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Dangerous chemicals in personal care products compromise health

Monday, March 07, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
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Researchers are now finding that the active ingredient in antimicrobial soaps and personal care products causes nerve damage. This really isn't surprising: I've been warning readers about this for years. The ingredient is called MIT (methylisothiazolinone), and it is found in antimicrobial soaps, hand soaps, dish soaps and a surprising number of personal care products. People buy these personal care products thinking they're protecting themselves from infectious microbes. They think it makes them immune to viruses and bacteria that might be found in their bathrooms or kitchens, and thus they believe in the mythology of using antimicrobial soaps to create a sterile environment in their own homes.

This mythology has been promoted by the manufacturers of these products who, through clever advertising, propagate the distortion that bacteria on the kitchen counter and in the bathroom are responsible for making people sick. But the reality is that we don't live in a sterile environment anyway: the only thing that prevents you from getting sick is a healthy immune system. We are exposed to bacteria and viruses literally hundreds of thousands of times each day. It is our immune system that takes care of these threats and keeps us safe, not antimicrobial soap.

But many consumers don't understand this. They think that they can make their homes spotless; that they can create a level-4 biohazard clean room in their kitchen by using this antimicrobial soap, and that this will somehow protect them from getting sick. But the reality is that they're giving themselves nervous system disorders while actually promoting the breeding of resistant strains of bacteria. And thanks to the nervous system damage caused by these antimicrobial ingredients, people are probably accelerating Alzheimer's disease by using these products. No doubt, they are impacting the learning ability of their children by poisoning their nervous systems, too.

It turns out that this active ingredient is chemically similar to Agent Orange. That's right, this was the Weapon of Mass Destruction used in Vietnam. And while it's not accurate to say that there's Agent Orange in your antimicrobial soap, there is indeed a chemical compound that's similar in its function, purpose, and molecular structure. Is this something that you want to be coating your dishes with? How insane is that?

Yet it's precisely what millions of Americans are doing each and every day that they use these products. They are literally placing a thin film of nerve agent chemicals on their dishes, and then drinking and eating from those dishes. Here, Johnny, be sure to clean up your plate! We washed 'em in something special: nerve toxins!

There are a great number of dangerous poisons in the average American home. The typical pantry is loaded with toxic chemicals. This is something I've been warning about for years, but most people just laugh it off and say "If these things were dangerous, they wouldn't be legal!" Yet they remain perfectly legal and quite dangerous at the same time.

For example, most people still use dryer sheets in their dryer. These sheets really serve no function other than to spread perfume all over your clothing. They're perfume sheets. And these perfumes are not essential oils harvested from flowers out in a wild field somewhere, they are synthetic chemicals, manufactured in a chemical plant, and many are highly carcinogenic. So after washing their clothes to get out all the dirt, people are then coating their clothes with a product that deposits a thin film of toxic chemicals onto their clothes. In other words, the clothes were cleaner before they went through the washer and dryer. And now that they come out of the dryer, they are dangerous to your health, because now they have been soaked in a toxic chemical cocktail. And people put these clothes on every single day, then walk around and produce sweat which moistens the clothes, and that accelerates the diffusion of such chemicals into their bloodstream through their skin. They do this and then they wonder why they are diseased. They think their laundry is clean because it smells like perfume.

The average American household is a toxic chemical dump. People have antimicrobial soaps, dryer sheets with toxic chemicals, and then there are people using all sorts of personal perfumes and fragrance products that are also loaded with cancer-causing chemicals. You've got people putting deodorant in their armpits, and that deodorant contains aluminum which promotes dementia and Alzheimer's disease. And if that's not enough toxicity, you can buy air fresheners that will release a mist of toxic chemicals into the very air that you breathe so that you can inhale carcinogenic chemicals directly into your lungs. Beyond all that, we have the shampoos which are also loaded with all sorts of toxic chemicals, and we have the cleaning products that contain solvents which directly promote cancer as well as birth defects. And this isn't even to mention the food supply yet, because the food supply in the average American household contains yet more toxic chemicals. But of course, that's for another article altogether.

So what do you do about all of this? Some people say to me "Mike, you sure are paranoid about all these products." Not really, only the ones that cause cancer and other chronic diseases. I'm fine with all the other products. The thing is, you can't find those healthy products at your regular convenience store or grocery store. You have to go to a health food store or a natural grocer, and you have to know the sources for these products. You have to be smart enough to read ingredient labels and figure out what's in these products. And then you have to educate yourself by reading articles like this so that you know what belongs in your body and what doesn't. It's not that difficult to understand; it isn't rocket science to figure out that the human body is not a toxic waste dump (regardless of what the consumer products companies try to convince you to believe).

The vast majority of these chemicals I'm talking about are considered environmental hazards by the EPA. And yet it's perfectly legal for manufacturers to put them in their products and indirectly allow consumers to put them into their bodies. You could be arrested if you dumped these same chemicals into a stream -- that would be a violation of federal law. And yet, you put them into your body every single day, and that's not only legal, it's actually encouraged by media coverage, advertisements, department stores, and retailers.

It is perfectly possible, by the way, to live a life free of these toxic products. All you have to do is stop buying the toxic products, throw them out, and start buying products that actually protect your health. You could start with your laundry detergent. Go to the health food store, or natural grocer, and get yourself some laundry detergent that isn't made with all these fragrance chemicals (a good brand is Seventh Generation).

Switch out all your soap: get rid of all that antimicrobial soap and switch to a product like Dr. Bronner's soap, which is only scented with natural oils like peppermint and almond oil. It's a wonderful soap, and I strongly recommend it. Throw out all those ridiculous brand name shampoos that are loaded with garbage ingredients that actually promote dandruff and hair loss because of all the toxic chemicals they contain. A lot of these products actually cause the very problems they claim to be solving. Throw those out! Go with olive oil shampoo from a company called Heritage Products.

And throw out all those perfumes and colognes, please, people, you are polluting the air for everyone else who actually has olfactory senses remaining. Maybe you can't smell yourself because your nose has been dulled from years and years of use of these products, but I tell you what - everybody else can smell you! And we're tired of it. Take those products, throw them away and try to live a day without smelling like an artificial fragrance factory, for God's sake.

And while you're at it, throw out the antimicrobial soap. Er, wait a minute, that might be an EPA violation. Better call a chemical waste processing facility and see if they can take it off your hands in an environmentally responsible way. Just don't be foolish enough to coat your skin with it.

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About the author: Mike Adams is a consumer health advocate and award-winning journalist with a passion for teaching people how to improve their health He has authored more than 1,800 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, and he has authored and published several downloadable personal preparedness courses including a downloadable course focused on safety and self defense. Adams is a trusted, independent journalist who receives no money or promotional fees whatsoever to write about other companies' products. In 2010, Adams launched TV.NaturalNews.com, a natural health video site featuring videos on holistic health and green living. He also founded an environmentally-friendly online retailer called BetterLifeGoods.com that uses retail profits to help support consumer advocacy programs. He's also the founder of a well known HTML email software company whose 'Email Marketing Director' software currently runs the NaturalNews subscription database. Adams volunteers his time to serve as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and practices nature photography, Capoeira, martial arts and organic gardening. He's also author of numerous health books published by Truth Publishing and is the creator of several consumer-oriented grassroots campaigns, including the Spam. Don't Buy It! campaign, and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. He also created the free reference sites HerbReference.com and HealingFoodReference.com. Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the ending of corporate control over medicines, genes and seeds. Known on the 'net as 'the Health Ranger,' Adams shares his ethics, mission statements and personal health statistics at www.HealthRanger.org

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