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Weeding Out Vaccine Toxins: MMR, Glyphosate, and the Health of a Generation

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By Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT, printed here with permission from The World Mercury Project.

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Glyphosate, often sold under the brand name “Roundup,” is the most widely used weed killer in the U.S. Glyphosate is a “non-selective herbicide,” which means it kills many plants, not just weeds. It kills them by interfering with the production of critical proteins necessary for growth.

-->Listened to our latest podcast episode yet? Joe and Dr. Madhava Setty deliver a special report aimed at gaining clarity around the COVID-19 vaccine. Is it safe and effective? Can it actually change your DNA? Click here to listen!

In commercial agriculture, Roundup is used on “Roundup Ready” crops—crops that have been genetically modified to resist the powerful toxic effects of glyphosate. The list of Roundup Ready crops includes soy, corn, canola and sugar beets. It is important to remember that, while these plants have been modified to resist the harmful effects of glyphosate, the people and animals that eat them have not.

It is important to remember that, while these plants have been modified to resist the harmful effects of glyphosate, the people and animals that eat them have not.

In a series of articles, my colleague Anthony Samsel and I have been exploring the connection between glyphosate and a number of diseases, including multiple sclerosis, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. In our most recent article, “Glyphosate Pathways to Modern Diseases VI: Prions, Amyloidoses and Autoimmune Neurological Diseases,” we present evidence that glyphosate has made its way into several widely used vaccines. We describe how the glyphosate residue contained in vaccines might induce the kind of autoimmune responses typically observed in autism.

Interestingly, of all the vaccines we tested, MMR stood out as consistently having the highest level of glyphosate contamination. This fact may help explain why the MMR vaccine, which contains neither mercury nor aluminum, has been implicated so often in vaccine injury and autism.

How Might Glyphosate Make Its Way into Vaccines?

Vaccines can become contaminated in many ways. One potential source of contamination is the animal tissue (chicken embryo, fetal bovine serum, monkey kidney, etc.) that is used as a culture medium to grow the viruses contained in vaccines. The measles virus for the MMR is grown on gelatin made from the bones and ligaments of commercially raised cows and pigs, animals that have been fed a steady diet of Roundup Ready corn and soy feed. Gelatin is also used as a stabilizer in vaccines, creating another possible route of contamination.

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As Roundup producer Monsanto itself has reported, the residue from glyphosate tends to accumulate in the bones, marrow, and collagen-rich ligaments of animals. Anthony Samsel confirmed this finding in his own study of the bones, marrow, and other parts of pigs and cows, as well as the derived bovine gelatin.

To provide additional evidence that gelatin is the source of glyphosate contamination in vaccines, Samsel looked at a number of gelatin-based products, including Jell-O, gummi vitamins, and protein powders. He also looked at digestive enzymes such as trypsin and lipase. He found significant glyphosate residue in all of them. It should come as no surprise, then, that all of the vaccines that list gelatin and bovine serum as ingredients tested positive for glyphosate, while those that contained neither of these ingredients tested negative.

Glyphosate may be contributing to another source of vaccine contamination. In a recentstudy published in the International Journal of Vaccines and Vaccination, researchers were shocked to discover a variety of toxic metals in a number of common vaccines. Platinum, silver, bismuth, iron, and chromium all showed up in the MMR vaccine. The source of these contaminants is considered to be a mystery. It is interesting to note in this context that glyphosate was first patented as a pipe cleaner due to its remarkable ability to chelate metals. It may be the case that glyphosate is playing a role in extracting metals from containers during the manufacture of vaccines.

My research leads me to believe that synergistic toxicity between glyphosate and vaccines, particularly MMR, is a major factor in the growing autism epidemic. The severity of MMR-related adverse events, as reflected in the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, has increased steadily in recent years—along with the use of glyphosate on corn and soy crops in the U.S. Some of the reactions that have become significantly more common after 2002 compared to before 2002 are seizures, anaphylactic shock, asthma, autism, eczema, irregular heart rate, and ear infection. Of course, correlation does not prove causation; it is important to understand how glyphosate residues might disrupt the body’s immune system.

How Might the Glyphosate in Vaccines Cause Autism?

In our recent article, Samsel and I describe how the measles virus in the MMR, which is grown on nutrients contaminated with glyphosate, could incorporate this glyphosate into its own proteins, as a coding error, in place of the amino acid glycine. Glyphosate is a glycine molecule with an additional methyl phosphonyl group attached to the nitrogen atom, and we have argued that a key mechanism of its insidious cumulative toxicity is its ability to substitute for glycine by mistake during protein synthesis.

Haemagglutinin is the main antigen produced by the measles virus that is responsible for inducing an antibody response to the vaccine. A glyphosate-contaminated haemagglutinin molecule from a measles virus will be much more allergenic than one that is free of glyphosate. When the measles virus from the vaccine gains access to the brain, the brain’s immune system acquires antibodies to this abnormal haemagglutinin molecule, and then, through molecular mimicry, these antibodies become autoantibodies to myelin basic protein, a basic component of the myelin sheath. This autoimmune attack on the nerve fibers in the brain disrupts neuronal communication channels, causing the symptoms of autism.

Vijendra K. Singh and his colleagues at Utah State University have published multiple papers, dating back to the 1990s, proposing that an autoimmune attack on the myelin sheath due to a viral infection may be a causative factor in autism. In their 2002 paper,“Abnormal Measles-Mumps-Rubella Antibodies and CNS Autoimmunity in Children with Autism,” they concluded that “an inappropriate antibody response to MMR, specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism.” A paperpublished by Dr. William Shaw in 2017 discussed a set of triplets—two boys with autism and a girl with a seizure disorder—all of whom had high levels of glyphosate in their urine and a disrupted gut microbiome, which he proposed was a causative factor.

Gut Dysbiosis: a Primary Factor

Not all children will respond to a glyphosate-contaminated vaccine in the same way. A key factor that increases susceptibility of the brain to damage is an unhealthy gut microbiome, which leads to a leaky gut barrier and subsequently a leaky brain barrier, via a tight communication channel between the gut microbes and the brain. Prior chronic exposure to high levels of dietary glyphosate can set a child up for a severe adverse reaction to a vaccine. Dr. Andrew Wakefield, together with many colleagues, published a seminal articlein the Lancet in 1998 on a case study of twelve children, all of whom had a gut disorder and all of whom suffered onset of gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms following MMR vaccine, with regression into an autism-like syndrome.” Parents of eight of the children cited MMR as the trigger for their child’s decline. Wakefield was among the first scientists to recognize the important role of a disrupted gut microbiome in the etiology of autism. Unfortunately, the Lancet paper was later retracted and other researchers were very slow to follow up on this important lead, although finally today an unhealthy gut is recognized as a key feature linked to autism.

Dr. Wakefield recognized that the children in his study suffered from a leaky gut barrier, as a consequence of damage to the lining of the small intestine. This lining is covered with millions of small projections called villi, creating a huge surface area for the absorption of nutrients. The cells that form these villi, called enterocytes, begin life as an undifferentiated stem cell in the “crypt” area of the intestines. From there, they proliferate and mature as they migrate up the walls of the crypt, and then settle in on the surface of the villi, where they absorb nutrients before dying and getting replaced by new arrivals in a constant renewal process, as illustrated in Figure 1.

Glyphosate, as an amino acid, is actively imported into cells along L-type amino acid transporters. Cells that proliferate, like enterocytes, express high levels of these transporters, and therefore preferentially take up glyphosate. In Celiac disease (gluten intolerance), the enterocytes are destroyed more quickly due to exposure to glyphosate and other toxic chemicals. This damage causes the cells to proliferate more quickly, in order to replace destroyed cells. Increased proliferation causes an increase in the uptake of glyphosate, creating a downward spiral.

Thus, glyphosate residue in food sets a child up to fail following an MMR vaccine. Wheat, barley, oats, chick peas, lentils, and sugar cane are not glyphosate resistant, but glyphosate is frequently used as a desiccant or ripening agent for them right before harvest, and it is actively taken up by the seed. Some of the highest levels of glyphosate have been found as a contaminant in these non-GMO foods, so eating “non-GMO” is not adequate for glyphosate avoidance. Glyphosate is not allowed in organic agriculture, so buying USDA certified organic foods is the best option. Children with autism often suffer from gluten intolerance, and I believe glyphosate is a major causative factor in both conditions.

Figure 1: Schematic of the enterocytes in the villi lining the walls of the small intestine, which migrate upward from the crypt to the villus as they mature into functioning enterocytes from initial stem cells. These cells are especially vulnerable to glyphosate toxicity, leading to a leaky gut syndrome.

A Lost Generation

We have been misled for far too long by the claim that vaccines are “safe and effective.” It is not at all clear that inducing specific antibodies to a small set of infective agents, such as the measles virus, while weakening the immune system’s ability to fight off all the other infective agents in the environment, is the best way to deal with infectious disease. As we have seen, antibodies can become autoantibodies and attack the body’s own tissues, leading to chronic diseases that are often worse than the infectious diseases they protect from. Vaccinated children suffer from many debilitating neurological and autoimmune diseases in far greater numbers than unvaccinated children. The manufacture of vaccines is a tricky process, and along with the acknowledged toxic ingredients like mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde, they also have been found to contain contaminants like glyphosate and toxic metals that may well be the biggest contributors to severe adverse reactions.

As we have seen, antibodies can become autoantibodies and attack the body’s own tissues, leading to chronic diseases that are often worse than the infectious diseases they protect from.

Children today may already be a lost generation, but several policy changes need to take place in the immediate future to save subsequent generations from a similar fate. We need to repeal the 1986 legislation that protects pharmaceutical companies from liability when a child’s life is ruined by a vaccine. This will surely pressure them to try harder to keep impurities out of vaccines. We need to eliminate laws such as California’s SB277 that prevents unvaccinated children from enrolling in public or private schools, and be vigilant to ensure other states don’t follow suit. Then parents will be empowered to make decisions about the best path towards building a strong immune system in their child. Part of that program needs to be a switch to a 100 percent USDA certified organic diet, in order to protect children from the dangers posed by toxic herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Finally, we need to insist that our elected representatives pass laws that protect consumers from products like glyphosate, which are designed to disrupt processes that support life.

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER: Exposure to glyphosate may play an important role in the development of autism.

Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Glyphosate Exposure

1. Glyphosate is a “Probable” Carcinogen
In March of 2015, scientists at the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. The IARC report linked glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in humans and to cancer in laboratory animals, and indicated it can cause “DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells.”

2. Glyphosate is a Patented Antimicrobial Agent
Glyphosate disrupts the gut microbiome leading to the overgrowth of pathogens and inflammatory bowel disease.

3. Glyphosate Negatively Impacts the Brain
According to the National Pesticide Information Center at Oregon State University (NPIC), glyphosate exposure has been linked to developmental effects when administered to pregnant rats in high doses.

4. Glyphosate May Disrupt the Reproductive System

The Western world faces an epidemic in declining sperm quality.  The NPIC links high dose exposure in rats to negative reproductive effects.

5. Glyphosate May Be a Critical Factor the Autism Epidemic

Much evidence supports this, including disruption of the gut microbiome, chelation of important minerals like manganese and zinc, and extremely high correlations between time trends in autism and in the use of glyphosate on core crops.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff is a Senior Research Scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She has a BS degree from MIT in biology and MS, EE and PhD degrees from MIT in electrical engineering and computer science.  She has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings. Her recent interests have focused on the role of toxic chemicals and micronutrient deficiencies in health and disease, with a special emphasis on the pervasive herbicide, Roundup, and the mineral, sulfur.  She has authored over thirty peer-reviewed journal papers over the past few years on these topics, and has delivered numerous slide presentations around the world.

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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.

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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.

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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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