Posts tagged chemicals

How to Make Your Own Natural, Non Toxic Shampoos

Although most people are happy with the huge array of choices we have in our department stores and find that most commercial products work well for them, there are many of us who find hair care challenging and difficult. For me, it’s an allergy to fragrances and a sensitivity to chemical additives. If I use the wrong shampoo, my head itches, flakes, gets a rash and sometimes burns for long periods of time, even as long it might take me to wash the residue out with another shampoo. So my search for shampoo has become a real challenge. I just can’t use whatever my sister leaves in the shower. Mine has to be fragrance free, without dyes or chemicals and usually has to have organic ingredients. Same for my hair color. I have found a few products that work for both purposes, dyeing and washing, but they are expensive and I have to order them online. In the meantime, I have come up with a lot of homemade alternatives and most of them are really good.

In my next post, I will give recipes for making homemade rinses and conditioners. I am also working on an ebook about homemade hair dyes and the methods for using them. Here, in this post, I want to share some of my recipes for homemade shampoos. These are safe, non toxic, hypoallergenic, easy to make and to make adjustments to. You will see when you get started on the recipes and after you use this stuff, you may be inclined to give up the commercial chemical based products you’ve been using most of your life.

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Are Sunscreens Effective or Dangerous?

Sunscreens have a history of being greatly desired, on the one hand, and generally feared, on the other. This is because everyone has become convinced that sun exposure causes skin cancer and sunscreens are the only remedy for this while, at the same time, coming to the realization that sunscreens are made up of unnatural chemicals and additives that are suspected of toxicity. Very few of us remember this, but the very first sunscreen made for public use was made up of red vetinary petrolatum (yes, I said vetinary) and it was just a horrible, sticky goop that wasn’t proven to do much of anything. And, yet, it was the only product offered at the time. In contrast, today we have more than 500 choices for sunscreen, mostly because people have become terrified of sun exposure and this has carved out a an enormous wallet in the market.

But regardless of the fact that we have come to believe that sun exposure causes skin cancer and sun screens are somehow a miraculous barrier to that exposure, and thereby desired and, in some cases necessary, tools in the summer safety kit, the only thing that sunscreens are truly proven to do is prevent sunburn. In fact, according to the FDA’s 2007 draft sunscreen safety regulations, the “FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer.” The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) agrees with this and, in fact, they recommend clothing, hats and shade as primary barriers to UV radiation. Their materials also say that “sunscreens should not be the first choice for skin cancer prevention and should not be used as the sole agent for protection against the sun. In other words, there is NO PROOF that sunscreen prevents skin cancer.

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The Dangers of Pet Food

Those of us who are pet owners love our pets a lot. In fact, most are like me and treat their pets like their kids, with great love, attention and care. And most of us are deeply involved in the feeding and care of our pets, from the flea meds we use on them to the food we feed them and the last thing we want is to poison or sicken our beloved critters. So this post is about just that, the foods you may be buying without thought or with just blind faith that may also be dangerous.

I am sure none of you have forgotten the pet food scare of two years ago where a lot of animals died from eating pet food made with a wheat gluten that had been treated with melamine. Melamine, a chemical used in fertilizers, is commonly added to food in China because it boosts the protein levels of the food and allows the manufacturer to charge more for it. They have no animal welfare laws in China and they still feed this stuff to their own pets, who have no protections and mostly live short lives, unfixed, hardly cared for, sick with any one of many common diseases. They have also had several recent scares with children being sick or dieing from melamine exposure in baby formulas. Here in America we may not be the most alert guard at the gate and our own regulatory laws are way too lax but we, at least, stop serving up poison once we recognize it as such.

My guess is you think the problem has stopped and there is nothing to fear in the foods you feed your pets. Well, I can admit that you probably won’t see any melamine any time soon, but there are plenty of other evil agents you must keep a wary eye open for. These are not all poisonous ingredients, some of them are just downright gross and unhealthy. Like dog or cat hair? Or bone from decomposing carcasses? How about human pain killers? Oh, yes. Be prepared to be surprised.

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Bug Spray, Arthritis and Lupus

You guys are gonna love this… just kidding. But it’s more testimony for the case of going natural and dumping all these chemicals! Especially bug sprays and other deadly poisons. It seems that research that was done in Philadelphia is suggesting a link between women’s exposure to household insecticides (including roach and mosquito killers) and the autoimmune disorders rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Do you realize how many women have these diseases? It’s unnatural. And that previous research hinted at a link between agricultural pesticides and a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. I think it’s time to take this information seriously. Lupus and RA are nothing to take lightly; in general, autoimmune diseases are diseases where the immune system goes haywire and begins to attack the body. And to ice the cake, it was also shown that farmers are a high risk group for these diseases and the reason now seems to be bug killers. Ugh.

Women in the study who reported use of insecticides presented a higher risk of developing the two autoimmune disorders than women who reported no insecticide use, whether or not they had lived on a farm. Those who used the insecticide the most often and most frequently had double the risk! Are you using this stuff? Do you want to develop RA? I know people who have this and, take my word for it, you don’t! But I guess the powers that be just don’t care about any of this; after all, the people who make the bug spray make a lot of the OTC meds that are used to treat the pain. Bayer comes to mind. They make insecticides and herbacides and also make the aspirin you’re taking to treat your arthritis. So many drug companies today have merged with larger corporate interests so that many different product lines are mixed and this mix can cause conflicts of interest. So it’s up to you to investigate and find out who’s who in the zoo.

This involves reading the lables and taking precautions to limit your own exposure to dangerous chemicals. Epidemiologists are saying that this should include products you’ve taken in the past and even those you know are no longer available. Especially if that product has since been implicated in health issues or larger crises. Keep your ear to the ground about whatever chemicals you currently use or feel you cannot give up. If you hear anything at all about possible health risks, have yourself assessed as soon as possible. It is true that more research is needed to nail down the direct link between insecticides and autoimmune disease. In this case, the researchers examined data from a previous study of almost 77,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79. Even if you do not meet this criteria, care should be taken when deciding to use deadly poisons or toxic chemicals. In general, the insecticides implicated in the study include insect killers, such as those designed to eradicate ants, wasps, termites, mosquitoes and roaches. This is the stuff that will actually kill the bugs. The study didn’t include insect repellents or skin rubs for mosquitoes, flies or fleas.

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Spring Project: Keeping the Bugs Out

Although not everybody is worried about being kind to insects almost everyone is worried about the dangerous poisons in the insecticides they use to get rid of the things. Either way, whether it’s compassion or fear, most of us have an interest in a safer, kinder, less toxic method of ridding ourselves of pests. I, for one, have had problems with how to handle bugs for a very long time. In some cases, I feel horrible about the insect (such as bees, wasps and other flying winged creatures like moths as well as some crawling insects that aren’t too ugly) and just can’t bring myself to kill it. Other, uglier and nastier, bugs like cockroaches and beetles make a big splat mess when killed and I despise the smell as well as I am allergic to their debris. So I hate stomping on them. I end up chasing most bugs around with a towel trying to trap them and toss them outside.

But I have had infestations in some of the rentals I have moved into. And these are nice places. They are just infested with bugs. Our previous unit had an explosion in roaches, German Cockroaches, which were nigh impossible to rid of. I spent tons of cash on special poisons like MaxForce and Raid Pro just to watch them step over the gel and continue raiding my kitchen. I ended up killing as many as twenty at a time with a fly swatter. And then push came to shove, we moved. I was successful at leaving the monsters behind after many hours of careful packing and unpacking only to have a flea infestation outbreak in the new digs. OMG, I spent endless hours trying to kill those things! I now have it under control but only after a litany of poisons, fogs and sprays where I can to empty my room, ban the pets, leave it on for hours and hours and then vacuum repeatedly and move everything back in. After exhausting rows with many a poison I still had fleas all over me. The only thing that finally worked was a natural miracle, Diatomaceous Earth. I have left the stuff in my carpets to this day and nary a flea!

Anyways, as you can see I have some experience with bugs. I think we all have. You don’t have to live in the slums to have roaches walking on your table. And once they arrive and move in, they are hard to evict. What has always amazed me is that the final solution, the one that really worked in most cases, was a natural, safe, non toxic one. So don’t believe the hype of the chemical manufacturers that you have to use deadly poisons. It just isn’t true. In the case of fleas, I highly recommend Diatomaceous Earth. Sprinkle it on and leave it. It takes a few days but they will be gone… I can promise you. I had a million and now there are none. And the same is true of other pest control. You can do it with natural and non toxic elements such as the Fossil Shell Flour I used. But the very best way is to ward them off to begin with which should be done all the time even if you do not see a bug yet. By practicing good, safe and non toxic repellent methods you can be sure you will not have bugs to begin with.

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100,000 Chemicals Surround You

In September of 2009, the Chemical Abstract Service, an agency that registers every new chemical as it is invented or discovered, assigned a registry number to the 50 millionth chemical. I think this is amazing considering the natural resources we have. Why do we have to make everything into a chemical? Do you realize that the Chemical Abstract Service began to register chemicals in 1956, and it took 33 years to register the first 10 million new chemicals while the last 10 million chemicals were registered in just 9 months at the rate of 25 per minute! We are accelerating in our use of chemicals.

The identification of 40% of these chemicals is done primarily by scouring research papers from worldwide projects while 60% were from major patent offices worldwide.. So 40% of these are chemicals developed in research projects, some for commercial use, some for other uses like laboratory, medical and industrial materials. The majority of these new chemicals are developed for public use; ie, foods, cosmetics, health products, housing materials.. all materials used by all of us every day.

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Why Are You Fat?

The answer to that question can be really surprising. Oh, I know it’s far more popular to write a post about a new diet fad, some pill or food or magic bullet I can talk you into taking that I promise will make you thin. Or to write a motivational piece about how you should get up and jog and run and climb monkey bars or whatever else is handy to get your butt shagging and this will make you thin, right? Oh, if the solution was only that simple. And those of you who have taken all the pills, foods and magic bullets and have climbed the monkey bars on your way to the daily jog and still jiggle when you walk, you know it’s not. But what are the real reasons you are fat? Could it be something around you that has nothing to do with what you actually eat or how often you exercise?

Now, I won’t be the one to tell people to eat what they like or to stop exercising. Our sedate society is making all of us lazy and unproductive to some degree. People were made for physical labor, to build their own huts, to hunt their own food, to run through the jungle, literally. Our current technology oriented sit on your butt and eat lifestyle can’t be good, no matter what. But what if it’s not the only factor in your weight problem? What if it is in the world around you? Among those things that you have made a part of your beloved lifestyle or among the expensive and much desired objects you surround yourself with? What if?
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