Ed's Note: Despite the
many scientific breakthroughs over the last five decades, we have seen a
steady increase in killer diseases such as cancers, heart disease and
diabetes. Could this increase be related to the constant chemical
cocktail that have become a routine part of modern life?
About the Authors - Michael V Brooking and Naheed
Zaman visit http://www.positivehealth.com
Michael Brooking is a practising Bioenergetician and a Consultant
of Bioenergetic Medicine, carrying out product testing for health care
companies. As a Bioenergetician trained in the ACMOS method of Energy
Medicine, he encourages his clients to bring with them foods, medicines
and personal care products for energetic testing with the Lecher
Antenna. As a Consultant of Bioenergetic Medicine and parent of a lively
two-year-old, he has been committed to researching into safer
alternatives that are energetically tested. Please contact the product
research department at the Pure Balance Mind Body Centre for more
details. Michael Brooking can be contacted at Pure Balance Mind Body
Centre, 1a Leicester Mews, Leicester Rd, London N2 9EJ. Tel: 020-8883
Fax: 020-8961 7509.
Email: ee995 @ aol.com
Naheed Zaman is a health researcher and organic parent committed to
promoting health issues and energetic medicine. She can be contacted at
the above address.
recent case cited in the daily papers
showed that 500
dangerous man-made chemicals were present in a single fat cell of a seemingly
healthy 30-year-old female living in Britain today. By comparison, a single
cell of an Egyptian mummy contained none. Despite the many scientific
breakthroughs over the last five decades, we have seen a steady increase in
killer diseases such as cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Could this
increase be related to the constant chemical cocktail that have become a
routine part of modern life? The number of products used by adults and
children that contain potential carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals
alike has become alarming. The following article is an outline of research by
individuals who are becoming increasingly concerned about the toxic chemical
overload in our bodies from foods, household and personal care products.
Organic versus Non-organic Foods
An article in the December 1999 issue of Positive Health by Dr
Joseph Keon is an excellent case in the argument for eating organic foods.1
Taken from his book The Truth About Breast Cancer, he states that every time
we choose conventionally farmed foods over organic we are increasing our
cumulative exposure to unnecessary chemicals and increasing our risk of
disease.2 It is estimated that if you follow a non organic diet, you will
consume about 150mcg of pesticides each day.3 Methyl bromide, classed as a
Category-1 Acute Toxin, is used to grow strawberries, but it is known to cause
severe poisonings that can result in neurological damage and reproductive
In addition, by choosing non organic foods we are supporting the
continued poisoning of the earth’s soil, air and water with both legal and
illegal pesticides. Some of the most dangerous pesticides that have been
banned in the United States are still manufactured there and exported to other
countries, only to be imported on produce bound for US markets. Chlordane, a
pesticide banned in the US has been detected on fish, rice, mushrooms and beef
that are imported into the US.5
Tanyia Maxted-Frost, author of
The Organic Baby Book, details how
chemical pesticides and fertilisers can be passed on to and have detrimental
effects on the developing foetus.6 She also highlights that our daily diet is
reported to contain residues of some 30 different artificial chemicals, as
well as routine antibiotics, growth hormones, colourants in the case of egg
yolks and farmed fish, and of course GM ingredients.
The sheer selection of organic foods available nowadays in supermarkets
shows that public demand has increased, as emphasized by Dr Keon. One can
reduce toxic chemical intake by switching to organic; however, we have to
learn to cook fresh wholesome meals using only organic ingredients, which
often involves a complete lifestyle change. Energetic testing of organic food
compared to that grown with the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers
shows a much higher vibrational frequency. Conventional scientific studies are
now confirming that the vitamin and mineral content of organic food is
significantly higher than non-organic foods. At Rutgers University researchers
compared the mineral quality of organic and non-organically grown foods. It
was found that on average organic foods had an 87 percent higher content of
magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron and copper. Organic tomatoes were found
to have 500% more calcium than conventional tomatoes.7
Deadly toxins in our foods
Leaving aside the organic/non-organic debate, the greater exposure we
have to pre-packaged and ready-made meals the more susceptible we are to two
particularly dangerous chemicals: monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame, an
artificial sweetener. Dr Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon and author of
Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, warns us of the hazards of these deadly
toxins. MSG, famed for ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ is also a flavour
enhancer that is added to crisps, packet soups and other processed foods. The
effect of MSG in the body has been linked to a large number of diseases such
as lupus, cancer, strokes, chronic hepatitis, nervous system infections and
neuro-degenerative diseases.8 Aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in diet
drinks and food, soft drinks and sweets has been linked to cancers, headaches,
migraines and hyperactivity.
Since World War II that there has been a dramatic increase in the
development and manufacture of dangerous chemical toxins, which were initially
produced for use in warfare. After the war, domestic uses were found for
surplus stocks in the improvement of household cleaning and personal care
products, laundry detergents and other everyday items including synthetic
drugs. This move ensured the future of this industry and guaranteed huge
profits, increasing from £1 billion per year in 1940 to £400 billion in the
1980s.9 It is little known that washing the dishes or polishing furniture
using conventional cleaners could jeopardize your health.
Dr Samuel Epstein, co-author of
The Safe Shoppers Bible says,
“Since 1965 more than 4 million distinct chemical compounds have been reported
in the scientific literature; of these, 70,000 are in commercial production
and have been completely untested or inadequately tested, which raises
questions about their safety.”10
If you can’t eat it don’t breathe it
Many cleaning materials involve the use of sprays or aerosol cans; this
format enables the dangerous substances to be propelled into the atmosphere in
the form of microscopic particles, which can be inhaled. Dr Epstein states
that concentrations of toxic chemicals may be greater indoors than outdoors as
they are less able to be dispersed. According to a 5-year-study carried out by
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), peak concentrations of 20 toxic
compounds, some linked with cancer and birth defects, were 200-500 times
higher inside some homes than outdoors.11
There are many ways to ingest toxic household chemicals; even if we scrub
the bath with the window open we would still inhale some of the fumes, and
simply by holding a rag or sponge cloth doused with cleaner ensures absorption
through the skin. The innocuous act of eating off plates washed with
conventional detergents is potentially harmful due to detergent residues
contaminating the food. Similarly, residues from washing detergents can be
absorbed through the skin from clothes.
Researcher Alfred Zam suggests “If you can’t eat it don’t breathe it.”
Many pre-war household cleaning items were made from foodstuffs e.g. vinegar,
borax, lemon juice, beeswax.12
Many people examine the labels on their food, but how many of us are wise
enough to check the labels on our personal care products? The National
Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that 884 chemicals used in
personal care products and cosmetics are known to be toxic.13 In fact, many of
the ingredients used in personal care products are the very same harsh
chemical toxins used in Industry.
Sodium laurel sulphate and similarly, sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) are
common detergents that are used in most shampoos, bubble baths, shower gels
and other cleansers. SLS is also used to clean garage floors and to degrease
engines. Dr K. Green has researched into the use of SLS, and found alarming
results: the eyes readily absorb SLS, destroying delicate tissues there. This
uptake is also greater in younger mammals.14 In short, it permanently impairs
the normal functioning of eyes. Is it any wonder that so many children wear
spectacles these days? In addition to these findings, the American Journal
of Toxicology has found that SLS irritates skin tissue, corrodes hair
follicles, and impairs the ability to grow hair. It also enters and maintains
residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain.15 Many sufferers of
scalp complaints have eased their conditions simply by using a SLS-free
Another such chemical is propylene glycol. Its industrial use is as
anti-freeze, but it is also included in hair conditioners, deodorants,
cosmetics, body lotions, skin creams and toothpaste. Increasingly, it is being
added to human and pet foods because it acts as a humectant, helping to retain
moisture. When used in skin creams it glides on smoothly, drawing moisture to
the outer layers of the skin, giving the appearance of moisturising the skin.
Material safety data sheets, which give handling instructions for hazardous
chemicals, state that propylene glycol is implicated in contact dermatitis,
kidney damage and liver abnormalities; it also causes eye irritation, skin
irritation, nausea and headaches. The American Academy of Dermatologists
showed that propylene glycol was a primary irritant to the skin even in low
These two ingredients I have dealt with in detail because they are in the
majority of personal care products. They are even used in ‘hypoallergenic’
products and baby products that are considered to be safe and gentle, yet
still contain these harsh toxins.
Often so-called natural products contain SLS and propylene glycol. Adding
essential oils and natural herbs to these harmful chemicals destroys any
therapeutic properties from the natural ingredients.
Possibly the most dangerous chemicals to be included in personal care
products are the ammonia derivatives which are known to have hormone
disrupting effects. This includes diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA)
and monoethanolamine (MEA). These chemicals are used to thicken and cleanse
and are added to soaps, bubble baths and facial cleansers. They are not
carcinogenic in themselves; however, when combined with products containing
nitrates, a common preservative, a dangerous chemical reaction takes place
leading to the formation of nitrosamines. Most nitrosamines are carcinogenic.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US recognized this threat; in
the 1970s it urged the industry to remove these products from its cosmetics,
however a FDA report in the late 1980s found that 37 per cent of products
tested still contained nitrosamines.17 Dr Epstein recommends we boycott
products containing DEA and TEA.
Industrial alcohol is a major ingredient in mouthwash. The National
Cancer Institute of America has found that mouthwashes with an alcohol content
of 25% or higher have been implicated in mouth, tongue and throat cancers. The
alcohol acts as a solvent in the mouth, making the skin tissues more
vulnerable to carcinogens. Also, men had a 60% higher risk and women a 90%
higher risk of these cancers compared to those not using mouthwash.18
Aluminium is a metal that is widely used in antiperspirants, processed foods,
soft drink cans, foil and cookware. Dr Daniel Perl, Director of Neuropathology
at Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York recommends we avoid the use of
aerosol antiperspirants. He has found that aluminium in aerosol form may be
more readily absorbed into the brain through the nasal passages. Studies show
that regular use of these products can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s by as
much as 3 times.19
As stated by Dr Epstein, the use of these harsh chemicals would not be
such a problem if the skin did not readily absorb them. Some chemicals can
penetrate the skin in significant amounts, especially when left on the skin. A
recent case that made headline news found traces of 350 man-made chemicals,
including residues from personal care products, in human breast milk.
Long term effects
The reality of modern living is that many of us are suffering from the
adverse effects of a highly chemicalized lifestyle. Some of these poisons
affect delicate organs and glands, whilst others are stored in the fatty
tissues of the body. As more poisonous chemicals are absorbed, sensitivities
increase in their severity, resulting in often chronic debilitating diseases.
Symptoms often include headaches, nausea, fatigue, depressed
immune responses and joint pain, to the more severe, such as increases in
birth defects and problems, attention deficit disorder (ADD), emphysema,
asthma, skin complaints, cancers and multiple sclerosis. As Dr Epstein sums
up, the problem is that the process is so gradual that the cause is not
This article has been written to increase awareness of what may be
compared to the next tobacco scandal, in which the hazards of tobacco smoking
were known 20 years prior to being made public. In twenty years time it may be
too late for many of us, when celebrities begin advertising products without
these harmful chemicals.
So what can we do to protect ourselves from this chemical invasion?
I do not believe that it is possible to be 100% chemical free and live in
the modern world. We can however take responsibility for our health by
following the advice of experts and eat as much organic food where possible,
preferably freshly cooked. We can also begin to read food and product labels,
avoiding those that contain harmful ingredients and instead using safer and
ecological alternatives to conventional household and personal care products.
Stem Cell Research Breakthrough
1. Keon Joseph.
The Arguments For Eating Organic Foods. Positive Health Issue 47. Dec
2. Keon Joseph. The Truth About Breast Cancer. Parissound Publishing. CA 1999.
3. Ames Bruce. Ranking possible carcinogenic hazards. Science 236:272. 1957.
4. Funding a Better Ban: Smart Spending on Methyl Bromide Alternatives in
Developing Countries. Pesticide Action Network. 1997.
5. Hitchcock DC Lee. Long Life Now. Celestial Arts. Berkeley p222.1997.
6. Maxted-Frost, Tanyia. The Organic Baby Book. Green Books 1999.
7. Journal of Applied Nutrition. 45 1993.
8. Blaylock, Russell. Excitotoxins, The Taste That Kills. Health Press. ISBN
9. Silver, Nina. Toxic Products and Deceptive Labels. Nexus. Feb-March 2000.
10. Steinman D and Epstein S. The Safe Shoppers Bible. Macmillan. ISBN
11. Ibid page 17.
12. Zamm, Alfred and Gannon, Robert. Why Your House May Endanger Your Health.
Simon and Shuster, New York. 1980.
13. Steinman D and Epstein S. The Safe Shoppers Bible. Macmillan ISBN
14. Green, K. Detergent Penetration into Young and Adult Eyes. Dept of
Ophthalmology. Medical College of GA.
15. Brant et al. The final report on the safety assessment of TEA, DEA, MEA.
Journal of the American College of Toxicology 2(7):183-235.1983.
16. Joseph M et al. Propylene Glycol Dermatitis. Journal Of The American
Academy of Dermatology 24:90-95. 1991.
17. FDA, Division of Colours and Cosmetics. Progress Report on the analysis of
cosmetic products and raw materials for nitrosamines.1 March 1988. Washington
18. Blot WJ et al. Oral Cancer and Mouthwash. Journal of the National Cancer
Institute. 70. 1983.
19. Graves et al. The Association between aluminium containing products and
Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 43(1): 35-44. 1990
20. Steinman D and Epstein S. The Safe Shoppers Bible. Macmillan. ISBN
Stem Cell Research Breakthrough
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