its best
interest, this book helps us in the absence of warning
labels to identify those products that are killing us.
How bad can these products be? Dr. Epstein illustrates
with an example from 1933. That year, dozens of women
went blind as a result of using a product called LASH
LURE, a synthetic aniline dye marketed as an eyelash
and eyebrow colorant. Aniline comes from coal tar and is
also used in hair colorings. But even after so many went
blind and at least one woman died, this product remained
on the market for almost five years because the FDA did
not warn the consumers and there was no regulatory
authority in place to remove products with dangerous
ingredients from the store shelves.
CAUTION: Kisses may be poison
Attention Ladies: Does your lipstick or lip gloss contain
lead? Attention Gentlemen: Have you kissed those lead-
laced lips? In
an analysis done of 33 different popular brands of lipstick
by an independent lab, it was found that 61% contained
lead. Lead is readily absorbed by the body and
accumulates in our bones. It is highly toxic to the nervous
system and can also cause serious gastrointestinal
symptoms of lead poisoning including diarrhea,
constipation, nausea and vomiting.
The book highlights one of the biggest scandals for a
cosmetics manufacturer that happened in the early 1800's.
There was a
woman named Signora Toffana and she created a face
of lead and arsenic. The wealthy wives of noblemen
couldn't buy it fast enough! The more beautiful these
women became, the more affectionate their husbands
were with their kisses and the faster
they died from the toxic facial powder Toffana was
executed as an accomplice in the death of an estimated
Today there is such a preoccupation with appearing
the cosmetic industry has been inspired to produce a
line of products known as cosmeceuticals which are now
the fastest growing sector of the cosmetic industry and yet
one of the least scrutinized.
The most disturbing truth about these cosmeceuticals is
that the great majority of them have highly questionable
(if any) benefits and that many of their ingredients make
them very toxic. Cosmetics are
a huge and immensely profitable billion dollar business.
Dr. Epstein quotes Sen. Kennedy's warning to us more
than 10 years ago "The cosmetic industry has borrowed
a page from the playbook of the tobacco industry by
putting profits ahead of public health."
According to Toxic Beauty, although manufacturers are
not required by law to provide evidence of their product's
safety, the FDA certainly does have full authority (if it so
chooses) to protect us from dangerous products by
requiring clear warning labels on every product that
contains dangerous ingredients. It also has authority to
require product labels identify any ingredients that
have not been tested for safety by including these words:
WARNING. THE SAFETY OF THIS PRODUCT HAS NOT
However, with very few exceptions, the FDA rarely
chooses to exercise this authority. And if manufacturers
do decide to test the safety of its ingredients, the results
are kept confidential because, at this time, safety testing
is voluntary. Not even the FDA has access to this
information nor is the agency informed that the test was
done. The industry is also not required to disclose the
identification of a product's ingredients because they
argue doing so will expose the company's trade secrets.
But if companies do identify those ingredients, the labels
are so chock full of complex chemical terms that very
few of us could even understand what they were.
Toxic Beauty is intended to provide guidance on how to
read and decipher these baffling and often misleading
product labels. The cosmetics and personal care products
industry continues to market its products by boasting that
if the products were harmful, the FDA would certainly alert
the public. We, as consumers, have a fundamental right
to know and understand what toxins are in our cosmetics
and personal care products. And buyers should know
that while most of us would think the label "natural" would
mean something taken directly from nature, synthetic
chemicals may legally be tagged "natural" without
And don't be fooled when you see a product labeled
"fragrance free." Manufacturers may add unidentified
fragrance ingredients to mask foul odors generated by
other chemicals and still call it a "fragrance free" product
because fragrances are treated as valuable trade secrets -
and you know what that means: They do not have to list
the chemicals on the labels. Watch out for products that
are for "professional use only" because they don't have
any ingredient labeling requirements. And you probably
were not aware that the FDA does not require
manufacturers to skin test those products marked
"hypoallergenic, allergy tested or safe for sensitive skin."
And because hidden carcinogens are not intentionally
added to the cosmetics and personal care products,
labeling them is not a requirement. We must realize that
we are foolish to believe and trust that the FDA would
alert us to products that contain threats to our physical
health and emotional well-being.
The authors tell us many European governments do what
ours will not, enforcing a policy that declares 'harm to
consumer health should not need to be established before
corrective action is taken and that manufacturers would
need to prove their product ingredients were safe before
putting the products on the market.' However, the
American public is beginning to wake up and a quiet
revolution in our academic approach towards exposure to
these toxic materials is now happening. Consumers are
speaking up and banding together in efforts to punish
irresponsible chemically- reckless companies by simply
not buying their products.
Everyday new companies with safe alternatives are
emerging, and consumers need to make the
Products that contain toxic ingredients need to be
labeled with red flag warnings similar to those cancer
warnings on cigarettes.
These product warnings should not substitute a ban or a
total phase-out of toxic ingredients in the products we use.
Human health and safety must take priority. There needs
to be restrictions on claims of confidentiality by corporations
trying to withhold ingredient 'recipes' for the purpose of
protecting their trade secrets. As consumers, we cannot
believe that it is safe to use products that have the
sometimes misleading labels "natural" or "organic"
because we cannot assume the product contains only safe
ingredients. Remember, arsenic is natural, but it is hardly
safe to use in personal care products.
This book is an excellent eye-opening read encouraging
us to educate ourselves about the harmful effects of the
products we use almost every day and it shows us how to
identify those products that are killing us when warning
labels don't. We cannot depend on the industry to take
any action unless it is in its own best interest.
The book provides an excellent resource with many charts
of harmful ingredients, their effects, and a list of safe
alternatives. It also refers consumers to useful websites
(such as www.DRUGSTORE.COM) that feature cosmetics
and personal care products along with a complete list of
ingredients and relevant warning labels.
Toxic Beauty is intended to provide guidance on how
to read and decipher the baffling and often misleading
According to Dr. Epstein, the 1938 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act does not require
cosmetics, personal care products or their ingredients be approved as safe before they are
sold. The FDA's oversight begins only after you, the consumer, have used the product.
People take for granted that cosmetics and personal care products are safe to use because
they have been tested. We would like to believe the soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant,
perfume and lipsticks that we use everyday are harmless and that we can enjoy them without
concern for our health. But there are more than 10,000 cosmetic and personal care products
on the market today in the United States and very few have ever been assessed for their safety.
Did you ever hear the saying, "Don't put it on your skin if you wouldn't put it in your mouth.?"
Our skin is only 1/10 of an inch thick and highly permeable. Skin is the body's largest organ
(approximately 10 sq. ft. if laid out like a rug) and this porous membrane is highly sensitive
to toxic chemicals. What we put on our skin affects our health more than what we put in our
mouth. Dr. Epstein discusses how the carcinogens in these beauty products create greater
cancer risks than eating contaminated food.
The largest organ of the human body is the skin. Anything
you place on your skin including lotions, sunscreen, insect
repellent, soap and perfume is readily absorbed by the
Read labels carefully before applying anything to your skin.
If it is not favorable to human consumption, it should not be
placed on the skin.
Have you considered the possibility that the rise of skin
cancer may be attributed to toxic sunscreens and lotions?
This is one of the basic recipes Ditoh uses to make his
soothing skin lotions, which are for sale locally in northern
2 ounces olive oil
2 ounces almond oil
2 ounces grapeseed oil
In a pan, warm the three oils to 150 - 160 Fahrenheit.
(We strongly suggest not using a microwave for any
product that will be ingested by humans, animals or
plants. Check out research on the effects of
microwaved food and water!)
At the same time, in a separate pan, heat the following
2 ounces Chaparral tea, previously prepared (make a
1 ounce seawater or diluted liquid minerals
1 teaspoon magnesium chloride oil
When the oils are hot, slowly stir in:
1 tablespoon organic beeswax granules
A pinch of borax
2-4 drops rosemary oil
Using a whisk, slowly stir the tea liquid into the oil mixture.
Once the ingredients are well mixed, place the hot pan into
a sink filled with cool water. Keep stirring as the lotion
cools. When cool, using a funnel, pour lotion into bottles
Shake well before using. You can also add a few drops of
essential oils to create your favorite scents.
Smile - Treat Your Lips to
Make these natural treatments part of your everyday
Lip-care products were among the first cosmetics,
dating as far back as 3500 b.c., when Mesopotamians
made lip paints. Even in Puritan New England—where
cosmetic use was frowned upon—women made soothing
lip balm from crushed rose petals.
Lipstick, as we know it, was introduced in Paris in 1910.
Bees wax was a key ingredient then and still is today, as
manufacturers haven’t been able to develop a suitable
substitute for it.
You don’t have to spend $15 at a cosmetic-counter for a
bright, beautiful smile, however. Natural lip glosses and
balms are easy to create at home. Here are a few recipes
to get you started.
Bee Balm for Lips
Makes 1 ½ ounces
Bees provide a valuable lip balm ingredient—beeswax!
This rich balm will soften and protect your lips. You can use
it alone or as a base for colored lipstick.
2 tablespoons grated beeswax
1 teaspoon sunflower oil
1 teaspoon apricot kernel oil
1/8 teaspoon vitamin E oil
On a stove, gently heat bees wax and oils until melted;
be careful to not over heat.
Stir well to combine. Pour into a small, clean container,
then cool completely.
Fresh Spearmint Lip Gloss
Makes 1/2 ounce
Spearmint makes this gloss feel refreshing and soothing
on your lips. Also try using other mints, such as orange,
pineapple, cinnamon or chocolate mint. If you don’t have
fresh mint on hand, substitute dried mint until fresh leaves
1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves
OR ½ teaspoon dried leaves
2 teaspoons almond oil
1 teaspoon grated beeswax
Place mint in a container; gently bruise leaves to release
Pour oil over leaves and let sit for a few days.
Strain oil, then add it to beeswax. On a stove, gently
heat mixture until wax melts. Stir well and pour into a small,
Red Clover Lip Gel
Makes 1 /2 ounce
Here’s an old folk remedy for dry, chapped lips. You can
find red clover blossoms at your natural food store, or
possibly in your own garden. Its flowers yield a sweet,
honey-like substance that has anti-inflammatory and skin-
½ tablespoon dried red clover flowers
OR 1 tablespoon fresh flowers
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon clover honey
⅛ teaspoon vitamin E oil
⅛ teaspoon cornstarch
In a small pan, bring clover, water and honey to a boil.
Boil for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, then strain liquid.
Return liquid to pan and stir in oil and cornstarch, mixing
Heat mixture until it forms a clear gel
(about 1 to 2 minutes).
Cool gel completely, stirring occasionally.
Spoon into a clean container.
Protective lip glosses and balms are easy and fun to make
with herbs and other natural ingredients.
Toxic ingredients in
Shampoo and Hair
In this article and 3 minute video,
talks about the 5 main ingredients found
in nearly all shampoos and conditioners
toxic effects on the body.
His team has also developed an
organicshampoo and conditioner
which they sell. These products have
nearly the same sudsing effect
that most of us enjoy without the
hidden dangers of toxic substances.
For an economical solution, try the baking
soda and vinegar shampoo recipes below.
While on drmercola.com do a word search
on these articles:
Carcinogens Found in "Organic" Personal
Care Products and "Is Your Shampoo
Polluting the Water Supply?"
for information on ingredients to avoid.
This site is packed with informative
articles on natural health.
There is a growing movement to uncover the real reason
why drinking water is purposely contaminated with fluoride,
a substance known to be dangerous to humans. It has been
added under the guise of preventing tooth decay, but scientific
studies have proven that this is not true.
Supposedly, prior to 1945, fluoride was labeled as an
environmental pollutant in the U.S. Yet, in 1950, the
U.S. Public Health Service began their unrelentless push
to add it to municipal drinking water.
Could it be that large corporations like the aluminum and
phosphate industries were looking for a place to get rid of
their toxic waste by-product?
There is an increasing amount of air and environmental
pollution just from fluoride alone. Whether you spit into the
sink, pee or poop in your toilet or throw your fluoridated
product containers into landfills, you are being part of the
problem if you are using these products or drinking
You would be wise to research this hot topic and decide if
you wish to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
Some home filters will remove fluoride from your tap water.
Reverse osmosis also will filter out the fluoride. If you want
to know more about the tap water you are drinking, call your
municipal water company and request a fact sheet. This is
public information and should be provided to you, upon request.
If indeed your tap water is fluoridated, you might want to talk
to others, get a petition going and get the city to remove it.
Go into any major grocery store chain and read the labels
on each brand of toothpaste. Even many of the "healthy"
companies have added fluoride to their products.
Ask your grocer to stock non-fluoridated toothpastes.
After all, they are in business because of you, the consumer.
In the meantime, you should be able to find some
at your local health food store or find a place where you can
Ditoh and I avoid using fluoridated products.
Below we share our favorite oral hygiene methods with you.
Ditoh enjoys experimenting with various types of home made
toothpastes and powders.
The following is his current favorite tooth powder:
Mix together equal parts of:
Dampen your toothbrush then add one drop of
peppermint oil and sprinkle on the powder mixture.
Theresa rarely uses toothpaste because of its
abrasive action on tooth enamel.
She brushes simply with just water.
Twice a week, she brushes with baking soda.
Flossing once a day helps keep the dentist away.
Graperfruit Seed Extract (GSE), Aloe and Zinc in
Toothpaste May Protect Against
Viral and Bacterial Infections of the Oral Cavity,
according to a report from New York City’s
Pace University, 1998.
Non-Toxic Mosquito Repellent
by Theresa Crabtree
Are you a bulls-eye target for mosquitoes?
Tired of being part of the mosquito life cycle?
Have you eaten garlic and onion to no avail and find
yourself dateless on Saturday night with only
mosquitoes to keep you company?
Well, here’s some insurance for a more enjoyable
summer... tried and tested by a veteran mosquito
target living in mosquito paradise in Florida,
where the mosquito is the state bird!
Most commercially effective mosquito repellents on
the market contain DEET as the main active ingredient.
Currently, there are well over 200 products using
DEET (including OFF, Cutter and most Repel),
sometimes with concentrations as high as 100 percent.
Read on for some precautions to take if you decide to
use this powerful toxic substance.
No matter what scientific proof occurs in the lab
with rats, monkeys or other critters. Each and
every person’s body acts and reacts differently to all
stressors, and that changes from time to time since
there are so many variables involved.
Your best defense is common sense. If it’s
manufactured, processed or chemically created,
it’s likely your body will have a hard time figuring out
what to do with the substance. Your body was
designed to eat raw fruits, veggies and herbs.
Even meat was designed to be eaten raw.
Cooking and processing foods are human inventions.
As a result, you can expect a chemical formulation like
DEET to not be in the best interest for human health.
Consider each of the pores on your skin as little
mouths, sucking in whatever you put on it. Then there’s
the inhalation into the lungs that occurs with aerosols.
When the chemicals like DEET get heated (which
often happens when left in the sun or exposed to high
summer temps), oftentimes it changes the chemical
properties (even in many natural products), making it
dangerous for human consumption.
Enough said on that, there is plenty of evidence if you
wish to delve deeper on the subject. What I want to do
here is to list some precautions in case you choose to
use insect repellents, insecticides or herbicides.
Keep in mind most of these products are designed to
kill insects, so I wouldn’t classify any of them as
“safe and harmless.”
Some of the symptoms associated with
prolonged use of DEET are:
Inability to concentrate
Lack of muscle coordination
Muscle and Joint Pain
Possible damage to brain cells
Shortness of Breath
The more one is exposed to DEET, the higher the risk
of problems associated with its use.
Many symptoms are never related to DEET because
they may not become evident for months or years
DEET toxicity is exacerbated when used with other
chemicals, such as permethrin, which is a common
ingredient in many pesticides. Thus, if you have
sprayed yourself with DEET to avoid the skeeters,
then play in the grass or are outside spraying the
lawn with other chemicals, you could be creating more
havoc on your body. Instead of reaching for that can of
RAID, grab a shoe or flyswatter instead... deadly for the
insect but safe for humans and pests.
Like all medications, there is danger of incompatibility
with other chemicals, DEET and even natural herbs
are no exception. If you are using insecticides or
pesticides on your skin or spraying them in your
environment, be sure to bathe and wait awhile before
taking any medications, even over-the-counter
substances to lessen your chances of contra-indications.
Infants and young children are highly susceptible
to brain damage and effects from chemicals such as
DEET since their brains and nervous system are
immature. I wouldn’t even spray DEET anywhere near
a baby. Keep in mind that if you or your friends have
used insect repellents and have sprayed their clothes...
if they pick up your baby, pay attention to where the
baby’s face is... and where have your friends’ hands
been... because you know where your babies hands
are destined to be... in the mouth.
If you insist on using toxic insecticides and pesticides,
do your best to keep it off your skin. Especially avoid
getting it on cuts, scratches and irritated skin.
For added protection, wash the chemicals off your skin
and change your clothes as soon as you come inside.
Wear lightweight clothing that covers the skin as much
as possible, spraying the clothing instead of your skin.
Watch out for those fumes! If you can smell it, you are
inhaling it. If you cough while spraying or wearing it,
your body is reacting and
trying to say, “Get that stuff outta here!”
I’d like to share a story of an incident that happened to
my neighbor a few years ago. We lived in a rural area
outside of Sedona, Arizona. He was in his 80’s and
from a long line of organic farmers. His sister came to
stay to help long-term and could not stand the
crickets in that kept getting into the house. She
forced him to have the inside of the house sprayed and
the foundation on the outside of the house.
Now, this is a man with a keen sense of observation.
Within a few months, not only were there no more live
crickets in the house. There weren’t any other insects
inside or out for quite a ways from the house.
Soon, there were no insect predators, like lizards and
a few years later, even the birds would still not come
near the house.
Since then, his garden was plagued with insects that
had never been a problem before. He believes it was
due to the imbalance created by the one time spraying
of the insecticide. Just something for you to think about.
There are three other insect repellents that I would like
to mention, Picardin, Repel and Skin So Soft.
Picaridin, also known as Bayrepel or KBR 3023
One is Picaridin (Bayrepel, KBR 3023) which is
relatively new on the U.S. market (2005). It is longer
lasting than DEET, odorless and less likely to cause
skin irritation, that’s the good news. The bad news it is
still a chemical formulation and should be used with
caution and as directed.
Repel offers several formulations. The heavy
duty ones use higher concentrations of DEET.
They have two mosquito repellents that don't
Repel Natural uses 5% geraniol, which is made
from geraniums and is safe to use. However, it
still has those nasty skin irritants, sodium lauryl
sulphate and glycerin.
This product repels up to 4 hours.
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus is also DEET free. I
didn't find their ingredient list, but likely it has the
same as mentioned above.
Skin So Soft by Avon was accidentally discovered
to have mosquito repellent properties, which zoomed
its sales overnight. One drawback was that it had a
short effective time, only 30 minutes in some cases.
Not wanting a big moneymaker go to the wayside,
Avon now has added chemicals to the original
formulation, selling it as an insect repellent.
Sounds good, but the bottom line is the main ingredient,
mineral oil, is not digested by the human body. Mineral
oil is a by-product of petroleum, you know, like gasoline,
engine oil... your skin is like thousands of mouths
ingesting this substance. Yucky, yuck! Maybe the
mosquitos are smarter than us by steering clear it.
Please read more about mineral oil in the section
dedicated to it on this page.
Non-Toxic Insect Repellents
There are a few mosquito repellents on the market that
don't use DEET. One is Cutter's Natural formulation.
This is a spray then wipe on product, making it kind of
messy. It has a pleasant fragrance and needs to be re-
applied about every half hour if you are sweating or
I tried making my own repellents using catnip and
other essential oils, but found them to be ineffective,
needing to be reapplied often.
Check out the link below for information on
Dr. Mercola's Bug Spray.
He has great information on sunscreens and
offers a deal when you buy both products.
RELIEF FROM MOSQUITO BITES
To take the itch and swelling out of a mosquito bite,
apply one of the options below, as soon after the bite
Adoph’s Meat Tenderizer
This is the cure-all for most insect bites or stings.
Adolph’s is simply a digestive enzyme called papain
that is designed to break down meat to make it tender.
The enzymes also counteract the saliva and toxins left
by the mosquito and many other insects and critters...
even man-of-war stings... reducing swelling and
enabling healing to occur more rapidly.
Place a small amount of tenderizer in the palm of
your hand. Make a paste with water or saliva and
apply to the affected area.
If you’re going on an outdoor adventure, pack some
cut up onion pieces and store in a ziplock plastic pouch.
Rub it liberally on the bite to take the itch out and
One of the nice things about onions, is you can have
your little ones keep a bag with them while on outings.
Fits nicely in the pocket and not a financial loss when
(notice I didn’t say “if”) they lose it.
Now, let’s get off this computer and spend some
fun time outdoors!
Mineral Oil Contaminates Everyone's Bodies
Sayer Ji, Contributing Writer
The scientific literature indicates that there are at least two
dozen adverse health effects linked to exposure to mineral oil, a
crude oil derivative. New research indicates these fat-soluble
hydrocarbons are accumulating to disturbing levels in our
bodies, and affecting newborns by contaminating breast milk.
How did they get there? Mineral oil is legally allowed to be
added to our foods, drugs and cosmetics, where they
accumulate in our bodies over time, with the highest
concentrations found in our fat deposits. One autopsy study
performed in 1985, revealed that 48% of the livers and 46%
of the spleens of the 465 autopsies analyzed showed signs of
mineral-oil induced lipogranuloma (a nodule of necrotic,
fatty tissue associated with granulomatous inflammation or a
foreign-body reaction around a deposit of an oily substance),
indicating just how widespread pathological tissue changes
associated with exposure really are.
In the United States, the FDA has approved mineral for use in
cosmetic products, as well as a food additive up to 10 mg/kg a
day. For a 150 lb adult (68.03 kilograms) this is the equivalent of
680 milligrams a day, or 248 grams (over half a pound!) a year.
According to the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, mineral
oil may be used for the following uses in ingestible products:
Considering the fact that our food supply is now saturated
with "food-grade" petroleum, it is no wonder that a study
published in the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology in
2008, found that "mineral paraffins might be the largest
contaminant of our body, widely amounting to 1g per person
and reaching 10 g in extreme cases."
In the study they took tissue samples from women undergoing
Caesarean section and found "concentrations varied between
15 and 360 mg/kg fat, with an average of 60.7 mg/kg and a
median of 52.5 mg/kg." More disturbingly, milk samples taken
from these same women 4 days after delivery showed "the
same mixture of mineral paraffins as the tissue fat at
concentrations between 10 and 355 mg/kg
(average, 44.6 mg/kg; median, 30 mg/kg)."
Infants, of course, are at much higher risk for adverse effects
associated with mineral oil exposures due to their far higher
body burden (lower body weight vs. chemical exposure) and
less developed blood-brain-barrier and detoxification systems
in comparison to adults. Also, children have been found to have
a far higher body burden than adults, either to higher
consumption of de-dusted grains and/or glazing agents on
confectionery, or their inability to detoxify it as efficiently as
It should be noted that the health risks associated with
mineral oil are not strictly theoretical.
The World Health Organization classifies mineral oils
(in untreated or lightly treated industrial-grade form) as
Group 1 carcinogens to humans.  The OSHA fact sheet on
mineral oil also references research from 1991 indicating that
it is carcinogenic to humans. 
Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Investigative
Dermatology in 2009 found that commonly used moisturizing
creams containing mineral oil are tumorigenic when applied
topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice. The brands studied
were Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin, or Vanicream, which
millions of Americans apply daily to their skin.
 International Agency for Research on Cancer (17 June 2011).
"Agents Classified by the IARC Monographs, Volumes 1 - 102"
(PDF). Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on
Cancer. pp. 3, 19. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
 Hathaway GJ, Proctor NH, Hughes JP, and Fischman ML
. Proctor and Hughes' chemical hazards of the workplace.
3rd ed. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
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