Is there a difference between products that are labelled unscented or fragrance free? Yes, and if you want to avoid scented products then fragrance free is what you’re looking for.
Many consumers are under the misconception that unscented and fragrance free are the same thing. They are not. Fragrance free means no fragrance or masking fragrance was added to the product.
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Unscented products are products that use a masking fragrance to hide the scent of the product.
What does fragrance mean?
Fragrance can be a combination of either natural or synthetic ingredients. In truth the list of chemicals used in a scent can be quite lengthy. In addition a scent can be considered a trade secret and therefore companies can use the term “fragrance” or “parfum” on a product label without disclosing specific ingredients.
Why should I be concerned if a product has fragrance?
There are more than 2,500 chemical ingredients used in fragrances such as perfumes, lotions, detergents, fabric softeners and other consumer products. They are added to give products a pleasant smell. Many however can also cause asthmatic reactions, allergies and skin irritations.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, fragrance allergy is the number one cause of skin irritation and because they contain phthalates, it can carry additional risks.
Fragrance can be composed of dozens or even hundreds of synthetic chemicals. Why is that a problem? Because you truly have no idea of what you are buying or using. If you have respiratory problems such as asthma or are chemically sensitive, these chemicals can have a potent and negative effect on your health.
Without proper labeling, how are you the consumer to know if a particular product contains an ingredient that is a known allergen or irritant for you?
Isn’t fragrance regulated?
The FDA gave companies a loop hole in labeling back in 1966. It was originally created so that a company would not have to list proprietary ingredients on their label. This would prevent others from copying their formulas and recreating a product under their own label. So under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1966, companies do not have to list all of the ingredients used in their products.
Fragranced ingredients must meet the same safety requirements as other cosmetic ingredients. However, they do not require FDA approval before they go on the market. Under U.S. regulation, scented products can simply use the word “fragrance” on their ingredients list. Each chemical ingredient used to create a particular scent does not have to be listed on the label, they simply fall under that one word “fragrance”.
The FDA does not have the same legal authority to require allergen labelling on cosmetic products as they do for food products. So if fragrance is an issue for you, your best bet is to stay with fragrance free products.
Unscented doesn’t mean free of fragrance
Unscented products traditionally have a masking fragrance. A masking fragrance is a scent that covers up unpleasant odors. If you don’t smell anything when you open a product, that’s another indication that a masking agent has been used to cloak or hide the smell. A fragrance free product will have some natural fragrance to it, usually related to base materials used in a product such as olive oil, coconut oil or shea butter.
In addition to masking fragrances, fragrances are created with phthalates; an industrial product that is known to cause hormone disruptions and is linked to numerous health issues, including various cancers. Yet they still remain in synthetic fragrances and numerous personal care products.
Allergies and asthma are common and significant reactions to fragranced products. The problems can be compounded as fragrances are layered by using multiple products. Consider the amounts of products that are used daily by consumers: scented detergent, scented dryer sheets, scented shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, cologne, perfume, etc. It all adds up and it all adds to your toxic body burden.
What are phthalates?
Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are commonly used in numerous consumer products such as nail polish, hair sprays, toys, vinyl flooring, wall papers, food packaging, after shave, cologne, perfume and other fragranced products.
What is a masking fragrance?
Fragrance and masking fragrance are the same thing. They are each a fragrance but with different purposes. Fragrances are used to give a product a pleasant smell. A masking fragrance is used to hide or cover up the smell of a product that may have an unpleasant or bad odor.
In addition, masking fragrance is used to create the illusion that a product is unscented, when in reality it is not. So while it is smell free, it isn’t fragrance free.
What does fragrance free mean?
Fragrance free means that no masking scents or fragrance are used in the product. The product should have a clear label that says “fragrance-free” somewhere on the label. Words that are indicative of fragrance such as “natural fragrance” “fragrance,” “perfume,” or “parfum” should not be listed anywhere on the label or in the ingredients.
You have the right to know what is in the products you use. Become a label reader. If in doubt contact the company directly to ask questions or voice your concern. Your health matters!
New Research Adds Evidence That Weed Killer Glyphosate Disrupts Hormones
New research is adding worrisome evidence to concerns that the widely used weed killing chemical glyphosate may have the potential to interfere with human hormones.
In a paper published in the journal Chemosphere titled Glyphosate and the key characteristics of an endocrine disruptor: A review, a trio of scientists concluded that glyphosate appears to have eight out of ten key characteristics associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals . The authors cautioned, however, that prospective cohort studies are still needed to more clearly understand the impacts of glyphosate on the human endocrine system.
The authors, Juan Munoz, Tammy Bleak and Gloria Calaf, each affiliated with the University of Tarapacá in Chile, said their paper is the first review to consolidate the mechanistic evidence on glyphosate as an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC).
Some of the evidence suggests that Roundup, Monsanto’s well-known glyphosate-based herbicide, can alter the biosynthesis of the sexual hormones, according to the researchers.
EDCs may mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones and are linked with developmental and reproductive problems as well as brain and immune system dysfunction.
The new paper follows publication earlier this year of an assortment of animal studies that indicated glyphosate exposures impact reproductive organs and threaten fertility.
Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide, sold in 140 countries. Introduced commercially in 1974 by Monsanto Co, the chemical is the active ingredient in popular products such as Roundup and hundreds of other weed killers used by consumers, municipalities, utilities, farmers, golf course operators, and others around the world.
Dana Barr, a professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, said the evidence “tends to overwhelmingly indicate that glyphosate has endocrine disrupting properties.”
“It’s not necessarily unexpected since glyphosate has some structural similarities with many other endocrine disrupting pesticides; however, it is more concerning because glyphosate use far surpasses other pesticides,” said Barr, who directs a program within a National Institutes of Health-funded human exposure research center housed at Emory. “Glyphosate is used on so many crops and in so many residential applications such that aggregate and cumulative exposures can be considerable.”
Phil Landrigan, director of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health, and a professor of biology
at Boston College, said the review pulled together “strong evidence” that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor.
“The report is consistent with a larger body of literature indicating that glyphosate has a wide range of adverse health effects – findings that overturn Monsanto’s long-standing
EDCs have been a subject of concern since the 1990s after a series of publications suggested that some chemicals commonly used in pesticides, industrial solvents, plastics, detergents, and other substances could have the capacity to disrupt connections between hormones and their receptors.
Scientists generally recognized ten functional properties of agents that alter hormone action, referring to these as ten “key characteristics” of endocrine-disruptors. The ten characteristics are as follows:
- Alter hormone distribution of circulating levels of hormones
- Induce alterations in hormone metabolism or clearance
- Alter the fate of hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
- Alter hormone receptor expression
- Antagonize hormone receptors
- Interact with or activate hormone receptors
- Alter signal transduction in hormone-responsive cells
- Induce epigenetic modifications in hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
- Alter hormone synthesis
- Alter hormone transport across cell membranes
The authors of the new paper said a review of the mechanistic data showed that glyphosate met all of the key characteristics with the exception of two: “Regarding glyphosate, there is no evidence associated with the antagonistic capacity of hormonal receptors,” they said. As well, “there is no evidence of its impact on hormonal metabolism or clearance,” according to the authors.
Research over the last few decades has largely focused on links found between glyphosate and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL.) In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
More than 100,000 people have sued Monsanto in the United States alleging exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides caused them or their loved ones to develop NHL.
The plaintiffs in the nationwide litigation also claim Monsanto has long sought to hide the risks of its herbicides. Monsanto lost three out of three trials and its German owner Bayer AG has spent the last year and a half trying to settle the litigation out of court.
The authors of the new paper took note of the ubiquitous nature of glyphosate, saying “massive use” of the chemical has “led to a wide environmental diffusion,” including rising exposures tied to human consumption of the weed killer through food.
The researchers said that though regulators say the levels of glyphosate residue commonly found in foods are low enough to be safe, they “cannot rule out” a “potential risk” to people consuming foods containing contaminated with the chemical, particularly grains and other plant-based foods, which often have higher levels than milk, meat or fish products.
Canadian government researchers have also reported glyphosate residues in foods. One report issued in 2019 by scientists from Canada’s Agri-Food Laboratories at the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry found glyphosate in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.
Despite the concerns about glyphosate impacts on human health, including through dietary exposure, U.S. regulators have steadfastly defended the safety of the chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains that it has not found ”any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.”
Positive Association Found Amongst COVID Deaths & Flu Shot Rates Worldwide In Elderly
- The Facts:
A recently published paper has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.
- Reflect On:
Why does vaccine hesitancy continue to grow worldwide? What's going on? What information/factors are contributing to this hesitancy?
What Happened: A recently published study in PeerJ by Christian Wehenkel, a Professor at Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango in Mexico, has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.
According to the study, “The results showed a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and IVR (influenza vaccination rate) of people ≥65 years-old. There is a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths from eastern to western regions in the world. Further exploration is needed to explain these findings, and additional work on this line of research may lead to prevention of deaths associated with COVID-19.”
To determine this association, data sets from 39 countries with more than half a million people were analyzed.
The study was published on October 1st, and two weeks later a note from the publisher appeared atop the paper emphasizing that correlation does not equal causation, and that this paper “should not be taken to suggest that receiving the influenza vaccination results in an increased risk of death for an individual with COVID-19 as there may be confounding factors at play.”
The paper provides evidence from others which have recently been published that ponder if the flu shot could increase ones chance of contracting and dying from COVID-19.
For example, this study published in April of 2020, reported a negative correlation between influenza vaccination rates (IVRs) and COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity. Marín-Hernández, Schwartz & Nixon (2020) also showed epidemiological evidence of an association between higher influenza vaccine uptake by elderly people and lower percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Italy, which directly contradicts the author’s own findings and suggests that the flu shot may help prevent COVID-19 related deaths.
He goes on to mention another study:
In a study analyzing 92,664 clinically and molecularly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil, Fink et al. (2020) reported that patients who received a recent flu vaccine experienced on average 17% lower odds of death. Moreover, Pawlowski et al. (2020) analyzed the immunization records of 137,037 individuals who tested positive in a SARS-CoV-2 PCR. They found that polio, Hemophilus influenzae type-B, measles-mumps-rubella, varicella, pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13), geriatric flu, and hepatitis A/hepatitis B (HepA-HepB) vaccines, which had been administered in the past 1, 2, and 5 years, were associated with decreased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates.
So, its important to mention that correlations between the flu vaccine have also found that it may decrease ones chance of deaths from COVID-19.
But are there studies that have shown an increased chance of death or contracting other respiratory viruses as a result of getting the flu shot? Yes.
That’s also discussed in the paper. For example, he mentions a paper published in 2018:
In a study with 6,120 subjects, Wolff (2020) reported that influenza vaccination was significantly associated with a higher risk of some other respiratory diseases, due to virus interference. In a specific examination of non-influenza viruses, the odds of coronavirus infection (but not the COVID-19 virus) in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher, when compared to unvaccinated individuals (odds ratio = 1.36).
The study above found the flu shot to increase the risk of other coronaviruses among those who had been vaccinated for influenza by 36 percent. The study was conducted prior to COVID-19, so it’s not included and only applies to pre-existing coronaviruses. The study also found an even higher chance of contracting human metapneumovirus amongst those who had received the flu shot.
Below are some more studies regarding the flu shot and viral infections that hint to the same idea.
- A 2018 CDC study (Rikin et al 2018) found that flu shots increase the risk of non-flu acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs), including coronavirus, in children.
- A 2011 Australian study (Kelly et al 2011) found that flu shots doubled the risk for non-flu viral lung infections.
- A 2012 Hong Kong study (Cowling et al 2012) found that flu shots increase the risk for non-flu respiratory infections by 4.4 times.
- A 2017 study (Mawson et al 2017) found vaccinated children were 5.9 times more likely to suffer pneumonia than their unvaccinated peers.
Why This Is Important: We live in an age where vaccinations are heavily marketed. We’ve seen this with the flu shot time and time again and we are also living in an age where a push for more mandated vaccines seems to be growing.
Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) and also an assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.” In it, he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”
This is a touchy subject that dives into medical ethics and the connections that big pharmaceutical companies have with our federal health regulatory agencies and health associations. Vaccines are a multi billion dollar industry.
At a recent World Health Organization conference on vaccine safety, it was expressed that vaccine hesitancy is growing at quite a fast pace, especially among doctors who are now becoming hesitant to recommend certain vaccines on the schedule. You can read more about that and find links to the conference here.
We have to ask ourselves, why is this happening? Is it because people and professionals are becoming aware of certain information that warrants the freedom of choice? Should freedom of choice with regards to what we put in our body always remain? Are we really protecting the “herd” by taking these actions?
In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors show that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies “have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease.” It is time, they suggest, to cast aside coercion in favor of voluntary choice.
When it comes to the flu shot, I put more information and science as to why so many people seem to refuse it, in this article if interested.
The University of California is currently being sued for mandating the flu shot for all staff, faculty and students. A judge has prevented them from doing so as a result until a decision has been made. You can read more about that here.
In South Korea, 48 people have now died after receiving the flu shot this season causing a lot of controversy. You can read more about that here.
The Takeaway: There are many concerns with vaccines, and vaccine injury is one of them. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.
Should these statistics alone warrant the freedom of choice? Should the government have the ability to force us into measures, or would it simply be better for them to present the science, make recommendations and urge people to follow them? When the citizenry is forced and coerced into certain actions, sometimes under the guise of good-will, there always seems to be a tremendous amount of uproar and people who disagree. Why are these people silenced? Why are they censored? Why are they ridiculed? Why don’t independent health organizations receive the same voice and reach that government and state “owned” or organizations do? What’s going on here? Do we really live in a free, open and transparent world or are we simply subjected to massive amounts of perception manipulation?
When it come to the flu shot there is plenty of information on both sides of the coin that point to its effectiveness, and on the other hand there is information that points to the complete opposite. When something is not 100 percent clear, freedom of choice in all places should always remain, in my opinion.
Some South Korean Doctors & Politicians Call To Stop Flu Shots After 48 People Die
- The Facts:
The number of South Koreans who have died after getting flu shots has risen to 48, but health authorities in South Korea have found no link between the vaccine and the deaths.
- Reflect On:
Is the flu shot as safe as it's marketed to be?
What Happened: It’s that time of year and flu shot programs are rolling out across the globe. The number of South Koreans who have died after getting the flu shot has now risen to 48 and some South Korean doctors and politicians have called to stop flu shots as a result, according to Reuters. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has decided not to stop the program, and that flu vaccines would continue to be given and will reduce the chance of having simultaneous epidemics in the era of COVID-19.
Health authorities in South Korea have explained that they’ve found no direct link between these deaths and the shots. KDCA Director Jeong Eun-kyung said, “After reviewing death cases so far, it is not the time to suspend a flu vaccination programme since vaccination is very crucial this year, considering…the COVID-19 outbreaks.”
According to Reuters, “Some initial autopsy results from the police and the National Forensic Service showed that 13 people died of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and other disorders not caused by the vaccination.”
The South Korean government is hopeful to vaccinate approximately 30 million of the country’s 54 million people.
Concerns Some People Have With The Flu Shot: One concern many people seem to have is the worry of a severe adverse reaction.
Dr. Alvin Moss, MD and professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine emphasizes in this video:
The flu vaccine happens to be the vaccine that causes the most injury in this country. The vaccine injury compensation program, 40 percent of all vaccinations in this country are flu shots, but 60 percent of all the compensations are for the flu vaccine. So a disproportionate number of vaccine related injuries are the flu shot.
Moss is one of many who believe that the flu vaccine is not as effective as it’s been marketed to be. For example, A study recently published in Global Advances In Health & Medicine titled “Ascorbate as Prophylaxis and Therapy for COVID-19—Update From Shanghai and U.S. Medical Institutions outlines the following:
Recently outlined A recent consensus statement from a group of renowned infectious disease clinicians observed that vaccine programs have proven ill-suited to the fast-changing viruses underlying these illnesses, with efficacy ranging from 19% to 54% in the past few years.
Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.” In it, he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”
These are just a few examples out of many claiming that the flu shot has not really been effective, opposing others that claim it is. Mercury that’s still present in some flu shots also seems to be a concern.
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.
Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project stated at a World Health Organization (WHO) conference that more doctors are starting to be hesitant when it comes to recommending vaccines.
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…
This is no secret, and actions against mandates are being taken. The University of California was recently sued for making the flu shot mandatory. That trial will begin soon, and you can read more about it here, and find information regarding the claim that the flu shot can help in the times of COVID-19.
The Takeaway: We are living in an age of extreme censorship of information, no matter how credible or how much evidence is provided, information that goes against the grain always seems to receive a harsh backlash from mainstream media as well as social media outlets. Why is there a digital fact checker patrolling the internet? Should people not have the right to examine information openly and freely and determine for themselves what is and what isn’t?
As far as vaccines are concerned, despite the fact that there are many safety issues the scientific community is bringing up, a push for vaccine mandates continues and the idea that we are protecting other people is usually the narrative that’s pushed hard. Vaccine skepticism is growing at a fast pace among people of all professions, and people aren’t stupid. There’s a reason why more and more people are starting to question what we’ve been told for years, and those reasons should be acknowledged and openly discussed amongst people on both sides of the coin.
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