- Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have
found a correlation between an ingredient found in shampoos and nervous
system damage. The experiments were conducted with the brain cells of rats
and they show that contact with this ingredient called methylisothiazoline,
or MIT, causes neurological damage.
- Which products contain this chemical compound MIT? Head
and Shoulders, Suave, Clairol and Pantene Hair Conditioner all contain
this ingredient. Researchers are concerned that exposure to this chemical
by pregnant women could put their fetus at risk for abnormal brain development.
In other people, exposure could also be a factor in the development of
Alzheimer's disease and other nervous system disorders.
- The chemical causes these effects by preventing communication
between neurons. Essentially, it slows the networking of neurons, and since
the nervous system and brain function on a system of neural networks, the
slowing of this network will suppress and impair the normal function of
the brain and nervous system.
- These finding were presented December 5th at the American
Society for Cell Biology annual meeting.
- I have frequently warned readers about the dangers of
using brand-name personal care products. The vast majority of these products
contain toxic chemical compounds like MIT that contribute to cancer, liver
disorders and neurological diseases. In fact, this chemical, MIT, is just
one of dozens of such chemicals that are found in personal care products.
- Why are these dangerous personal care products allowed
to remain on the market? Because the FDA, which is responsible for regulating
these products, spends almost no time, money or effort actually investigating
the safety of such products. Instead, the FDA spends the vast majority
of its time approving new prescription drugs rather than protecting the
public against the dangers from such drugs or personal care products like
shampoos, soaps, deodorants and fragrance products.
- In fact, it may surprise you to learn that manufacturers
can put practically any chemical they want into shampoos, even if it is
a hazardous chemical listed in the RTECS database of toxicity and even
if it is considered a toxic waste chemical by the EPA. The FDA allows all
sorts of chemicals to be used in these products, including chemicals that
are known carcinogens and that contribute to liver failure and nervous
system disorders. How's that for protecting public health?
- If you thought prescription drugs were dangerous, just
take a look at the toxic chemicals found in personal care products used
by virtually all Americans every single day. Americans bathe themselves
in toxic chemicals and they do it by buying and using products made by
brand name companies that have premier shelf positioning at convenience
stores, grocery stores and discount clubs.
- One of the more curious personal care products on the
market is Herbal Essences Shampoo by Clairol. Personally, I think this
product is a joke because it's trying to exploit the word "herbal"
to imply that the shampoo is healthy, even though it is primarily made
with the same ingredients as other popular shampoos. The first three ingredients,
for example, are: water, sodium laureth, and sodium lauryl sulfate. Big
deal, huh? You can find the same three ingredients in 99-cent shampoo at
Wal-Mart. Plus, the product contains all sorts of other ingredients that
I personally would never allow to touch my skin (like methylchloroisothiazolinone,
if you can believe there's actually a chemical with a name that long).
Think the color of the shampoo is from the herbs? Think again. Three other
ingredients in the shampoo are Yellow #5, Orange #4 and Violet #2.
- In other words, this is a shampoo product purchased by
naive consumers, in my opinion. People who really know herbs and natural
products can only laugh at a product like this. Want a real shampoo? Buy
Olive Oil Shampoo from Heritage Products, available at most natural health
- The bottom line to all of this, though, is that every
week, it seems like we see a new announcement about some toxic chemical
found in personal care products that is related to either cancer or neurological
disorders. And yet week after week these products are being sold by retailers
and consumed in large quantities by the American people who remain oblivious
to the real damage these products are causing to their health.
- Once again, the solution here is to protect yourself
by learning the truth about these products and switching to products made
with safe ingredients. There are safe shampoos, safe soaps, safe laundry
detergents, dishwashing liquids and even deodorant products. You don't
have to expose yourself to toxic chemicals to take care of personal hygiene,
because whether you agree with it or not, these disease-causing chemicals
are going to remain quite legal in the use of personal care products for
many years to come. Why? You can bet that the manufacturers of these products
will fight against any attempt to regulate or outlaw these toxic chemicals.
That's because the chemicals are convenient for such manufacturers. It's
much the same way in which food manufacturers use sodium nitrate in bacon
and other packaged meats. It's all about their convenience rather than
protecting your health.
- So, here's the idiot test for today: if I was standing
on a street corner with a bottle of colored liquid, and I told you that
liquid contained a toxic chemical that caused neurological disorders, Alzheimer's
disease and birth defects, would you buy that product from me and scrub
it into your scalp under warm water?
- Of course not. But if you're buying these popular shampoo
products, that's exactly what you're doing right now. Such is the power
of brand marketing in America.
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