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20 Million Americans Likely Infected With Retrovirus At The Root Of Multiple Chronic Diseases

20 million American’s are likely harbouring a retrovirus that can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and parkinson’s disease.

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*The information in this article comes from Dr. Judy Mikovtis and Kent Heckenlively’s book, Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases. For study sources and references, please refer to the book for more detailed information.* 

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On July 22, 2009, a special meeting was held with twenty-four leading scientists at the National Institutes of Health to discuss early findings that a newly discovered retrovirus was linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), prostate cancer, lymphoma, and eventually neurodevelopmental disorders in children.  

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Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, was one of the presenters at the meeting. For thirty years, Mikovits had built a name for herself in cancer and chronic disease research — she had extensive knowledge of immunology, natural products chemistry, epigenetics, virology, and drug development, she was a long-time member of the National Cancer Institute, collaborating with one of the founding fathers of human retrovirology, Dr. Frank Ruscetti, and she was Research Director at the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), a chronic fatigue syndrome research organization and clinic in Reno, Nevada.

Mikovits’s passion for chronic disease research began early in life, after watching both her grandfather and stepfather succumb to the perils of cancer. This personal connection to chronic disease would later fuel her with a vigorous empathy to help others suffering from chronic disease.

She worked closely with patients suffering from the mysterious and debilitating symptoms of CFS, treating them like family in most cases and quickly earning herself a well-respected name within the chronic disease communities. She was their knight in shining armour, being one of the few scientists who cared enough to believe, contrary to what most doctors were saying, that their symptoms were not in fact psychosomatic.

Since its initial emergence in medical literature in the mid 20th century, CFS was for many years a conundrum, shrugged off as a “yuppie flu” or “hysterical type A women,” brought about by stress or other emotional factors. But the patients suffering from CFS did not agree with their diagnosis. They knew, from the extent of their excruciating pain and bedridden state, that something else was at play, a knowing that Mikovits was on to as well. 

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Dr. Judy Mikovits faced persecution from the science community after her discovery that millions of people around the world are infected with a retrovirus causing havoc on our health.

Dr. Judy Mikovits faced persecution from the science community after her discovery that millions of people around the world are infected with a retrovirus causing havoc on our health.

In her presentation at the 2009 meeting, Mikovits revealed her findings from an article published (and later retracted) in the journal Science, which showed that a recently discovered retrovirus, XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus related virus), had been found in 67% of CFS patients and at 3.75% in healthy patients.

Mikovits and her research team claimed that 6% of Americans were harbouring this retrovirus, which was appearing in a very high percentage of people with diseases such as prostate cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, autism, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, treatment resistant Lyme’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease. 

If Mikovits’s findings held true, it would mean that a substantial portion of the population were harbouring a retrovirus that was secretly wrecking havoc on their bodies. It meant that the millions of people diagnosed with the “psychological” disease CFS were in fact suffering from a disease similar to HIV/AIDS. Even more troublesome, however, was the possibility that this widespread retrovirus was the culprit at the root of today’s most common chronic illnesses.

The next pressing question, then, was how did so many people become infected with this retrovirus? The answer, to Mikovtis’s dismay, would ignite a fire among the scientific community that would change the course of her career forever.

How Did XMRV Get Introduced To The Public?

In the early 20th century, many research labs were deep into cancer and HIV/AIDS research. Some of these facilities also seconded as vaccine manufacturing labs, using genetically engineered mice as their study subjects. The mice were engineered to have immune deficiencies, meaning that they were susceptible to certain diseases when exposed to specific pathogens and toxins.

When researchers injected the GE mice with human viruses in order to attenuate or weaken the virus strain, they did not know that mouse viruses posed a threat to humans.mouse

Scientists didn’t realize that the way they managed their mouse colonies and managed the production of their human cell lines created conditions in laboratories where viruses could unexpectedly mutate and recombine with one another. Even more troublesome was the fact that these retroviruses could easily reproduce and travel through the air.

Retroviruses that were in mice were being released into the air and travelling through their facilities to other labs where human cell lines were being cultivated. Once there, they were able to infect human cultures. They became part of the cells and part of the products that were made from the activity of the cell lines, such as the antigens used in vaccines.

This meant that for decades, vaccines contaminated with mutated viruses were being injected into the greater population, causing a whack load of life threatening ailments.

Retroviruses In Humans – Russian Roulette For Disease

Retroviruses are stealthy creatures, and their presence in the body does not always cause disease. Sometimes they can stay dormant for a person’s entire lifetime.

Other times, though, they are activated through a perfect storm of events, such as when there are co-infections, when there is severe shock or trauma, when hormones are dysregulated, when there are genetically modified organisms and glyphosate in the diet, when there are pesticides and other toxic substances in food and the environment, and when there are genetic susceptibilities.

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If some or all of these conditions occur together, then the immune system will be weakened to the point where the perfect storm occurs and chronic inflammation develops into chronic disease.

*See Dr. Mikovits’s personal powerpoint presentation on retroviruses and chronic disease HERE.*

Mikovits Drops Data Bombshells

At an international workshop on the XMRV retrovirus, held in September of 2010, Dr. Mikovits and a group of other scientists presented valuable research involving rhesus macaque monkeys that were exposed to XMRV. It showed that the XMRV retrovirus quickly disappeared from the bloodstream after exposure — presumably going into tissue.

The virus would reappear in the blood after the immune system was activated, showcasing how the XMRV virus mimicked the behaviour of HIV. The study Mikovits presented used bolus peptides that mimicked a vaccination, provoking the virus and causing it to replicate to detectable levels.

Source: Plague (book)

Source: Plague (book)

The next study Mikovits looked at involved analyzing the blood of 37 parents and 29 children across 11 different states. 17 children had autism, a pair of twins had Niemann-Pick Type C (a neurodegenerative disorder), and 10 children were healthy siblings. XMRV was detected in 55% of the people in the study. The age range of the infected children was 2 to 18 years. 17 of the children (including the twins) were positive for XMRV (58%) and 20 of the 37 parents (54%) were positive for XMRV. 14 of 17 autistic children were positive for XMRV (82%). They noted that autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ME/CFS, and childhood neuroimmune disorders share common clinical features.

The study revealed how children harbouring an undetected retrovirus in their immune cells could have had the virus activated by vaccination or even by a simple fever, causing inflammation of the brain and leading to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

Mikovits’s colleagues found that 6.8% of a healthy control population showed evidence of infection by a wider group of murine leukemia viruses, meaning that eleven to twenty-one million individuals in the United States were potentially infected by a group of related viruses that came from mice. America wasn’t alone either, as Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, indicated that 5% of control samples taken from the London Blood Bank were positive for XMRV.

Mikovits’s findings were both groundbreaking and urgent, and after so many years of hard work, she was excited to finally have some answers for her friends and patients. What Mikovits did not foresee coming, however, was a crusade by the science establishment to take her down.

Science Community Refutes Mikovits’s Work

Following Mikovits’s presentation at the international workshop, the National Institutes of Health mandated a multi-center study that would be directed by Dr. Ian Lipkin, known among the science community as the “World’s Most Celebrated Virus Hunter.”

Dr. Ian Lipkin

Dr. Ian Lipkin

But the study contained a few significant flaws — it left out the patient population most likely infected with the retroviruses — patients with evidence of infection with HIV, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, Treponema pallidium (syphilis), B burgdorferi (the Lyme disease spirochete), medical or psychiatric illnesses associated with fatigue, abnormal serum characteristics, and thyroid disease.

Due to the latter, the study found no association with chronic disease, but the Lipkin center did confirm that 6% of the U.S. population is carrying retrovirus infections. The study confirmed the findings from more than two decades of research, which consistently presented evidence of retroviruses in 4-6% of the population, 20 million Americans alone.

Of course, the study did not want to find an association between the virus and disease, as that would mean admitting that the system designed to protect the population did the opposite, creating millions of sick patients, so they omitted the appropriate patient population. “It would be like trying to detect HIV in the 80s and omitting gay men and IV drug users,” Mikovits told CE.

Mikovits’s Career Destroyed

Amid the backlash from the science community about Mikovits’s work, 2011 would become hurricane for the rogue scientist.

"Plague" by Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, and Kent Heckenlively.

The book Plague, by Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, and Kent Heckenlively.

During the Fall of 2011, when it was realized that these MLV related retroviruses aerosolized and easily spread through laboratories, the head of the WPI institute that housed Mikovits’s research asked her to approve fraudulent expenditures of federal research monies from her grant to the diagnostic company RED Labs/VIDx, co-owned by the Whittemores and Vincent Lombardi. Mikovits took pride in her professional integrity, and the request by the WPI came as a shock.

This all happened at the same time Mikovits discovered that a retrovirus test created by Lombardi was producing inaccurate results. When Mikovits spoke out about the WPI’s deception, she was immediately fired for insolence and insubordination. “Apparently it was rude to refuse to misappropriate federal funds,” Mikovits said.

Six weeks later, Mikovits was falsely arrested and jailed for five days following her refusal to give up her private email notes to the WPI or sign a confession stating that her data on gammaretroviruses was false. In fact, Mikovits said that her freedom was ransomed for samples in the Lipkin study, an offer which Lipkin refused. Mikovits’s email contained her most recent retrovirus research, along with the names and addresses of all her research subjects. Her email contained proof of the existence of gammaretroviruses and their connection with ME/CFS that no one could deny, so Mikovits felt it was her ethical duty to withhold her private emails and would never sign such a confession.

Following her false arrest and imprisonment as a fugitive from justice, a fabricated mugshot was publicized in the journal Science right before the editors of the journal formally retracted her study. On top of the public humiliation, Mikovits was held under fabricated criminal charges dismissed without prejudice, rendering her silent under threat of incarceration. Mikovits says that her notes are still being held under a permanent injunction that prevents even her lawyers from seeing evidence. In what seemed like an instant, Mikovits’s thirty-five year career was shattered.

Since then, Mikovits has been unable to gather grant money to pursue further research. But while the crusade against her might have damaged her both professionally and financially, her drive to get the word out about her research is unruffled. After her gag order was lifted, Mikovits went straight to paper to tell her story. In 2014, Mikovits and colleague Kent Heckenlively released the book Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseaseswhich would rightfully tell her story in detail from beginning to end. 

The book gives readers an in-depth look into the inner politics of high-level science, exposing the often violated ethics of truth and the self-serving egos of the science community’s most well-respected names. Beyond all of that, though, the book is a story of one woman’s compassionate heart and her refusal to cower down to a long-established system built around fear and intimidation:

I won’t ever give up. There are a lot of doctors around the world who are trusting us. They have seen the same things themselves and who are energized by our book and by the revelations [that have happened] since. We will keep on addressing the science.

Today, Mikovits is continuing to help those in need, working along side the Institute of Pure and Applied knowledge, a public charity research institute dedicated to the reduction of human pain & suffering through non-bias knowledge. Mikovits says she is just one of many scientists and doctors who are starting to speak out about fraudulent science and deception within the scientific institutions, something Mikovits says is needed more than ever if we want to see change.

For anyone interested in learning more about the role of retroviruses and chronic disease, be sure to check out Dr. Judy Mikovits and Kent Heckenlively’s book, Plague

Have you read Plague? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Alternative News

Norway Investigates 29 Deaths in Elderly Patients After Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccination

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Norway has registered a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first Covid-19 vaccination shot, raising questions over which groups to target in national inoculation programs.

  • Reflect On:

    Should freedom of choice always remain here? Should governments and private institutions not be allowed to mandate this vaccine in order to have access to certain rights and freedoms?

What Happened: 29 patients who were quite old and frail have died following their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, Norwegian officials have since adjusted their advice on who should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to many given the fact that the clinical trials were conducted with people who are healthy. Older and sick people with co-morbidities were not used in the trials, and people with severe allergies and other diseases that can make one more susceptible to vaccine injury were not used either. It can be confusing given the fact that vaccination is being encouraged for the elderly in nursing homes and those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that “There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.”

On the 15th of January it was 23 deaths, Bloomberg is now reporting that a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first COVID-19 shot. They point out that “Until Friday, Pfizer/BioNTech was the only vaccine available in Norway”, stating that the Norwegian Medicines Agency told them that as a result “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine.”

“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency said. All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. “Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”

Madsen also told the BMJ that,

There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions, that are not dangerous in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines, may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly. We are not alarmed or worried about this, because these are very rare occurrences and they occurred in very frail patients with very serious disease. We are not asking for doctors to continue with vaccination, but to carry out extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it. This evaluation includes discussing the risks and benefits of vaccination with the patient and their families to decide whether or not vaccination is the best course.

The BMJ article goes on to point out that the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany is also investigating 10 deaths shortly after COVID-19 vaccination, and closes with the following information:

In a statement, Pfizer said, “Pfizer and BioNTech are aware of reported deaths following administration of BNT162b2. We are working with NOMA to gather all the relevant information.

“Norwegian authorities have prioritised the immunisation of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are very elderly with underlying medical conditions and some of whom are terminally ill. NOMA confirm the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations. All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by NOMA to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine. The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved families.”

Vaccine Hesitancy is Growing Among Healthcare Workers: Vaccine hesitancy is growing all over the globe, one of the latest examples comes from Riverside County, California. It has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50 percent of healthcare workers in the county are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they have top priority and access to it.  At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors have declined the shot. Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials. You can read more about that story here.

Vaccine hesitancy among physicians and academics is nothing new. To illustrate this I often point to a conference held at the end of 2019 put on by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conference, Dr. Heidi Larson a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project Emphasized this point, having  stated,

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen…still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider.

A study published in the journal EbioMedicine  as far back as 2013 outlines this point, among many others.

Pfizer’s Questionable History:  Losing faith in “big pharma” does not come without good reason. For example, in 2010 Robert G. Evans, PhD, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research Emeritus Professor, Vancouver School of Economics, UBC, published a paper that’s accessible in PubMed titled “Tough on Crime? Pfizer and the CIHR.”

In it, he outlines the fact that,

Pfizer has been a “habitual offender,” persistently engaging in illegal and corrupt marketing practices, bribing physicians and suppressing adverse trial results. Since 2002 the company and its subsidiaries have been assessed $3 billion in criminal convictions, civil penalties and jury awards. The 2.3-billion settlement…set a new record for both criminal fines and total penalties. A link with Pfizer might well advance the commercialization of Canadian research.

Suppressing clinical trial results is something I’ve come across multiple times with several different medicines. Five years ago I wrote about how big pharma did not share adverse reactions people had and harmful results from their clinical trials for commonly used antidepressant drugs.

Even scientists from within federal these health regulatory agencies have been sounding the alarm. For example, a few years ago more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the  Spider Papers.

The Takeaway: Given the fact that everything is not black and white, especially when it comes to vaccine safety, do we really want to give government health agencies and/or private institutions the right to enforce mandatory vaccination requirements when their efficacy have been called into question? Should people have the freedom of choice? It’s a subject that has many people polarized in their beliefs, but at the end of the day the sharing of information, opinion and evidence should not be shut down, discouraged, ridiculed or censored.

In a day and age where more people are starting to see our planet in a completely different light, one which has more and more questioning the human experience and why we live the way we do it seems the ‘crack down’ on free thought gets tighter and tighter. Do we really want to live in a world where we lose the right to choose what we do with our own body, or one where certain rights and freedoms are taken away if we don’t comply? The next question is, what do we do about it? Those who are in a position to enforce these measures must, it seems, have a shift in consciousness and refuse to implement them. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer, but there is no doubt that we are currently going through that possible process, we are living in it.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Awareness

Psycho-Acoustic Medicine: Science Behind Sound Healing For Serotonin Production

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A number of studies and experiments have shown that sound can be used as medicine for various ailments and diseases.

  • Reflect On:

    Is our modern day medical industry truly interested in the health and well-being of people, or do profit and control take more priority?

Mental illness has reached an all time high in the world, and yet the modern day medicines to relieve symptoms have gained controversy. This is, in part, why people have dug up the past to better understand alternative ways of healing.

Sound, for instance, has been a tool for promoting the physical and emotional health of the body for as long as history can account for, deeply rooted in ancient cultures and civilizations. The ancient Egyptians used vowel sound chants in healing because they believed vowels were sacred. Tibetan monks take advantage of singing bowls, which they believe to be “a symbol of the unknowable” whose “vibrations have been described as the sound of the universe manifesting.”

“Our various states of consciousness are directly connected to the ever-changing electrical, chemical, and architectural environment of the brain. Daily habits of behavior and thought processes have the ability to alter the architecture of brain structure and connectivity, as well as, the neurochemical and electrical neural oscillations of your mind.”

Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of the perception of sound, and it has fueled researchers paths to better understand how it can be used as medicine. For instance, in 1973, Dr. Gerald Oster, a medical doctor and biophysicist, proved, in his research paper, “Auditory Beats in the Brain,” how sound affects the how the brain absorbs new information, controls mood, sleep patterns, healing responses, and more, and how quickly. Thus, specific frequencies of sound and music can be used to generate neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

brain_scan

To understand the fundamentals of sound in healing, we must first understand our brain waves. The nucleus of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, is the communication between neurons. Brain waves are generated by way of electrical pulses working in unison from masses of neurons interacting with one another. Brain waves are divided into five different bandwidths that are thought to form a spectrum of human consciousness.

The slowest of the waves are delta waves (.5 to 3 Hz), which are the slowest brain waves and occur mostly during our deepest state of sleep. The fastest of the waves are gamma waves (25 to 100 Hz), which are associated with higher states of conscious perception. Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz) occur when the brain is daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation.

According to Dr. Suzanne Evans Morris, Ph.D., a speech-language pathologist:

Research shows that different frequencies presented to each ear through stereo headphones… create a difference tone (or binaural beat) as the brain puts together the two tones it actually hears. Through EEG monitoring the difference tone is identified by a change in the electrical pattern produced by the brain. For example, frequencies of 200 Hz and 210 Hz produce a binaural beat frequency of 10 Hz (The difference in 210 Hz and 200 Hz is 10 Hz). Monitoring of the brain’s electricity (EEG) shows that the brain produces increased 10 Hz activity with equal frequency and amplitude of the wave form in both hemispheres of the brain (left and right hemisphere).

It is thought that different brain wave patterns are connected to the production in the brain of certain neurochemicals linked with relaxation and stress release, as well as better learning and creativity, memory, and more. Such neurochemicals include beta-endorphins, growth factors, gut peptides, acetylcholine, vasopressin, and serotonin.

A series of experiments conducted by neuro-electric therapy engineer Dr. Margaret Patterson and Dr. Ifor Capel, revealed how alpha brainwaves boosted the production of serotonin. Dr. Capel explained:

As far as we can tell, each brain center generates impulses at a specific frequency based on the predominant neurotransmitter it secretes. In other words, the brain’s internal communication system—its language, is based on frequency… Presumably, when we send in waves of electrical energy at, say, 10 Hz, certain cells in the lower brain stem will respond because they normally fire within that frequency range.

Additional research upholds the beliefs of mind-body medicine in this sense, stating that brainwaves being in the Alpha state, 8 to 14 Hz, permits a vibration allowing for more serotonin to be created.

It’s important for us to come to terms with the fact that there is science behind age-old medicinal practices that do not require putting unknown substances in our bodies to alleviate issues like stress, depression, anxiety, and more.

But even more intriguing is to think something as simple as sound, as music, which we have come to treat as utterly pleasurable entertainment, has not only been used to promote healing and well-being, but has proven to work through research as well.

If your mental health is of concern, try listening to a binaural beat to generate alpha waves between 8 and 14 Hz to produce more serotonin. Another option is to take advantage of music that promotes a relaxed alpha state in the brain such as classical music.

Related CE Article: Research Shows We Can Heal With Vibration, Frequency & Sound

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Awareness

Study: Short Break From Cosmetics Causes “Significant Drop of Hormone Disrupting Chemicals”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas demonstrates how even a short break from certain kinds of makeup, shampoos and lotions leads to a large drop in levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is this industry so poorly regulated?

A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle Salinas has demonstrated how taking even a short break from various cosmetics, shampoos, and other personal care products can lead to a substantial drop in the levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals present within the body.

The results from the study were published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers gave 100 Latina teenagers various personal care products that were labeled to be free of common chemicals including phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and oxybenzone. These chemicals are used regularly in almost all conventional personal care products such as cosmetics, soap, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products, and animal studies have shown that they directly interfere with the body’s endocrine system.

“Because women are the primary consumers of many personal care products, they may be disproportionately exposed to these chemicals,” said study lead author Kim Harley, associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health. “Teen girls may be at particular risk since it’s a time of rapid reproductive development, and research has suggested that they use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.”

Results

After just a three-day trial with the girls using only the lower-chemical products, urine samples showed a significant drop in the level of chemicals in the body. Methyl and propyl parabens, commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics, dropped 44% and 45%, respectively, metabolites of diethyl phthalate, used often in perfumes, dropped by 27%, and both triclosan and benzophenone-3 fell 36%. The authors of the study were surprised to see an increase in two lesser common parabens, but, being minor, could easily have been caused by accidental contamination or a substitute not listed on the labels.

Co-director of the study Kimberly Parra explains why having local youths participate in the study was of particular importance:

The results of the study are particularly interesting on a scientific level, but the fact that high school students led the study set a new path to engaging youth to learn about science and how it can be used to improve the health of their communities. After learning of the results, the youth took it upon themselves to educate friends and community members, and presented their cause to legislatures in Sacramento.

Included in the CHAMACOS Youth Council were 12 local high school students who helped design and implement the study. One of the teen researchers, Maritza Cárdenas, is now a UC Berkeley undergraduate majoring in molecular and cell biology.

“One of the goals of our study was to create awareness among the participants of the chemicals found in everyday products, to help make people more conscious about what they’re using,” said Cárdenas. “Seeing the drop in chemical levels after just three days shows that simple actions can be taken, such as choosing products with fewer chemicals, and make a difference.”

The researchers noted that cosmetics and personal care products are not well-regulated in this country, and that getting data about health effects from exposure, particularly long-term ones, is difficult. But they say there is growing evidence linking endocrine-disrupting chemicals to neurobehavioral problems, obesity and cancer cell growth.

What Can You Do?

Well, you can be sure to check the labels on any products you purchase. Most personal care products contain a list of ingredients, but unfortunately many cosmetics do not. If you use a particular brand that you really love you can try contacting the manufacturer directly and asking them for an ingredient list.

You can also opt for more natural and organic products, but be sure to keep in mind that in the industry of personal care products, the words “natural” and “organic” are often meaningless. A safe bet would be to buy these products from a health food store and be sure to read the ingredients or ask the sales clerk. Generally, when products do not contain specific chemicals, the manufacturers are happy to label them as such.

The less demand for these chemically-laden products there is, the less these chemicals will be used. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR! We have the power to create the type of world we want. Be the change.

Check out The Story Of Cosmetics below!

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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