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    The dreaded SLS (Sodium Laureth Suphate)
    The list below is by no means exhaustive. It serves merely to illustrate how many baby products contain SLS.

    This list was compiled from a random selection of products and is not intended to display bias toward any particular company.

  • Baby Toothpastes and Mouthwash (unbelievably)
  • Baby Shampoo
  • Baby Conditioner
  • Bubble bath
  • Baby soaps
  • Wet wipes and a host of others.

    A pretty good rule of thumb is that if the product claims to clean in some way, chances are good it contains SLS or a derivative of the SLS family. We use adult, organically certified products on our children. These soaps, shampoos and creams do not contain any preservatives or harmful surfactants such as SLS, making them mild enough to use on a child. If you are interested in trying some of these products, feel free to view the Spiezia range as an excellent starting point.

    What is SLS exactly?
    Found in shampoos and other personal care products, SLS is used commercially to clean floors, as an engine degreaser and a car wash.

    Potentially, SLS is perhaps the most harmful ingredient in personal-care products. SLS is used in testing-labs as the standard skin irritant to compare the healing properties of other ingredients. Industrial uses of SLS include: garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and car wash soaps. Studies show its danger potential to be great, when used in personal-care products. Research has shown that SLS and SLES may cause potentially carcinogenic nitrates and dioxins to form in the bottles of shampoos and cleansers by reacting with commonly used ingredients found in many products. Large amounts of nitrates may enter the blood system from just one shampooing.

    Chemical name: Sodium Lauryl "ether" Sulfate An ether chain is added to SLS. Called a premium agent in cleansers and shampoos. In reality it is very inexpensive but thickens when salt is added in the formula and produces high levels of foam to give the concentrated illusion it is thick, rich and expensive. Used as a wetting agent in the textile industry. Irritating to scalp and may cause hair loss.

    No one making any claims about this one and for good reason. On examination, an anionic detergent, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which is commonly found in soaps and shampoos, showed penetration into the eyes, as well as systemic tissues (brain, heart, liver, etc.). SLS also showed long-term retention in tissues. In soaps and shampoos, there is an immediate concern relating to the penetration of these chemicals into the eyes and other tissues. This is especially important in infants, where considerable growth is occurring, because a much greater uptake occurs by tissues of younger eyes and SLS changes the amounts of some proteins in cells from eye tissues. Tissues of young eyes may be more susceptible to alternation by SLS (Green). Forms nitrates, a possible carcinogen when used in shampoos and cleansers containing nitrogen-based ingredients. These nitrates can enter the blood stream in large numbers from shampooing, bubble baths, bath and shower gels and facial cleansers. These synthetic substances are used in shampoos for their detergent and foam-building abilities. They can cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf similar to dandruff and allergic reactions. They are frequently disguised in pseudo-natural cosmetics with the parenthetic explanation "comes from coconut." Let's save the coconut from defamation of character and NOT use products with sodium lauryl sulfate, etc.! Dr. David H. Fine, the chemist who uncovered NDELA contamination in cosmetics, estimates that a person would be applying 50 to 100 micrograms of nitrosamine to the skin each time he or she used a nitrosamine-contaminated cosmetic. By comparison, a person consuming sodium nitrite-preserved bacon is exposed to less than 1 microgram of nitrosamine.


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    Parabens, a necessary evil?
    Parabens are a group of closely related chemicals which are 'esters' of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. They are used widely as preservatives for cosmetics, foods and drugs. They work as preservatives by inhibiting the growth of organisms. As different esters inhibit different organisms, they are often used as a combination of different esters.
    Paraben mix sensitivity produces classic allergic contact dermatitis reactions. Sometimes it may be seen as a flare or spread of an existing treated rash. Paraben allergic hypersensitivity is not uncommon although rare in relation to its widespread use. It appears that repeated applications of relatively low concentrations of Parabens in medications and cosmetics may lead to sensitivity. Allergic reactions to orally ingested paraben-containing foods have yet to be reported.

    If you or your child show an allergic reaction to paraben the list below will help you identify Parabens in products

    Alternative names/components of Parabens

    • Methylparaben
    • Ethylparaben
    • Propylparaben
    • Butylparaben
    • Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
    • Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
    • Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
    • Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
    • Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
    • Parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
    • Parahydroxybenzoate (p-hydroxybenzoate)

    The most commonly used 'Parabens' are methylparaben, ethylparaben, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, propylparaben and butylparaben.

    Parabens sensitivity is usually caused by medicaments used to treat eczema. Although Parabens are found in many cosmetics, they are used in low concentration.

    Parabens are found in;
    Pharmaceutical preparations, including:
    Alphosyl HC cream, Aureocort ointment, Barquinol HC cream, Betnovate lotion, Betnovate N lotion,  Carbo-cort cream, Cobadex cream, Dome-cort cream, Efcortelan lotion, Epifoam, Eurax-Hydrocortisone cream, Fucidin H gel, Genticin HC ointment and cream, Haelen-C cream, Ledercort cream and ointment, Locoid cream, Locoid Lipocream, Mildison Lipocream,Neo-medrone cream, Nerisone cream, Synalar gel and lotion, Synalar C cream, Synalar N cream and lotion, Siladerm cream, Synalar forte cream, Tarcortin cream, Temtex cream, TerraCortril Nystatin cream, Timodine cream, Tridesilon cream, Ultradil cream, Ultralanum plain cream.      

    Barrier creams.

    Cosmetics. Many cosmetics contain Parabens.

    Many drugs given by injection.


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    Phthalates in Baby Milk, see Toys
    In a study of formula baby milk published in 1996 all 15 brands of baby milk formula tested by the UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food contained phthalates. The highest total phthalate concentration found was 10.2 mg/kg, and the highest concentration of BBP found was 0.25 mg/kg. Using the manufactures' feeding guides it was estimated that a new born infant would receive , on average, 0.13 mg/kg body weight/day of total phthalate, falling to 0.10 mg/kg/day at 6 months (MAFF, 1996b).

    However, a more recent MAFF survey, published in December 1998, found levels ten times lower. It is not clear what the reason for this is - it could include improved production techniques, or possibly changes in analytical technique

    What do the phthalates do?
    This group of chemicals are very widely used as plasticisers in plastics such as PVC, but some of them are also testicular toxins and can disrupt hormones. Phthalates are fat soluble, so tend to concentrate in materials such as butter, margarine and cheese. In addition, they are likely to accumulate in body fat.

    Occupational exposures
    Several phthalates, particularly DEHP, are testicular toxicants. Part of this toxicity is believed to involve depletion of testicular Zinc, and may include the death and disintegration of the testicular germ cells (Amdur et al., 1991; Peters et al., 1997).

    Occupational exposure to high levels of phthalates has been reported to lead to miscarriages and other complications of pregnancy (IEH, 1995)


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    What's in a mattress
    The dangers of Petroleum Chemical materials
    Over the past 50 years there has been a steady rise in the incidence of children developing cancer and asthma. Logic and common sense would suggest that such a trend would be the result of changes in environmental factors that are now affecting our children that were not present previously. During this same 50 year period, consumer product manufacturers have found production costs can be substantially cut if natural materials are replaced with petroleum based alternatives made from synthetic chemicals.

    Although, this change has occurred in nearly every aspect of human life from home construction to food production to cosmetic ingredients, we need to first research factors that are in closest proximity to the child if investigating child related diseases. One such product would be the bedding materials used by a child. For example, some crib mattresses are constructed of polyurethane foam enclosed in vinyl covers. These plastic products are made by combining highly toxic chemicals together to form the final material. During the sleep process, the child's every breath pulls in air that is literally inches away from the petroleum chemical materials used in the manufacturing of the bed itself. This process begins at birth and continues day after day during the child's critical development periods. With each breath, these chemical molecules are pulled across the child's airways and then transferred to the blood from deep within the lungs. This process is repeated with each breath 365 nights a year. Now that it is widely accepted that child cancer and asthma can be caused or worsened by some petroleum chemical products, it is important to identify to what extent various chemical emitting products in bedding materials could be affecting a child's health.
    The paragraph below is the direct abstract of a report addressing this issue and published in the journal - Archives of Environmental Health, Jan/Feb, 2000

    Respiratory Toxicity of Mattress Emissions in Mice

    SOURCE: Archives of Environmental Health, 55(1):38-43, 2000

    "Groups of male Swiss-Webster mice breathed emissions of several brands of crib mattresses for two 1-hr periods. The authors used a computerized version of ASTM-E-981 test method to monitor respiratory frequency, pattern, and airflow velocity and to diagnose abnormalities when statistically significant changes appeared. The emissions of four mattresses caused various combinations of upper-airways irritation (i.e., sensory irritation, lower-airways irritation (pulmonary irritation), and decreases in mid-expiratory airflow velocity. At the peak effect, a traditional mattress (wire springs with fibre padding) caused sensory irritation in 57% of breaths, pulmonary irritation in 23% of breaths, and airflow decrease in 11% of breaths. All mattresses caused pulmonary irritation, as shown by 17-23% of breaths at peak. The largest airflow decrease (i.e., affecting 26% of the breaths occurred with a polyurethane foam pad covered with vinyl. Sham exposures produced less than 6% sensory irritation, pulmonary irritation, or airflow limitation. Organic cotton padding caused very different effects, evidenced by increases in both respiratory rate and tidal volume. The authors used gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify respiratory irritants (e.g. styrene, isopropyl benzene, limonene) in the emissions of one of the polyurethane foam mattresses. Some mattresses emitted mixtures of volatile chemicals that had the potential to cause respiratory-tract irritation and decrease airflow velocity in mice. "


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    The dreaded MMR
    We are not even going to get into this one. I have four sons, one suffers from ADDS and the other has eczema. The youngest two have not been vaccinated and, touch wood, are as healthy as horses.

    Here are some links for you to browse through. Interesting reading.

  • MMR Vaccine
  • Spiked Health
  • JABS Campaign

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    Control Dustmites and organisms in your home

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