Monday, June 14, 2010

Are We Being Duped?

This post is shared with permission from Personal Care Truth

“Manufacturers are using lead in lipstick”. “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) can cause

cancer”. “Dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) is toxic and must be banned”. “If you can’t pronounce it, it can’t be safe”.

Those are just some of the things you will read on the Internet about personal care products that instill fear in consumers. Are we being duped? We sure are. Can you pronounce ‘Butyrospermum Parkii’? What about ‘Dihydrogen Monoxide’? How about ‘Vaccinium Macrocarpon’? Even on a good day I have a hard time pronouncing them and I’ve been in the personal care industry for 10 years.

While the chemical or botanical name of an ingredient can be quite alarming, the ingredient itself isn’t necessarily harmful. Alarmists are working 24/7 to scare consumers into believing many ingredients are harmful to your health. Butyrospermum Parkii is not one of them. It’s shea butter. Vaccinium Macrocarpon isn’t a harmful ingredient either. It’s cranberry seed oil.

Last night on Twitter, I was reading the tweet “If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t use or eat it”. It wasn’t tweeted by one but many. Just to give you an idea of how alarmists can use lack of scientific knowledge and exaggerated claims to cause fear, let’s look at dihydrogen monoxide.

In 1997, 14 year old Nathan Zohner completed a science project titled “How Gullible Are We?”, which he won first place. Nathan gathered a petition to ban DHMO or dihydrogen monoxide. Nathan proved that an alarmist can spread the word of junk science to instill fear in people. Where’s the proof? Here is what his petition contained:


Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.

Dihydrogen monoxide:

  • is also known as hydroxl acid, and is the major component of acid rain.
  • contributes to the “greenhouse effect.”
  • may cause severe burns.
  • contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
  • accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
  • may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

Contamination is reaching epidemic proportions!

Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the Midwest, and recently California.

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

  • as an industrial solvent and coolant.
  • in nuclear power plants.
  • in the production of Styrofoam.
  • as a fire retardant.
  • in many forms of cruel animal research.
  • in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
  • as an additive in certain “junk-foods” and other food products.

Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!

The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its “importance to the economic health of this nation.” In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.

Do you know what dihydrogen monoxide or DHMO is? It’s the chemical name for water. Yep, water. “Water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Literally, the term “dihydrogen monoxide” means “two hydrogen, one oxygen”, consistent with its molecular formula: the prefix di- in dihydrogenmeans “two”, the prefix mono- in monoxide means “one”, and an oxide is a compound that contains one or more oxygen atoms”.

As reported on -

In March 2004 the California municipality of Aliso Viejo (a suburb in Orange County) came within a cat’s whisker of falling for this hoax after a paralegal there convinced city officials of the danger posed by this chemical. The leg-pull got so far as a vote’s having been scheduled for the City Council on a proposed law that would have banned the use of foam containers at city-sponsored events because (among other things) they were made with DHMO, a substance that could “threaten human health and safety.

Does that scare you? It scares me that organizations peddling junk science can spread that kind of fear. That legislation, regulations and the minds of free thinking people can be changed based on misinformation. Demand more from the people shoving half truths and false information down your throat. If the lobbyist organizations are asking for donations to fight the good fight, don’t give them a dime of your hard earned money unless you are 100% sure that what they are selling you is true, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Ask the hard questions. You deserve more than educated guesses, false information or scare tactics and fear mongering.

Time for me to fix a glass of dihydrogen monoxide.

Question: (added by dM): What do you think of the logic that concludes that if you can't pronounce an ingredient name, it must be bad for you? Do you buy that? If so, why?

From Sweetsation: Brilliant article. Spells out very clearly things that have been lingering in our minds for quite a while. Yes it concerns EWG and their mysterious system that noone seems to understand. A lot of product ratings don't make any sense and very often natural products rate the same as the ones containing a lot of toxic chemicals. Better yet, two identical products may rate differently... We have tried to contact them numerous times to get clarifications, or answers from the "expert" who in fact allocates those ratings. There's got to be someone... Nope. There is no answers, no responses to our emails, no logic, no accessible science or evidence, just notorious spreading of panic and demand for donations.

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