Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday's Truths and Tidbits

I hate cancer.

Later today, we'll be going to my daughter's mother-in-law's viewing. She just turned 51 in the middle of June. Now she's gone. Cancer ate away at her until she could no longer fight it. And, plainly speaking, that sucks.

Cancer. That insidious disease that just worms its way in and wreaks havoc wherever it goes. Yet we still don't seem to get it. We surround ourselves with carcinogens and we joke about it, "Well, I'm gonna die sometime." Yeah, real funny.

For the most part, I've come to accept that we cannot rid our lives of carcinogens and other toxins completely. After all, no matter what we do in our own homes, once we step foot outside, we're exposed.

We eat at a restaurant on a table that's been cleaned with bleach. We go to the restroom and breathe in air freshener with naphthalene. We wash our hands with antibacterial soap with triclosan. We work in office buildings or schools full of formaldehyde and other toxins. Our neighbors douse their yards with Roundup. The list goes on and on. And on and on. And it's enough to make us ... well ... sick!

Recently, my husband and I stayed at a B&B. It was lovely, until I laid my head down on the pillow and breathed in a nice whiff of fabric softener!! Gasp. Gag. Gross.

We can't get away from it. Do you know why they label something as a carcinogen? Because it's been proven to cause cancer. What part of that do people not get?????

Do not use toxic shampoos on your baby's tender scalp. Do not use sunscreens on your kids that are high on the list of toxins on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Be a responsible parent and check these things out. Don't just assume that they are safe because they have the words "gentle" or "natural" or "safe for baby" on them. Advertisers lie. The FDA does not have your best interest in mind. Every day we learn of more and more hazardous products that the FDA deemed safe.

And while I'm on a rant ... it's about those stupid pink ribbons. I'm all for research. I'm all for finding a cure. What I'm not for is the fact that they slap the pink ribbons on anything that will accept them, without checking to see if any of the ingredients cause cancer ... and many of them do. There are no words.

Parents -- you have to be proactive in keeping your kids safe. Can you protect them completely from carcinogens? Unfortunately, no. But you can do your best, and I encourage you to do just that. For many of us, like my daughter's mother-in-law, it's too late. We are part of a generation that didn't know any better. We embraced innovation without regards to potential dangers. We ditched natural products for ones laden with chemicals we couldn't pronounce because they promised better results. Yikes.

You have some choices. Use them wisely.

And that's it for today's truths and tidbits. Any thoughts?


  1. My wife died of cancer in 1999, after a 13-year fight. We know it was hereditary, but we also know that only means susceptability; we don't know what the actual trigger was, but it got her mom and two of her sisters. And it wasn't pretty, the last nearly a year, watching her body decompose from the inside.

  2. I'm so sorry, John. What a horrific thing for both of you (along with your kids, if you have any) to go through. I lost my husband to a chemical fire in 1989, so I know the journey of widowhood all too well.

  3. I couldn't agree with you more about the proliferation of toxins used everywhere, and particularly the use of fabric softener (what a nice way to add chemicals to something that has just been cleaned). I don't know why steam isn't used as much as it could be to clean and sanitize any surface with good old water. A lot of steaming products have been launched recently and I hope that is the beginning of a long and steady trend to move away from unfriendly chemicals.

  4. I loved my steam mop, but it only lasted about 9 months before it stopped working. Cleaning with water alone is one of the reasons I love Norwex Envirocloths!


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