Ready, Set, Ditch…
Ditch…??? Wait a minute. Usually it is ready, set, go, right? Yes, it is, and you could use that in this case too. What I want to talk about though is clearing out the items that creates the biggest bio-burden in your life. Bio-burden is the icky stuff that accumulates in our bodies, when we are not watching, or when we are not aware. Most of us have heard about the issue with Trans-Fats, and know to avoid them. What we will be looking at in this post is something that sounds really innocent and nice; Something that evokes memories for most of us; Something that when you close your eyes, you can recall it, without it being there. For me, I can close my eyes and….smell…the scent of my mom, or the scent of the sunscreen we used to use when we were kids (Eversun, for those that wonder what product it was). Or the fatty substance my mom used to put on our faces when we would go out in the winter to protect us from windburn (Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream). I can also close my eyes and recall the smell of the roses that surrounded our front garden in the home I grew up in, different from the roses by our summer cottage on the ocean. You get it, smells, scents, or as they are known in the world of cosmetics, skincare, cleaning products, laundry soap, etc. FRAGRANCE. Our thought is that these ingredients are deemed safe and well tested before they are available for sale, right. The sad news is, there is absolutely no regulation or authority for the FDA or any other government entity to make these requirements. Even sadder is that there have been innumerable hearings on the matter, with people from both the Democrats and the Republican questioning the heads of various departments as to why they are not regulating these products. The answer is because the people questioning the insanity of this, are not willing to make the laws that give the agencies the power to regulate. The following is a quote taken directly from the FDA’s general information list.
Labeling of Fragrance Ingredients
If a cosmetic is marketed on a retail basis to consumers, such as in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person, it must have a list of ingredients. In most cases, each ingredient must be listed individually. But under U.S. regulations, fragrance and flavor ingredients can be listed simply as “Fragrance” or “Flavor.”
Here’s why: FDA requires the list of ingredients under the Fair Packaging and Labeling ActExternal Link Disclaimer (FPLA). This law is not allowed to be used to force a company to tell “trade secrets.” Fragrance and flavor formulas are complex mixtures of many different natural and synthetic chemical ingredients, and they are the kinds of cosmetic components that are most likely to be “trade secrets.” To learn more, see the regulation on cosmetic ingredient labeling and the Federal Register notice for this regulation, which addresses “trade secrets” and the FPLA.
Soooo….basically because the specific scent in a product is the trademark of that product, the company does not have to tell us what is in it, and they do not have to meet the burden of proof that the product is safe for use. A lot of the companies hide behind the fact that it is only trace amounts of a certain ingredient in the product. You could argue that as a valid point, IF and only IF, you only had a one-time exposure. Or incidental exposure here or there. We all know though, that when we buy a bottle of Tide laundry soap, we have repeated exposure, because the scent stays in our clothes and sheets, right? That’s the whole point. We buy things a lot of times because we LIKE or even LOVE the smell of it. This is where bio-burden comes in. If you are repeatedly exposed to a chemical, it will accumulate in your body, and will lead to cellular changes. These changes and burdens are handed down through the generations, so that when the blood of newborns is tested now, it contains a plethora of chemicals, that are known to be cancer causing or neuro-toxic…..(https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/newborn-babies-chemicals-exposure-bpa/) What does that mean for you and me? To me it means that if my budget allows, I make a wholesale change. I rid my cupboards and closets of plug-ins and bodywash, of laundry soaps and scrubbing bubbles, and…..to minimize my exposure as FAST as possible. If that is too radical and too expensive, switch your products up as you use them up. If you are confused as to what to use when you ditch the Clorox wipes or the Tide laundry soap, let me know, I can help. There is no time like the present to make the change. Your life and our world literally depends on it.