Short intro about the blog

This blog is about our journey to healing with Grade 3 Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Holy Chemicals, Batman!

I pretty much have the same routine every morning. I believe that all of us do. We have our favorite products, and we use them religiously. We might have seen the long list of ingredients on the back of the bottle, but we never really investigate just how many different compounds are being applied to our skin, hair, teeth, and ingested in our bodies. I decided to take a minute this morning, and go through a typical morning routine using many of the products that used to be found in our home, and some which still remain. I'm sure most of you have similar products, if not the exact same ones. I decided to list all the ingredients as I went to find out how many different chemicals I'm exposed to in the first hour I'm awake. The result of my little investigation might shock you. I suggest you sit down.

Let's assume Adam cleaned the bathroom last night. Even though he rinses well, there are still residual chemicals in the bathtub that I will stand on as I shower. Scrubbing Bubbles bath cleaner contains, among other things:

disodium ethyanoldiglycinate
alcohol ethoxylate
sodium hydroxide

The Clorox cleaning wipes he used for the toilet contain:

Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride
alkyl dimethylethylbenzyl ammonium chloride
alkyl polyglucoside
propolyene glycol propyl ether

Oh, best spray the bathroom to freshen it up! Glade room freshener (we don't use it, but in case you do) contains:

sodium phosphate
sorbitan oleate
propylene glycol
stertrimonium chloride

Now to get in the bath. First to come is the Suave shampoo:

ammonium lauryl sulfate
ammonium laureth sulfate
ammonium chloride
hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
cocamide MEA
PEG-5 cocamide
citric acid
DMDM hydantoin
sodium benzoate
propylene glycol

Then the conditioner:

cetyl alcohol
cetrimonium chloride
disodium EDTA
isopropyl palmitate
D&C Orange No. 4
FD&C Yellow No. 5

For the body and face we use Dove soap for sensitive skin:

sodium lauryl isethionate
stearic acid
sodium tallowate
sodium palmitate
lauric acid
sodium isethionate
sodium stearate
cocamidopropyl betaine
sodium cocoate
sodium palm kernelate
sodium chloride
tetrasodium EDTA
tetrasodium etidronate
titanium dioxide

Bath done! Now it's time to moisturize and deodorize. I have Dove lotion which someone gave to me, and I've listed the ingredients for Speed Stick, which we no longer have in the house:

capric stearic triglyceride
caprylic stearic triglyceride
glycol stearate
PEG-100 stearate
C10 30 alkylauraylate crosspolymer
glyceryl stearate
cetearyl alcohol
stearamide AMP

aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex
stearyl alcohol
C12-15 akyl benzoate
PPG-14 butyl ether
PEG-8 distearate
behenyl alcohol

For the face, Adam and I both use Neutrogena moisturizer:

octyldodecyl neopentanoate
glyceryl stearate
diazolidinyl urea

I don't know about you, but I lost count before I even got in the shower. Let me do a quick tally. I may have doubled up on a couple of ingredients, but this short list totals over 100 chemicals. These 100 different chemicals have either been inhaled or have come into direct contact with my absorbant skin. All within the first hour of my day. And many of us do this every single day. I'm going to assume that each of these chemicals have been tested and proven safe to use. But has anyone ever applied all 100 of these chemicals to a lab rat, day in and day out, to see what effect it may have? Could possibly the combined introduction of over 100 chemicals to the body in only one hour on a daily basis have a detrimental effect to our health?

This brief informal illustration only touches the tip of the iceberg. We use countless household products throughout the day (hand soap, hand cream, lip balm, cosmetics, dish soap, laundry detergent and fabric softener). We are being inundated with chemical compounds all day long. They are found in our water supply and in processed foods. Even the “healthy” food choices some in dubious packaging. It's all enough to make you go mad. So maybe it's better if we just don't think about it. The problem is we have a health epidemic on our hands. Recent projections estimate that 50% of American men have or will have cancer in their lifetimes. For women, it's 33%. To put it bluntly, gentlemen, you have a 50% chance of ending up in Adam's shoes. For the wives, you have a 50% chance of ending up in mine. And if you're truly unlucky, you may both be battling cancer at the same time. Some members of the medical profession still insist that cancer is a genetic crapshoot and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. But, the magazines, newspapers, talk shows, radio programs, health books, and pretty much everyone else except for the Journal of the American Medical Association insist that there are measures we can take to reduce our cancer risk. You've all heard it, but I'll throw it out there again. Diet and vitamin supplementation are very powerful means to prevent cancer from taking over your body. Articles abound with lists of suggested foods to minimize your cancer risk. We also hear a lot about toxins and detoxing our bodies. It's not just a lot of fluff. If you can accept the theory that cancer is largely a condition brought about by the toxic overload of the liver, than preventing that toxic overload needs to be a priority. You can start by taking a long hard look at the products you are using on a daily basis. Do you really think that introducing hundreds of chemicals a day into your body is a good idea? Are there some products you can live without? Look into natural alternatives. There is so much information out there, and I'm only just starting to scrape the surface. Already we have tossed the Aveeno baby bath and replaced it with Dr. Bronner's natural soap. I've been using the Dr. Bronner's on my face and body as well, and I am moisturizing with coconut oil. And I'm experimenting with making our own dish soap (the first time was a success), dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent and all-purpose cleaner. It's actually a lot of fun, but I'm also relieved that Adam no longer has to pollute his body with so many chemicals. The endless juicing, food preparing, vitamins and coffee enemas are a lot of work, and are only necessary because we need to get all this stuff out of our bodies before it's too late. I would love to see more people become alert to the chemicals they are introducing into their bodies, and more importantly into our children. We also have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder epidemic in this country, and don't for a second think that the two epidemics aren't related. Our husbands and us women are getting sicker, and our children will be too busy struggling to cope with their own disabilities to care for us. It's not a coincidence that we have so many challenges in our household, and that, my friend, I will happily chalk up to genetics. But only in part. We have connected the environmental dots to explain Ali's condition, and Adam's cancer history follows an eerily similar pattern. I hope and pray that our friends and family can take what we've learned and use it to their advantage. I don't want to see anyone else out there find out the hard way that our modern lifestyles are damaging our bodies. And with all the information out there, there isn't any reason to.

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