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Healthy

  Chemical Avoidance  
 
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The debate over the health risks of exposure to artificial chemicals is very polar. There is the anti-chemical crusaders at one extreme and the sold out to convenience and profit - anything goes folks on the other. There is no question that the environment is becoming increasingly contaminated by tens of thousands of previously unknown chemicals. These have had many known negative effects, but how much more harm will occur as a result of this onslaught?

Like the canary in the coal mine used to alert miners to danger gas, many people are becoming sick, and blaming it on chronic chemcial exposure. When in doubt, it is wisest to keep chemical exposure to a minimum, using natural products as substitues as they become available or we become aware of them.

There are those who declare disaster is ahead, and those who claim there will only be minor problems at the worst. If we believe that disaster is ahead and act accordingly, all may be well. But if we do nothing because we believe there is no problem, then what the environmentalists predict will probably come upon us.

Plastics that are safer to use for storing food and beverages, none of which are known to leach harmful substances include:
Polypropylene, designated “#5 PP”
High-density polyethylene, designated “#2HDPE”
Low-density polyethylene, designated “#4 LDPE”

Nalgene Lexan (polycarbonate) bottles, used in the recreation / outdoor containers were recently found to leech bisphenol, which research has shown has an adverse effect on prostate development, tumors, breast tissue development, sperm count and enlargement of fat cells in the body. Scientists have warned against allowing any polycarbonate plastics near your food or water and stated the devastating effects of these chemicals posed the biggest risk to babies during early development. [Daily Barometer March 23, 2004]
 

 
 

Chemical Avoidance can help with the following:
 
 
Aging  Parkinson's Disease / Risk
 Occupational exposure to pesticides and herbicides has also been linked to a significantly higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

Allergy

  Environmental Illness / MCS
 Avoidance of chemicals, especially those you are sensitive to, is the first step in treatment. Face masks and air filters can minimize exposures when total removal is not possible. Circulating clean air into confined spaces will help, but total removal of oneself from the source should be accomplished whenever possible.

Autoimmune

  Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis) / Risk
 Hair dyes contain high levels of hydrazines and other similar chemicals that are absorbed through the scalp, thus increasing the risk of contracting Lupus. [Am J Med 1983;75: pp.365-70] Hydrazines are also present in mushrooms, some food dyes, tobacco smoke and some cooked foods, especially meats.

Metabolic

  Altered Liver Detoxification
 Until a balance can be restored in the liver detoxification pathways, it is wise to limit drug use and prevent exposures to as many synthetic chemicals as possible.

  Headaches, Migraine/Tension
 Airborne chemicals and fragrances are increasingly cited as a trigger for migraine headaches. Until the 20th century, perfumes were made from natural ingredients derived directly from plants and animals, and as fragrances became cheaper and more widespread, they also became more synthetic. Studies have shown that inhaling fragrances can cause circulatory changes and electrical activity in the brain. These changes can trigger migraine headaches, the inability to concentrate, dizziness, and fatigue.

Musculo-Skeletal

  Rheumatoid Arthritis
 Frequent Oil Changes Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Changing the oil frequently may not help the joints. Occupational exposure to mineral oils, particularly hydraulic and motor oils, increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by 60% in certain groups of patients, researchers here say.

Exposure increased the risk for rheumatoid factor-positive arthritis but not RF-negative arthritis, said Lars Klareskog, Ph.D., of the Karolinska Institute here and colleagues reported in a study published online by Arthritis Research & Therapy. [Sverdrup B et al. Association between occupational exposure to mineral oil and rheumatoid arthritis: results from the Swedish EIRA case-control study. Arthritis Research & Therapy. 2005; 7:R1296-R1303.]

  Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) / Periodic Limb Moveme
 I know of one husband and wife who had this problem develop and then resolve for both of them at the same time - twice. It was related to a brand of supplements they were using. What it was in particular that caused this was never discovered, but removal of the products by this one company did resolve it completely.

Risks

  Increased Risk of Breast Cancer
 A 1999 study showed the risk of breast cancer was approximately doubled through use of termite or louse control products, a professional lawn service, or playing golf (possible herbicide exposure).

Many sunscreens contain chemicals which are estrogenic and regular use may contribute to breast cancer risk and growth.

Store food items in glass instead of plastic due to the bisphenol A (BPA) content. BPA exposure has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer.

Exposing estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to extracts of channel catfish caught in areas with heavy sewer and industrial waste causes the cells to multiply, according to a University of Pittsburgh study presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Washington, D.C. (2007) The abstract, number 159141, was presented at a special session on "Contaminants in Freshwater Fish: Toxicity, Sources and Risk Communication."

The study, which tested extracts from channel catfish caught in the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers near Pittsburgh, suggests that the fish, caught in areas of dense sewer overflows, contain substances that mimic the actions of estrogen, the female hormone. Since fish are sentinels of water quality, as the canary in the coal mine is a sentinel of air pollution, and can concentrate fat soluble chemicals from their habitats within their bodies, these results suggest that pharmaceutical estrogens and xeno-estrogenic chemicals, those that mimic estrogens in the body, may be making their way into the region's waterways.

  Cancer / Risk - General Measures
 Some chemicals cause cancer in experimental animals. Those chemicals identified as being associated with cancers in humans have all been shown to produce cancer in laboratory animals. In every instance, as least one site of cancer was common to both animals and humans. Chemicals shown to be carcinogenic in at least 2 species of animals should be considered as being likely to present cancer risks to humans.

The list of chemicals known to contribute to the development of cancer in animals and humans is long. As time passes, the list is getting longer, not shorter. Anyone at risk for developing cancer, or with a history of cancer, should strongly consider reducing their repeated exposure to as many synthetic chemicals as reasonably possible.

  Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer
 Prostate cancer is entirely absent in parts of Asia and some Third World countries. Prostate disease, in fact, appears to be largely the result of modern technology - the toxins we take into our bodies from processed foods, polluted air and contaminated water.

Atrazine is a widely used herbicide in the United States, with more than 60 million pounds applied annually. Millions of Americans drink atrazine in their tap water, often at peak levels during the spring, when farmers apply it to their fields. Atrazine-poisoned water is not limited to the Midwest, however. The chemical is found in drinking water around the world, in part because it is transported by rain and fog.

Past studies have built a strong case that atrazine is unsafe for humans. Some of these studies have found that the herbicide disrupts the production of normal human hormones, and others have concluded that it is associated with a higher incidence of cancer in both humans and laboratory animals. Several European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, have banned atrazine. Farmers there use safer alternatives, as do many in the United States.

A significant finding was that Syngenta employees (at an atrazine production plant) have markedly elevated incidence rates of prostate cancer - a rate more than 3½ times higher than the Louisiana statewide average. In all, the study identified 17 prostate cancer cases. Among long-time employees, the study revealed 11 prostate cancer victims, nine-fold higher than the expected number based on the statewide prostate cancer rate.

Atrazine causes serious sexual abnormalities in male frogs exposed to the pesticide at levels commonly found in rivers, streams and even rain. Dr. Hayes published his findings in the April 16, 2002, edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, after finding that 16 to 20% of male frogs developed sexual deformities when their tank water contained atrazine at 0.1 parts per billion. The deformities included having both ovaries and testes, and testes containing eggs in addition to sperm. The EPA's tap water standard for atrazine is 3 parts per billion - 30 times higher than the level at which these dramatic results occurred. The exposed frogs also had much lower testosterone levels as atrazine enhanced the conversion of testosterone to estrogens. [2002 Proc. Natnl.Acad Sci USA 99, pp.5476-80] Atrazine inhibited testosterone production in prepubertal rats also.


Not recommended for:
  Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer
 There is research indicating a potential link between the use of genital talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Thus, the use of talcum powder between the legs is not recommended.

Skin-Hair-Nails

  Pruritus Ani
 In sensitive individuals, chemicals and medications that are applied to the anal area can cause local irritation or allergic reactions. These include dyes and perfumes used in toilet paper, feminine hygiene sprays and deodorants used in the area around the anus or genitals, medicated talcum powders, and medicated skin cleansers and soaps, especially perfumed soap.

You have to be careful not to set up a cycle of worsening. For example, you may have a mild anal itch. You then clean your anus with a scented soap. This may contain an ingredient which sensitises your skin. You then get a worse itch. You may think the itch means the anus needs more cleaning, and so you clean it even more with the scented soap - which makes things worse, and so on.

  Eczema
 Considerably more people than previously believed are allergic to the most common fragrance ingredient used in shampoos, conditioners and soap. A thesis presented at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden found that over 5% of those who underwent patch testing were allergic to the air oxidized form of the fragrance ingredient linalool.

"I would suspect that about 2% of the complete population of Sweden are allergic to air oxidized linalool. That may not sound very much, but it is serious since linalool is so widely used as a fragrance ingredient. Linalool is found in 60-80 % of the perfumed hygiene products, washing up liquids and household cleaning agents that can be bought in the nearest supermarket, and it can be difficult for people who are allergic to avoid these products", says dermatologist Johanna Bråred Christensson, author of the thesis.

Around one person in five in Sweden has some form of contact allergy. Nickel is by far the most common substance that causes eczema, but the thesis shows that oxidized linalool occupies third place in the list, after nickel and cobalt.

In the study, oxidized linalool was added at patch testing for more than 3,000 patients who wanted to find out what was causing their eczema. Between 5% and 7% proved to be allergic to the oxidized form of the fragrance ingredient.

"Linalool is present in many products around us, and this is probably the reason that contact allergy to this material is so common. Some people can shower with shower cream that contains linalool but never develop contact allergy, but we know that the risk increases as the exposure to the substance increases", says Johanna Bråred Christensson.

Linalool is a fragrance ingredient found naturally in lavender, mint, and other plants. Linalool breaks down when it comes into contact with oxygen, it becomes oxidized and can cause allergy. Manufacturers do include other substances in the products to delay this oxidation process, but allergenic substances can still be formed from linalool when it is stored.

"One way of trying to minimize exposure to oxidized linalool is to avoid buying large packs of soap and shower cream, and always to replace the top after using a bottle", says Johanna Bråred Christensson.

Tumors, Malignant

  Breast Cancer
 Store food items in glass instead of plastic due to the bisphenol A (BPA) content. BPA exposure has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer.

Exposing estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to extracts of channel catfish caught in areas with heavy sewer and industrial waste causes the cells to multiply, according to a University of Pittsburgh study presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Washington, D.C. (2007) The abstract, number 159141, was presented at a special session on "Contaminants in Freshwater Fish: Toxicity, Sources and Risk Communication."

The study, which tested extracts from channel catfish caught in the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers near Pittsburgh, suggests that the fish, caught in areas of dense sewer overflows, contain substances that mimic the actions of estrogen, the female hormone. Since fish are sentinels of water quality, as the canary in the coal mine is a sentinel of air pollution, and can concentrate fat soluble chemicals from their habitats within their bodies, these results suggest that pharmaceutical estrogens and xeno-estrogenic chemicals, those that mimic estrogens in the body, may be making their way into the region's waterways.

Uro-Genital

  Possible Pregnancy-Related Issues
 If a baby is exposed to several endocrine-disrupting compounds in utero, changes may occur that lengthen the period of sensitivity to carcinogens. Therefore, even if the compounds don't cause cancer directly, they may contribute to cancer risk by increasing susceptibility. An embryo and fetus develop at much faster rate than adults. While this development occurs, cell division and growth is rapid. These rapid changes provide many opportunities for mistakes to occur. Since cell division and growth do not occur at this rapid rate in adulthood, the chances of mistakes being made are much more common in an embryo or fetus than in an adult. Additionally, barriers such as the blood-brain barrier are not yet complete in the womb, and mechanisms that help detoxify contaminants do not fully develop until after birth, both of which leave the embryo and fetus more vulnerable still.

Several human studies suggest a causal relationship between developmental exposure to contaminants and cancer in children and young adults. Examples include occupational exposures of parents and brain cancers in children; pesticides, paints, paint thinners and solvents and leukemia; and cigarette smoke and childhood cancer. Since childhood cancers are so uncommon, prospective studies rarely have a large enough sample to yield conclusive results, and animal studies for developmental exposures and early age or adult cancer are more convincing and extensive than the available epidemiological data.

Animal studies have shown that prenatal and early postnatal exposure to radiation and chemicals causes cancers in the exposed animals later in life. Developmental exposure to carcinogens can increase sensitivity to carcinogens later in life. For example, one study showed that adults who had been exposed to ethylene thiourea (ETU), an industrial chemical, perinatally developed more cancers when exposed to the chemical in adulthood than those exposed only in adulthood. [OurStolenFuture.org November, 2002]

Pregnant women who are exposed to phthalates, a chemical commonly used in plastics, may be at risk of a shortened pregnancy. Women who were exposed to the chemicals gave birth more than one week earlier than women who were not exposed to them.

The chemicals are added to plastic products such as food containers to add flexibility along with moisturizers, nail polishes, hairsprays and insect repellants and are known to leach out of the products and into the environment. It was previously thought that exposure to phthalates occurred primarily through ingesting contaminated foods. However, researchers found that inhalation and even dermal absorption may also significantly influence a woman’s exposure. [National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences November 4, 2003]

The less you are exposed to synthetic pesticides and chemicals during your pregnancy, the better it will be for your baby now and in years to come.

  Male Infertility (Low Sperm Count)
 These findings were published in the journal Human Reproduction (June 2012). The researchers found that the proportion of men who had low numbers of swimming sperm was similar whether they had never been a smoker or were smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day. Similarly, there was little evidence of any risk associated with alcohol consumption.

Infertility was most strongly linked with having had previous testicular surgery, being of black ethnicity or working in a manual occupation.

Professor Nicola Cherry, now at the University of Alberta, Canada, said: "The higher risk we found in manual workers is consistent with earlier findings that chemicals at work could affect sperm and that men should continue to keep work exposures as low as possible."

  Nocturia
 Here is the story of Gary Craig, who found that cooking with teflon was causing frequent urination.

"About three or four years ago I began having to urinate too often, including getting up five or six times at night. Gradually it got worse until it reached a peak a few months ago when I was urinating two or three times an hour all day long.

Sometimes after going to bed I would have to get up and urinate 10 or 12 times in the first two hours. Then, in addition, I would still get up another five or six times during the night.

I noticed, however, that the problem went away when I left home to go on a trip. Within 24 to 48 hours of walking out my front door, my system returned to normal. When I returned, the problem came back within 24 to 48 hours. So, what was happening at home to cause this?

I did elimination diets and could find no discernible cause from what I was eating. I spent more time outdoors to see if a change from non-house air was doing it. No difference. Besides, it wasn't likely to be something in my home because I had moved two years ago and had the same problem in the previous house.

Sometimes the problem would subside for a while and them come roaring back, and I was convinced that I was somehow causing it. I did EFT on it, of course, and would get temporary relief. However, the fact that the EFT relief was only temporary was a big clue that I was doing something on an ongoing basis to cause this problem. But what was it?

Then, about two or three months ago, I read an article on Dr. Mercola's Web site regarding Teflon. It said that cooking things in Teflon over high heat was likely to cause toxicity. Although I never used high heat (nothing above medium heat), I recalled that three or four years ago (about the time all this started) my mother gave me a Teflon frying pan ... which I began using regularly.

I stopped using the Teflon frying pan and BINGO! About 24 to 48 hours later the problem vanished and has never returned. It now made sense. When I left home for a trip, I was away from the Teflon frying pan. When I came back, I started using the Teflon frying pan again.

  Vulvodynia / Vestibulitis
 Carefully avoid all potential irritants in your underwear, such as laundry soaps and bleaches. You may use a mild non-perfumed soap such as Castile soap and run twice through the rinse cycle. Perfumed or even plain soaps may aggravate the irritation. Natural glycerin soap may be helpful as it has no residual drying effects. A hand-held shower massager is preferable to an overhead nozzle as it makes it much easier to wash away any soap residue that remains after washing. Washing the vulvar area with distilled water instead of tap water may help avoid irritation from chlorine. Another way to help painful urination is to pour a cup of water on the area while urinating: this dilutes the urine and helps to wash away any irritating residue.
 
 


KEY
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended
Reasonably likely to cause problems