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CDC’s Infant Hep B Vaccine Recommendations – No Proof of Safety?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by Jeremy R. Hammond, Contributing Writer, Children’s Health Defense. Posted here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is the mainstream opposing credible information? Why do they say the science is settled when it's not? Why are they trying to shut down conversation and further investigation?

The CDC’s recommendation for universal hepatitis B vaccination of infants puts most children at unnecessary risk of harm from the vaccine.

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[Note: This is the second installment of a three-part Hep B series examining the CDC’s rationale for its universal infant hepatitis B vaccination recommendation. Part 1 explores the risk to infants of a Hepatitis B infection. (The vast majority of children in the US today are not at significant risk of hepatitis B infection.) Part 2 reveals how the agency began recommending vaccination for pregnant women and infants despite a complete lack of randomized, placebo-controlled trials demonstrating that these practices are safe. Part 3 examines the CDC’s 1991 policy shift to recommending that infants be ‘universally’ vaccinated, typically on the first day of their lives, thus placing millions of children at unnecessary risk of neurodevelopmental harm from the vaccine.]

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Before the introduction of the vaccine, numerous effective prevention measures had already been implemented to some degree in the US, including blood screening and administration of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) to infants born to HBsAg-positive women. HBIG containsprotective antibodies obtained from the blood plasma of selected donors, conferring passive immunity to the infant. It’s estimated to be about 75 percent effective in preventing chronic infection when given soon after exposure. Additionally, newborn infants may have maternal antibodies passively acquired through the placenta.

Nevertheless, the number of cases occurring in the US annually continued to increase until it peaked in 1985 at about 26,000 reported cases. The increase in prevalence was occurringparticularly among young adults. The decline seen during the second half of the 1980s through the early 1990s is attributed to a reduction in transmission among gay men and drug users as a result of efforts to prevent transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). From 1990 to 2004, incidence of acute hepatitis B infection declined by 75 percent, with most of the decline occurring among children and adolescents, coinciding with greater vaccination coverage.

Persons considered at “substantial risk” included various categories of health care workers, gay men, illicit injectable drug users, recipients of certain blood products, household and sexual contacts of HBV carriers, Alaskan Eskimos, immigrants or refugees from countries where HBV is highly endemic, and prison inmates.

The hepatitis B vaccine was first licensed for use in the United States in 1981. The following year, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued a recommendation for vaccination of high-risk individuals. The estimated lifetime risk of HBV infection at the time was approximately 5 percent for the US population as a whole, but rose to almost 100 percent for the highest-risk groups. Persons considered at “substantial risk” included various categories of health care workers, gay men, illicit injectable drug users, recipients of certain blood products, household and sexual contacts of HBV carriers, Alaskan Eskimos, immigrants or refugees from countries where HBV is highly endemic, and prison inmates.

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For infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers, the CDC recommended administration of HBIG. For infants whose mothers were chronic carriers (positive HBsAg but negative IgM-anti-HBc), the CDC additionally recommended a 3-dose vaccination regimen starting no sooner than 3 months of age. The CDC added that “Studies to determine the immunogenicity and efficacy of vaccine at birth, with or without HBIG, are currently under way.” (Emphasis added.)

The CDC admitted that, with respect to the developing fetus, safety data were not available, but assumed that the risk should be negligible on the grounds that the viral antigen contained in the vaccine was non-infectious. However, since the viral antigen was not the only component of the vaccine, the CDC’s conclusion did not logically follow.

The CDC did not say whether studies were being done to determine the safety of vaccinating infants at birth. This curious oversight was made despite the CDC’s acknowledgment that the vaccine included aluminum—a known neurotoxin—as an “adjuvant”. An adjuvant, as defined by the CDC, is “an ingredient used in some vaccines that helps create a stronger immune response in people receiving the vaccine.” Inasmuch as aluminum is a foreign substance in the body capable of causing disease and which triggers an immune response, aluminum also meets the CDC’s definition of an “antigen”.

Additionally, the hepatitis B vaccine being used at the time included another known neurotoxin: mercury.

Furthermore, the CDC included high-risk pregnant women within the scope of its recommendation by stating that pregnancy “should not be considered a contraindication to the use of this vaccine”.

The CDC admitted that, with respect to the developing fetus, safety data were “not available”, but assumed that the risk “should be negligible” on the grounds that the viral antigen contained in the vaccine was non-infectious. However, since the viral antigen was not the only component of the vaccine, the CDC’s conclusion did not logically follow.

This glaring non sequitur fallacy by the CDC is illustrative of a complete lack of concern among public health officials about the neurotoxicity of mercury and aluminum, both of which are known to pass through both the placental and blood-brain barriers.

In fact, the CDC issued its recommendations that high-risk pregnant women and infants of carrier mothers be vaccinated despite a complete absence of studies demonstrating that either practice was safe. The clinical trials used to obtain licensure for the vaccine had included only gay men.

Additionally, the CDC acknowledged that the duration of protection conferred by the vaccine had “not yet been determined.”

In 1984, the CDC revised its recommendation to include vaccination of infants at birth. Under the new policy, women belonging to high risk groups were to be tested routinely during prenatal visits, and if positive for HBsAg, HBIG was to be administered to the infant as soon as possible after delivery and preferably within twelve hours of birth. Now, instead of waiting until at least a week to initiate the vaccine regimen, the CDC advised giving the first dose within seven days of birth, further implying that this should preferably be done on the very first day of life by stating that the effectiveness of HBIG administered concurrently with vaccination increased the effectiveness of preventing chronic infection from 75 percent up to 90 percent. (According to the Pink Book, vaccination alone is 70 percent to 95 percent effective, while vaccination concurrent with HBIG within twenty-four hours of birth is 85 to 95 percent effective.)

While emphasizing that studies had shown vaccination to be effective, the CDC mentioned no studies demonstrating that it was safe to vaccinate newborn babies or to expose developing fetuses to mercury and aluminum by vaccinating pregnant women.

In an updated recommendation the following year, the CDC explicitly recommended vaccinating infants born to infected mothers concurrently with HBIG within twelve hours of birth. Once again, safety studies were not forthcoming.

In 1986, a new version of the hepatitis B vaccine was licensed for use in all ages. The older version was manufactured by isolating and purifying HBsAg from the blood plasma of infected individuals. The new vaccine, Merck’s Recombivax HB, instead contained viral proteins that were genetically engineered, manufactured by cloning the virus’s genetic coding for HBsAg into “recombinant” yeast.

Under federal law, vaccine manufacturers are required to include package inserts with their products providing adequate warnings about the risks of using them. These are publicly available on the FDA’s website. The current package insert for Recombivax HB, with respect to its effectiveness, states that “The duration of the protective effect of RECOMBIVAX HB in healthy vaccines is unknown at present and the need for booster doses is not yet defined.” The vaccine may also be ineffective if administered to an individual who is already infected.

It’s not known whether the vaccine’s contents are excreted in human milk, and there are no studies of the effects on breastfed infants or milk production. There are no studies to determine whether the vaccine can cause genetic mutations or cancer, or whether it can impair fertility.

With respect to its safety, Merck states that “There are no adequate and well-controlled studies designed to evaluate RECOMBIVAX HB in pregnant women.” Additionally, “Developmental toxicity studies have not been conducted with the vaccine in animals.” It’s not known whether the vaccine’s contents are excreted in human milk, and there are no studies of the effects on breastfed infants or milk production. There are no studies to determine whether the vaccine can cause genetic mutations or cancer, or whether it can impair fertility.

Merck does refer to post-licensure clinical studies relevant to pregnant women, but these were not actually designed to test the safety of the vaccine for this group. Instead, twenty-three pregnant women were vaccinated “inadvertently” early in their first trimester, four of whom ended up having a miscarriage. Merck states that this 17 percent miscarriage rate is “consistent with estimated background rates”, but given the fact these studies weren’t designed to determine whether fetal harm might occur, included a very small number of pregnant women, and didn’t include a placebo control group, this information is totally worthless in terms of risk assessment.

The only information about safety with respect to vaccinating infants refers to three clinical trials including a total of only “147 healthy infants and children (up to 10 years of age)”. Since the infants were grouped with older children and their number unspecified, this information is uninterpretable with respect to the safety of vaccinating infants still in the earliest stages of childhood development. The number of children included was also too low for these studies to have the statistical power necessary to detect any harms apart from those that occur very frequently. There was no placebo control group even to determine the statistical significance of reported adverse events, such as fever or rhinitis. Furthermore, these children were monitored for adverse events for only five days, so any adverse events occurring after that period of time were entirely missed.

This is particularly concerning given that symptoms of neurological damage from toxins like mercury and aluminum might not be noticeable for many weeks, months, or even years following exposure—not to mention the fact that it is not only single exposures that need to be taken into consideration, but the cumulative impact of all environmental toxic exposures.

Despite the total inadequacy of the clinical trials for determining the safety of vaccinating pregnant women and infants, a microbiologist from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Richard Daemer, assured the public of the new vaccine’s safety by stating that it “just can’t do any damage, period”.

The sole premise upon which that fallacious conclusion was based was, once again, that the vaccine did not contain a live virus capable of infection. It was a statement that once again demonstrated the complete lack of consideration among public health officials that mercury and aluminum, both of which were also included in Recombivax HB, could potentially cause neurodevelopmental harm to vulnerable fetuses and young infants.

That same year, the US Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which granted broad legal immunity against vaccine injury lawsuits to the pharmaceutical industry and established the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, funded by an excise tax on each vaccine dose, to effectively shift the financial burden for vaccine injuries away from the manufacturers and onto the taxpaying consumers. The Supreme Court in 2011 upheld legal immunity for vaccine manufacturers on the grounds that adverse reactions are “unavoidable” and design defects are “not a basis for liability”.

In 1988, the CDC once again revised its policy by recommending screening for all pregnant women, not just those in high risk groups, in an effort to reduce the number of perinatally infected infants who become chronic carriers. The number of such infants born each year was estimated to be about 3,500, which represented about one-fifth of the estimated number of births to HBsAg-positive women annually (16,500). A study done ten years later estimated that 97 percent of pregnant women in the US receive prenatal screening.

Once again, there was no placebo control group, and the researchers solicited only certain pre-selected adverse events by providing a symptom checklist. Once again, subjects were monitored for a very short term, which was only four days.

In 1989, a second recombinant HepB vaccine was licensed for use in all ages: GlaxoSmithKline’s Engerix‑B. Its package insert includes similar warnings as are included with Merck’s product. In thirty-six clinical trials, Engerix‑B was administered to 5,071 healthy adults, children, and newborn infants. Once again, including the unspecified number of infants with older children and adults renders this information uninterpretable with respect to the risks of vaccinating infants. Once again, there was no placebo control group, and the researchers solicited only certain pre-selected adverse events by providing a symptom checklist. Once again, subjects were monitored for a very short term, which was only four days.

[Part 3 examines the CDC’s 1991 policy shift to recommending that infants be ‘universally’ vaccinated, typically on the first day of their lives, thus placing millions of children at unnecessary risk of neurodevelopmental harm from the vaccine.]

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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!

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