Turning Dreams Into Reality....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Asthma, ADD, CNS Disorders, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

by John K. Beaulieu
The American Lung Association now estimates that 4 million American children and 20.3 million adults presently have asthma.  That is three times more victims than just twenty years ago.  Once again, environmental factors are under strong suspicion.  Most Americans spend 80 to 90% of their time in air-tight buildings, most with less than adequate ventilation.  One study concluded that the majority of the 400,000 annual emergency room visits for severe asthma attacks are brought on by poor indoor air quality.  Each year, asthma claims the lives of over 4,000 people and costs Americans over 6 billion dollars in medical costs and lost time from work and school.
Doctors know that irritation of the lungs by chemicals can trigger asthma attacks.  Long-term exposure to chemicals can contribute to the development of asthma.  This is especially true with children.  A child's immune system is not fully developed until she is twelve years old.  A one-year-old has practically no detox system at all.
Out of germ-phobia, some parents constantly spray disinfectants into the air and on all surfaces int heir baby's nursery.  What they may not realize is the are exposing their children to formaldehyde, cresol, phenol, ammonia, ethanol, and chlorine.  It takes much less of these chemicals to harm a baby than an adult.  Babies' bodies are much smaller and they breathe at ten times the rate of adults.  The average child visits the doctor twenty-three times in the first four years of life, with the most common complaint being respiratory ailment.  When babies get sick, the last thing they need is to have irritating chemicals filling their lungs.

CNS Disorders
Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders can range from headaches and dizziness to Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, and Alzheimer's Disease.  We know that many chemicals that appear in our household products are neurotoxins.  Some act as depressants, some as stimulants, and some cause mood swings.  Others act similar to alcoholic, leaving a person lethargic, unable to concentrate, and with a loss of balance.
It's important, once again, to remind you that only 10% of the chemicals that appear in household products have been tested for negative effects on the nervous system.  And we know nothing about the long-term effects of exposure to these chemicals.
We do know that young people are destroying their brains by abusing aerosol products and inhaling their deadly fumes.  In fact, aerosols are the drug of choice for many of these people.  This is very frightening.
Doctors have also identified a condition known as toxic encephalopathy, brought on by repeated exposure to solvents over several years.  Symptoms include memory loss, behavioural changes, emotional instability, confusion, inability to concentrate, neurological and personality changes, and problems with manual dexterity.  Chemicals that cause this condition are in household products.  They include chlorinated hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons and aliphatic hydrocarbons.  You need to remember that the amount of chemicals a person is exposed to is not as important as the strength of a person's detox system.  Extremely small amounts of chemicals can have severe effects on certain individuals.
Alzheimer's Disease receives so much attention because it is so prevalent and yet remains such a mystery.  Around 4.5 million people currently suffer with Alzheimer's.  Although we have known about this disease for some time, recently the number of cases has grown dramatically.  Approximately 7.7 million people will have the disease by the year 2030, and it may surpass cancer and stroke numbers as a cause of death.
Although there seems to be a genetic link to the cause of Alzheimer's, scientists admit it is too weak to explain the prevalence of the disease.  Most research points to environmental factors.  Aluminum, a known neurotoxin, is the number one suspect.  However, researchers are looking at other toxins and their possible link to this horrible disease.  Hopefully, science will find the answers.
Not every CNS problem is as dramatic as Alzheimer's, but some can be almost as debilitating.  Betty J., of Albuquerque, New Mexico, suffered from severe migraine headaches for years with major attacks occurring every 6 to 8 weeks.  Unfortunately, the medication she was taking was as disabling as the headaches.  She would spend a week to ten days in bed until the migraines finally passed and the medication wore off.  As you can imagine, this caused great hardship for her, especially with regard to her work.
After doing a little investigation, Betty decided to rid her home of toxic chemicals.  She threw out everything she had purchased at the grocery store and used only natural, environmentally sensitive products.  Her life changed dramatically.  She no longer needed to take painkillers to get out of bed and the recurring migraine attacks stopped.
Disbelieving her own success, Betty purchased a bottle of bleach to see if chemicals were indeed the cause of her problem.  Within minutes of opening the bottle, she had another migraine headache.  Betty became a true believer in the need to rid your home of toxic, chemical-laden cleaners. 

Attention Deficit Disorders And Other Learning Disorders
By 2000, 8 million children in America were taking Ritalin so they can sit still long enough to learn to read and write.  Ritalin is a "Class 2" narcotic.  What could be wrong?  Why do we need such a powerful drug to help control our children's behaviour?  Most veteran teachers will tell you that he increased use of Ritalin is not the result of the increased awareness in ADD, as some would argue, but an increase in the actual number of cases.  Think back to when you were in school.  Was half of your class our of control?  Were most of your friends taking medication for hyperactivity?  Again, we must find our just what is wrong!
The problem is that many young people are being misdiagnosed.  According to Doris Rapp, M.D., and expert on the treatment of environmental illness, as many as two-thirds of the millions of children on Ritalin are actually suffering from acute allergic reactions to environmental agents.  Removal of certain chemicals or a profound change in diet could solve the problem.  These children do not need powerful drugs.
Young people are exposed to so many chemicals that many of them develop sensitivities.  This happens because their detox system burns out even before it fully develops.  Then they become susceptible to the effects of even traces of chemicals.  I want to state one more time that when it comes to toxins, the amount of exposure is not as important as how sensitive a person is.  Children need much less exposure than adults do to develop negative symptoms.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), or Environmental Illness (EI) are the names for an assortment of problems that can affect any part of the human body.  Chemicals found in cleaners, personal care products, food, plastics, and even water, can cause this condition.  Persons suffering with MCS lack the ability to adequately detoxify their bodies.  Symptoms include: headaches, severe fatigue, hyperactivity, muscle pain, joint pain, stomach and bowel problems, constant congestion, muscle twitches, and behavioral problems, depression, loss of memory, and inability to learn symptoms, and having their sensitivities confirmed.
I have read the accounts of many victims, and personally spoken with dozens more.  Most were very sensitive to chemicals in cleaning and personal care products.  They had debilitating body aches, headaches, depression and other nervous disorders.  Thankfully, the majority I have talked to received nearly complete relief by switching to people-friendly household products.
Dr. William Rea, a world-known environmental doctor in Dallas, Texas, reports that of all the patients he has seen with MCS, only 13% report developing the condition after a one-time acute poisoning.  Sixty percent report developing the condition as the result of long-term slow poisonings involving minimal amounts of toxins.  Only 28% of the cases he has documented are work-related.  A staggering 72% of the cases are people who have been exposed to chemicals at home or at other places.
Dr. Rea sites the following factors as influencing the onset of MCS.
  • Total Toxic Body Bruden - This is the sum of all toxins in the body.  When the accumulation overloads a person's detox system, MCS can occur.
  • Nutritional State - The most nutrient- depleted a person's body is, the more likely they are to develop MCS.
  • Synergisms - This means the combination of the different chemicals in the body will have a stronger effect than individual toxins.
  • Bioaccumulation of Toxins - This refers how less dense tissues, like fat cells, can actually absorb and accumulate chemicals.  Without the time and nutrition for the body to cleanse itself, the accumulation level can be dangerous.
According to Doris Rapp, M.D., Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is common.  Most physicians who practice environmental medicine, including herself, estimate that 25% to 50% of today's population is sensitive to one degree or another.
Nancy, a young vibrant, well-trained teacher, developed MCS over a period of 8 years.  She became fatigued, experienced muscle aches, constant ear ringing, difficulty concentrating, blackouts, and severe depression.  She became so sensitive that even the nuance of chemical odor made her ill.  Scents in her body lotions, make-up and hair spray made her so confused that she could not tell time or recall the names of her students.  A whiff of perfume caused her to laugh uncontrollably and twitch.
During a leave of absence, she was too tired to get out of bed, take a shower, or prepare a snack.  Her condition was traced to, among many things, phenol in the disinfectants used in the bathroom near her classroom.  After two years of therapy, she began to feel better, but she still carries a charcoal filter mask everywhere she goes and fears a total relapse.
Sister Martha, a dedicated teacher, was assigned by her school to tutor students who needed extra help.  Unfortunately, the only available room was a converted custodial closet located between two bathrooms.  The vapors from cleaners, disinfectants and deodorizers from the bathrooms constantly filtered into this room through vents in the walls.
After tutoring for a while in this room, Sister Martha developed a persistent, nagging cough, joint stiffness and swelling, facial spasms, excessive mucus, and vision problems.  She was able to find a doctor who began to treat her sensitivities.  Even after extensive treatment, she still lives with many limitations.  Although she has eliminated toxins in her home, she cannot remain in a public place like a mall for more than a few minutes.  She still needs to take an anti-allergy extract and can drink only purified water.
Both of these stories represent extreme cases of MCS.  Most people who suffer with MCS do not have such profound symptoms, but rather experience symptoms like recurring headaches, muscle aches, depression, and chronic fatigue.
Hopefully, more will be learned about MCS and treatments will improve.  However, I think the focus be on prevention.  By reducing the amount of toxins in your home, you can help to reduce the risk for MCS in a loved one.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Infertility And Miscarriage

Infertility And Miscarriage
by: John K Beaulieu
More than 2 million American couples who want to have children are unable to d so.  Perhaps you or someone close to you is living with the heartache.  It many surprise you to learn that between 1938 and 1991 the sperm count of males in the industrialized countries has decreased 50% in quantity and quality.  A cross-sectional study of college men found that 25% were sterile.  Projected figures place the male sterility rate at over 50% early in the next century.
Women's fertility has also been negatively affected by the increased use of chemicals.  In 1934, only twenty-one cases of endometriosis existed in the entire world.  ow there are over 5 million women with this condition, which causes infertility, in the United States alone.  High levels of toxins have been found in German women with endometriosis.  Female monkeys exposed to dioxins has an increased rate of this condition also.  Combine the decreased sperm count with the prevalence of endometriosis and you can see just how the infertility rate could grow so large and affect so many.
Even women who can conceive are experiencing extremely high rates of miscarriage.  In 1988, more than 600,000 women experienced a miscarriage, and in most cases the cause was unclear.  In many cases, a woman's body will reject an unborn baby if it detects a profound defect of some kind.  We may begin wondering if we are living in a time when more babies have defects.  Or perhaps the chemicals that enter the body somehow send mixed or wrong messages.  
Many chemicals, including alkylphenol, found in many industrial and household detergents, are known hormone disrupters.  This means they act like hormone and can actually change behaviour, mood, development and any other bodily functions regulated by hormones.  It concerns me that the delicate balance of chemicals our bodies naturally produce and need to function properly can be skewed by synthetic, toxic chemicals.

There are safer alternatives available for cleaning, laundry and personal care. We must read labels! I have found a company that manufactures all safe, non toxic products that WORK and are LESS EXPENSIVE! I've been shopping at this store for over 10 years... they are THE BEST!

Your Detox System

by John K Beaulieu

Your body has a system that destroys and eliminates toxins.  After all, many things that appear naturally in the environment are toxic, and we need to have a strong defense system against them.  Organs like the kidneys and liver filter out and remove toxins.  Our blood contains T-cells that attack foreign agents.  However, many people have overloaded or very weak detox systems.  High levels of toxins and a poor nutritional state leave many people more susceptible to the effects of chronic chemical exposure.
Even healthy people can be affected.  When exposed to a certain toxin, the body will respond by producing more of the enzymes needed to destroy the poison.  In a sense, the body has "masked" the poisoning.  It has prevented the effects of the poisoning from being felt, even if the effects would have been mild.  But, this has stressed the immune system, possibly leaving a person vulnerable to infection.
By switching to cleaners and personal care products that are not full of toxins, you can reduce the stress on your detox system, possibly leading to a healthier life.  I have not missed a day of work due to illness in over two years.  I have not seen a doctor for illness in three years.  My children have been to the doctor for illness only twice in three years.  I believe this is, in part, the result of my wife and me deciding to switch to safer and more natural products.  I encourage you to do the same.  It's one decision your family can live with. 

Effects of Chemical Exposure

by John K. Beaulieu

Immediate Effects Of Chemical Exposure
Could this happen in your home?  When Peter Schwabb of Seattle, Washington, was a year old, he crawled over the dishwasher to watch his mother unloading it.  Suddenly, he put a finger into the detergent dispensing cup and ate a fingerful of wet bu undissolved Electrasol.  In minutes his face was red and blistered, and the inside of this mouth and his tongue were burned white.  Because of a series of lucky circumstances, Peter was in the hospital within minutes and he recovered in a few days.
While Peter was in the hospital, there was a little girl across the hall who (according to Peter's mother) ate some dishwashing detergent and required seven operations to reopen her scarred esophagus.
Another 18-month-old boy had to eat through tubes for five months and at last count had thirty operations.  Detergent is what destroyed his throat too.
Three-year-old Jason Whitely, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, died a lingering and horrible death two weeks after swallowing three ounces of a hair rinse containing ammonia.
Seven-month-old Adrian Gonzalez, Jr., of Belen, New Mexico, crawled through a puddle of spilled bleach, which gave him third-degree burns on 50% of his tiny body and burned his lings from the fumes as well.  It took him four days to die.
The real tragedy here is that all of these accidents could have been prevented.  A simple decision to use safer products could have meant that these children would not have had to suffer and die.  Unfortunately, most parents don't realize that they have a choice. 

More Dangerous Than Guns
It may shock you to learn that according to the National Safety Council, more children under the age of four die of accidental poisonings at home than are accidentally killed with guns at home.  Among children age five and under, the most common poison is a cleaner or personal care products.
Ninety percent of all poisonings occur at home between the hours of 4 and 10 pm, when children are home from school and playing in the house.  Young children are especially vulnerable.  They learn by putting things in their mouths.  This is even more frightening when you consider the number of products that look like something else.  Window cleaner looks like blueberry drink.  Ammonia looks like apple juice.  Many poisons come in bright, colorful containers with small, obscure warning labels that young children can't read.  Remember the skull and crossbones symbol?  It's a symbol that children can identify easily, but manufacturers are no longer required to display it on most household products.
Lennon Miller, 18 months, of Memphis Tennessee, drank lemon-scented furniture polish, enticed no doubt by the attractive sell.  He lived during a day of suffering and dies in John Gaston Hospital of chemically-induced pneumonia.

Accidents Happen To Adults, Too
Young children are not the only ones at risk for chemical injury.  Poisoning is the number one accidental killer in the home, accounting for over 3,000 deaths in 1985 and over 4,000 deaths in 1990.  These chemicals are also responsible for thousands of injuries each year.
A 34-year-old man received burns on his arm after using a caustic drain-cleaner in his bathroom sink.  Fifteen minutes after applying the chemical, he ran water into the sink, but the remaining residue splashed on his arm.
A woman poured boiling water into a can of over cleaner, according to the directions on the can.  As she carried the can from the table to the oven, it spilled, burning her hand and producing large quantities of ammonia gas, which gave her a chocking cough.
But most of the health problems related to chemicals in the home are not because of accidents like these.  Most chemical-related health problems are the result of exposure to toxics day after day, year after year.

Home Is Where THe Chemicals Are

by...John K. Beaulieu
Home is where you are most likely to be exposed to toxic chemicals.  After all, you spend 80 to 90% of your time indoors, most of that at home.  This fact is important when you understand that in one five-year study, the EPA found that airborne chemical levels in homes were as much as seventy times higher than outside.
When toxic household chemicals release vapors into the air, they have nowhere to go.  During the oil shortages of the 1970s, builders began making houses energy efficient as possible.  The result has been homes that keep toxic indoor air tightly sealed inside.
Exposure to toxic indoor air many have a devastating effect on your health.  One fifteen-year study found that women who worked at home had a 54% higher death rate from cancer than women who had jobs outside the home.  The study concluded that the increased death rate was due to daily exposure to the hazardous chemicals found in ordinary products.  Some experts argue that 30% of all cancers stem from exposure to toxic chemicals.
Not all of the health effects are fatal, however.  According to a special legislative committee of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 50% of all health problems are cause, in part, by deteriorated indoor air quality.  A hangover is the side-effect of non-lethal ethanol poisoning (getting drunk).  How many days so you wake up feeling "hung over", with aches and pains or nausea?  Perhaps in the air in your home is poisoning you.  How many bottles of pain-killers have you purchased to rid yourself of headaches, possibly brought on by your fabric softener?
The good news is that by switching to safer, more natural products, you can rid yourself of these symptoms altogether.  You can make your home a healthy home!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Toxic Chemicals and The Human Body...by John K. Beaulieu

Beware Of Aerosols
Both cleaning and personal care products come in aerosol cans.  I want to warn you of the dangers of aerosols in your home.  First, they send a fine mist of toxic chemicals into the air that is easily inhaled and absorbed.  Second, this fine mist settles, leaving a coating of toxins on surfaces where children crawl and play and adults eat and sleep.  Finally, many of the propellants used in aerosol cans are toxic themselves.  Vinyl chloride, one of the most common, can cause dizziness, lack of coordination, headaches, blurred vision, nausea, and death.

I read of a young man named Stuart who became dizzy and collapsed while spray painting bookshelves in his basement.  When his wife found him a few hours later, he was dead.

These chemical propellants are also highly flammable.  A woman names Laurie received disfiguring burns when the hair spray she was using was ignited by her cigarette.  Each year 5,000 people receive emergency room treatment for aerosol-related injuries.

Jimmy, 8, used a hammer and nail to puncture an old aerosol can.  The can exploded, hurling pieces of metal into his face and upper chest, cutting him severely.

When you weigh the short-term and long-term harms of aerosol products, I think the smart conclusion is simply to get rid of them.

Toxic Chemicals And The Human Body
Your body is a very complex, very fragile system of chemical reactions and electrical impulses.  When you consider a single cell breathes, uses energy, and releases waste much like your whole body does, you can begin to understand how even small amounts of harmful chemicals can affect the performance of the body's processes.  Chemicals enter the human body in three ways: ingestion, inhalation, and absorption.

Ingestion brings to mind the image of a young child opening the cabinet under the sink and drinking something deadly.  Well, each year nearly 1.5 million accidental ingestion of poisons are reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers.  The majority of the victims are under the age of twelve and have swallowed a cleaning or personal care products.  It amazes me how many deadly chemicals are stored under sinks or on bathroom counters and bathtubs within easy reach of young children.

It may surprise you to learn that poisoning by inhalation is more common, and can be much more harmful, than ingestion.  When something is swallowed, the stomach actually begins breaking down and neutralizing the poison before it is absorbed into the bloodstream.  However, when you inhale toxic fumes, the poisons go directly into the bloodstream and quickly travel to organs like the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys.
Many products give off toxic vapors which can irritate your eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and give you headaches, muscle aches, and sinus infections.  This process of releasing vapors into the air is called outgassing.  Outgassing occurs even when a chemical is tightly sealed in its container.  If you doubt this, simply walk down the cleaning aisle at your local grocery store and notice how strongly it smells of toxic vapors even though all containers are sealed tightly.

Finally, you need to realize the potential threat absorption poses.  One square centimeter of your skin, an area less than the size of a dime, contains 3 million cells, four yards of nerves, one yard of blood vessels, and one hundred sweat glands.  We've all heard the ads for nicotine patches and analgesic creams.  These medicines work by being absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin.  Even some heart medicines are administered through transdermal (through the skin) patches.
Any chemical that touches the skin can be absorbed and spread throughout the body.  This can even happen when you come in contact with a surface that was treated with a chemical days, or even weeks earlier.  I had no idea that my children could be harmed by crawling across the kitchen floor my wife had cleaned.  I thought we were being conscientious, not reckless.  Since we no longer have products which contain chemicals in our home, I no longer worry when I see my baby daughter crawling across the floor or putting her fingers in her mouth.  I know she is not absorbing or ingesting toxic residues.

Formaldehyde...by John K. Beaulieu

Formadehyde is used frequently in both cleaning and personal care products because it is a cheap preservative.

The following information is taken from a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) which, by law, must be supplied to anyone who uses any chemical product in the workplace.  The MSDS for formaldehyde warns: "Suspected carcinogen; May be fatal if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin; causes burns; inhalation can cause spasms, edema (fluid buildup) of the larynx and bronchi, and chemical pneumonitis; extremely destructive to tissue of the mucous membrane".

All these symptoms and more are caused by formaldehyde.  Yet manufacturers can put formaldehyde in shampoo and not list it as an ingredient!  You will be shocked to learn that formaldehyde is a common ingredient in baby shampoo, bubble bath, deodorants, perfume, cologne, hair dye, mouthwash, toothpastes, hair spray, and many other personal care items.

The amount of formaldehyde in many of these products is slight.  Brushing your teeth every day probably will not give you cancer, but the risk is still there.  After all, formaldehyde is still a suspected carcinogen, and if all cancers start from the abnormal growth of one cell, then why allow any amount into or onto your body?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sheep shearing, Highland Games... and more

The town I live in has been holding a Scottish Festival and Highland Games for 65 years.  Growing up, it was tradition for my family to go to the Games as my mom was born and raised in Scotland.  For many years my family ran a food booth at the Games.  Looking back, I have such fond memories of the Highland Games weekend.  Always so much fun!

It's been years since I've been to the Games.  This year I decided to take my boys.  It is an amazing experience for all ages.  So much to see and so much to do.

After listening to the pipe bands, walking through the concession area, watching some of the heavy weights, we made our way down to a Heritage Tent.  When we got there, they were just getting ready to have a sheep shearing demonstration.  The kids and I sat up on the bleachers in the shade to enjoy getting out of the sun for a bit.  

What I didn't know was what an eye opener that sheep shearing demonstration would turn out to be.  For the past 10 years, I have been teaching people about the chemicals in their homes.  How these chemicals are affecting our health.  Encouraging people to read labels.  To get rid of the chemicals.  Often times I talk about the pharmaceutical industry... how it's a billion dollar a year industry.  How every time people go see a doctor, how quick they are to write another prescription.  There's a drug out there for everything today.  Last week I had a sore throat.  The back of my throat was all white.  Many people were so quick to tell me that I needed an antibiotic to rid the infection.  I took matter into my own hands.  Our body has an amazing ability to fight sicknesses.  I pulled out the echinacea and astragalus, I gargled with tea tree oil, I ate raw garlic.  Within a few days, my throat was fine.  Alas!  No antibiotics.

Now, don't get me wrong.  There is a time and a place for prescription medications.  I'm not saying I'm totally against the stuff.  I'm simply saying, why run to the doctor for every little sore throat when we don't have to?

Back to the sheep shearing.  It was very interesting to hear the man talk as he held that sheep still to shave off his wool.  He spoke of the sheep business.  He himself has been in this industry for about 37 years.  When he first began, there was such a need for the wool.  It was a raw material that was used for so many different items.  He was paid $1.10 per pound of wool.  Sheep are sheared once per year.  Their industry was in such demand that they would work 8 hours per day shearing and get through about 20 sheep per hour.  You do the math. 

Today, he is paid about 10 cents per pound of wool.  Why?  Because of synthetic, man-made materials.  Think about that.  What types of clothes are we wearing?  Where are we buying these clothes?  Why are we buying these clothes?  Because of cost, right?

Now let's look at the health of our population.  Look at the number of diseases that are out there today compared to even 37 years ago.

Quite an increase, yes?  WHY???????

Look at the food we eat.  The clothes we wear.  The cleaning supplies we use.  The laundry products we wash our clothes in.  The personal care products we use every day in the bathroom.  Are all these the same as what we used 30 years ago??  Not even close.

We've become a population of convenience.  When and how did we become so lazy?  Is it because both parents are out in the workforce in order to make ends meet?  When did everything become so "convenient"?

We don't worry about our next meal.  If there's no time to cook, we can grab something on the go.  But what are we eating??  Is it REALLY that convenient??  Maybe it is right now.... but what about when we all have digestive problems in 10 years?  Oh.... then we can run to the doctor and get synthetic drugs to fix us, right?

The amount of preservatives and chemicals we fill ourselves every day is ridiculous.

The grocery stores and manufacturers are NOT helping matters.  Let's face it.  Every industry is looking to make their product for as cheap as possible in order to keep costs low for the consumer.  But, what price are we willing to pay for our health and the health of our family?

It disturbs me greatly when I go to my local grocery store this time of year and the majority of our fruits and vegetables are imported from other countries.  It baffles my mind when I see shopping carts filled with food that are pre-made....all for convenience.

Someone said to me a long time ago that when they go to the grocery store they only shop the outskirts of the store.  It took me a while to "get it".  The outskirts of the store... all around the outside of the aisles are what?.... we have fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, bakery.... all the inner aisles are convenience foods.  Sure, we need toilet paper, baking supplies, maybe coffee or tea.... but think about it.

When we become parents we are so conscious of everything we buy for our new baby.  We check the safety standards of the crib, car seat, highchair, playpen, toys, etc.... But then we clean with chemicals.  We wash the baby's clothes in chemicals.  We clean the baby itself in chemicals.  Why aren't we concerned about what's IN those products??  

Just something to think about.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Best Motivation Video

Which Products? Which Chemicals? by John K. Beaulieu

Chemicals that can cause death, cancer, central nervous system (CNS) disorders, learning disorders, birth defects, respiratory illness, and many other health problems appear in most of the cleaning and personal care products in your home.  It may be difficult, however, to tell which health risks a particular product poses.  Since manufacturers do not list long-term health effects on the packages and are not required to list the ingredients, it's impossible to learn all the health risks by reading the label. 
That's why I have provided a short list of product type and general comments about possible health risks below.  Of course, every product is different.  Even the same product's ingredients can vary from batch to batch depending on the cost and availability of certain chemicals.  The following lists of cleaning supplies and personal care products are by no means exhaustive.  The possible health effects do not apply to every single brand.  However, based on examination of many grocery store brands, chemicals in the following products cause the listed health problems:

Cleaning Products
  • Air freshener - toxic; may cause caner; irritates nose, throat and lungs
  • Disinfectant - very toxic; causes skin, throat, and lung burns; causes coma.
  • Drain cleaner - toxic; causes skin burns; causes liver and kidney damage
  • Oven cleaner - toxic; causes skin, throat, and lung burns
  • Window cleaner - toxic; causes CNS disorders; causes liver and kidney disorders
  • Floor/Furniture Polish - toxic; causes CNS disorders; may cause lung cancer
  • Spot remover - toxic; may cause cancer; causes liver damage
  • All-purpose cleaner - causes eye damage; irritates nose, throat, and lungs
  • Toilet bowl cleaner - very toxic; causes skin, nose, throat, and lung burns
  • Chlorinated scouring powder - toxic; highly irritating to nose, throat, and lungs
  • Dishwasher detergent - toxic; causes eye injuries, damage to mucous membranes, and throat
  • Dishwashing liquid - harmful if swallowed; irritates the skin
  • Carpet shampoo - toxic; may cause cancer; causes CNS and liver damage
  • Laundry detergent - toxic; irritates the skin and lungs
  • Bleach - toxic by swallowing; vapors are harmful; causes CNS disorders
  • Stain remover - toxic; may cause cancer; vapors can be fatal
  • Fabric softener - toxic; may cause cancer; causes CNS disorders; causes liver damage
Personal Care Products
  • Shampoo- may cause cancer; irritates eyes, skin and lungs
  • Dandruff shampoo- may cause cancer; causes organ degeneration; causes CNS disorders
  • Deodorant soap- may cause cancer; causes asthma; irritates lungs
  • Bubble bath - causes bladder and kidney infections; irritates skin and nose
  • Mousse and hair spray - may cause cancer; causes lung disease; irritates eyes and skin
  • Mouthwash - toxic to children; may cause cancer
  • Breath Spray - may cause cancer
  • Cosmetics - may cause cancer; causes CNS damage; irritates skin and lungs
  • Perfumes/cologne - toxic; may cause cancer, irritates skin and lungs

Thursday, August 12, 2010

They Wouldn't Sell It If It Wasn't Safe... Would They??

article by: John K. Beaulieu

When we pick up a product at the local grocery store, most of us like to think we are getting something that has been tested and proven to be safe.  After all, we have laws to protect our health and safety, don't we?  Actually, the government has very limited power to regulate manufacturers, or require testing of their products.  here are some disturbing facts:
  • A product that kills 50% of lab animals through ingestion or inhalation can still receive the federal regulatory designation "non-toxic."
  • Of the 17,000 chemicals that appear in common household products, only 30% have been adequately tested for their negative effects on our health; less than 10% have been tested for their effect on the nervous system; and nothing is known about the combined effects of these chemicals when mixed within our bodies.
  • No law requires manufacturers to list the exact ingredients on the package label.  "Personal care product" refers to just about anything we use to clean our bodies or make ourselves look or smell good.  The closest thing to a regulatory agency for the personal care industry is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and their power is extremely limited.  Here are more unsettling facts regarding personal care products.
  • The FDA cannot regulate a personal care product until after is it released into the marketplace.
  • Neither personal care products nor their ingredients are reviewed or approved before they are sold to the public.
  • The FDA cannot require companies to do safety testing on their personal care products before they are sold to the public.
  • The FDA cannot require recalls of harmful personal care products from the marketplace.
  • The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products.  The results were as follows: 884 of the chemicals were toxic.  314 caused biological mutation.  218 caused reproductive complications.  778 caused acute toxicity.  148 caused tumors.  376 caused skin and eye irritations.
You Can't Trust Warning Labels!

You may think you know what is in a product and its potential harms by reading ingredients.  Think again.  Manufacturers are not required to list the exact ingredients on the label.  Also, chemical names are often disguised by using innocuous "trade names."  So even if the chemical is listed on the label, you may not recognize it for what it is. 

Even if the harsh and dangerous active ingredients are listed on a package, oftentimes the remainder of ingredients are lumped into a category known as "inert" (not active) ingredients.  This term may lead you to believe that these chemicals are not toxic or hazardous.  In fact, many of the 1,000 different chemicals used as inert ingredients are more harmful than the active ingredients.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not require manufacturers to identify most inert chemicals, or disclose their potential harmful effects.  Even suspected carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) are used as inert ingredients in household products.

Regarding warning labels, on New York study found that 85% of products they examined had incorrect warning labels.  Some were labeled poisonous, but weren't; others were poisonous, but not labeled as such; others gave incorrect first aid information.  And there are absolutely no warnings on products about possible negative effects of long-term exposure.  This is unfortunate because most diseases linked to chemical exposure are the result of long-term exposure.

If we don't know what's in it, and we don't know if it can hurt us, how are we supposed to make an intelligent decision about whether or not to bring this product into hour home?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Is Your Home a Healthy Home?

Is your home a healthy home?? by John K. Beaulieu

It's alarming but true - scientists and doctors have discovered that there is a connection between our health and the use of comming everyday household chemicals.  If yours is the typical home, you probably use dozens of cleaning and personal care products, purchased at the local grocery store, which contain chemical ingredients that could be harmful to your health and the health of your loved ones. 
Since World War II, ther ehas been a dramatic rise in the number of man-made chemicals we use in our homes.  The typical home now contains over sixty-three hazardous products that together contain hundreds of different chemicals.  At the same time there has been an equally dramatic rise in the incidence of certain chronic health problems.  Research indicates that it is more than coincidence that the dramatic rise in these various diseases has coincided with the increased use of hazardous, man-made chemicals in the home.

Have we always been this sick?
Around the turn of the century the cancer incidence rate was about one in fifty.  Today is the IS, one in three women and one in two men will suffer with cancer.  Cancer is the number two killer of adults and the leading cause of death from disease in children.
The incidence of central nervous system disorders like Alzheimer's and Mulitple Sclerosis increases annually.
Birth defects are ont he ise as well.  Over 150,000 babies are born with defects each uear for reasons unknown.  Another 500,000 babies are iscarried early in pregnancy each year with additional 24,000 miscarried late in prgnancy or stillborn.  Infertility is increasing and widespread with over 2 milion couples who want children and are unable to conceive.
Asthma was also once a very rare disease.  Now the condition is extremely common.  THe asthma rate has tripled in the last twenty years with over 30 million Americans currently afflicted.
Attention Deficit Disorder in adults and children is rising.  In 1993, 2 million children took the drug Ritalin so they could sit still long enough to learn.  In 1995, that figure doubled to approximately 4 million.  In 2000, 17 million prescriptions were written in the US for Ritalin and other drugs to treat ADD. 
You or someone you know has probably been touched in some way by one of these illnesses.  What could be causing these, and other health problems, to rise and afflict so many otherwise healthy people?  Although other factors are involved, more and more scientists are linking these ailments to long-term chemical exposure.  And, for most of us, our greatest exposure to chemicals is right in our own homes!  We breathe chemical vapors from household products to clean our homes or make our bodies clean and smell good; and we swallow small amounts of chemicals when we gargle, or when we eat food from dishes that have been cleaned with chemicals and still contain a thin residue.  The home is also where over 1.5 million young children are poisoned each year, and most of the time they are poisoned by a cleaning or personal care products.

Happily, there is a simple solution to the problem presented in this article.  Some conscientious companies now offer household products that are safer and more natural.  Most of these people-friendly and environmentally sensitive products work just as well or better than grocery store brands, and in many cases, actually cost less.  So, there's really no reason to risk your health, or the health of your loved ones any longer. 
If your home a healthy home?  Right now, it's probably not as healthy as it could be.  Keep reading posts to learn more!

The Tea Tree Oil Story

To trace the history of the "healing Tea Trees" we have to start on the North Eastern coastal region of New South Wales, Australia - the only place in the world where the Melaleuca alternifolia tree yields the "real" Tea Tree oil.

We have to travel back centuries, long before Australia was "discovered", and long before scientific evidence began, to a time when Australia belonged to its native inhabitants, the Aborigines.  In particular, the Bundjalong Aborigines inhabited the wetlands around the Bungawalbyn Creek and, according to legend, were well aware of the medicinal qualities of their many "healing trees."  Although not documented, it is widely understood that they treated various wounds and skin infections with an early form of poultice made from crushed leaves and warm mud from along the banks of the creek.  The poultice was excellent for drawing out infection and healing the skin. 

These Aborigines also used the healing waters of the pools in the area which were surrounded by the trees.  Falling leaves and twigs, leached their "magical" healing liquid into the water, turning it a deep yellowish color.  The Aborigines bathed and washed in this natural healing "spa" to treat any number of conditions from sore muscles to serious diseases.  Maybe this is why they named the area "Bungawalbyn" in the first place.  The name means "healing ground." 

The "healing trees" did not become commonly known as "Tea Trees" until around 1770 when Captain Cook, along with a botanist named Joseph Banks and the crew of The Endeavour, used the leaves with their distinctive aroma to brew a spicy and refreshing "tea."  It is most unfortunate that they did not "discover: and publish the unique healing qualities of the "Tea Trees."  But according to the account of that time, they drank the essence in varying concoctions, even alcoholic beverages such as as "Tea Tree beer."

Thus the name "Tea Tree" became popular, especially with the first "white" settlers who colonized the low-lying areas around the Clarence and Richmond Rivers.  From the 17900's on, they watched and learned from the Aborigines how to use the leaves and waters in various inhalations, poultices, and rubbing mediums.  Because these first settlers rarely had medical or botanical backgrounds, there was no real "scientific" evidence recording the healing qualities of the Tea Trees.  The European community was very skeptical of these "anecdotal stories."  It could not have helped that the Aborigines were often thought of as primitives from an uncivilized world.  In the words of the settlers, "They didn't want to work or better themselves...they were always disobedient and lazy."  Thus the healing remedies, along with the Aboriginal way of life, were treated with contempt.
As new settlers arrives, they struggled to clear the harsh native vegetation to make way for settlements and dairy farms.  They cursed every Tea Tree for its hardy and persistent hold on its own natural habitat.  The Tea Trees tenaciously survived drought, fire, flood, and even frost, and resisted any attempt to destroy them.  Fortunately for the rest of the world, the only way they could have been eradicated was by the physical removal or every part of the tree, including the extensive root system.

It is ironic that while the settlers battled to destroy the Tea Trees, they were only too willing to use the healing leaves for poultices and inhalations to stem infection and disease.

It is to our loss that the Tea Tree, although used as an effective "bush remedy" by subsequent generations of farmers, did not reach our attention until the early 1930's.  It was not even mentioned in the British Pharmaceutical Codex until 1949, where it was listed as "Oleum Melaleuca."

In Australia it was not until the early 1920's that Arthur de Ramon Penfold, FCS, Chief Chemist at the Museum of Applied Technology, Arts and Sciences in Sydney, extracted the oil of the Melaleuac alternifolia and announced that "yes indeed!" it did have antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties.  The accepted anti-bacterial agent at that time was cabolic acid (known as phenol).  Imagine the stir it must have caused when it was determined that "an old Aboriginal remedy" was up to 13 times stronger!  and was non-toxic and non-irritating - unlike carbolic acid!

When the results were finally published in 1925, there was great enthusiasm among doctors of the time and "Penfold's discovery" was immediately put to the test.

In 1930 the Medical Journal of Australia published an article, "A New Australian Germicide," by Dr. E.M. Humphrey.  It stated "that what he found most encouraging was the way that the oil from the crushed leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia dissolved pus and left wounds and surrounding areas clean."  He tested and enthused about this great substance, highlighting Tea Tree oil as never before.

He noticed "that the germicidal action became more effective in the presence of living tissue and organic matter, without any apparent damage to healthy cells"....

He suggested "that it would be particularly good for applying to dirty wounds caused in street accidents."....

He also found "most encouraging the results on nail infections.  Particularly those infections that had resisted various treatments for month which now were cured in less than a week!"...

"The pus solvent properties of Tea Tree oil made it an excellent application for the fungal nail disease paronychia, which if left untreated could result in the deformity and even loss of the nail."...

He urged the dental industry to "take seriously the antiseptic properties for infections of the gum and mouth."...

He noted that "just two drops of Tea Tree oil in a tumbler of warm water made it a soothing and therapeutic gargle for sore throats in the early stages."...

He wrote that "it would probably be effective for most of the infections of the naso-pharynx."...

That is "was an immediate deodorizing medium on foul-smelling wounds and pus-filled abscesses."...

And, "if it was added to hand soap it would make the soap up to sixty times more effective against Typhoid bacilli than the so-called 'disinfectant soaps' of the day."...

He felt "that if an ointment could be made from the oil it would help to eradicate several parasitic skin diseases."...

He concluded "that it was a rare occurrence because most effective germicides actually destroyed healthy living tissue along with the bacteria."...

The Scientific and Medical worlds were intrigued.  More research was funded and articles began appearing in additional publications such as the Australian Journal of Pharmacy and the Australian Journal of Dentistry.  World-wide appetites were whetted.  Articles were presented and published in the Journal of the National Medical Association (USA) and the British Medical Journal.

As the reputation of Tea Tree oil Spread, there was a great deal of anecdotal evidence about its effectiveness in a wide range of topical applications, both medical and veterinary.  From diabetic gangrene in man to diseases of poultry and fish, it was recognized as a safe, effective, non-toxic, non-irritating, antiseptic disinfectant.

If Penfold was the "Founding Father," Humphrety was certainly the "Metaphorical Mother."  His enthusiastic writings opened up a multitude of medical and practical uses for Tea Tree oil.  Others have tried, tested, and approved of its healing properties, but thanks to Penfold and Humphrey the world would no longer be denied the miraculous healing powers of the Aborigine "healing tree," the Tea Tree - Melaleuca alternifolia.

That Amazing Tea Tree Oil!

That Amazing Tea Tree Oil!  by Karen MacKenzie

When I initially hear about Tea Tree oil, I could not believe it.  It was too good to be true.  Why had we not heard about it before?  The truth is we had, but then we had chosen to ignore it!

I have traced Tea Tree oil back to its roots in Aboriginal Australia, through its popularity during the Second World War, right up to the present day world-wide acclaim.  I have read the research papers, used it for first aid applications, treated my pets, and even cleaned many household accessories and furnishings with it.

I am constantly amazed by its versatility and effectiveness.  I would never have believed that an essential oil from one plant could lend itself so successfully to so many different applications.  No one bu God, through nature, could have created such a valuable broad-spectrum substance, and that is the beauty of Tea Tree oil - it is totally natural.

I wrote this in  an effort to bring Tea Tree oil to your attention, so you, like I, could read about its history, study the research work, utilize its many properties, and make up your own mind about nature's potent gift.  After all, Tea Tree oil was created for each and every one of us. 

Every week we see the same headlines in the newspapers, "Head Lice Shampoo Cancer Scare"... "The Age of the Superbug is Here"... "Treatment Damages Skin Cells"... and so on. 

We are now just beginning to wake up to the fact that the synthetic chemical cocktails we encounter during the course of a lifetime - hairsprays, cosmetics, deodorants, polishes, detergents, toothpastes, perfumes, aftershaves, first aid treatments, medicines, air fresheners, etc. - are systematically weakening our bodies.  It is undeniable that our health is beginning to suffer.  Where will it all end?

Germs, bacteria, and other parasites are evolving to beat their chemical killers.  The "superbugs", including MRSA (Golden staph), thrive.  Mystery illnesses are on the increase. Do we then try to make stronger chemicals?  You bet we do!  

Are we not forgetting one simple, fundamental fact?  Bacteria is a basic, one-celled form of life, and these chemicals are harmful to all life - including our own!  When we use harsh chemicals against bacteria we can also unbalance and even destroy our own body cells, too.

I am not denying that synthetic medicine was, and is, a great gift.  But it is its indiscriminate use, in addition to all other synthetics and chemicals, that is causing the problme.  Over fifty years ago society started to turn its back on nature, and the chemical industry took center stage.  We seemed to forget that we were part of nature and that to turn against it, we would be turning against ourselves.  It is only now that we are beginning to pay the price. 

Now, wouldn't it be marvelous if we could find a safe, non-toxic, non-irritating substance that would play a role in replacing many of the strong chemicals in our cupboards?  Well, we have!

Here is a product that is made by nature, for nature.  It is a completely natural, topical, clinically proven anti-bacterial and anti-fungal substance.  It has anti-inflammatory, immune system strenghthening, pain killing, and wound healing qualities.  It also exhibits anti-viral, expectorant, and balsamic characteristics.  

All this, and it can be used as a powerful antiseptic, parasiticide and insecticide.  AND it's also kind to our skin cells.  The pure Tea Tree oil of the Melaleuca Alternifolia, works with the body, not against it.  Research shows it has rapid results against the new "20th Century Superbugs" including MRSA.  

I still find it ironic that if man made such a synthetic substance and had spent millions of dollars on the development program, it would have been hailed as the wonder of the century.  Everyone would have known about it, and everyone would be utilizing its many properties.  But because Tea Tree oil is found in nature, it is viewed with suspicion. 

The sooner we all once again wholeheartedly embrace a more natural approach in both medicine and in industry, the sooner we will begin to stem the tide of the so called "superbugs" and "mystery illnesses."  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Girls as young as 7 hitting puberty

Females appear to be hitting puberty earlier, perhaps due to rising obesity rates and common chemicals found in plastic, a new study suggests.
Among 1,200 girls in the study, 15 per cent showed signs of breast development at age seven, which is between a year and four years earlier than what was considered usual.
The research, which was led by a team from Ohio, also suggests that puberty is arriving at increasingly younger ages.
Other key findings show that by the age of eight, 18 per cent of white girls and 42 per cent of black girls had developed breasts.
Those numbers suggest that girls at age seven or eight are twice as likely to have breasts as compared to girls a decade ago.
A 1997 study showed that only five per cent of white girls had breast development at age seven.
The new study, published on Monday, was printed in the medical journal Pediatrics, and it raises more concerns about how girls will deal with such developmental pressures.
Researcher Dr. Frank Biro said that partially developed bodies may push girls into behaviours they may not be emotionally and mentally ready for.
"Simply because one is physically more mature does not mean they are socially more mature or psychologically mature," he said.
Perhaps equally troubling are links between early sexual development and the risk of developing breast and endometrial cancers later in life. It appears that longer exposure to certain hormones exacerbates the risk of such cancers.
Unplanned pregnancies and exposure to sexually transmitted infections are also major concerns.
Other studies have shown that girls who develop earlier are also more likely to suffer through depression and self-esteem problems as they grow older.
While heavier girls seem to hit puberty earlier in life, the study suggests that environmental factors are also speeding up the process. Chemicals such as bisphenol A, which is commonly found in plastic, have been blamed for the early development.
Other compounds, like phthalates, appear to disrupt the normal work of hormones in the body.
Of interest is that in different U.S. cities, the onset of puberty appears to differ. In San Francisco, 11.6 per cent of seven-year-olds showed breast development.
By contrast, 18.9 per cent of seven-year-old girls in Cincinnati showed pubertal growth.