Research has shown that there are worrying levels of some chemicals (such as bisphenol A, hexachlorobenzene, PCBs and PERC) in human breast milk. This is of concern to us all – the research has been done on breast milk because it is easy to gather for testing. But there’s reason to believe that the chemicals from the mother’s body that are getting expressed in breast milk are also chemicals found in most other people.
We are exposed to some chemicals on a daily basis, day in and day out, so that a build-up within our bodies is almost inevitable. We may not be exposed to some other chemicals so often, but because of the way they bind to fat molecules in our bodies, concentrations can build up rather than be broken down and/or excreted.
We just do not know the effect of many of them, particularly when we may be exposed to several at the same time. Individual chemicals may be safe on their own, but not necessarily in interaction with other chemicals. Animal experiments do not necessarily replicate what happens when humans are exposed to the same chemicals. We are guinea pigs for one mega chemical and medical experiment. Even so for some, such as bisphenol A, the evidence is clearly mounting. Some, such as phthalates are already recognized as potentially harmful.
Some of the chemicals that have given the most cause for concern:
Bisphenol A – in Industrial & Environmental 3
This chemical is a major constituent of plastics. It is also used as a sealant and in adhesives including in dentistry. It is an endocrine disruptor, which can mimic the body's own hormones. In 2007, a consensus statement by 38 experts on bisphenol A concluded that average levels in people are above those that cause harm to animals in laboratory experiments. The US Endocrine Society expressed concern in 2008 that the US FDA had excluded some important studies from their deliberations and so set acceptable levels of Bisphenol A too high. In recent years various organisations have pointed out that bisphenol A may be hazardous to health: the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikoforschung), the European Food Safety Authority, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US-American Breast Cancer Foundation. Academic studies indicate that the substance may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, breast and prostate cancer as well as neuronal diseases.
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) – a mixed vial in Industrial & Environmental 3
This is a group of chemicals that have been banned but are still found in the environment, electrical equipment, wall coverings, paints and plastic.
Hexachlorobenzene/Perchlorobenzene – in Industrial & Environmental 3
You may not think you have encountered this one, but it is used to make other chemicals including pesticides. The International Agency for Research on Cancer suggests it may be carcinogenic for humans.
Tetrachloroethylen /Perchloroethylene/PERC – in Industrial & Environmental 3
A solvent commonly used in dry-cleaning fluid, spot removers, aerosols, shoe polishes and typewriter correction fluid. Also used by car mechanics. Another chemical that has been classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Phthalates - there are individual phthalates in Industrial 1 and 2 and a mixed vial in Industrial 3.
Phthalates make plastics more flexible, more transparent and more durable and so increase the range of ways in which plastics can be used. Because the phthalates are not chemically bonded to the plastic, they can easily migrate/leech into whatever is inside the plastic container. A study by the US government Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that most people tested had metabolites of multiple phthalates in their urine. Now, it’s reassuring that people are peeing out phthalate compounds, but research shows that people do not get rid of all the phthalates in this way. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors and many governments are now concerned about the health impacts and are either phasing out these chemicals and/or severely restricting their use.
Formaldehyde – in Chemicals & Inhalant kit
Formaldehyde has many uses. It is used in cavity wall insulation, printing ink, cleaning products, chipboard, adhesives, vaccines, etc. One particularly common form of exposure is through clothes and other textiles. Formaldehyde is used to make fabrics minimum iron, crease resistant, easy-care, etc., but doesn’t have to be listed on the label. Formaldehyde is known as a skin irritant and is carcinogenic for humans.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate / SLS - in the Personal Care Kit
Used in personal care products such as toothpastes, shampoos, shaving foams and bubble baths for its thickening effect and its ability to create a lather. There have been claims, often dismissed by the scientific and medical community, that SLS is harmful and possibly even carcinogenic. While there is no agreement on the claims of its toxicity there are now many personal care products available that do not contain it.
It is naive to believe that our governments would not allow these dangerous chemicals in the environment. Inertia, vested interests and limited public knowledge all conspire to make these issues low down on the political agenda. In addition some of the science just isn’t there – it may take many many years before the full implications are known – and anyway it is not easy to isolate the effect of any one chemical.
The three Industrial & Environmental kits, the Prsonal Care kit and the Chemical & Inhalant kit are so important. We can’t avoid these potentially harmful chemicals. If you are unsure what to do if you find a problem with one of the substances, my book Energy Mismatch gives a straight forward and powerful way of working with the kits.
Copyright 2014 Jane Thurnell-Read