Don't forget ...from the Formaldehyde Institute other names it is known as:
".... Ivalon, Quaternium-15, Lysoform, Formalith, BVF, Methylene oxide, Formalin, Morbicid, Methanal, Methyl aldehyde, Oxomethane, Formic aldehyde, Fannoform, Fyde, Lofol,
Oxymethylene, Formol, and Superlysoform..."
Quaternium-15 is in almost EVERY cosmetic and hair care product
When we pick up a product at the local grocery store, most of us like to think we are getting something that has been tested and proven to be safe. After all, we have laws to protect our health and safety, don't we? Actually, the government has very limited power to regulate manufacturers, or require testing of their products.
Here are some disturbing facts:
A product that kills 5-% of lab animals through ingestion or inhalation can still receive the federal regulatory designation non-toxic . Of the 17,000 chemicals that appear in common household products, only 30% have been adequately tested for their negative effects on our health; less than 10% have been tested for their effect on the nervous system; and nothing is known about the combined effects of these chemicals when mixed within our bodies. No law requires manufacturers to list the exact ingredients on the package label. Personal care product refers to just about anything we use to clean our bodies or make ourselves look or smell good. The closest thing to a regulatory agency for the personal care industry is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and their power is extremely limited.
Here are more unsettling facts regarding personal care products:
The FDA cannot regulate a personal care product until after it is released into the marketplace. Neither personal care products nor their ingredients are reviewed or approved before they are sold to the public.
The FDA cannot require companies to do safety testing on their personal products before they are sold to the public.
The FDA cannot require recalls of harmful personal care products from the marketplace.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and health (NIOSH) analyzed 2983 chemicals used in personal care products. The results were as follows:
884 of the chemicals were toxic
314 caused biological mutation
218 caused reproductive complications
778 caused acute toxicity
148 caused tumors
376 caused skin and eye irritations.
Warning: You Can't Trust Warning Labels!
You may think you know what is in a product and its potential harms by reading ingredient and warning labels. Think again. Manufacturers are not required to list the exact ingredients on the label. Also, chemical names are often disguised by using innocuous trade names. So, even if the chemical is listed on the label, you may not recognize it for what it is. Even if the harsh and dangerous active ingredients are listed on a package, often time the remainder of ingredients are lumped into a category known as inert (not active) ingredients.
This term may lead you to believe that these chemicals are not toxic or hazardous. In fact, many of the 1,000 different chemicals used as inert ingredients are more harmful than the active ingredients. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not require manufacturers to identify most inert chemicals, or disclose their potential harmful effects. Even suspected carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) are used as inert ingredients in household products.
Regarding warning labels. One New York study found that 85% of products they examined had incorrect warning labels. Some were labeled poisonous, but weren't; others were poisonous but weren't labeled as such; others gave incorrect first aid information. And there are absolutely no warnings on products about possible negative effects of long-term exposure. This is unfortunate because most diseases linked to chemical exposure are the result of long-term exposure.
If we don't know what is in it, and we don't know if it can hurt us, how are we supposed to make an intelligent decision about whether or not to bring this product into our home?
Cleaning products (just a few that I know are used in house cleaning)
Air freshener- toxic; may cause cancer; irritates, nose, throat, and lungs.
Disinfectant- very toxic; causes skin, throat, and lung burns; causes coma.
Drain cleaner- toxic; causes skin burns; causes liver and kidney damage.
Oven cleaner - toxic; causes skin, throat and lung burns.
Window Cleaner- toxic; causes cns disorders; causes liver and kidney disorders.
Floor/Furniture polish - toxic causes cns disorders, may cause lung cancer Spot remover- toxic; may cause cancer, may cause liver damage.
All Purpose Cleaner - causes eye damage; irritates nose, throat and lungs.
Toilet bowl cleaner - very toxic; causes skin, nose, throat and lung burns.
Chlorinated scouring powder- toxic; highly irritating to nose, throat and lungs.
Dishwasher Detergent - toxic; causes eye injuries, damage to mucous membranes and throat.
As I said just a few.
One Common Ingredient Although it would take a second book to cover all the ingredients commonly used in the products above, I want to let you know about one, formaldehyde, as an example. Formaldehyde is used frequently in both cleaning and personal care products because it is a cheap preservative. The following information is taken from a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) which , by law, must be supplied to anyone who uses any chemical product in the workplace. The MSDS for formaldehyde warns: Suspected carcinogen; may be fatal if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin; causes burns; inhalation can cause spasms; edema (fluid buildup) of the larynx and bronchi, and chemical pneumonitis, extremely destructive to the tissue of the mucous membrane. All these symptoms and more are caused by formaldehyde. Yet manufacturers can put formaldehyde in shampoo and not list it as an ingredient! You will be shocked to learn that formaldehyde is a common ingredient in baby shampoo, bubble bath, deodorants, perfume, cologne, hair dye, mouthwash, toothpaste, hair spray and many other personal care items.
Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen. If all cancers start with the abnormal growth of just one cell, then why allow any amount into or onto your body?
Toxic Chemicals and the Human Body Your body is a very complex, very fragile system of chemical reactions and electrical impulses. When you consider a single cell breathes, uses energy, and releases waste much like your whole body does, you can begin to understand how even small amounts of harmful chemicals can affect the performance of the body's processes. Chemicals enter the human body in three ways: ingestion, inhalation, and absorption.
Ingestion Ingestion brings to mind the image of a young child opening the cabinet under the sink and drinking something deadly. Well, each year nearly 1.5 million accidental ingestions of poisons are reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers. The majority of the victims are under the age of twelve and have swallowed a cleaning or personal care product. It amazes me how many deadly chemicals are stored under sinks or on bathroom counters and bathtubs within easy reach of young children.
Inhalation It may surprise you to learn that poisoning by inhalation is more common and can be much more harmful, than ingestion. When something harmful is swallowed, the stomach actually begins breaking down and neutralizing the poison before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. However, when you inhale toxic fumes, the poisons go directly into the bloodstream and quickly travel to organs like the brain, heart, liver and kidneys. Many products give off toxic vapors which can irritate your eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and give you headaches, muscle aches, and sinus infections. The process of releasing vapors into the air is called out gassing. Out gassing occurs even when a chemical is tightly sealed in its container. If you doubt this, simply walk down the cleaning aisle at your local grocery store, and notice how strongly it smells of toxic vapors, even though the containers are sealed tight.
Absorption Most people never guess this.
Finally, you need to realize the potential threat absorption poses.
One square centimeter of skin (less than the size of a dime), contains 3 million cells, four yards of nerves, one yard of blood vessels, and one hundred sweat glands. We've all heard the ads for nicotine patches and analgesic creams. These medicines work by being absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin. Even some heart medicines are administered through transdermal (through the skin) patches. Any chemical that touches the skin can be absorbed and spread throughout the body. This can even happen when you come in contact with a surface that was treated with a chemical days or even weeks earlier. I had no idea that my children could be harmed by crawling across the kitchen floor we had just cleaned. I thought that we were being conscientious, not reckless.
Helping One Family at a Time...=)
Formaldehyde in Meat?
Summary of Aspartame Methanol/Formaldehyde Toxicity
"These are indeed extremely high levels for adducts of formaldehyde, a substance responsible for chronic deleterious effects that has also been considered carcinogenic. ..."It is concluded that aspartame consumption may constitute a hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts." (Trocho 1998)
"It was a very interesting paper, that demonstrates that formaldehyde formation from aspartame ingestion is very common and does indeed accumulate within the cell, reacting with cellular proteins (mostly enzymes) and DNA (both mitochondrial and nuclear). The fact that it accumulates with each dose, indicates grave consequences among those who consume diet drinks and foodstuffs on a daily basis." (Blaylock 1998)
Methanol from aspartame is released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin (Stegink 1984, page 143). A relatively small amount of aspartame (e.g., one can of soda ingested by a child) can significantly increase plasma methanol levels (Davoli 1986a).
Clinically, chronic, low-level exposure to methanol has been seen to cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, ear buzzing, GI distiurbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness & shooting pains, behavioral disturbances, neuritis, misty vision, vision tunneling, blurring of vision, conjunctivitis, insomnia, vision loss, depression, heart problems (including disease of the heart muscle), and pancreatic inflammation (Kavet 1990, Monte 1984, Posner 1975).
The methanol from aspartame is converted to formaldehyde and then formic acid (DHHS 1993, Liesivuori 1991), although some of the formaldehyde appears to accumulate in the body as discussed above. Chronic formaldehyde exposure at very low doses has been shown to cause immune system and nervous system changes and damage as well as headaches, general poor health, irreversible genetic damage, and a number of other serious health problems (Fujimaki 1992, He 1998, John 1994, Liu 1993, Main 1983, Molhave 1986, National Research Council 1981, Shaham 1996, Srivastava 1992, Vojdani 1992, Wantke 1996). One experiment (Wantke 1996) showed that chronic exposure to formaldehyde caused systemic health problems (i.e., poor health) in children at an air concentration of only 0.043 - 0.070 parts per million!
Obviously, chronic exposure to an extremely small amount of formaldehyde is to be avoided. Even if formaldehyde adducts did not build up in the body from aspartame use, the regular exposure to excess levels of formaldehyde would still be a major concern to independent scientists and physicians familiar with the aspartame toxicity issue.
In addition to chronic formaldehyde poisoning, the excitotoxic amino acid derived from aspartame will almost certainly worsen the damage caused by the formladehyde. Synergistic effects from aspartame metabolites are rarely, if ever, mentioned by the manufacturer. Aspartame breaks down into a free-form (unbound to protein) excitotoxic amino acid which is quickly-absorbed (as long as it is not given in slow-dissolving capsules) and can raise the blood plasma levels of this excitotoxin (Stegink 1987). It is well known that free-form excitotoxins can cause irreversible damage to brain cells (in areas such as the retina, hypothalamus, etc.) in rodents and primates (Olney 1972, Olney 1980, Blaylock 1994, Lipton 1994). In order to remove excess, cell-destroying excitotoxic amino acids from extracellular space, glial cells surround the neuron and supply them with energy (Blaylock 1994, page 39, Lipton 1994). This takes large amounts of ATP. However, formate, a formaldehyde metabolite, is an ATP inhibitor (Liesivuori 1991). Eells (1996b) points out that excitatory amino acid toxicity may be the "mediators of retinal damage secondary to formate induced energy depletion in methanol-intoxication." The synergistic effects from the combination of a chronic formaldehyde exposure from aspartame along with a free-form excitotoxic amino acid is extremely worrisome.
It appears that methanol is converted to formate in the eye (Eells 1996a, Garner 1995, Kini 1961). Eells (1996a) showed that chronic, low-level methanol exposure in rats led to formate accumulation in the retina of the eye. More details about chronic Methanol / Formaldehyde poisoning from aspartame can be found on the Internet at http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/aspfaq.html.
How did the manufacturer convince scientists and physicians that it is "safe" to be exposed regularly to low levels of an exceptionally toxic poison? Answer: Deceptive research and deceptive statements!
U.S. Rules Allow the Sale of Products Others Ban
Chemical-laden goods outlawed in Europe and Japan are permitted in
the American market.
By Marla Cone
Times Staff Writer
October 8, 2006
OAKLAND — Destined for American kitchens, planks of birch and poplar plywood are stacked to the ceiling of a cavernous port warehouse. The wood, which arrived in California via a cargo ship, carries two labels: One proclaims "Made in China," while the other warns that it contains formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical. Because formaldehyde wafts off the glues in this plywood, it is illegal to sell in many countries — even the one where it originated, China. But in the United States this wood is legal, and it is routinely crafted into cabinets and furniture.
As the European Union and other nations have tightened their environmental standards, mostly in the last two years, manufacturers — here and around the world — are selling goods to American consumers that fail to meet other nations' stringent laws for toxic chemicals. Wood, toys, electronics, pesticides and cosmetics are among U.S. products that contain substances that are banned or restricted elsewhere, particularly in Europe and Japan, because they may raise the risk of cancer, alter hormones or cause reproductive or neurological damage. Michael Wilson, a professor at UC Berkeley's Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, said the United States is becoming a "dumping ground" for consumer goods that are unwanted and illegal in much of the world. Wilson warned earlier this year in a report commissioned by the California Legislature that "the United States has fallen behind globally in the move toward cleaner technologies."
The European Union, driven by consumers' concerns, has banned or heavily restricted hundreds of toxic substances in recent years, invoking its "precautionary principle," which is codified into law and prescribes that protective steps should be taken when there is scientific evidence of risks to public health or the environment. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies have relied on voluntary steps from industries rather than regulations, saying the threats posed by low levels of chemicals are too uncertain to eliminate products valuable to consumers or businesses.
In the absence of U.S. regulations, some international corporations, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Mattel, Revlon and Orly International, have declared that all their products, no matter where they are made or sold, will comply with EU standards, the most stringent chemical laws in the world. "We don't operate to different standards in different parts of the globe, regardless of differing environmental standards," said John Frey, manager of corporate environmental strategies at Palo Alto- based Hewlett-Packard.
But many U.S. and foreign companies do.
Some toys, nail polishes and other beauty products are made with plastic softeners and solvents called phthalates that the EU has banned as reproductive toxins. Several of U.S. agriculture's most popular herbicides and insecticides, including atrazine, endosulfan and aldicarb, are illegal or restricted to emergency uses in other countries. And a few electronic items, including Palm's Treo 650 smart phone and Apple's iSight camera, were pulled off shelves in Europe this summer because of lead components but are still sold here. Industry groups say their products have undergone rigorous reviews in the United States and are not only legal here but safe. They say some governments, particularly the EU, have overreacted and banned chemicals with little or no evidence of a human health threat.
"Consumers can remain confident about using their cosmetics given their oversight by the Food and Drug Administration, the extensive research on their safety and long history of safe use," the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Assn. said. The EPA hasn't eliminated any industrial compounds since it sought unsuccessfully to ban asbestos 18 years ago. Unlike EU policies, U.S. law requires the EPA to prove a toxic substance "presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment," consider the costs of restricting its use and choose "the least burdensome" approach to regulate industry. "The dumping problem is concentrated in a few product sectors. But these sectors happen to be really ubiquitous in the everyday lives of Americans. Chemical risks are being spread all over the country in ways that are invisible to consumers," said Alastair Iles, an international chemical policy expert who was a research fellow at UC Berkeley and still works with faculty there on consumer issues.
Last year alone, China exported to the United States more than half a billion dollars' worth of hardwood plywood — enough to build cabinets for 2 million kitchens, a sixfold increase since 2002. Though China sends low-formaldehyde timber to Japan and Europe, Americans are getting wood that emits substantially higher levels of the chemical. One birch plank from China, bought at a Home Depot store in Portland, gave off 100 times more formaldehyde than legal in Japan and 30 times more than allowed in Europe and China, according to July tests conducted by a lab hired by an Oregon-based wood products manufacturer. Formaldehyde exposure has been shown in human studies to cause nose and throat cancer and possibly leukemia, as well as allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches and sore throats.
With no government standards, monitoring or labeling, U.S. consumers cannot easily identify chemical-free products. "I'll guarantee you that no one tells a customer building a $75,000 kitchen that their cabinets contain plywood from China that will off- gas formaldehyde," said Larry Percivalle of Oakland-based EarthSource Forest Products, a distributor that sells low-formaldehyde and sustainably grown wood. In the wood industry, even though low-cost, chemical-free substitutes are available, much of the plywood, fiberboard and particleboard sold in the United States is manufactured with adhesives, or glues, that contain formaldehyde, said Michael Wolfe, a wood products consultant in Emeryville, Calif. The only formaldehyde standard for wood in the U.S. is one that applies just to subsidized, low-income housing. U.S. companies voluntarily meet it for all products, though it allows 10 times more formaldehyde than Japan's standards.
California may step in. The Air Resources Board is considering standards roughly equivalent to Europe's for 2008 and Japan's for 2010 through 2012. The air board estimates that one of every 10,000 Californians is at risk of contracting cancer from breathing average formaldehyde levels found in homes and offices. "We have a problem that needs to be addressed, we have technology to do it, and there is no requirement for it to happen. Nationally, no one is stepping forward, so we think this is an area where we can," said Mike Scheible, the air board's deputy executive officer. Columbia Forest Products, which spent $8 million to switch all its factories to nontoxic glues made of soy flour, says it is being hurt by the lack of U.S. standards for wood.
"While I believe in free trade, I also believe that everybody ought to be held to the same standard," said Harry Demorest, the Portland-based company's president and chief executive. "It's particularly galling and frustrating in the Chinese case, when they're taking our market with products that have high formaldehyde content when we know full well that they can produce it with lower formaldehyde." Despite its capital investment, Columbia, which is North America's largest producer of hardwood plywood and veneer, has not raised its prices to compensate because the soy glues are as inexpensive as formaldehyde glues, Demorest said.
The state air board estimates that switching to formaldehyde-free glues like those required in Japan would increase the price of a sheet of particleboard from today's $7 to about $9 in 2010. California's proposal is opposed by nearly all wood producers, who say it could drive them out of business if they are forced to do what Columbia did. "The entire industry is not ready to make this change. Today we could not be competitive by changing resins," said Darrell Keeling, a general manager at Roseburg Forest Products in Oregon.
Keeling said his company makes some low-formaldehyde products but most customers aren't interested because they cost more. "Even though people talk green and think green, they won't demonstrate their commitment to it with their wallet," he said. "More regulation and more bureaucracy is not the best way to drive change." But selling products with risky chemicals to Americans while removing them for consumers elsewhere is shortsighted, said Robert Donkers, the European Commission's Environmental Counselor in Washington, D.C. "If companies decide to wait and see rather than innovate, they will lose the market," he said. "American consumers follow closely what is happening in other parts of the world. So they can say, 'Hey, you make them in Europe, why don't you sell them to us?'
"Legally, you can still use these chemicals, but you're not doing your company any favors."
Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition (2011)
National Toxicology Program, Department of Health and Human Services
CAS No. 50-00-0
Known to be a human carcinogen
First listed in the Second Annual Report on Carcinogens (1981)
Formaldehyde is known to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in humans and supporting data on mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Formaldehyde was first listed in the Second Annual Report on Carcinogens in 1981 as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence from studies in experimental animals. Since that time, additional cancer studies in humans have been published, and the listing status was changed to known to be a human carcinogen in the Twelfth Report on Carcinogens (2011).
Formaldehyde Linked to Lou Gehrig's Disease
WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- New preliminary research suggests that exposure to the chemical formaldehyde, present in a variety of workplaces, could greatly increase a person's chances of developing Lou Gehrig's disease. The findings aren't definitive, and only a few thousand Americans are diagnosed with the condition -- also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- each year. Still, the study results deserve attention, especially since formaldehyde hasn't been considered an ALS risk factor before, said study author Marc Weisskopf, an assistant professor of epidemiology and environmental health at Harvard School of Public Health. "It's a result that we view as very intriguing and worthy of follow-up."
The findings were scheduled to be released Wednesday at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, in Chicago. ALS progressively causes damage to the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Patients lose the ability to control their muscles, and they typically become paralyzed. There's no cure for ALS, and treatments have limited value. Weisskopf and his colleagues examined statistics from an American Cancer Society study of more than 1 million people who were followed for 15 years. The researchers first examined the participants' responses in 1982 to questions about exposure to 12 different chemicals, including formaldehyde. Then they followed up between 1989 and 2004 to see what happened to those people. The researchers found that 617 men and 539 women died of ALS during the study period. Only those who reported exposure to formaldehyde had a higher risk -- 34 percent higher -- of developing ALS.
Formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of a variety of products, including particle board, clothing, glues, cosmetics and shampoo. People who work in medical facilities and mortuaries may also encounter it on the job. The pungent chemical has already been linked to higher rates of lung cancer and leukemia. It was not declared a probable human carcinogen at high exposure levels by the Environmental Protection Agency until 1987. Those who reported more than 10 years of exposure to formaldehyde were almost four times more likely to develop ALS.
According to Weisskopf, the study design didn't allow him to estimate how many extra people may develop ALS because they are exposed to formaldehyde. However, he said there are only about 5,500 new cases in the United States each year. Researchers have considered pesticides to be a possible cause of ALS, but formaldehyde hasn't been raised as a villain before, Weisskopf said. It's not clear how it might be linked to development of the disease, but Weisskopf said it could set off brain damage by increasing the "stress" caused by oxygen. It's possible that other factors besides formaldehyde may be causing ALS in the study participants. Indeed, Weisskopf said the findings don't confirm a cause-and-effect relationship: "That's very hard to do. But it does provide an avenue to get more insight into the disease process, and it may give us insight that's helpful in determining other avenues to take."
Dr. Catherine Lomen-Hoerth, director of the ALS Center at the University of California, San Francisco, said it's too early for anyone to worry too much about the findings. The research "means studies can be done in ALS rats or mice to see if formaldehyde worsens the disease process," she said, but, "I don't think we understand environmental factors very well, and in what way they affect disease processes."
"If we knew more about what causes ALS, we might know more about how formaldehydes and other chemicals might [play a role]," she added.
Learn more about formaldehyde from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Copyright © 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.
CDC Suppressed Toxic Trailer Warnings
Jan. 28, 2008(CBS) As CBS News first reported last spring, FEMA has been under heavy fire for failing to acknowledge then adequately address health problems like respiratory illness associated with the toxic chemical formaldehyde found in travel trailers that became home for hundreds of thousands of survivors of Hurricane Katrina. More than 143,000 families have lived in the toxic trailers, and more than 40,000 still do.
Now, CBS News has learned, the public health fiasco reaches beyond FEMA - into the one of the nation's most respected agencies.
CBS News has learned that the Centers for Disease Control, the nation's top public health agency, suppressed repeated warnings from one of its top scientists, raising questions about whether the CDC bowed to pressure from FEMA to conceal the long-term health risks of formaldehyde in the trailers it distributed to hurricane victims - health risks like cancer and birth defects, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.
A string of internal documents obtained exclusively by CBS News reveal that Dr. Christopher De Rosa, director of the CDC's Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine, told his superiors "there is no safe level of exposure" to formaldehyde in trailers. That warning never made its way into any public report about the trailers.
In addition, Dr. De Rosa wrote in an email that two of his staff members had been directed by FEMA officials to not "address longer term health effects" of formaldehyde in this February 2007 report.
"To not do its due diligence on this issue borders on malfeasance," said Rep. Bernie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
In fact, it wasn't until October 2007 - after eight months and pressure from congressional investigators that the CDC revised its February report and finally issued warnings about cancer and other long-term health risks of formaldehyde. "For them to punt on this issue does not speak well for them as an agency," Thompson said.
De Rosa refused an on-camera interview with CBS News. The CDC did not comment on the documents, but said it changed the report after it realized there was a problem.
© MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The point is not that the trailers have formaldehyde, it's that the CDC knew that the formaldehyde posed health threats and covered up that fact instead of telling the people the truth and letting them make their own decisions about whether or not to stay. Our tax money funds the CDC; if they have information about health risks, that information belongs to all of us and nobody should be able to keep it under wraps for political reasons. The bigger crime is that formaldehyde is also an FDA approved ingredient in vaccines. I wish someone at the CDC or FDA would explain that one to me.