In order to make the best decision you can on any matter you need access to the right kind of information - and sufficient quantities of it. This web page will endeavour to act as an empowering primer in that respect with regard to identifying and avoiding toxic chemicals. If you are thinking at this point; "Well, I don't suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity ( MCS ), Environmental Illness ( EI ), or any other form of Chemical Injury ( CI ), and my health is generally pretty good so none of this stuff really applies to me" - please think again. To give you just a quick idea of what kind of toxic chemicals are turning up in worrying quantities in "ordinary" everyday people please take the time to check out the following web site now: The Body Burden.
I'm sure that, like me, you will have been quite shocked by what you have just discovered at the Body Burden web site. Please take a few minutes or so to let the startling Body Burden research information you have just read sink in, then have a sobering look at the excellent toxic chemical sections of these other two outstanding web sites: the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace International. In fact you'd be very wise to bookmark all three of these very informative web sites right now while the matter is still fresh in your mind; they may well help to add many healthy years to your life. Surely that's worth a little of your time.
If you are rather new to the whole toxic chemical nightmare we are all living in then you may have found your visit to the three highly recommended web sites above a bit like diving into a deep pool of icy water; it may all have come as something of a breath-taking shock to you. "Waking up" to unpleasant realities is never an easy ride. Especially when that "unpleasant reality" is as insidious and widespread as the explosive proliferation of toxic chemicals into our air, water, food, and environment. "Waking up" may not be easy - but what is the alternative? Sleepwalking our way through a pretty rose-covered mine field? Strangely, this is exactly what our governments and the vast majority of our conventional medical professionals seem hell bent on having us do.
The stark truth of the matter is that the canaries have been getting very sick for a long time now and a great many of them have died already - and are dying still in ever greater numbers - from a growing range of chemically induced diseases. Yet the 'authorities' - the really important ones that we should ALL be able to trust and depend on - continue to do nothing about this chemical holocaust but constantly try to soothe us back to sleep with an endless parade of men in white coats; all singing harmoniously and hypnotically from the same hymn sheet the seemingly endless and reassuring mantra "the mines are safe, the mines are safe, all is well, all is well...". What on earth is going on here?
In Contaminated Without Consent Sandra Steingraber, an international expert on the environmental links to cancer and reproductive health says: "When our environment is contaminated with toxic chemicals, so too are we. The simple biological truth of toxic trespass raises human rights questions of the most fundamental sort".
On the synergy of Chemically Induced Diseases Richard Alexander quite clearly tells us: "Combinations of two or three pesticides, which are commonly found in the environment at low levels, are up to 1600 times more powerful than any of the pesticides individually in their impact on hormones.", and hitting the nail right on the head he says "The prevailing view that chemicals are safe until proven otherwise is no longer valid and all manufacturers must be required to prove the safety of their products when used in conjunction with other chemicals." Where is the research then into the "synergistic effects" of the toxic chemicals in our environment, our food, our water, the clothes we wear, the very air we breath - especially indoors?
Taking a pin to the cozy and comfortable bubble of our illusions about the supposed chemical safety of modern life might indeed hurt a bit and make us feel more than a little uncomfortable. But isn't it the truth that nurtures and strengthens the very best in us and, ultimately, regardless of what kind of problem we are facing, isn't it the truth that in the end sets us free from it? The plain simple truth here is that this rampant and insanely reckless proliferation of toxic synthetic chemicals that is going on in our world today, is not only maiming and killing us en masse and driving many other species to extinction, but also maiming and killing many of the delicately balanced and absolutely life-essential ecosystems of our planet! And when they go folks - we go right along with them. Sobering thought!
The insidious and relentless chemical holocaust that is being inflicted on us (even as you read these words), via the tragic prostitution of science to the insane and morally bankrupt greed of trans-national corporations, will only ever end with a momentous grass-roots awakening by that sleeping and most powerful of giants "The General Public". The health-lethal implications involved here are truly staggering - as are the multi-level changes necessary to heal the situation - but that "sleeping giant", of which we are a small but important part, once awakened, is well more than equal to that paradigm changing task. So wake up! Please wake up! Scientific modernity's dream of a synthetic chemical solution to every problem has turned into a terrible nightmare; a nightmare from which we ALL need to wake - and quickly - lest we die in our collective sleep.
Failing that, the chemical holocaust we are presently enduring NOW will not only continue unabated but will rapidly escalate beyond anything in our wildest chemical nightmares. The big personal question here is this: Just how devastating does your own personal wake-up call have to be before you will finally act? Doesn't it make sense to get as informed on this health critical issue as you possibly can right now? Of course it does! And visiting the links given above, downloading and reading the additional documents provided at the foot of this page, and watching the short video films provided there too (and our Video Vault section) will help you a whole lot with that. Never forget that one gram of prevention is better that a whole kilo of cure. So, please, don't wait until its too late for you and your loved ones. Do what you can do NOW - as best you can - as soon as you can!
Buying Organic Produce and Replacing Synthetics With Natural Alternatives
Although nothing short of that revolution in public consciousness is likely to change the insane corporate greed and political apathy/corruption which together are driving our worldwide toxic-chemical health-holocaust, there is still much you can do meantime on a personal level to bypass or minimise a lot of the daily, "drip-drip health damage" you are being constantly exposed to. At the same time you will be depriving the monstrous money-making machines that generate this "invisible health-holocaust" of their one and only fuel - your cash. Quite simply you can refuse to participate - at least as much as you reasonably can - in the chemical poisoning of our bodies and our planet by starting to substitute as many synthetic, chemical-laden products presently in your life, with any safe and natural alternatives you can find and afford. In doing this you also have the additional "feel-good" bonus of supporting the new breed of ethical and health-conscious bedding, furnishings, fabrics, clothing, cosmetics, and safe-house building companies (see links table below), that are springing up everywhere in response to ever growing numbers of enlightened consumers. By joining the responsible ranks of this new breed of brave, ethical consumer you immediately become an important part of the solution instead ambling along in ignorance, apathy, or blind habit as a supporting part of the problem. The bottom line here is this: without the ongoing support of YOUR money the very root causes of all our personal, collective, and environmental "chemical nightmares" will come crumbling down like an outdated Berlin wall. You have the power to help make that happen. Please use it whenever and where ever you can.
Top of your new priority hit-list for lifestyle item replacements could be - and probably should be - your bed, bedclothes, and bedding. Standard versions of these are saturated - by law - in very toxic flame retardant chemicals (see Brominated Flame Retardants), the off-gassing from which (especially when new) you are obliged to breath all night long, every night for a long, long time! And there is just no need for this. There are many safe, organic versions of these products available nowadays some of which have excellent natural flame retardant properties (eg: wool). The only downside here is that these natural/organic products do tend to be on the expensive side. But what price do put on your health? Or the health of your children? The choice, when you come right down to it is pretty straight forward; its between the health of your wallet or purse and the health of your body! Unless, that is, you are dependant on welfare benefits. In that case, unfortunately, you will have very little choice whatsoever in the matter. If you are unfortunate enough to be an MCS suffer on welfare benefit (as I am) then although you are in the most need of basic natural, organic products - often in very desperate need if the MCS is severe - you will be one of the least able to afford to do anything much about it but continue suffer and endure the many dreadful effects of constant chemical assault as best you can. For the MCS suffering poor avoiding many known toxins simply isn't even possible because many of those toxins are locked into the very fabric of the often low cost rented homes in which they are forced to live.
Having sorted out your bedding with chemical free alternatives next up you might want to consider replacing any vinyl floor covering and/or synthetic carpets and rugs you may have (especially if those carpets are foam-backed). You should also be aware that your living room suite will almost certainly be saturated in in toxic flame retardant chemicals and probably a cocktail of other health-hostile chemicals too. How much time do you spend on it?
Explore The Issues - Expand Your Awareness - Recognise The Dangers
Just How Organic Is Your Organic Product?
There is, in my experience, a common misconception among many - Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) sufferers and natural and/or organic product suppliers included - that "buying natural" or "buying organic" is "the solution" to most (if not all) the ills of MCS and other forms of Chemical Injury (CI). There is no denying that "natural" and "organic" ARE invariably healthier choices than "synthetic" or chemically laden non-organic alternatives - especially when it comes to food. However, having said that, it has been my sad experience, time and time again, that the increasingly respected and often blindly trusted "natural" and "organic" labels - for which we invariably pay a substantial price premium - can sometimes be taken as absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that you are buying into a healthy "chemical free" product. For the severe MCS/CI sufferer in particular this can be an additional and very substantial source of suffering and despair. When your desperately needed "organic" product (bed, clothing, whatever) makes you ill too then where do you go from there? We need to firmly demand the real deal.
Example 1: Searching for a safe and natural replacement for my aging foam based (and flame retardant saturated) living room corner suite I finally tracked down a really beautiful - and surprisingly affordable - "natural" alternative made from easily grown and easily replaced bamboo. They were hand crafted to a high standard by distant native workmen under a "fair trade" agreement and positively shone with all the warm, pink and fluffy feel-good factor you could ever possibly want from your environmentally friendly, eco-conscious purchases. I was delighted!. Until, that is, I asked some probing MCS sufferer type questions...
I asked, as a webmaster considering doing a public review of the product, if the varnish used was a "natural" voc/solvent free one, and also if any toxic chemicals were used at any stage in the manufacturing process. As these products were being hand built by native craftsmen I was fairly confident that the reply to my questions would be a positive one - but it wasn't. The varnishes used were indeed solvent based ones and, worse still, government import regulations, I was informed, demanded that the products all be treated with a pesticide before shipping to ensure they arrived in the UK with no live nasty bugs in residence. Bye bye lovely "natural" - and MCS safe - bamboo suite!
Example 2: Searching for a "natural" flame retardant free mattress I finally took an expensive plunge and opted for a borax treated one - as borax it seems is a "natural" flame retardant. The new "natural" mattress arrived in a slightly damaged but really rather dirty condition (as if it had been dragged across a dirty floor before being bagged). However, this initial disappointment was to prove itself a saving grace because I found that when I removed the borax treated mattress from its tough polythene wrapper the smell was pretty much the same as any new mattress and, just like a standard flame retardant treated one, it make me ill very quickly. Even airing it overnight in a spare room made little difference. I found I could not even sit in the same room as it for any more that 15/20 minutes before being made so ill by it that I had to leave. So, back it went. Bye bye lovely "natural" new mattress!
Example 3: Searching for an "organic" flame retardant free futon I took an even more expensive plunge and opted this time for a certified "organic" wool and "organic" cotton futon. Wool it seems is also a natural flame retardant - so, no standard flame retardant and no borax this time around! Again my hopes were high - and my need by then was considerable - but yet again it was not to be. There was a very strong wool smell on opening the protective packaging and again even airing it overnight in a spare room made little difference. I could not even sit near it for any length of time. Was this simply down to an inability in me to tolerate the lanolin naturally present in wool? Or had some other chemical(s) got in there at some stage in the manufacturing and/or delivery processes? Although often it is the latter (which has come as something of a shock to certain retailers when they have specifically quizzed their manufacturers and/or carriers about this) I had no way of knowing for sure on this occasion. Regardless - back it went. Bye bye lovely "organic/certified" and desperately needed futon!
Example 4: Although I have typically been ok with standard root based vegetables (potatoes, turnip, carrots, etc) leafy greens were always a problem. Every time I tried to eat them - no matter how hard I had washed and steeped them - the lining of my mouth would always burn as if it had been scalded. So, obviously I then had to try the expensive "organic" versions and although the burning mouth thing was not as rapid or as intense it was before it was definitely STILL there. This led me to conclude, not unreasonably, that chemicals of some kind or another were still getting in there, and made me wonder, given the substantial increase in profits that can be made from anything stamped "natural" or "organic" these days, if there was not some kind of "organic" skulduggery going on "here" and "there"? But that is another issue for another day...
I then learned about - and bought - a water ozonator machine to decontaminate all my fruit and vegetables. First I tried it on "organic" cabbage and lettuce and was overjoyed to discover that I had no burning mouth problem at all - or any other problem for that matter! So I tried the same produce without the ozonator and - bang - the burning mouth thing was back again. However, every single time I used the ozonator I had no problem at all. Greatly encouraged I then tried things I hadn't been able to eat for many years. Like strawberries, grapes and blackberries. No problems at all - of any kind! I then tried standard non-organic versions of these fruits and vegetable in my water ozonator as was gob smacked to discover that I STILL had no problem with any of them! And that has been the happy story ever since - but more on that in the web site sections titled Top 10 Health Tips: "Full Spectrum Nutrition" and "Detoxify Your Whole Being".
To Sum Up
To successfully avoid as many toxic chemicals in your life as you possibly can you first have know what to avoid in the first place. You have to treat the matter with the respect it deserves and invest a sufficient amount of time in looking beyond conventional sources of information with an open mind. When I first did this here are just two examples (from an ever growing catalogue) of what I found: I found that while conventional wisdom will tell you that mercury amalgam is safe (I had a mouth full of the stuff) - it simply isn't. And it will tell you that the artificial sweetener aspartame is safe (diet cola etc) - and again it is anything but. Those two examples alone - and there seems to be no end of them when you really start looking - were enough to irreparably burst my trust bubble for all time.
Having switched on to the dangers of most modern synthetic chemicals and identified all those places were they intrude into - and pollute - your life, you then have to begin the rather costly adventure of finding safe/natural alternatives to as many of them as you possibly can. Detox your home. Your garden. Your car. And of course yourself - your loved ones too if you can. In addition to improving and protecting your health and your living environments you will also be depriving the toxin manufacturers and suppliers of your money - and they need that to exist.
When you buy "natural" or "organic" products ALWAYS ask questions of the suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that the "natural" and/or "organic" integrity of the product is respected and protected all the way from raw materials to the finished product arriving at your door. This kind of discerning buyer approach will help a lot in preventing the rip-off merchants from thriving. As an MCS/CI/EI sufferer you need the integrity of "natural" and "organic" to be preserved and protected. Particularly so if you suffer from these illnesses severely. So please, speak up and help out!
Selection Of Files From Our Download Pages
Our Reproductive Health and Chemical Exposure
The Way Forward
Swimming In Chemicals
The Truth About Aspartame
Chemical Warfare Hits Home
Organic Additive Free Food
The Best Control 2 - A Review
Substitute With Style
Our Oceans Are Turning Into Plastic - Are We?
Childhood Pesticide Poisoning
Selection Of Films From Our Video Vault
Contaminated GM Crops
The Future Of Food
Sweet Misery: Aspartame Documentary
Toxic Chemicals and Fertility
Smoking Teeth = Poison Gas
Pesticides and Human Experimentation
Chemical Pollution (Done By Children)
Bhopal Chemical Disaster
MCS: Gillian McCarthy On ITV News
Shopping For A Healthier Lifestyle
Avoiding Toxic Chemicals Page