Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Mmm, Chemicals

I used to have a lot of faith in the fact that I thought the FDA did a good job of protecting citizens like you and me from being exposed to things that were harmful to us. I have slowly come to a realization over the last few months that this is not the case. Companies are not required to perform testing on many chemicals that are used in their products. We are the guinea pigs for many of these chemicals. If a company claims that a new chemical is 'substantially' like an existing chemical, it is usually approved with no testing whatsoever. The thing is, changing even one small part of a chemical compound can have totally unexpected effects. You can go to the store right now and buy products that have known human carcinogens in them. Would you do that if you knew what those products were? Why is this allowed to happen? I admit it may be partially due to the fact that life expectancies have increased over the last 100 years, but it sure does seem like an inordinate number of people have cancer nowadays. Think about this for a minute - once upon a time, DDT and asbestos sounded like good ideas. In any case, I have found the following web site useful. It rates personal care products by the chemicals that they contain, and can help you choose less harmful products if you're so inclined.

7 Comments:

Blogger Erin said...

Ha, I enjoyed reading your blog.

Have a nice day.

9/06/2005 10:05 PM  
Blogger Michelle Fry said...

JC,
Good blog post. I am not a fan of the FDA for just this reason. I am also not a fan of the beef council or the dairy council either because they don't do anything about the weird bovine growth hormone stuff. Alas, I think most Americans are asleep at the wheel when it comes to products and most of them don't know enough about chemistry to understand that altering a single part of a chemical chain can have dramatic affects on how a compound functions. For example, people know what saturated is but they don't know it's just regular fat that was heated up until the molecules on each end of the chain were oxygenated. That's a simplification for sure but not too far off. My favorite chemical to hate is dioxin which is extremely cancerous and is caused by bleaching things a nice clean white color. Always go for the brown paper towels and napkins whenever possible. Sorry if I ranted to long on your blog.

9/06/2005 10:59 PM  
Blogger Michelle Fry said...

JC,
I just noticed my horrible spelling and several missing words in that last comment. Eh gads. I think I ran too much today and killed one too many brain cells. Talk about your chemical reactions. Anyway, hopefully the point I was trying to make was at least a little clear.

9/06/2005 11:02 PM  
Blogger JC said...

erin - welcome!

Michelle - Rant away, I'm not paying by the word! And, I only saw one mis-spelling. I wish they would put spell check on the comments, that's where I always make mistakes. Your point was very clear.

9/07/2005 6:33 AM  
Blogger holli said...

dammit - I have got to get caught up on the tivoed Rome so I'm not banned from your blog.

chemicals - more to worry about. YAY!!!

Did I tell you that I got my Aimee Mann tickets and so did Makena's mom (link on my blog). We are so excited!!

9/07/2005 6:52 PM  
Blogger JC said...

Holli,

I thought I saw you mention that you got tickets because you said you might bring Nate!

9/07/2005 8:56 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

don't even get me started on the fda. Like most gov't run agencies they are CRAP. Have you looked at any of the info on aritifcial sweetners? The FDA was in bed with a few of the companies and just pushed the products thru to us, despite some early tests which demonstrated THEY ARE TOXIC. Keep it simpleand keep it healthy. Fresh fruits and vegs, the more organic, the better. Cancer rates are higher, obesity is out of control...and prepackaged foods account for most of the space in a grocery store. Go figure.

9/07/2005 9:30 PM  

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