Skincare Facts and Information
Toxic and banned ingredients in hundreds of common cosmetics & perfumes
Because of minimal regulation by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many cosmetics often contain toxic and carcinogenic ingredients.
The FDA does not regulate cosmetics, defined as any "product that improves appearance, verses drugs and that diagnose, relieve, or cure disease"(Winter, 1994).
So it is - as usual - up to us as the consumers to read labels carefully and only use products that are propyl-, methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, etc. -free.
- The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) found that, of all the chemicals available for use in cosmetics, 815 substances have been documented as toxic.
- From 1968-1972 the FDA analyzed compounds used in cosmetics. The five chemicals that most frequently involved adverse reactions were alpha-terpineol, benz~ acetate, benzyl alcohol, limonene and linalool. These five are among the 20 most commonly used in the 31 fragrance products later tested y the EPA in 1991.
- 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins and sensitizers - capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.
Why do these harmful chemicals continue to be included in many skin and body care products?
Because of outdated laws (from the 30's), a strong trade organization: the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), and lobbyists favorable to the cosmetics industry who support the status quo (--big money for big companies...big health problems for consumers).
The malor reason - is profit. Remember that these solvents are by-products of the oil and gas industries. In fact, Standard Oil (Rockefeller) sponsored some of the early research articles that concluded that isopropyl alcohol is a safe additive in cosmetics and medicines. So it's quite a financial coup for these major oil and gas companies to make an additional profit on their waste products after refining their oil. How would you like to be paid for your garbage? (Real Purity www.Realpurity.com)
Are Today's Cosmetic Products Safe?
Skin Care Institute
Thousands of people suffer adverse effects after using off the-shelf cosmetic products. In a study conducted by the University of Califomia of more than 58,000 hairdressers, manicurists, and cosmetologists revealed that they developed muluple melanoma (cancer) at four times the rate of the general population. This is believed to be due to exposure to cosmetic chemicals. The Natural Skin Care Institute's recent survey of today's cosmetic products reveals surprising results. Over eighty percent of the products on the market today contain one or more ingredients that are documented to cause adverse reactions in humans and animals. Few incidents are reported since affected consumers simply discontinue using the product. Many resulting systemic effects are unknown and remain undiagnosed and an unsuspecting population remains unwamed.
'The contamination of our world is not alone a matter of mass spraying. Indeed, for most of us this is of less importance than the innumerable small-scale exposures to which we are subjected day by day, year after year. Like the constant dripping of water that in tum wears away the hardest stone, this birth-todeath contact with dangerous chemicals may in the end prove disastrous. Each of these recurrent exposures, no matter how slight contributes to the progressive buildup of chemicals in our bodies and so to cumulative poisoning....
Lulled by the soft sell and the hidden persuader, the average citizen is seldom aware of the deadly materials with which he is surrounding himself; indeed, he may not realize he is using them at all.'
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring, 1962)
Article provided by: Sanctuary Botanicals. Link to original: here.
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Hemp Product Facts and Information
The Following informative article was acquired from www.Rawganique.com
What is hemp and what's so special about it?
What is so special about hemp products that I should pay more for them than conventional cotton products (although stores like Rawganique.com is rapidly closing the gap on conventional cotton and hemp prices--in many cases our designer organic cotton and hemp clothing and footwear are even cheaper than what you'd find on Main Street, USA!)?
Hemp is special in so many ways. It's arguably the strongest and most versatile fiber we know for consumer goods and industrial uses. It has been used to make durable and stylish clothing, footwear, paper, and home accessories for thousands of years in China and many other countries; in the US, it had been in use and cultivation up until the 1940's, when it was banned due to its association with its distant cousin plant, marijuana. Now, thanks to visionaries like Jack Herer, hemp is back! If you haven't seen or touched hemp clothing lately, you'll be surprised how far the industry has come in terms of quality (our hemp clothing is really soft and cozy, unlike the burlap-y hemp of the early days), style, economy, variety, and craftsmanship.
The hemp plant also yields one of the most nutritious foods you can eat (industrial hemp grown for fiber and food contain virtually no THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana--our hemp food products are made from hulled hemp seeds, and so contain no THC, which is found in infinitesimal amounts only in the hulls).
While hemp's many uses in the clothing and food industry are well-known, little is known of the fact that you can make plastic, cement, gasoline, and so much more out of hemp! There really is no more need to cut down trees for paper or make bags out of conventional plastic or fill your car up with petroleum-based gasoline!
The hemp plant itself is a marvel of nature. It grows easily in temperate climates (it's a "weed" after all), with roots that penetrate deep into the ground, bringing much-needed minerals and nutrients that other plants can use to the top layers of the soil. It dislikes chemicals and fertilizers and hence lends itself easily to organic farming, as opposed to conventional cotton, which requires massive uses of water, chemicals, pesticides, bleaches, and many other toxic substances for its cultivation and production.
The hemp fiber is anti-fungal and so is great especially for footwear; it also wicks away moisture and has a natural sheen that is water-resistant, making it the fiber of choice for natural outdoors people everywhere. The fiber itself is durable and will easily outlast cotton 6-to-1. It's also much thicker than cotton and hence contains a lot more air space than cotton, thereby facilitating free air circulation, making it warmer in winter and cooler in summer than cotton. You can also really abuse your hemp clothing and still get at least three to four times the mileage you can get out of your cotton clothing. Products made of hemp are naturally beautiful, humble, and mindful of this fragile planet of ours.
Now, on to the question of price. Hemp is more expensive than cotton up front, but if you add up long-term costs to our environment from cotton production and the massive use value of hemp products, you'll easily find that hemp is much lighter on your pocket and on the planet in the long run. Also, if hemp farming were legalized in the US, as it is in many of the countries in the western world such as Germany and Canada, then the prices will come tumbling down in a hurry. And you can do your part in making this happen by supporting this wonder plant anyway you can. Wear hemp, eat hemp, walk on hemp, write on hemp! For a better future for us and our planet, so that we and our children can actually have a future to look forward to! The more widespread and mainstream hemp becomes, the more reasonable the prices of hemp products and the more likelihood that its cultivation will be legalized in the US.
(excerpted from Hemp Horizons by John Roulac)
Candles and Your Health
What can be more relaxing and uplifting, than the soothing flicker of candlelight? So many people decorate, and warm their homes with scented, and unscented candles, but many still don't know of the dangers that lurk behind this simple little object. Most conventional candles on the market are made using Petroleum Based Paraffin, Synthetic Fragrances, Chemically Treated Wicks, and Metal Wick Cores, that in some cases contain toxic metals that can release harmful fumes when in use.
Being a product of the oil industry, paraffin is not a renewable resource, and like other petroleum based products, processing, as well as the burning of the final product releases green house gasses into the environment. Paraffin contains at least 11 carcinogenic compounds that are a direct threat to your health and well being. Synthetic fragrances can cause allergic reactions, headaches, and nausea, and some can release toxins when burned. In addition, conventional candle wicks are often bleached with chlorine, giving them their crisp white color, which also releases toxins when burned.
Ingredients are not required to be listed on candle products, therefore candle labels can easily describe the product as a healthy aromatherapy candle, when, in reality it is packed with petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances that are meant to be soothing.
The good news is that a well informed individual can make healthy candle burning choices. There is a growing availability of soy and palm vegetable based candles that come from renewable resources, and burn clean, without releasing harmful chemicals into your home. In addition, these candles are safe for the environment because they are biodegradable, and even burn longer than paraffin wax candles. When buying candles, it is key to make sure that scented candles are only made using 100% Essential Oils for added fragrance. Essential oils are a smart choice for those who want to add fragrance to their environments without the risk of allergic reactions, and toxic fumes. Whenever possible, choose cotton or hemp wicks, as synthetic fibers also release toxic chemicals. Avoid metal or lead wick cores!
Benefits of Soy Wax
- Soy candles do not release harmful carcinogens.
- Soy candles do not produce black soot-leaving residue on furnishings
- Soy candles burn substantially longer and more uniform that their paraffin counterparts.
- Soy candles promote the care of our environment by utilizing plants that are not depleted.
- Soy candles are water soluble for easy cleanup and biodegradable, reducing landfill.
- Soy candles are non-toxic, and do not contain any pesticides or herbicides.
- Soy candles contribute to the reduction of our dependency on crude oil.
- Soy candles support soybean farmers in the United States.