Author Topic: environmental chemicals  (Read 5663 times)

Offline kallyn

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environmental chemicals
« on: July 31, 2007, 12:11:16 PM »
It always bugs me that no matter how "pure" I manage to get my diet, there are always so many damn chemicals around.  Hygiene products, household cleaning products, pharmaceutical runoff in the water, leaching from plastics, etc etc.  How does one minimize one's chemical exposure?

On the other hand, maybe it's not a great idea to minimize chemical exposure.  Even if you keep an impeccably chem-free home, there is still the chem-laden world outside and you may leave your system ill-equipped to deal with it -  that whole idea that tiny stresses strengthen the system and such.  Le sigh.  Any bright ideas, anyone?  Here is the stuff I use in my house:

body:
shampoo and conditioner
toothpaste
deodorant
contact lense solution (I will give up contacts when they pry them out of my cold dead fingers.  I hate wearing glasses)
very ocasionally some lotion made from good ingredients (you know, hippie stuff from the health food store)
mascara (the only makeup I wear)
hand soap (NOT antibacterial.  I am bacteria-friendly)

household cleaners:
laundry detergent (get a hippie brand from the health food store)
dryer sheets
dishwashing powder for the machine (hippie brand)
dishwashing soap for cleaning by hand (hippie brand)
some horrible poisonous ceramic cleaner that is the only thing that will get my glass-top stove clean
all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle (hippie brand)

Plus all the food I buy that comes packaged in plastic, all the stuff outgassing from the paint and carpet, etc.   :P  At least I don't use any lawn chemicals or get my clothes dry-cleaned.

Seems like a long list, doesn't it?  How can I make it shorter?  Should I make it shorter?

Offline 21st-century caveman

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2007, 12:41:49 PM »
Sensible comment:

Yeah, there are chemicals around, but we're made of chemicals, too.  I guess it's a good idea to limit your exposure to known toxic substances.. But generally, what doesn't kill us will make us stronger. 

Wise-ass comment:

I try to bathe every day in a mixture of nuclear slag, industrial sludge, and liquified f00d.  In fact, I eat some of it while I'm bathing in it.  Then, I walk through farms and lay in pig slop for several hours, interspersed with showers of pesticides.  That's if I can't find a septic tank to dive into.  I chain-smoke unfiltered cigarettes and wash my face with bleach.  For lunch I have a cyanide & asbestos powder shake, several Twinkies and HoHos, and then a dessert of 1/4 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar, mixed into a bag of fried pork rinds, the kind with extra trans-fats.  I wash this down with a quart of a mixture of lawn chemicals, sulfuric acid, and benzedrine.   Clothes dry-cleaned?  NO, I try to put myself through the dry-cleaning machine, but I won't fit in some of them.    ;D


Offline kallyn

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2007, 12:48:16 PM »
The real question is how you manage to do all of that with your tongue so firmly adhered to the side of your cheek!!

 :D

Offline 21st-century caveman

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2007, 12:53:48 PM »
I went to the Suze School of Sarcasm, and minored in "Tongue In Cheek".

 :)

Offline Lord Snoolington

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2007, 04:04:53 PM »
Don't forget all the trace toxins, fluoride, chlorine in your drinking and bathing water, plastic chemicals leached from containers, chemicals involved in the canning process, chemicals transferred into your food from pots, pans, etc, etc.

I think the decision to exclude anything from one's life due to health risk must be a combination of 2 factors: how great a health risk it is, and how much of a pain life would be without it. We make the decision to exclude non-paleo foods because (1) the science and the anecdotal evidence shows that there is an appreciable health hit from consuming them, and (2) because it is not that inconvenient or unenjoyable switching ways of eating. In the case of all of these little issues, (1) we are not that sure that they are dangerous -- we do not consume these environmental chemicals, and we know that our body has some amount of tolerance for odd toxins in small amounts. (2) In the other factor, removing or replacing these items in our life is seriously inconvenient, expensive, and/or impractical. You could go down the list and specify problems with not having all these items.

I say let there be moderation. If you seek absolute perfection, build a time machine and run around naked in the pleisticene.


Offline kallyn

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2007, 09:30:44 PM »
Well it's not any one particular chemical that I think is harmful.  It's the complex interactions between hundreds of these things at a chronic low-level exposure over the course of many years.

I don't obsess over these things, I just sometimes think about it when I'm putting on deodorant or something and it mildly irks me.

Offline Lord Snoolington

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2007, 05:47:13 AM »
It's the complex interactions between hundreds of these things at a chronic low-level exposure over the course of many years.

Can you specify any of these interactions, or do you have science showing that something happens? If not, I say let it be. Otherwise, you can only assume that it's your own paranoia.

Lots of people are exposed to these things every day. You're already going to live forever because of your diet. :)

Of course, I say all this stuff with a strong bias toward keeping these around. I could never do with the inconvenience.

I think if I was going to worry about these things, I would restrict my worry to the  items that find their way inside me in appreciable amounts -- deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, makeup...

Lakeside

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2007, 08:42:59 AM »
When I wore contact lens a while ago I used heat disinfection. I had a rub on cleaner (between fingers) then rinsed with plain saline solution and then put the lens case in a little heating unit that disinfected them in about 45 minutes.  The saline solution in the aerosol can doesn't have preservatives.
You could also bring a pan of water to a boil and toss in the lens case and turn off the heat.
Caution: I am not sure if the newer contact lenses can be heat disinfected and I don't see the type of hardended cases used for heat disinfection in stores now. Check with your eye doc.
For body I used Dr. Bronners:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/104-9859517-3227100?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Dr.+Bronners&Go.x=17&G
and sometimes citrus body wash from Trader Joes.  But sometimes I just use plain old Ivory Soap.

If I buy a commercial stuff from Wal Mart or the local grocery store I avoid things like Irish Spring or Lever 2000 or any deoderant soap.   It seems the cheaper stuff like plain old regular Dove, Jergens or Ivory have fewer harsh chemicals and are not antibacterial.

Since I don't use Teflon or other nonstick pans I use Bar Keeper's Friend to clean hard to clean spots off my stainless steel pans.  It doesn't have bleach like regular cleansers.

Deoderant: I am open for suggestions.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2007, 08:49:01 AM by Lakeside Al »

Offline kallyn

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2007, 08:54:39 AM »
Can you specify any of these interactions, or do you have science showing that something happens? If not, I say let it be. Otherwise, you can only assume that it's your own paranoia.

We don't know all the interactions, which is what in my opinion makes them even more undesirable.  We are conducting a huge experiment on ourselves right now.  Our grandparents grew up in a world less chemical-y than our own.  They spent their formative years relatively free of all this garbage.  We, on the other hand, have been exposed to it since birth.  And we're still young (you and I, that is)...so who knows what the implications will be in like 30 years.  There's already some weak evidence that the aluminum in deodorant gets absorbed through the skin and concentrates in the brain and contributes to Alzheimer's.

Offline suze

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2007, 02:45:17 PM »
Deoderant: I am open for suggestions.

I never use the stuff.  Humans are meant to smell... human!  As long as you bathe regularly there is nothing wrong with the aroma of good honest sweat.  Very sexy actually.  Suze


Offline kallyn

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2007, 05:30:40 PM »
I never use the stuff.  Humans are meant to smell... human!  As long as you bathe regularly there is nothing wrong with the aroma of good honest sweat.  Very sexy actually.  Suze

I agree, but unfortunately my husband does not.   :D

Lakeside

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2007, 10:22:25 AM »
I never use the stuff.  Humans are meant to smell... human!  As long as you bathe regularly there is nothing wrong with the aroma of good honest sweat.  Very sexy actually.  Suze

It may be a good idea to wear deoderant for a job interview that is why I am interested it what natural stuff works best. 

Offline 21st-century caveman

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2007, 10:42:51 AM »
Suze- yes, humans are meant to smell like humans, and it may be sexy, but as Al and kallyn say, in certain social situations, a deodorant or perfume, or cologne aroma is expected, rather than B.O...  hmmm, I wonder, though- I'll bet that my deodorant soap has enough deodorant in it, without smearing additional deodorant under my arms..  but we'll need to hold a "caveman sniff test"  to see if this is socially acceptable.   :D  Of course, if I go into a room and everybody runs out of the room screaming, we can bypass the sniff test.  I won't know if it's my caveman "ambience" or my paleo-eating breath, though.   ;D

Offline Lord Snoolington

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2007, 11:06:20 AM »
I absolutely hate the idea of wearing any kind of fragrance, be it alone, or in clothes, or in deodorant. I wear *unscented* anti-perspirant. It's so annoying, I've bought so-called unscented deodorants before, but then I open them up and they reek, and I look on the ingredients, and they have "masking fragrance." That makes me want to pull a rambo. I want to smell like Glorious Lord Snoolington, not Fresh Blast, or Cool Rush, or Summer Spring, or any crap like that.

Lakeside

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Re: environmental chemicals
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2007, 12:19:15 PM »
...I wear *unscented* anti-perspirant. It's so annoying, I've bought so-called unscented deodorants before, but then I open them up and they reek, and I look on the ingredients, and they have "masking fragrance." That makes me want to pull a rambo...

It is the aluminum compounds in Anti-Perspriants that may be a health risk.  The compounds are usually one of these:

Aluminum chloride
Aluminum zirconium tricholorohydrex glycine
Aluminum chlorohydrate
Aluminum hydroxybromide

The aluminum ions are taken into the cells that line the eccrine-gland ducts (Sweat Glands) at the opening of the epidermis, the top layer of the skin. 
Aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer's (apparently some studies suggest there is a higher concentration of Aluminum in the brains Alzheimer's patients).
For this reason you may want to not wear anti-perspirant and not use Aluminum cookware. However, I have also heard that aluminum is one of the most abundant elements on earth and it would be impossible to completely avoid it. It is not really clear how Alzheimer's patients got the higher concentrations of Aluminum in their brains. But if you stop cooking in it, buying beer and soft drinks in aluminum cans and quit smearing it on your body are 3 easy ways to avoid it.

(note: Although not paleo I am not saying I am giving up my beer  :P. I just buy it in glass bottles)