Archive for the ‘Chemicals’ Category

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs

30 Aug

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers

Flame retardant FurniturePolybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, are used as flame retardant. Like other brominated flame retardants, PBDEs have been used as ingredients in a variety of products, including building materials, electronics, furnishings, motor vehicles, airplanes, plastics, polyurethane foams and textiles.

They are structurally similar to PCBs which were banned in the 1970s. PBDEs are classified according to the average number of bromine atoms in the molecule. The health hazards of these chemicals have attracted increasing scrutiny, and they have been shown to reduce fertility in humans at levels found in households. Because of their toxicity and persistence, the industrial production of some PBDEs is restricted under the Stockholm Convention, a treaty to control and phase out major persistent organic pollutants (POPs)

Lower-Polybrominated diphenyl ethers

This range of chemical is called “Lower” because of the number of bromine atoms in the molecule which averages between 1 to 5 bromine atoms per molecule. These chemicals readily accumulate in the body, so are regarded as more dangerous. Lower-brominated PBDEs have been known to affect hormone levels in the thyroid gland.

Since the 1990s, environmental concerns have been raised because of high resistance Dumped Electronicsof PBDEs to degradation processes. While PBDEs do not readily biodegrade, studies have shown that PBDEs are able to transform and enter the food chain. People are exposed to low levels of PBDEs through ingestion of food and by inhalation. PBDEs bioaccumulate in blood, breast milk, and fat tissues.

Personnel associated with the manufacture of products containing PBDEs are exposed to the highest levels. Bioaccumulation is particularly concerning in such instances, especially for personnel in recycling and repair plants.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are in your home, too!

Because these chemicals are used in common household items including furnishings, plastics, electronics, polyurethane, textiles and carpet cleaners, people are also exposed to these chemicals in their domestic environment. Studies in Canada have found significant concentrations of PBDEs in common foods such as salmon, ground beef, butter, and cheese. PBDEs have also been found at high levels in indoor dust, sewage sludge and effluents from wastewater treatment plants.

Harbour SealsIncreasing PBDE levels have been detected in the blood of marine mammals such as harbour seals.



A recent study of 20 mother-child pairs in the United States, conducted by the Environmental Working Group, found that the median blood levels of PBDEs in children (62 parts per billion) were 3.2 times higher than in their mothers. Published studies express concern because exposure to PBDEs impairs development of the nervous system.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers – risks to health

PBDEs have also been shown to have hormone-disrupting effects, in particular, on oestrogen and thyroid hormones. A 2009 animal study conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demonstrates that the disruption of the thyroid function after perinatal (5 months before birth and 1 month after) exposure to PBDEs during critical developmental time points. The adverse effects on the mechanism of thyroid hormone disruption during development have been shown to persist into adulthood. The EPA noted that PBDEs are particularly toxic to the developing brains of animals. Peer-reviewed studies have shown that even a single dose administered to mice during development of the brain can cause permanent changes in behaviour, including hyperactivity.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are being banned

Swedish scientists first reported substances related to PentaBDE were accumulating in human breast milk.

Peregrin FalconStudies by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation found for the first time, very high levels of higher-brominated PBDEs (BDE-209) in eggs of Peregrine falcons.

Two forms of PBDEs, Penta and Octa, are no longer manufactured in the United States because of health and safety concerns.

Based on a comprehensive risk assessment under the Existing Substances Regulation 793/93/EEC, the EU has completely banned the use of Penta and Octa BDE since 2004. However, both chemicals are still found in furniture and foam items made before the phase-out was completed.

As of June 1, 2006 the State of California began prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, and processing of flame-retardant products containing pentabrominated diphenyl ether (pentaBDE) and octabrominated diphenyl (octaBDE).

The most common PBDEs that are used in electronics are in a form known as Deca. Deca is banned in Europe for this use and in some U.S. states. For PBDE, EPA has set reference dose of 7 micrograms per kilogram of body weight, which is “believed to be without appreciable effects”. However, Linda Birnbaum, PhD, a senior toxicologist with the EPA, notes concern: “What I see is another piece of evidence that supports the fact that levels of these chemicals in children appear to be higher than the levels in their parents; I think this study raises a red flag”.

Previous study by EWG in 2003, published test results showing that the average level of fire-retardants in breast milk from 20 American mothers was 75 times higher than the average levels measured in Europe.

Mind DisruptedA 2010 study found that children with higher concentrations of PBDE congeners 47, 99 and 100 in their umbilical cord blood at birth, scored lower on tests of mental and physical development between the ages of one and six. Developmental effects were particularly evident at four years of age, when verbal and full IQ scores were reduced by 5.5 to 8.0 points for those with the highest prenatal exposures.

PBDEs are ubiquitous in the environment, and, according to the EPA, exposure may pose health risks. According to U.S. EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System, evidence indicates that PBDEs may possess liver toxicity, thyroid toxicity, and neurodevelopmental toxicity. In June 2008, the U.S. EPA set a safe daily exposure level ranging from 0.1 to 7 ug (micro-grams) per kg body weight per day for 4 most common PBDEs. In April 2007, the legislature of the State of Washington passed a bill banning the use of PBDEs. The State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection found that all PBDEs should be banned. In August, 2003, the State of California outlawed the sale of penta- and octa- PBDE and products containing them, effective January 1, 2008. In May 2007, the legislature of the State of Maine passed a bill phasing out the use of DecaBDE.

The European Union decided to ban the use of two A Burning Issueclasses of flame retardants, in particular, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) in electric and electronic devices. This ban was formalised in the RoHS Directive, and an upper limit of 1 g/kg for the sum of PBBs and PBDEs was set. In February 2009, the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) released two certified reference materials (CRMs) to help analytical laboratories better detect these two classes of flame retardants. The reference materials were custom-made to contain all relevant PBDEs and PBBs at levels close to the legal limit.
At an international level, in May 2009 the Parties of the Stockholm Convention for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) took the decision to list commercial penta-BDE and commercial octa-BDE as POP substances. This listing is due to the properties of hexa-BDE (hexabromodiphenyl ether) and hepta-BDE (heptabromodiphenyl ether) which are the main components of commercial octa-BDE, and due to the properties of tetra-BDE (tetrabromodiphenyl ether) and penta-BDE (pentabromodiphenyl ether) which are the main components of commercial penta-BDE.

So you see, there are a number of health disrupting chemicals of this family surrounding you and now you need to know how to reduce the impact of these chemicals on your health.

Firstly, you need to read the labels of all the chemicals in your home, garage, shed and garden. Remove all the toxic ones. If you are unsure, remember “if in doubt, throw it out”.

Next, you need to look for non-toxic alternatives, keeping in mind that a number of non-toxic, “green” products actually do not perform at all well. (This is the reason why people tend to stick to the products they know, because they “work” and the perceived harm using them is regarded as minimal.)  This is the reason for this blog, to alert you to the fact that the harm is MORE THAN you think.

Household Cleaners

Household CleanersHowever, I can recommend alternatives that DO WORK EFFECTIVELY. Click on your country to see the range of products available:

USA and Canada | UK and Europe

Australia and New Zealand


You may also be pleased to know that there is something that can be done about the toxins in your body. All the toxins I have written about in this blog, have the potential to accumulate in your body.


Revenol This  same company produces incredible supplements that can help you with many health challenges. Revenol has been shown to escort free radicals, heavy metals and toxins from your body. You can find out more about Revenol by clicking on your country:

USA and Canada | UK and Europe



Australia has JUST launched a new Weight Management System that is so comprehensive it’s just mind-boggling. The trouble with most Weight-Loss programs is that they supply either recipes to reduce your food intake, or appetite suppressants, so you don’t feel hungry and therefore, eat less. All the while, not supplying nutrition. Yes, you may lose weight, but when the program is complete, your body tells you to eat more because it has been starved of nutrition.

This new Weight Management System is different. In the first instance, it provides a month long detoxification regime, which gets rid of the toxins that are stored in your body fat, so that when your body fat is turned into energy, there will be NO loose toxins to give you any challenges.

This detoxification regime is excellent for ridding the body of all the toxins I have been blogging about, you can read more by clicking here (only for Australia)

If you have found this post informative, please leave a comment and share with your friends using the social media buttons on the right column.

Contents: courtesy of Wikipedia



23 Aug

What is formaldehyde?

TEA Poison BottleFormaldehyde is a colourless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical and is a gas. The most common perception of formaldehyde is as a liquid. The liquid is actually a mixture of 37% formaldehyde gas in 100% of water, which is the most common concentration used. Formaldehyde solution will polymerise, ie. turn into a polymer. To prevent this from happening, about 10 – 15% of methyl alcohol is added. It is this addition that causes the substance to be called formalin as opposed to formaldehyde.

Formalin is extremely poisonous.

Formaldehyde sources in the home include pressed-wood products, cigarette smoke, and fuel-burning appliances.Outside the home include vehicle tailpipe emissions.

 Formaldehyde is used in many applications

Formaldehyde is used in building materials and to produce many household products. It is used in:

  • plastics, foam insulation, mirrors, petroleum, resins and industrial chemicals;
  • sheet vinyl flooring, doors, decking;Formaldehyde Particle Boards
  • pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood, MDF, laminated timber, wall lining and coverings such as wallpaper;
  • glues and adhesives;
  • textiles and clothing, such as fabrics, blankets, permanent-press and stain resistant fabrics;
  • paper product coatings, certain insulation materials;
  • cosmetics and personal care products, such as cleansers, fingernail varnishes and hardeners, shampoos and conditioners, toothpastes and hair straightening solutions;
  • household cleaning products, such as carpet and rug cleaners, disinfectants, dish washing liquids, floor cleaner and polish.
  • In addition, formaldehyde is commonly used as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant, and as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories.
  • Formaldehyde also occurs naturally in the environment. It is produced in small amounts by most living organisms as part of normal metabolic processes.
Formaldehyde, (Chemical symbol is CH2O) is an organic, volatile compound which:
Formaldehyde Nail Polish
  • readily dissolves in water
  • decays rapidly
  • can be produced and excreted by the human body
  • does not accumulate in the human body or environment
  • is produced naturally at low levels from things like plants, smoke and food.

During the 1970s, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) was used in many homes. However, few homes are now insulated with UFFI. Homes in which UFFI was installed many years ago are not likely to have high formaldehyde levels now. Pressed-wood products containing formaldehyde resins are often a significant source of formaldehyde in homes. Other potential indoor sources of formaldehyde include cigarette smoke and the use of unvented fuel-burning appliances, such as gas stoves, wood-burning stoves, and kerosene (paraffin) heaters.

What are the short-term health effects of formaldehyde exposure?

When formaldehyde is present in the air at levels exceeding 0.1 ppm (parts per million), some individuals may experience adverse effects such as:

  • watery eyes;
  • burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat;
  • coughing;
  • wheezing;
  • nausea;
  • and skin irritation.

Some people are very sensitive to formaldehyde, whereas others have no reaction to the same level of exposure.

Allergic reactions

People have suffered dermatitis after wearing clothing or using cosmetic products that contained high levels of formaldehyde.

After exposure to formaldehyde in hair products or in resins used in clothing and textiles, people can become sensitive to formaldehyde and develop on-going allergies.

People who have become sensitised to formaldehyde may suffer asthma and contact dermatitis.

Irritation of the nose, eyes and other adverse effects

Breathing formaldehyde vapour can result in irritation of nerves in the eyes and nose. This may cause:

  • burning stinging or itching sensations
  • a sore throat
  • teary eyes
  • blocked sinuses
  • runny nose
  • sneezing.

In occupational settings where people have significant daily exposure to formaldehyde, for example embalming processes in the funeral industry, they may also suffer:

  • headaches
  • depression
  • mood changes
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • attention deficit
  • impairment of dexterity, memory, and equilibrium.

Can formaldehyde cause cancer?

Formaldehyde Danger SignAlthough the short-term health effects of formaldehyde exposure are well known, less is known about its potential long-term health effects. In 1980, laboratory studies showed that exposure to formaldehyde could cause nasal cancer in rats. This finding raised the question of whether formaldehyde exposure could also cause cancer in humans. In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure.

Since that time, some studies of humans have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with certain types of cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. In 2011, the National Toxicology Program, an inter-agency program of the Department of Health and Human Services, named formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen in its 12th Report on Carcinogens

Reducing the Risks of Exposure to Formaldehyde

So, we see that Formaldehyde is very prolific in our environment and there are short term and long term concerns for our health and safety.  In fact, our bodies produce formaldehyde and excrete it in normal function, so any extra formaldehyde added to this production may cause an added threat.

In the first instance, we should try to reduce our exposure to formaldehyde, for example, by purchasing “exterior grade” pressed-wood products, because they contain phenol resins and not urea resins which contain higher levels of formaldehyde.

But, of course, purchasing these products is not an everyday thing… using personal care and household cleaning products IS an everyday thing.  Reducing your toxic load in the house is the sensible thing to do.  You can do this by switching your buying habits from toxic products to non-toxic.  Now, I know that a number of non-toxic, “green” products on the market just don’t work properly and don’t give the appropriate results that we have come to expect. I know, because we have tried them. They do not give the results that we have come to expect from the toxic products.

So I can thoroughly recommend the products we use which are effective as well as safe. In other words, THEY WORK!

In order to avoid formaldehyde in your home, you need to purchase the products in the bathroom pack, the household cleaning pack, the laundry pack and the range of toxic-free cosmetics.  Of course, if you are on a tight budget, you don’t have to purchase these all at once, just pick the products you want to change over to when your toxic products run out.

Bathroom Pack                            

Convert Your Bathroom PackNeways Bathroom Pack without such toxins as Formaldehyde, include only safe and effective ingredients for your face and body.

Choose your country:
Australia & New Zealand | USA & Canada
UK & Europe: Please name the product in the generated email


House Cleaning Pack

Household CleanersNewBrite House Cleaning Pack without such toxins as Formaldehyde, include only safe and effective ingredients for cleaning your home.

Choose your country:
Australia & New Zealand | USA & Canada
UK & Europe: Please name the product in the generated email

Laundry Pack

NewBrite Laundry LiquidNewBrite Laundry Pack without such toxins as Formaldehyde, include only safe and effective ingredients for cleaning your clothes.

Choose your country:
Australia & New Zealand | USA & Canada
UK & Europe: Please name the product in the generated email


TrueTouch CosmeticsTrue Touch Cosmetics without such toxins as Formaldehyde, include only safe and effective ingredients for your face and body.

Choose your country:
Australia & New Zealand | USA & Canada
UK & Europe: Please name the product in the generated email

If you like this post, please leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think, and share with your friends using the social media buttons in the right hand column. 
Content Source: National Cancer Institute



15 Aug

Triethanolamine otherwise known as TEA

Triethanolamine is used in a whole range of cosmetics and personal care products. It can be found in skin care and skin cleansers, hair care and colouring, wave gels, shaving products, make-up bases and foundations, blushers, eye shadow, mascara, eyeliners, sunscreen and in fragrances. ( and Wikipedia)

TEA Poison BottleTriethanolamine is produced by reacting ethylene oxide (regarded as being highly toxic) with ammonia (a powerful toxin). Its primary use is as a pH adjuster (acid/alkaline mediator). It is also used as a buffering agent, masking and fragrance ingredient and as a surfactant (reducing surface tension).

According to, Triethanolamine is also used, together with fatty acids, to convert acid to salt, the resulting salt becomes the base for a cleanser. Additionally, it may assist in emulsion formation (allowing oil and water to mix).

Triethanolamine is FDA and CIR approved

Foaming TEATriethanolamine is FDA approved as an indirect food additive (which means it can be used in packaging) and CIR approved although they stipulate concentration limits. The CIR determined that Triethanolamine was “safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products designed for discontinuous, brief use followed by thorough rinsing from the surface of the skin. In products intended for prolonged contact with the skin, the concentration of Triethanolamine should not exceed 5%.”

But, if Triethanolamine is so very toxic, why can it be used in personal care and cosmetics products?  Probably because it is cheap, and probably because it was in use prior to 1976 when The Toxic Substances Control Act “grandfathered” in 62,000 industrial chemicals because they presumed that they were safe.  The law does not require any health or safety studies before new chemicals are allowed onto the market, none.

Triethanolamine Side Effects:

Triethanolamine is considered a “moderate” hazard ingredient by the Cosmetics Database. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics and Cosmetic Ingredient Review, there is strong evidence that Triethanolamine is a toxic substance that can have an adverse reaction to human skin, the immune and respiratory system. Some animal studies show mouth, eyes and lips damage at very low doses and several in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results. There is also evidence to show that it can cause bladder and liver cancer, as well as changes in testicles.

Cosmetics TEATriethanolamine could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time, can cause allergic reactions including dryness of hair, skin and eye problems, according to,. It can cause blistering of skin, hives, itching, burning and scaling, all symptoms which may increase with higher concentrations (The Green Beauty Guide).

Triethanolamine “should not be used in products containing N-nitrosating agents to prevent the formation of possibly carcinogenic nitrosamines.”

Triethanolamine-Free Products

For products that DO NOT contain TEA, but contain safe and effective ingredients that enhance and nurture the skin, I would strongly recommend the following, produced by a 26 year old research and development company.

Convert Your Bathroom Pack

Personal care products without TEA and other “nasties” but including ingredients that make these products safe and very effective (unlike some non-toxic products that just DO NOT work) Choose your country:

Australia & New Zealand | USA & Canada

UK & Europe: please name the product in the generated email.


TrueTouch Cosmetics

True Touch Cosmetics without such toxins as TEA, include only safe and effective ingredients for your face and body.

Choose your country:

Australia & New Zealand | USA & Canada

UK & Europe: Please name the product in the generated email

If you like this post, please leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think and share with your friends using the social media buttons in the right hand column. 

Content sources: Wikipedia;;; Green Beauty Guide.


Sodium Fluoride

15 Jul

Sodium Fluoride – Poisonous Sodium Fluoride.

Sodium Fluoride is just one of the ingredients in your toothpaste and anti-cavity mouthwash that you purchased at your local supermarket or pharmacy.  But you will have to read the toothpaste box, because the tube does NOT include the ingredients list nor the poisons warning.

Toothpaste boxes

This image may be slow to load: it is high resolution so you can zoom in on the contents and warnings!

The warning, printed on the box, tells us that the contents must NOT be swallowed and children under six (6) years old, must be supervised by an adult when using the contents of the tube. If any of the contents are swallowed, you should contact the Poisons Control Center immediately.

In Sweden, the warning is:”The National Board of Health and Welfare recommends the use of fluoride toothpaste in children. Children under seven years of age should brush their teeth supervised by grown-ups.” It goes on to say “The amount of fluoride toothpaste used by children should be limited. Use a hardly visible amount for small children, increasing to a pea sized portion at the age of 6.”

In the US, the warning is: “Children 2- 6 years: Use only a pea sized amount and supervise child’s brushing and rinsing (to minimise swallowing). WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age in case of accidental ingestion.  In case of accidental ingesting, seek professional assistance or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.”

Toothbrush in GlassDoes it seem reasonable to have these ingredients and warnings printed on the box, when many of us actually do not read the box before throwing it away?

After all, you don’t keep the tube in the box, you keep the tube (usually) next to your toothbrush in the bathroom.  So, having thought about this I, and some of my friends, have come to the conclusion that the toothpaste manufacturers actually do NOT WANT you to read the warnings or the ingredients, but to cover their Public Liability risk, they put them on the box, which in 99% of cases, is thrown away and NOT read.

Sodium Fluoride – Not For Swallowing?

First thing that springs to mind is the toothpaste companies warn us NOT to swallow the toothpaste and to contact the Poisons Information Center immediately, if we do.  You can put it in your mouth, but you mustn’t swallow because it’s a POISON?  Sounds a bit suspect, doesn’t it?  I’d like to think that anything I put in my mouth should NOT be a poison, but should be available to swallow.  And besides, I’m sure you know that the part of the mouth under the tongue is the quickest way into the bloodstream (this is where heart tablets are placed when a heart disease patient is suffering an attack).  So the chemicals in your toothpaste are still getting into your bloodstream by this route, and the Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is making it easier by breaking down the skin cells.

I have to say that Fluoride is actually GOOD for your teeth. In its natural form, fluorapatite is an ingredient in tooth enamel and adding it to your general regimen of looking after yourself would appear to be the right thing to do.

Tooth DecayBut let’s have a look at why you need to add enamel to your (already enamelled) teeth.  The main cause of de-enamelling your teeth is bad diet.  Yes, the things you eat can cause tooth decay.  Trapped food, sugars and acids, like citric acid, can all have a detrimental effect on our teeth. So we need to brush regularly to release the trapped food (and maybe even “floss”).  We need to watch our sugar intake, this is a difficult one, there is SO MUCH sugar in the marketplace, you have to be aware what you buy. And we need to be aware when we drink our orange juice, which is NOT as good for you as you may have been told.  (See “Fat Burning Foods”… on the top right>>)

So, if you watch what you eat and eat sensibly, you may not need the added protection of Sodium Fluoride to keep your teeth in good condition.  My wife and I have not used sodium fluoride toothpaste for years and we filter out the fluoride from our water, and our teeth are in pretty good shape. But I’ll talk more about that in a minute or two.

What is Sodium Fluoride?

So, what is Sodium Fluoride, and why should we be concerned?

Triple Super PhosphateSodium Fluoride is a manufactured ingredient, which is a by-product of the “superphosphate” fertiliser industry, which is a whole other subject in itself.  It used to be a waste product of that process and the fertiliser companies had to pay others to have it dispose of in a safe manner.  But, for the past few decades, they have been able to sell it to governments, or rather, local authorities, in all the countries where “fluoridation of the water supply” has become the policy, even though it appears to be not the correct form of fluoride to be absorbed by the body.

However, in tests, it has been shown that Sodium Fluoride has a safe level in water and toothpaste and an unsafe level.  This is worrying.  Sodium Fluoride is being included in our water, by our elected officials, and in toothpaste and yet, has the potential to be UNSAFE?

Some of the Concerns About Using Sodium Fluoride

Skin or eye contact with high concentrations of sodium fluoride salts is dangerous. The lethal dose for most adult humans is estimated at 5 to 10 g (which is equivalent to 32 to 64 mg/kg elemental fluoride/kg body weight). If fluoride is ingested it can produce gastrointestinal discomfort at doses at least 15 to 20 times lower (0.2–0.3 mg/kg) than lethal doses. Although an alleged assistance to dental health in low dosage,  exposure to fluoride in larger amounts causes bone malformation. There are examples of fluoride poisoning arising from fluoride-rich ground water where, in India an estimated 60 million people have been poisoned by water from wells, contaminated by excessive fluoride from the granite rocks through which the water flows. Bone deformations of children have occurred as a result of this.  Similar or larger problems are anticipated in other countries including Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, and China.

As mentioned above, the lethal dose for most adult humans is estimated at between 5 and 10 grams, depending on body weight.  It is interesting to note that the safe dose for water fluoridation is 4 grams.  This is just 1 gram below the minimum lethal dose.  And this process is out of our control and accidents do happen.

Other effects of excessive Sodium Fluoride consumption include:

  • A weakening of bones, leading to an increase in hip and wrist fracture.
  • Adverse effects on the kidney. Those with impaired kidney function are more susceptible to adverse effects.
  • Four epidemiological studies have noted a correlation between increased fluoride and low IQ. (The high-fluoride areas studied had fluoride levels above those used in water fluoridation.)
  • Fluoride has a  suppressive effect on the thyroid which is more severe with the deficiency of iodine, and fluoride is associated with lower levels of iodine. The effects on the thyroid in humans were associated with fluoride levels 0.05–0.13 mg/kg/day when iodine was at a healthy level and 0.01–0.03 mg/kg/day when iodine was at a low level. Its mechanisms and effects on the endocrine system (the system that controls your hormones) remain unclear at time of writing.
  • When water (1 part per million fluoride) is boiled in aluminium cookware, more aluminium is leached into the water and more aluminium fluoride complexes are formed. However, an epidemiological study found that a high-fluoride area had one-fifth the Alzheimer’s Disease sufferers than that of a low-fluoride area and a 2002 study found that fluoride increased the urinary excretion of aluminium. In other words, high levels of fluoride allows you to pee more aluminium out of your body.
  • This is VERY interesting, because it actually confirms that in a low-fluoride area, there is MORE Alzheimer’s Disease sufferers, who use aluminium cookware, because the MORE fluoride you ingest, the MORE aluminium is excreted from the body through urine. Unfortunately, the MORE fluoride you ingest, the MORE chance you have of developing these other maladies.

Fluoride in Drinking WaterIt is interesting to note that the active ingredient in Rat Poison is Sodium Fluoride.

Also, Fluorides have been used to modify behaviour and mood of human beings. It is a little known fact that fluoride compounds were added to the drinking water of prisoners to keep them docile and inhibit questioning of authority, both in Nazi prison camps in World War II and in the Soviet Gulags in Siberia during Stalin’s regime.

Here is a document from the Environmental Protection Agency, that you might find interesting, click here to view it:

So, in conclusion of this part of this post, I have to say that there is more risk with Sodium Fluoride than without it, so you should try to avoid this chemical wherever and whenever possible.

But let’s have a look at the other ingredients you will probably find in your toothpaste.

First, there is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (Sulfate). I have already written about this nasty ingredient and, just to remind you, this chemical will get under your tongue, into your bloodstream and accumulate in your major organs, over time, the more you use it and, with toothpaste, you will use it at least once a day, probably more.

Then, you will probably find Sodium Saccharin, a sweetener which has a history of being on and off the National Institutes of Health’s carcinogenic (cancer causing) register.  It was originally on the register because studies during the 1970s, including a study by the National Cancer Institute in 1980,  showed that saccharin caused cancer in test rats and mice.

But there was mounting pressure on the National Institutes of Health from consumers, the Calorie Control Council,  and manufacturers of artificial sweeteners and diet sodas (soft drinks), along with additional studies (several conducted by the sugar and sweetener industry) that reported flaws in the 1970s studies, saccharin was delisted from the NIH’s Carcinogen List.

A variety of letters from scientists advising against delisting was to no avail; the official document from the NIH includes these words to this day: “although it is impossible to absolutely conclude that it poses no threat to human health, sodium saccharin is not reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen under conditions of general usage as an artificial sweetener.”  The jury is still OUT on this chemical. (and the double negative makes it a little ambiguous, too). But, of course, this all depends on how much of your favourite low calorie or unsugared beverage you consume.

Toothbrush & PasteNext, as an aside to the toothpaste, let’s have a look at the toothbrush.  First, in almost every picture and advert I have seen, the toothpaste is spread over the whole length of the brush.  This is not necessary, because the amount of toothpaste you need is about half the length of the brush.  The toothpaste companies show this typical illustration, probably because most people will copy this and they will sell more.  Second, over the past few years, I have found a marked increase in the marketing and promotion of “soft” toothbrushes.  I was told by my dentist many years ago that I should use a “hard” or “stiff” toothbrush, because it exercises the gums and makes them tougher and less likely to develop gum disease. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to source a “hard” toothbrush.

I have a theory about this.  I understand that dentists are promoting the use of “soft” brushes because, they say, that “hard” brushes are not good for your gums and can remove the enamel of your teeth. I believe they are being fed this information by the toothbrush manufacturers, so that they can sell more brushes.  A “soft” brush, with regular use, will last about three weeks before it starts to splay out and lose it’s effectiveness, whereas a “hard” brush will last for maybe 2 -3 months. On the toothbrush packaging, it states that dentists recommend the toothbrush be changed every 3 months, but “soft” brushes will not last that long.

Conclusion: Use a “hard” brush, if you can find one, you may experience gum bleed for a few days, but that’s because your gums are SO soft using a “soft” brush, but they will become harder and stronger in a short period of time and you will experience better dental health.

Ultrashine Radiance

Ultrashine Radiance ToothpasteTalking about dental health, as I said at the beginning of this post, my wife and I do not use fluoride toothpaste, but what we do use is a VERY EFFECTIVE toothpaste, Ultrashine Radiance,  that contains only safe products and the active ingredient is Sodium Chlorite, which can be swallowed safely and indeed, assists with combating bacteria, such as streptococcus (the most common throat bacteria).  And we only use a pea sized amount, meaning that the toothpaste will generally last us about 4 months.

Sodium Chlorite has superior anti-microbial activity. You can appreciate its power from a statement by the discoverer of this chemical, Jim Humble, a chemist and metallurgist, who accidentally discovered Sodium Chlorite by using a whole bottle of Stabilized Electrolytes of Oxygen (S.E.O.) to immediately cure a companion of malaria during a jungle expedition.

S.E.O. contains about 3% Sodium Chlorite. Humble worked on this solution and increased the content to a safe level of 22.4% and all 75,000 individuals with malaria who have been subsequently treated were cured within a day, with 98% being cured within 4 hours. This obviously has great ramifications not only for self-healing but also for the drug industry and medicine.

Sodium Chlorite in solution is very alkaline and stable.  When it is acidified with citric acid or other food acid, it forms the gas, chlorine dioxide, probably the strongest all-round antimicrobial and parasite remedy. While it destroys all anaerobic microbes and parasites, it does not affect the beneficial lactobacteria of our intestinal flora. The only residue left in water, food, or in the body after treatment is a small amount of table salt or sodium chloride.

Hospital cleaningSodium Chlorite is being used in many countries, including Australia and the USA, as an antimicrobial treatment for water purification, in the food industry and for sterilising hospital and clinic rooms and equipment. In hospitals, it has been used as a disinfectant for many years, as it has in the US meat industry. Health-conscious countries and local authorities are increasingly replacing the health-damaging chlorine for the harmless chlorine dioxide in treating public water supplies.

Here is an example of the unexpected results achieved by Humble using Sodium Chlorite: a teenage girl, overweight, with depression and unable to develop breasts, was given Sodium Chlorite. The next day, her breasts started to grow. After another dose 4 days later, she had the first period after 6-months, her breasts were fully developed, her depression lifted, and she started losing weight. In his opinion, she had been suffering from Candida, which had now been destroyed.

As I said, the toothpaste (and mouthwash) we use contains the active ingredient, Sodium Chlorite and when I brush my teeth, I usually swallow a small amount in my mouth before spitting it out (why do we do that anyway? Habit, I guess! LOL).  Oh, and the manufacturer suggests NOT using water to wet the paste, because that will dilute the Sodium Chlorite, your mouth will start producing saliva very quickly. We have noticed that when we develop a sore throat as a warning of the onset of the common cold, we usually take a few millilitres of mouthwash and the symptom disappears.  We also use the mouthwash as a disinfectant for any cuts, scraped skin or flesh wound and have found that the wound heals quicker.

Ultrashine Radiance ToothpasteNow, you ask, where can I get this toothpaste?  That’s easy.

Click on the link to your country for your dental care:

Australia and New Zealand | USA and Canada

UK & Europe: Please name the product in the generated email


If you like this post, please leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think, and share with your friends using the social media buttons in the right hand column. 



29 Jun

Talc – Is Talc As Safe As You Thought?

Here is another product and ingredient that I had presumed would be one of the safest in the world. After all, talcum powder or talc is used as BABY powder, so it MUST be safe. But, here is a shocking video:

Talc Rock

Talc Rock

Talcum powder is produced from magnesium trisilicate, which in its natural form contains asbestos, a known carcinogen. Thus there is fear that using talcum powder can cause cancer. However, since 1973, talcum powders are required by law to be asbestos-free.

Talc is a mineral, produced by the mining of talc rocks and then processed by crushing, drying and milling. Processing eliminates a number of trace minerals from the talc, but does not separate minute fibres which are very similar to asbestos. Talc poses a health risk when exposed to the lungs. Talc miners have shown higher rates of lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses from exposure to industrial grade talc, which contains dangerous silica and asbestos.

Talc Bottles

Talc Bottles

Although Talc has been asbestos-free since 1973, Talc has a similar molecular structure to the potent carcinogen, asbestos. Talc particles have been shown to cause tumours in the ovaries and lungs of cancer victims. For the last 30 years, scientists have closely scrutinised talc particles and found dangerous similarities to asbestos. Responding to this evidence in 1973, the FDA drafted a resolution that would limit the amount of asbestos-like fibres in cosmetic grade talc. However, no ruling has ever been made and today, cosmetic grade talc remains non-regulated by the federal governments of any country. (Not surprisingly, the Talcum Powder Industry is a very powerful lobbyist!) This inaction ignores a 1993 National Toxicology Program report which found that cosmetic grade talc, without any asbestos-like fibres, caused tumors in animal subjects. Clearly with or without asbestos-like fibres, cosmetic grade talcum powder is a carcinogen.

Talc GenitalsIt has been suggested that talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles (applied to the genital area directly, or on sanitary napkins, diaphragms and condoms) were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary. Several studies in women have looked at the possible link between asbestos-free talcum powder and cancer of the ovary. A meta-analysis of 16 studies and 11,933 participants found an increase in ovarian cancer amongst talc users. For example, this analysis published before 2003 found about a 30% increase in ovarian risk among talc users.  In fact, my wife’s sister, who was a talc user, contracted ovarian cancer and died at the young age of only 37.

Talc is found in a wide variety of consumer products ranging from home and garden pesticides to antacids. However, the products most widely used and that pose the most serious health risks are body powders.

Talc is the main ingredient in baby powder, medicated powders, perfumed powders and designer perfumed body powders. Because talc is resistant to moisture, it is also used by the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture medications and is a listed ingredient of some antacids.

Talc is the principal ingredient home and garden pesticides and flea and tick powders. Talc is used in smaller quantities in deodorants, chalk, crayons, textiles, soap, insulating materials, paints, asphalt filler, paper, and in food processing.

Talc is toxic. Talc particles cause tumours in human ovaries and lungs. Numerous studies have shown a strong link between frequent use of talc in the female genital area and ovarian cancer. Talc particles are able to move through the reproductive system and become embedded in the lining of the ovary.

Researchers have found talc particles in ovarian tumours and have found that women with ovarian cancer have used talcum powder in their genital area more frequently than healthy women.

Talc Baby

Talc is promoted for baby use

The common household hazard posed by talc is inhalation of baby powder by infants. Since the early 1980s, records show that several thousand infants each year have died or become seriously ill following accidental inhalation of baby powder.

Talc is used on babies because it absorbs unpleasant moisture. Clearly, dusting with talcum powder endangers an infant’s lungs at the possibility of inhalation. Exposing children to this carcinogen is unnecessary and dangerous.

If you like this post, please leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think, and share with your friends using the social media buttons in the right hand column. 


References: American Cancer Society, The Cancer Council of Western Australia, The Cancer Prevention Coalition.


Propylene Glycol

29 Jun

Propylene Glycol – A Warning About Propylene Glycol

Another chemical that you really need to keep away from is Propylene Glycol and it’s close relative, Ethylene Glycol.

Propylene Glycol may be harmful when inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. It may cause eye and skin irritation, may cause gastrointestinal disturbances, nausea, headaches, vomiting and central nervous system depression. Propylene Glycol has also been implicated in dematitis and kidney and liver abnormalities.

Dr Mark Donaghue is a leading practitioner who specialises in Environmental Medicine. Here is what he has to say about Propylene Glycol:


The uses of Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol has many uses.

Like ethylene glycol, propylene glycol is used in brake fluid, industrial and automotive anti-freeze, and as aircraft de-icing fluid, where the amount used, depending on the severity of the freeze, can be from several hundred up to several thousand litres per aircraft.

It is added to foods as a humectant (E1520) or solvent for artificial colouring or flavouring agents.

It is also used in pharmaceutical and personal care products and is a component of cosmetic preparation.

Many Flights per dayLike raw sewage, Propylene glycol can deplete oxygen. The oxygen depletion potential of airport de-icing operation discharges is many times greater than that of raw sewage. Therefore, de-icing a single jet can generate a BOD5 (five-day biochemical oxygen demand) load greater than that of one million gallons of raw sewage. A large hub airport often has several hundred flights each day.

Propylene Glycol can deplete oxygen during its break down in surface waters. This process can adversely affect aquatic life by consuming the oxygen which aquatic organisms need to survive. Sufficient dissolved oxygen levels in surface waters are critical for the survival of fish, macroinvertebrates, and other aquatic organisms. If oxygen concentrations drop below a minimum level, organisms emigrate, if able and possible, to areas with higher oxygen levels or eventually die. This effect can drastically reduce the amount of usable aquatic habitat. Reductions in dissolved oxygen levels can reduce or eliminate bottom-feeder populations.

Electronic Cigarettes

I was surprised to see that Propylene Glycol is used as an ingredient in these devises.  Considering it is implicated in contact dermatitis, liver and kidney disease, and depletes oxygen, it is also sucked into the lungs of people who want to give up smoking and using Electronic Cigarettes as a “safe” alternative. These products are as unsafe as tobacco smoking, I’m sorry to say.  Much better to just give up smoking, full stop.  I did… and if I can, anyone can.

Corexit implications

Propylene Glycol is an ingredient in the oil dispersant Corexit used in great quantities during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Corexit has come under scrutiny for probable adverse effects on marine life and humans that are exposed to it. Propylene glycol has also come under scrutiny, as it is the chemical that disperses Corexit and the oil to subsurface depths.

So, what does all this mean to you?

Propylene Glycol is an ingredient in many, many products used in the industrial world, in personal care, in cosmetics and in food. Obviously, when used in an industrial application, it may not cause a direct threat to your or your family’s health. But it needs to be disposed of thoughtfully.

The main concerns for the use of Propylene Glycol are in the personal care, cosmetics and food arenas.

The first thing you need to ask is “why is it there?” Besides the fact that it is cheap, Propylene Glycol can stabilise products because it is used as a humectant (draws moisture from the air to keep the products moist) and as a preservative, so the products stay fresher longer.

River fishWith personal care and cosmetics, you have to think about the absorption through your skin and the disposal of the water carrying away the used product. After using these products, you would usually wash them down the drain. But your responsibility doesn’t end there. Your grey water ends up in the rivers and waterways of your locality, just where the local fish and other aquatics live. And, as I mentioned above, this chemical removes the oxygen from the water.

In the case of personal care products and cosmetics, we found a safer, more effective, alternative supplier so our journey away from the shop-bought products actually did us a favour.

But in the case of food, you really need to ask why would you want to buy food with preservatives. Let’s have a look at food that does NOT contain preservatives. You buy the food, use what you want, then store the rest for later. When the food becomes old and stale, it attracts microscopic bacteria and mould, which are nature’s scavengers, some so small, you might not even see them. This is your signal to toss out the food. With preservatives, you don’t get this old and stale look and feel and you are not only consuming the preservatives with their potential to do you harm, you are also consuming old food which has the potential to do the same.

‘Change your Bathroom’ Pack

Toxic Free Bathroom PackWhen we first found out this information over 12 years ago, we made a decision to avoid these chemicals, found safer alternatives, and have enjoyed a healthy lifestyle ever since.

So, yes! You can live without these chemicals. If you would like to do the same, click on your country and find out more about these toxin-free personal care products that probably work better than the toxic variety.

USA and Canada | Australia and New Zealand

UK and Europe: Name the product in the generated email.

If you like this post, please leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think, and share with your friends using the social media buttons in the right hand column.


Sodium Lauryl Sulphate

29 Jun

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (or Sulfate) – Beware!

One of the most obnoxious chemicals found in almost all your household and personal care products, is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (also spelt Sulphate) (SLS) and it’s close cousins Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate (ALS).

These are used as soaps and foaming agents. Watch this video to give you a better understanding:


The Origins of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate originates from plant material such as coconut or palm kernel oil. Because SLS is a coconut or palm kernel derivative, some products containing SLS are labelled and marketed as “all natural.”

However, what they don’t say, or maybe don’t know, is that the lauryl alcohol from such sources as coconut or palm kernel oil is then processed using sulphuric acid (where the sulphur comes from). In the final step, lauryl sulfate is reacted with sodium hydroxide to produce sodium lauryl sulfate. When lauryl sulfate is reacted with ammonia instead of sodium hydroxide it produces ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS).

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a strong detergent used in many beauty products including shampoo, soap and toothpaste. Also they have an industrial use in carwashes, engine degreasers, carpet and concrete floor cleaners. The same chemical is used in all applications.

Some people experience irritation from using products that contain SLS, according to the National Health Information Centre. According to the American College of Toxicology, in their 1983 report, SLS can denature the skin (destroy the skin cells and allow bacteria to enter the lower, more sensitive skin layers) SLS can damage hair follicles (and it’s in shampoos?) and SLS can halt the development of the eyes in young children. (After investigation, we came to the conclusion that it is responsible for my wife’s glaucoma.)

Canker Sores can be painful

Canker Sores can be painful

Toothpaste manufacturers put SLS in their products to generate the foaming effect when you brush your teeth. reports that some people develop canker sores after using toothpastes that contain SLS. Canker sores are small ulcers that appear inside your mouth, frequently on the gums. Canker sores do not form on the outside of your lips and mouth, only on the inside and they cause pain and discomfort when you eat. The Natural Health Information Centre reported that in 1982, eight employees at a hospital in Virginia became ill after the hospital’s carpet was cleaned using a product that listed SLS as the active ingredient. Most of the sick employees experienced respiratory illness, such as coughing, while many also complained of headaches, sore throats and nausea.

Perhaps most worryingly, because of its molecular weight, SLS is also absorbed into the body from skin application and especially under the tongue, as in toothpaste application, where the skin is so soft (heart medication is administered under the tongue, which is the quickest way to get the pill into the bloodstream).

Once it has been absorbed, it can accumulate in the major organs of your body, due to continual daily use. One of the main effects of SLS is to mimic the activity of the hormone “Oestrogen”. This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where oestrogen levels are known to be involved.


Personal Care Products

SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulphate) is a close cousin of SLS. SLES is milder than SLS. To become “mild” and “gentle” sodium laureth sulfate undergoes a manufacturing process called ethoxylation. The ethoxylation process uses ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen. Ethoxylation often causes contamination of surfactants and detergents with carcinogenic impurities such as 1,4-Dioxane.

It is found in more than 90% of “personal care” products including hand and body creams, depilatories, bubble baths, hair colour kits, shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, shaving cream, shower gel, facial cleansers, “baby wipes” and many other products.

1,4-Dioxane was used during the Vietnam war in the manufacture of “Agent Orange” which was aerial sprayed on the forests where the Viet Con (North Vietnamese Army) was lurking, to remove the leaves of the trees, so they could spot the enemy. A large number of American soldiers, who were exposed to this defoliation during the war, became cancer victims.

So, to conclude, you really need to avoid these chemicals wherever you can. I know it’s difficult, because they are in lots of products. To help you, I would strongly recommend some products my family and I have been using for over 12 years. Before we found these products, my wife would routinely throw up in the shower each morning and I suffered from headaches to the point where I carried headache pills around with me everywhere. After using these products, I was reminded about my headaches, only because I came across my supply of pills in my pocket one day and realised that I hadn’t suffered from a headache for about a month. I traced this back to when I changed my personal care products. Then, one day at work, I received a phone call from my wife. She HAD to call me because it was the first day she had NOT thrown up in the shower and she was extremely excited. These products WORK.

Bathroom Pack


Toxic Free Bathroom PackAs a basic start to changing to toxic-free Personal Care products, this is the toxic-free Bathroom Pack.

If you would like to order this pack, click on your country:

USA and Canada | Australia and New Zealand

UK and Europe: Name the product in the generated email.

If you like this post, please leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think, and share with your friends using the social media buttons in the right hand column.