Study Links Childhood Cancer and In-Home Pesticide Use

Pesticides

are in too many products!

A study by Harvard researchers provides disturbing evidence that children’s exposure to household insecticides is linked to higher risks of childhood leukemia and lymphoma, the most common cancers in children. The analysis also found an association between use of outdoor herbicides to lawns and gardens and higher risks of leukemia.

“It is very troubling, albeit not surprising, to see additional scientific evidence linking pesticide use to childhood cancer,” said Ken Cook, EWG president and co-founder. “The findings confirm parents’ worst fears that they could be unknowingly exposing their children to harmful chemicals that can lead to serious, even life-threatening, illnesses.”

“This study should remind us once again that we must protect our kids by curtailing our use of these toxic chemicals in and outside of the home,” Cook added.

The results from a meta-analysis, to be published in the journal Pediatrics in October, combined 16 studies reporting children’s exposure to pesticides used in and around the home. As the authors noted, children are more vulnerable to harmful pesticides because their bodies and immune systems are still developing. The researchers added that infants and toddlers are at especially high risk of exposure because they often play on pesticide-treated lawns or on carpets or floors where pesticide residues accumulate, and then put their hands and fingers in their mouths.

“Parents should consider the danger of pesticides in terms of the lethal toxicity of any products and the proximity to where your children play, eat, rest and sleep,” said Dr. Alex Lu, a Harvard Chan School of Public Health associate professor and senior author of the study. “This is also true for schools, playgrounds and sports fields.”

Lu added, “There is no justification for using chemical pesticides to maintain buildings, play areas or sport fields. There are plenty of non-chemical based treatments that will serve the purpose.”

EWG advises parents to stop using lawn and garden care, and to use indoor pesticides only as a last resort. See Healthy Child Healthy World’s greener tips on how to control indoor pests and how to protect your pets from fleas and ticks.

Another major source of children’s exposure to pesticides is food. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables often carry multiple pesticide residues even after they have been washed, and in some cases, peeled. That’s why EWG updates its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ every year in order to help shoppers figure out which are the “dirtiest,” or most contaminated, and which are the “cleanest,” or least contaminated. The guide encourages shoppers to opt for organic versions of the “dirtiest” fruits and vegetables.

As Lu explains in this video, switching to an organic diet can significantly lower a child’s exposure to pesticides.

The American Academy of Pediatrics cites EWG’s Shopper’s Guide as a reliable resource for parents looking to reduce their children’s exposures.
— http://www.ewg.org/release/study-links-childhood-cancer-and-home-pesticide-use#.WZT4x62ZN-h

BPA Bombshell

No...it's everywhere.

Industry Database Reveals 16,000 Foods With Toxic Chemical in Packaging

EWG has created the first easily searchable database of approximately 16,000[1] processed food and drink items packaged in materials that may contain the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A, or BPA––using information from the very companies that manufacture and sell these products.

BPA acts like estrogen in the body and should be kept away from pregnant women and children in critical windows of development, according to researchers who have linked it to cancer, infertility, brain, nervous system and cardiovascular abnormalities, diabetes, obesity and other serious disorders. BPA contamination is widespread in processed foods and drinks because the chemical is a key component of the epoxy used as an anti-corrosive coating inside most of the 126 billion food cans manufactured in the U.S. each year.

EWG’s new BPA database can be searched on EWG’s Food Scores, a publicly accessible, interactive website evaluating nutrition, ingredient and processing concerns for more than 80,000 processed foods and beverages.

California requires warnings on products containing chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. But after the state added BPA to the list of such chemicals, it allowed generic warning signs at checkout registers instead. In the process of complying with the state’s regulation, food companies unexpectedly and with little public notice laid bare more information than ever before about BPA in food and beverage containers.

When the warnings went up in May 2016, some shoppers complained they weren’t helpful — the checkout signs say BPA is in the linings of “many food and beverage cans” but don’t specify brands and products or alert consumers before they choose their purchases.[2] But few Californians know that food industry trade groups have quietly set up a website listing more than 16,000 products in cans, bottles, jars or other packaging that may contain BPA.

The industry website’s apparent main purpose is to help food companies supply warning signs to retailers.[3] But it also holds the largest, most detailed list to date of food products that may contain BPA in their packaging. It reveals that Americans are far more widely exposed than previously known to a hormone-disrupting industrial chemical that poses greatest risk to pregnant women, infants and children. But the website is a chaotic jumble––incomplete, inconsistent, poorly organized and hard to use.

Because consumers have a right to know what’s in their food, EWG took the industry’s own database and created a searchable list of products that may be packaged with BPA, not just in California but nationwide, within Food Scores. Food Scores also allows consumers to search for products that are in BPA-free packaging.

“No other industry in the world is more adept at marketing products to its customers than food and beverage companies––except apparently when it comes to informing them about the possible presence of a toxic chemical linked to hormone disruption and cancer,” said EWG president Ken Cook. “So we decided to give them a little help in making their own data more accessible to Americans.”

Most concern about BPA in food packaging has focused on canned food, especially soup, vegetables and fruit. EWG’s 2015 market survey found that some companies had switched to BPA-free cans under pressure from retailers and consumers, but most canned food sold in the U.S. still uses BPA-based linings.

The industry’s voluminous database shows in detail how BPA packaging spans almost every aisle in the store: It’s in the linings or lids of glass jars for baby food, pickles, jelly, salsa and other condiments; aerosol cans for whipped toppings and non-stick sprays; bottles and tins of cooking oil; aluminum beverage cans, coffee cans and even beer kegs.

Food packaging is the largest source of exposure to BPA, which readily migrates from packaging into edibles. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of samples taken in 2003-2004 from people six years and older.[4] In 2009, tests commissioned by EWG were the first to find BPA in the umbilical cords of nine of 10 infants sampled.[5] BPA is one of 23 biologically disruptive chemicals being investigated by The Halifax Project, an international collaboration of scientists and doctors who are studying the connection between chemical exposures and cancer.
Despite the mounting evidence of risk, federal regulation of BPA in food packaging is woefully inadequate.

In 2010 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it had “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and young children.” It encouraged the food industry to voluntarily replace BPA-based plastic in baby bottles, shift away from BPA-based linings in canned baby formula and explore alternative packaging for canned foods. In 2012, FDA denied a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban BPA in all food and beverage packaging. The FDA released an updated safety assessment in 2014 saying it continues to stand behind the safety of BPA linings in food cans.

Thirteen states, the District of Columbia and a few local jurisdictions have banned BPA in reusable food containers or children’s cups and baby bottles. Maryland, Connecticut, Minnesota, Nevada and Vermont have set limits on BPA on one-time use food containers, including cans, of infant formula or baby food. Maryland has banned baby formula containing more than 0.5 parts per billion BPA and California has limited BPA to 0.1 part per billion in bottles and cups for children under three years old.

In May 2015, California’s Office of Health Hazard Assessment declared BPA a female reproductive toxicant adding it to what is known as the Proposition 65 list, after the law requiring warning labels on products with listed chemicals. A year later, as the deadline neared for posting warnings, the food industry and retailers lobbied against the regulation and for more time to comply.

Retailers were daunted by the sheer number of products that potentially needed labels on the package or shelf. The industry was concerned that retailers would just clear affected items from their shelves. The health hazard agency said that could deprive people dependent on canned goods of access to nutritious food––a favorite argument of the industry’s effort to block bans or restrictions on BPA[6].

The state’s solution was an emergency regulation allowing food companies to partner with retailers to place warning signs at checkout. The regulation expires in October 2016, but can be extended. The agency expects the temporary rule to last no more than a year, but that depends on how long it takes to set a so-called “safe harbor level” for oral exposure to BPA in food packaging, below which warnings are not required. The agency is waiting for results of federally sponsored research to inform its decision of a safe exposure level, which could delay a decision until early 2018 or later. That means it’s likely that for at least a year, Californians won’t be able to tell from store warnings which products have BPA-based packaging.

Public health and environmental groups objected to the plan. The Breast Cancer Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council wrote to state regulators that signs at checkout do not provide “a clear and reasonable warning to the consumer.”[7] The day the signs went up, some shoppers echoed that concern.

”I’m not paying attention (to the checkout warning) once I’m done shopping, especially with kids,” Claudia Diaz of Los Angeles told Southern California Public Radio. “At the register, my focus is on something else, not on what I picked out.”[8]

None of the news stories about the signs going up made mention of the industry website. The signs direct shoppers to the state’s Proposition 65 website, which includes a fact sheet about BPA that does not mention the industry website, or a list of products that likely come in packaging made with the chemical.

In a press release, the Grocery Manufacturers Association said it and other trade groups created the website as a place where retailers can order warning signs and also “provide retailers and consumers with an easy way to identify which products the warning signs apply to.
— http://www.ewg.org/research/bpa-bombshell#.WZD20K2ZN-h

FLUORIDE OFFICIALLY CLASSIFIED AS A NEUROTOXIN IN WORLD’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS MEDICAL JOURNAL

The topic of 'is fluoride safe' came up today in conversation about our toothpaste (which is free of fluoride). This is just one example of the harmful effect of chronic fluoride exposure.

There are safe ways to provide fluoride to your teeth if your teeth are deficient. A simple one time gel treatment lasting fifteen minutes is good enough to last a lifetime.

What is hardly safe according to this work is chronic exposure. From the above it is also clearly unnecessary. This is an out of control marketing scheme with dentists providing uninformed testimonials back in the day.

It needs to be shut down and public health needs to test teenagers and young adults for dental floride deficiency although it will likely be already dealt with by dentists.

Fluoride Officially Classified as a Neurotoxin in World’s Most Prestigious Medical Journal

by Nick Meyer

http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.ca/2016/03/fluoride-officially-classified-as.html

The movement to remove industrial sodium fluoride from the world’s water supply has been growing in recent years, with evidence coming out against the additive from several sources.

Now, a report from the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, has officially classified fluoride as a neurotoxin — in the same category as arsenic, lead and mercury.

The news was broken by author Stefan Smyle, who cited a report published in The Lancet Neurology, Volume 13, Issue 3, in the March 2014 edition, by authors Dr. Phillippe Grandjean and Philip J. Landrigan, MD. The report, which was officially released in 2014 and published in the journal, can be viewed by clicking here.

Fluoride Classified Along with Mercury, Lead and Others

As noted in the summary of the report, a systematic review identified five different similar industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene.

The summary goes on to state that six additional developmental neurotoxicants have also now been identified: manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. The authors added that even more of these neurotoxicants remain undiscovered.

Also in the report, they note that neurodevelopmental disabilities, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, are now affecting millions of children worldwide in what they call a “pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity.”

Because of the documented health risks of fluoride, many people have launched campaigns to remove the chemical from their water supplies, to varying degrees of success. Such initiatives usually begin through the are often controversial and emotionally charged because of the reputation fluoride still enjoys among mainstream dentistry practitioners. In addition to fluoride in city water supplies, the substance can also be found in certain foods, especially in heavily processed brands of tea that may be grown in polluted areas (see this list for more info).

If you’ve ever noticed the warnings on toothpaste labels you probably know just how serious fluoride poisoning can be, especially for children if they swallow too much at one time.

Because of this threat, many parents have begun eschewing fluoridated toothpaste brands altogether and are using more natural brands such as Earthpaste, Dr. Bronner’s toothpaste line, or even making their own from a combination of ingredients such as coconut oil, organic neem leaf powders, essential oils like peppermint or cinnamon, and other natural ingredients.
The fluoride added to our water supply is mostly seen as a cumulative toxin that accumulates in our bodies and can manifest itself in problems over time, including dental fluorosis, or far worse health problems.

Global Fluoride Prevention Strategy Recommended

fluorideIn the Lancet report, the authors propose a global prevention strategy, saying that “untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity.”

They continue: “To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse.”

The report coincides with 2013 findings by a Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health that concluded that children in areas with highly fluoridated water have “significantly lower” IQ scores that those who live in areas with low amounts of fluoride in their water supplies.

Sodium fluoride in drinking water has also been linked to various cancers. It is functionally different than the naturally-occurring calcium fluoride, and commonly added to drinking water supplies and used by dentists who posit that it is useful for dental health.

Fluoridation is Actually Uncommon in Europe

Currently, fluoride is added to water supplies across much of North America, but as this list of countries that ban or reject water fluoridation shows, the practice is actually not too common, or banned entirely throughout most of Europe and in several other developed nations across the world.Fluoride Filter

Since most places in America still add fluoride to the water a high quality water filter is recommend to filter out the fluoride, and it can be especially important to avoid exposing yourself to too much fluoride in your daily shower or bath.

What is the Difference Between Natural Fluoride and the Kind That is Artificially Added to Our Water Supply?
On the heels of recent news that the fluoride in North American drinking water supplies is considered to be a neurotoxin according to a recent study in the top peer-review medical journal The Lancet, on par with some of the most notorious environmental toxins out there, many people are becoming more interested in the truth about fluoride.

Specifically, most people still do not know the difference between the naturally occurring calcium fluoride and other industrialized forms that are added to water supplies in North America (but not throughout most of Europe, and many other high-tech countries).

That’s because the term “fluoride” is often thrown around without making a distinction between these substances.

There are three types of fluoride used to “fluoridate” water supplies: Fluorosilicic acid, sodium fluorosilicate and sodium fluoride.

Fluorosilicic acid is the type most often used for cost reasons, and it is derived from phosphate fertilizers according to the CDC’s website.

The other two are created by adding either table salt or caustic soda to the mix.

Fluoride Corrodes Town’s Pipes

These types of fluoride can be quite corrosive, as one town found out the hard way when the fluoride they used to add to their water supply began corroding pipes and damaging city vehicles. Officials from the town, Buffalo, Missouri, voted to stop fluoridating the water supply recently due to these issues.

In contrast with these types of fluoride is calcium fluoride, which is a much safer version of fluoride.

Calcium fluoride is considered the “least toxic” and in some cases “relatively harmless”according to the site fluoridedetective.com, and that’s because of its high insolubility.

Magnesium and especially calcium are known as minerals that counteract the effects of fluoride, an example of how nature often pairs antidotes with poisons or designs complete foods that mitigate harmful substances for the most part.

This type of fluoride is often found in natural waters, while the above industrial byproducts are added to water supplies, a highly controversial practice that more and more people are asking to be changed.

Many Towns are Being Pressured to Remove Flouride
While it was originally added as a way to assist in the area of dental health, more and more people are questioning whether that is actually true and many towns are removing fluoride due to grassroots citizens’ movements.

(A list of towns that have removed fluoride since 2014 can be viewed here).

And considering the health risks involved, not to mention the safety concerns and costs, many cities and towns will have a decision to make in the coming years about whether or not to stop fluoridation.
— https://wearechange.org/fluoride-officially-classified-neurotoxin-worlds-prestigious-medical-journal/

DIY Natural Acne Treatment

Tea tree oil is becoming more and more popular. It is known for its cleansing, antimicrobial and skin-boosting properties. Tea tree oil is one of the most extensively researched essential oils out there. It all started in 1923, when an Australian chemist, Arthur Penfold, found that the antiseptic activity of tea tree oil was 12 times stronger than that of  carbolic acid or phenol.

One study at the Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia revealed tea tree oil`s ability to perform just as well as a common over-the-counter acne treatment, without the side effects. Researchers wrote:

“We have performed a single-blind, randomised clinical trial on 124 patients to evaluate the efficacy and skin tolerance of 5% tea-tree oil gel in the treatment of mild to moderate acne when compared with 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion. The results of this study showed that both 5% tea-tree oil and 5% benzoyl peroxide had a significant effect in ameliorating the patients` acne by reducing the number of inflamed and non-inflamed lesions (open and closed comedones), although the onset of action in the case of tea-tree oil was slower. Encouragingly, fewer side effects were experienced by patients treated with tea-tree oil.”





DIY Tea Tree Oil Acne Treatment

Ingredients:

10 drops of 100% therapeutic grade tea tree essential oil
2 tablespoons of 100% pure aloe vera gel
½ teaspoon unrefined coconut oil
Directions:

Put all ingredients into a small bowl.
Blend well.
Apply to skin at bedtime.
Rinse with warm water in the morning.
— http://livingtraditionally.com/tea-tree-oil-acne-treatment/

Environmental Groups Sue FDA to Take Formaldehyde Out of Salons

The Food and Drug Administration has failed to act on dangerous hair straighteners that contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde and pose a significant health hazard to consumers and salon workers, the Environmental Working Group and Women’s Voices for the Earth allege in a motion filed July 28 in federal district court.

The motion is part of the groups’ lawsuit against the FDA for its failure to act on a six-year-old petition requesting an investigation into popular hair smoothing treatments that are still sold in stores and salons. These straighteners – often known as keratin treatments or by the name of one prominent brand, Brazilian Blowout – contain formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen and potent allergen.

“The FDA has failed to protect stylists and consumers from exposure to formaldehyde,” said Melanie Benesh, a legislative attorney at EWG. “Since at least 2008, the agency has known about the health hazards associated with these hair straightening products and done nothing. Despite the complaints, the FDA has yet to take action to regulate these products.”

High levels of formaldehyde make many keratin hair straightening treatments a serious health threat for both clients and salon workers. These treatments involve liquids applied to hair, which are then heated using blow dryers and straightening irons. The high temperatures of these hair styling tools cause the liquids to release formaldehyde into the air.

“Salon workers have particularly suffered due to symptoms associated with these products, with many reporting long-term health problems,” said Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research for Women’s Voices for the Earth. “The health risks posed by these products deserved immediate action from the FDA when it was brought to its attention in 2008. Allowing salon workers and their customers to continue to be harmed by these products for more than six years is unconscionable.”

Salon workers have reported that the application of these hair treatments caused difficulty breathing, eye irritation and nosebleeds. These injuries – in addition to rashes, blistering and hair loss – are associated with formaldehyde exposure.

“The formaldehyde in these products is harmful to the hair stylists who have been sensitized to it and the clients who receive these treatments,” said Kathy Langford, a professional hair stylist from Brandon, Fla. “Salon workers who perform these services are exposed to the noxious fumes when these products are heated. Consumers have no choice but to inhale the fumes, and when they use straightening irons at home, they reheat the chemicals and breathe them in repeatedly. This is scary for everyone.”

“Too many stylists are injured from these treatments that are marketed as safe. Every client that walks in the salon doors is at risk, including children,” said Kelly Merriman, a stylist from Joliet, Ill. “Clients who receive this service go home with this straightening treatment on their hair. It off-gasses, continuously exposing them to formaldehyde, especially when the hair becomes wet or any heat is applied.”

Benesh said many customers have reported experiencing severe and long-lasting health problems even from a single hair-straightening process. Customers receiving multiple treatments are more likely to be at risk of developing allergies, which may include reactions such as asthma, hives and blisters.

“To make matters worse, products labeled ‘for professional use only’ aren’t required to list their ingredients on the bottle,” Benesh said. “Legislation proposed by Sens. Diane Feinstein and Susan Collins would close this labeling loophole and require ingredients to be listed on all cosmetics products.”

In addition, legislation introduced in California would require manufacturers to disclose the ingredients used in salon products. If the bill passes, it will be the first such law to take effect in the nation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration can issue citations to salons where the procedure is offered if formaldehyde released into the air exceeds permissible limits. Even the cosmetics industry’s own safety review panel declared hair straightening treatments containing formaldehyde unsafe. Yet the FDA has limited its public action to generating an informational webpage and issuing warning letters to two manufacturers.

Other states and nations, including California, Oregon, Canada, France and Ireland, have taken action against products such as Brazilian Blowout by removing products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde from store shelves.

In 2011, EWG filed a citizen petition, or formal request, that the agency investigate the products and take appropriate action. When the FDA neglected to act, EWG and WVE sued the agency in December 2016.

The new motion argues that the FDA has failed its duty by unreasonably delaying a response. It asks the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to order the FDA to review whether to ban the use of formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals in keratin hair straighteners and to require labels warning of these products’ hazards.
— http://www.ewg.org/release/environmental-groups-sue-fda-take-formaldehyde-out-salons#.WYu9Nq2ZN-h

Disinfectant Mix in Cleaning Products Linked to Birth Defects in Lab Animals

Exposure to a mixture of chemicals commonly found in household and commercial cleaning products can lead to birth defects in laboratory animals that can last for generations, according to a new study by Virginia Tech and Washington State University researchers.

The study, led by Terry Hrubec and Patricia Hunt, is particularly significant because it marks the first known investigation of the impacts of any combination of quaternary ammonium compounds, or quats, on the development of embryos or fetuses. The health impacts were found whether the exposure was through ingestion or inhalation of the chemicals. In an earlier study, the same researchers reported that mice exposed to the quats mixture also had impaired fertility, and lower sperm concentration and mobility.

Quats are widely used in cleaning, disinfection, laundry and personal care products as antimicrobial and fabric-softening agents, or preservatives. They have been classified as asthmagens, capable of causing asthma or worsening existing asthma, and as severe skin and eye irritants. According to EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning, the quats evaluated in both studies – alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride – were found in more than 170 products. This is a conservative estimate given that many manufacturers may not list these ingredients at all.

For the most recent study, the researchers fed mice the combination of quats and, in many cases, also exposed them to airborne levels and surface residues of disinfectant mixtures resulting from routine cleaning of the labs and cages. The result was a 150 percent increase in the rate of neural tube defects, a type of fetal abnormality that can occur in rodents and people. Neural tube defects are the second most prevalent form of birth defects in humans, and most frequently manifest as spina bifida, a condition often associated with nerve damage; muscle weakness; and walking, learning, bladder and bowel problems.

The scientists found that ambient exposure to the chemicals – in air and clinging to surfaces – not only caused an increase in neural tube defects, but had an even greater impact on the occurrence of these defects than deliberate feeding. They also noted that ambient exposure could cause transgenerational effects – defects that persisted through subsequent generations of mice that had never been directly exposed to the chemicals.

The study also assessed the relative parental contribution to the development of the malformations and found that male exposure alone was adequate to pass on the defects.

The latest findings add to the growing body of evidence that quats are generally unsafe. Though the degree to which human health and development may be damaged is unclear, the findings by Hrubec and Hunt’s team raise concern.

They demonstrate that developmental harms may result from environmentally relevant doses of these chemicals – doses people could be exposed through cleaning our homes with products containing this mixture of ingredients. Given the potential implications for people, especially workers who frequently handle quat-based cleaners in institutional settings, the study authors are sounding the alarm for further study of quats’ effects on humans.
— http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2017/07/disinfectant-mix-cleaning-products-linked-birth-defects-lab-animals#.WYpax62ZN-h

New products!

New 6 piece skin care set with frosted glass bottles. Has each day of the week embossed on the box and what product to use that day.  

New 6 piece skin care set with frosted glass bottles. Has each day of the week embossed on the box and what product to use that day.  

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Skincare close up. 

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New charcoal detox face mask.  

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New foot therapy soak and foot therapy cream. 

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Rebranded dream creams. 

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Rebranded sugar scrubs plus the addition of lavender essential oil version. 

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Rebranded bar soaps.  

New dishwasher detergent. 

New dishwasher detergent. 

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New baby bundle. 

New manufacting facility.

New manufacting facility.

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New pet care line. 

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Baby bundle close up.

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Dishwasher detergent close up. 

Rise in Imports of Personal Care Products May Pose Health Risk

"According to a New York Times story published today (Aug. 2), contaminants such as mercury, lead and bacteria, and other banned ingredients, are showing up in an alarming number of imported personal care products. This follows recent news that asbestos was found in tests of imported makeup marketed to tweens.

The Times story is based on a letter sent to Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., from the Food and Drug Administration. In the letter, the FDA revealed that imports of personal care products have doubled in the last decade and that imports from China have increased 79 percent in the last five years. The FDA also disclosed that in 2016, 15 percent of imported personal care products inspected had adverse findings and 20 percent of products the FDA tested in its own labs had adverse findings.

Usually, an adverse finding meant an illegal color additive was used, or there was microbial contamination in the product. The majority of contaminated products were from China.

Some of the FDA’s most troubling discoveries included:

  • Skin whitening creams with high levels of mercury.
  • Eyeliners containing a product called kohl, samples of which have been found to contain significant lead levels.
  • Hairsprays containing methylene chloride, an ingredient banned in cosmetics and that has been linked to deaths from its use in paint strippers.
  • Cosmetics kits with high levels of Citrobacter, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus bacteria.
  • Eye makeup containing color additives, banned for decades because they are hazardous to eyes.
  • Temporary tattoo products with unapproved color additives.

    Even scarier, the FDA’s findings likely underrepresent the full scale of the problem.

    The vast majority of personal care product imports are never inspected. In fact, the FDA discovered the problems listed above by inspecting fewer than 1 percent of imports. Of the nearly 3 million imported shipments of personal care products, the FDA was only able to inspect fewer than 10,000. The FDA only tested an even smaller sample of imported cosmetics: 374.

    The FDA lacks both the authority and the resources to fully address the public health risks cosmetics can pose. While the agency can inspect imported cosmetics, foreign manufacturers currently have no obligation to tell the FDA where they are located, what products they are making or what ingredients they are using.

    Of the 29,000 foreign companies exporting cosmetics to the U.S., very few have registered with the FDA. There is no obligation to report adverse reactions to cosmetics or make them in clean facilities using so-called good manufacturing practices. The FDA cannot issue a mandatory recall of dangerous cosmetics under current law.

    Recently introduced legislation, the Personal Care Products Safety Act, would give the FDA these basic authorities and would also require fees from the cosmetics industry, significantly increasing the agency’s ability to address health risks from cosmetics."

How To Remove Mold With Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has been used for centuries by Aborigines. The oil is taken from the leaves of the melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia. Interestingly, you cannot find tea tree oil naturally occurring anywhere else. The Aborigines would crush the leaves, then place them on a wound or burn, holding them in place with a mud pack. In the 1920s, Australian researchers discovered that tea tree oil is an antiseptic 100 times more effective than carbolic acid, a well-known germicide of the time. It’s antiseptic properties are unimaginable. Studies have found that Tea Tree Oil can effectively treat respiratory problems ranging from common sore throats, coughs and runny nose to asthma, tuberculosis, and bronchitis. It also possesses antibiotic properties that help treat skin infections, rashes, burns, dandruff and much more.

But you can also use tea tree oil to remove mold. It disinfects and removes all types of germs and mold.

1. Mix 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with two cups of water and add it to a spray bottle.
2. Spray down moldy areas. Allow the mixture to sit, and then wipe away. It really works!
— http://livingtraditionally.com/remove-mold-tea-tree-oil/

The Ugly Side of Beauty: Help Make Cosmetics Safer Petition

THE ISSUE

From blush and bronzers to body washes and shampoo, what chemicals are you putting on your skin? Medicines are safety-tested and closely monitored, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t look at what’s in your beauty products before they hit shelves. On the other hand, many countries regulate potentially unsafe ingredients in cosmetics — more than 800 are banned or restricted in Canada, and over 1,500 in Europe. But in the U.S., many of the same ones are still in use —  only 11 are prohibited, based on a law passed in 1938! It’s time to upgrade a rule put into place nearly 80 years ago.

THE SOLUTION

Two U.S. Senators, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), aim to update regulations with their proposed Personal Care Products Safety Act. The bipartisan bill would require the FDA to evaluate five ingredients per year to be sure they’re safe and properly used. Under the bill’s terms, the FDA would also be able to monitor adverse reactions (companies would be required to report them) and issue recalls for products that may cause serious harm.
— https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senator-the-ugly-side-of-beauty-help-make-cosmetics-safer

I don't recommend donating to change.org but I do feel signing their petition can be influential.