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Awareness

From Sunscreen to Bug Spray: How To Protect Your Kids From Chemical Poisoning This Summer

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    From chemical-ladened sunscreens to bug sprays with DEET, there is plenty to be cautious about before lathering up your kids in the name of protection.

  • Reflect On:

    What simple changes can you make to protect your family this summer?

Summertime should be a carefree time of year as we head out on vacation, go to the beach, or hike in the woods. We shouldn’t have to worry about the products that we use or the environmental toxins that might be hanging around. Unfortunately, in today’s world, our children’s bodies are getting bombarded with neurotoxins and cancer-causing chemicals at every turn. If we compare total body burden to a container, we can only fill it to capacity. Anything above capacity causes spillover or, in other words, allergy symptoms and ultimately sickness.

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Here are some tips for reducing toxic exposure:

  1. Stop using chemical sunscreens.
  2. Stay away from conventional bug spray with DEET and other harmful chemicals.
  3. Avoid playgrounds and sports fields that use mulch made from recycled rubber tires.
  4. Reduce exposure to weed killers and pesticides found on grass, and in food.
  5. Do not drink from plastic bottles, especially ones left in the hot sun or a warm car.
  6. Prevent your child from drinking from a hose.

Chemical Sunscreens

It’s time we stop lathering our kids and ourselves with chemical sunscreen. Many ingredients in conventional sunscreens are not safe for humans or aquatic life. It is time that we stop using them. There is an abundance of data that links the ingredient Octinoxate to thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, and reproductive toxicity. It is also believed to affect development, brain function, and metabolism. Oxybenzone, sometimes called benzophenone-3, is linked to endocrine disruption,  organ toxicity, and allergies. Homosalate is used to prevent the body from absorbing UV light. This ingredient is linked to hormone disruption and is believed to enhance the absorption of toxic bug spray and pesticides.  Other dangerous ingredients include: artificial fragrances and preservatives such as BHT, which when applied to the skin is believed to be associated with toxic effects in lung tissue.

Vitamin D3 – The Sunshine Vitamin

Despite widespread belief, moderate sun exposure is beneficial to our health. Vitamin D, especially the form D3 or “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body makes itself with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Low vitamin D levels in your blood are linked to a higher incidence of cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and many other degenerative diseases. So, hold off on trying to protect yourself from the rays of the sun at every turn. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

Safer Alternatives

To protect ourselves from overexposure to UV rays and help prevent skin cancer, here are some tips:

  1. Cover-up. Wear hats and protective clothing when appropriate.
  2. Be more mindful about sitting in the shade or purchase a sun umbrella. UV rays are most harmful between 10 am and 4 pm.
  3. Shop for natural, mineral-zinc based, certified products free from toxic chemicals. Use products that are safer for your family and wildlife. When my family is exposed to extremely hot climates or when they are in the sun for extended periods of time, we use sunscreens by Badger, Babo Botanicals, Goddess Garden, and 7th Avenue products.
  4. Use lotion over sprays as to not inhale any particles, which may pose a risk no matter how safe the ingredients. Also, lotions ensure a more even application, so you know you are completely covered.

Conventional Bug Spray

Are you being poisoned by your bug spray? Most bug repellents contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) or Picaridin as their active ingredient. Many do not realize how harmful these chemicals are to their health. DEET is linked to seizures, slurred speech, confusion, rashes, and other neurological disturbances. It can melt plastic and other synthetic fabrics, so you can imagine what it may do to your body. DEET is also believed to cause cell death. Picaridin does not seem to carry the same neurotoxicity as DEET. However, it is a chemical created by Bayer in the 1980s and does seem to pose some risks. A review of reports to the National Poison Data System between 2000 and 2015 found only one moderate effect reported from the use of picaridin-containing products – the remaining cases were classified as having minor impacts including ocular irritation, pain, vomiting, and oral irritation.

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Safer Alternatives

To protect ourselves from mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other pesky insects, here are some tips:

  1. Wear pants, a hat, socks, shoes, and long sleeves, especially when venturing into the woods, dense brush, or tall grass with possible bug infestations.
  2. Be mindful of adding extra protection during the early morning and evening hours as well as during periods of peeked humidity. Use nets or bug zappers over outdoor eating areas. Place nets over strollers and baby carriers.
  3. Shop for natural insect repellants that do not use harmful chemicals. Use products that are safer for your family and wildlife. Just be careful about using bug spray that contains Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus on children younger than three years old. Some products I love that work extremely well are Skedattle – Natural Bug Spray, Buzz Away, and Herbal Armor.
  4. Make your bug spray. Mix ½ cup of witch hazel, ½ cup of vinegar, and one Tbs of rubbing alcohol with a generous amount of lavender essential oil, geranium oil, rosemary oil, and citronella oil (10-30 drops of each) in a glass spray bottle and apply.
  5. Rub any dried leaf from the lavender or mint family all over your body to the delicate parts of the body such as underarms, behind ears, and neck.
  6. Eat garlic and drink Cistus tea. Bugs hate both, and your skin will secrete them acting as a natural deterrent.
  7. Pretreat your clothing with natural repellants by spraying it ahead of wearing it.

Recycled Tire Mulch

Children and athletes are exposed to dangerous turf and playgrounds. There has been increasing evidence that rubber and other synthetic materials used on playground surfaces and athletic fields are toxic to our health. They contain phthalates (chemicals that affect hormones, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other chemicals. These chemicals are also linked to an increased risk of birth defects and cancer.

Synthetic Pesticides & Weed Killers

From the food we eat to the grass our children play on, pesticides and herbicides seem to be everywhere. They are poisons designed to kill, and unfortunately, are harming more than what they are targeting. Not only do pesticides kill insects, they also kill the good gut bacteria (the microbiome) in our intestinal system that regulates our immune system as a whole, and they kill the bugs by targeting their nervous system. Ingredients in herbicides such as glyphosate target plants by specifically blocking the action of a critical enzyme that plants use to synthesize three amino acids (tyrosinetryptophan, and phenylalanine), which are essential components of all proteins.

Without the ability to synthesize these amino acids, the plants die. Humans ingest these chemicals daily… what could possibly go wrong? For starters, many published studies have proven the relationships between exposure to pesticides/herbicides and the deterioration of human health, including neurological disorders and cancer. And yet, many are still on the market and heavily consumed. To avoid these chemicals, we must eat organic foods and become more mindful of the grass we allow our children to play on.

Plastic Bottles

So many of us walk around drinking out of plastic bottles without realizing how unhealthy this can be. Water bottles, for example, contain phthalates. They are colorless, odorless, oily liquids. Phthalates are especially dangerous because they are linked to asthma and allergies, and they also mimic hormones and can damage the endocrine system. A 2009 study in Korea showed a strong positive association between phthalates metabolites in urine and symptoms of ADHD and other neurological dysfunction.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is another industrial chemical used primarily to make plastic water bottles. Some risks include adverse effects on the endocrine system and potential damage to brain synapses, resulting in an increased risk of depression, memory problems, ADHD and other neurological disorders, asthma, learning issues, aggression, thyroid dysfunction, and cancer. It is especially important not to allow these bottles to be heated, for example, when sitting in a hot car for a prolonged amount of time, these chemicals are known to leach out.

Plastic Garden Hoses

One of my fondest childhood memories is drinking water from the garden hose. We all did it, but was it safe? Unfortunately, PVC hoses often carry a warning that reads, “This product contains chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects and other reproductive harm.” Many hoses are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which uses lead as a stabilizer. Other dangerous materials that are toxic to the human body often found in garden hoses are antimony, organotin, BPA, and Phthalates.

Summer is the season full of fun, action, and smiles. While it’s important to try to enjoy every moment of it, let’s keep our kids safe and healthy this summer by applying the practical advice outlined above.


Learn more about my family’s healing journey (including everything that has worked for me and many of my clients) in my book Healing Without Hurting. And to receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication – SIGN UP HERE

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Awareness

60% of Kale Samples Contaminated With Cancer Causing Pesticide – Organic Is Key!

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found a high level of Dacthal in non-organic Kale.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we justify the spraying of poison on our food? How does this make any sense? These substances have been linked to several diseases, how are they approved and marketed as safe in many countries? Why are they banned in so many others?

Do you still think organic is not necessary? A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research examined four families who eat conventional diets. Pesticide levels were measured via urine before switching to an organic diet for 6 days. A dramatic drop in pesticide levels was found. Another study conducted by researchers from RMIT University, published in the journal Environmental Research, found that eating an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide (commonly used in conventional food production) exposure in adults. This study found a dramatic 90 percent drop in pesticide levels. Both studies used urine samples to measure pesticide accumulation. You can access those studies and read more about them here and here.

A lot of these agents were initially developed as nerve gases for chemical warfare, so we do know that they have toxic effects on the nervous system at high doses. Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate pesticides, among many others, which are neurotoxins that act on the nervous systems of humans by blocking an important enzyme. Recent studies have raised concerns for health effects of these chemicals even at relatively low levels.

There is no question or doubt about it, organic food not sprayed with pesticides is much better for our health, and eating organic is a great way to prevent multiple diseases, including cancer. Despite all of the publications and research on this subject, it’s confusing how cancer awareness initiatives continue to focus on raising money without ever addressing the root causes of the disease, one of which is clearly exposure to herbicides and pesticides.

This is why the Environmental Working Group (EWG) advocates buying organic products. Since its inception in 1993, EWG has fought for consumers’ rights to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. EWG’s very first report in 1993, “Pesticides in Children’s Foods,” played a pivotal role in Congress passing the Food Quality Protection Act two years later. They are a well known group of scientists and activists doing great work.

Recently, they discovered that approximately 60 percent of kale samples sold in the United States were contaminated with another carcinogenic pesticide, according to the  EWG’s analysis of the 2017 Department of Agriculture’s test data.

The pesticide is called DCPA, often marketed as Dacthal,  and it’s a substance that the EPA classified as a possible carcinogen in 1995. In 2005, its major manufacturer voluntarily terminated its registration for use on several U.S. crops, including artichokes, beans and cucumbers, after studies found that its breakdown products were highly persistent in the environment and could contaminate drinking water sources. This is why in 2009, the European Union prohibited all uses of Dacthal, enforcing a complete ban on it. With all this being said, the fact remains that it is still used in the U.S. on crops including kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, eggplant, turnips, and who knows what else.

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Even as kale’s popularity as a health food rich in vitamins and antioxidants has soared in recent years, the level and type of pesticide residues on kale has expanded significantly. EWG’s new analysis places it third on the 2019 Dirty Dozen™, our annual ranking of the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues. Recent EWG-commissioned tests of kale from grocery stores found that on two of eight samples, Dacthal residues were comparable to the average level reported by the USDA.

The USDA has not tested kale for pesticides since 2009, when it ranked eighth on the Dirty Dozen. Between 2007 and 2012, the acres of kale harvested in the U.S. grew by more than 56 percent, with more than 2.5 times as many commercial farms growing it.

Conventional kale farming relies heavily on the use of several synthetic pesticides, including Dacthal. The EPA’s 1995 classification of it as a possible carcinogen noted increases in liver and thyroid tumors. Dacthal can also cause other kinds of harm to the lungs, liver, kidney and thyroid.

According to U.S. Geological Survey data from 2016, about 500,000 pounds of Dacthal was sprayed in the U.S., mostly in California and Washington state. In California, the only state where all pesticide use must be reported, nearly 200,000 pounds were sprayed in 2016.

In states with high Dacthal use, concerns have grown about the capacity of its breakdown products to contaminate surface and groundwater. Not only can Dacthal contaminate areas near its use, but studies indicate it can also travel long distances in the atmosphere as well. (EWG)

You can read more from EWG on the subject here.

The Takeaway

Again, multiple agents can be found on non-organic produce, but this article just outlines one. At the end of the day, the choice is up to you whether or not you buy your fruits and vegetables organic. If you can afford conventional produce, you can afford organically grown produce as well. One helpful tip is to cut out junk food from your purchases if you have any, and that can make room for organic produce. Another way to look at it is spending the extra few bucks to invest in your health.

It’s unfortunate that organic food is more expensive, especially when organic food in general could be provided to the entire world if we actually utilized our fullest potential. It’s actually cheaper to produces, it’s just that governments subsidize convention farmers, not organic ones. At the end of the day, kale is extremely nutritious. It’s high in vitamins A, K and iron, and consumption of leafy greens is associated with reduced risk of various diseases. It’s best if we keep it that way by only growing organic kale.

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Awareness

A List of Children’s Foods That Are Contaminated With Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Roundup herbicide that was manufactured by Monsanto, has been found in multiple foods that've been marketed to children. You can view the list below.

  • Reflect On:

    With countless scientific publications and examples of fraud clearly showing that glyphosate is a major health and environmental hazard, how is it still on the market in multiple countries? Why? What is going on here?

It’s very confusing as to why poison is still being sprayed in our environment, and how anybody could ever justify the use of these poisons. Justification has come from mass brainwashing, marketing campaigns, and just downright deception. There are many examples of deception when it comes to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. A great example comes from Europe, where the product was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.  Another example would be the corruption that plagues our federal health regulatory agencies, which have been completely compromised by big corporations. There are several other great examples that illustrate this point, in fact there are decades of examples. One of the best would be the SPIDER papers. A group called the CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, put a list of complaints in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).

We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency.  It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors.

When it comes to glyphosate, there are currently more than 10,000 pending cases with regards to ailments it’s caused people, and we are now starting to see cancer cases go through courts of law. One of the latest examples would be school groundskeeper Dewyane Johnson, who was awarded a victory after a jury found Bayer (Monsanto) to be guilty of causing/contributing to his terminal cancer. You can read more about that story here.

This is why it’s a bit concerning that this substance is ending up in our food, and that includes food that’s being marketed to children.

For example, Moms Across America, a National Coalition of Unstoppable Moms, recently discovered glyphosate in multiple brands of popular orange juice. You can read more about that hereThe full report can be seen here. The testing methodology was “Glyphosate and AMPA Detection by UPLC-MS/MS.”

Furthermore:

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Major food companies like General Mills continue to sell popular children’s breakfast cereals and other foods contaminated with troubling levels of glyphosate, the cancer-causing ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. The weedkiller, produced by Bayer-Monsanto, was detected in all 21 oat-based cereal and snack products sampled in a new round of testing commissioned by the Environmental Working Group. All but four products contained levels of glyphosate higher than what EWG scientists consider protective for children’s health with a sufficient margin of safety.

The new tests confirm and amplify EWG’s findings from tests in July and October of last year, with levels of glyphosate consistently above EWG’s children’s health benchmark. The two highest levels of glyphosate were found in Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch, with 833 parts per billion, or ppb, and Cheerios, with 729 ppb. The EWG children’s health benchmark is 160 ppb. –  Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., senior science advisor, and Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., Toxicologist for the Environmental Working Group (EWG)(source)

The EWG recently purchased a number of products via online retail sites, and then they packed and shipped approximately 300 grams of each of the products they purchased (listed in the chart below) to Anresco Laboratories in San Francisco. Glyphosate levels were analyzed using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method described here.

The Takeaway

Glyphosate is used mostly as a weedkiller on genetically modified corn and soybean crops. But it is also sprayed on oats just before harvest as a drying agent or desiccant. It kills the crop, drying it out so it can be harvested sooner, which increases the likelihood that glyphosate ends up in the foods children love to eat. It’s present almost everywhere and it’s a great example of how we don’t really live in a democracy, and how big corporations are operating without any concern for human health or the health of our planet. So far, more than 236,000 people have signed a petition directed at these food companies, calling on them to take action to protect consumers’ health.

The best way for you to combat something like this is to help share information like this in any way you can and go organic. Multiple studies have shown that pesticide exposure dramatically drops from consuming organic food. Just one week of eating an organic diet can drop pesticide levels in the body up to 90 percent in both children and adults. You can read more about that study here.

There are more concerns here, as it’s not just glyphosate, but also pesticides like organophosphates, which are sprayed on our food and have been linked to multiple diseases. A lot of these agents were originally developed as nerve agents for warfare.

Change starts with you, so you can go organic and spread awareness. Just five years ago not many people would have even known what glyphosate is, so things are definitely changing for the better.

You Can Help Stop The 5G Infrastructure

We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can't do it without your support.

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Awareness

Milk Sales Plummeted By $1.1 Billion In 2018

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Good news: dairy milk sales dropped by $1.1 billion in 2018! This is partly due to a consumer shift towards plant-based alternatives.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it time to walk away from unhealthy foods that harm animals in the process of creation? Does it make sense to keep listening to a dairy lobby using deception to sell products?

Good news! Dairy sales dropped by $1.1 billion in 2018! You may not know why this is good news just yet, but we’ll get there! Dairy Farmers of America during released the new statistics during an annual meeting in 2018. Sales dropped 8% from $14.7 billion in 2017 to $13.6 billion in 2018. This was due to low milk prices and a massive consumer shift toward plant-based alternatives like cashew milk, almond milk and soy milk.

In response to the losses, dairy lobbyists have been pushing to ban marketable terminology like ‘milk,’ ‘cheese’ and ‘dairy free’ from being used by creators of plant-based products. It seems the hope is that this will confuse the marketplace or make it harder to describe new products, ultimately pushing people back to dairy.

The act was officially titled “The Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese to Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday Act.” Michele Simon, the executive director of 130-member lobby group Plant Based Food Association, believes this is misleading and unconstitutional.

Simon stated:

“In an era of increasing innovation in the food industry, this legislation would send a chilling message to small and emerging businesses: The marketplace is rigged against you in favor of large and powerful special interests,”

“This mean-spirited bill would harm innovative plant-based food companies that are growing rapidly, providing new, great-tasting options for consumers. This bill would declare the free market dead with the promotion of protectionist policies pushed by dairy-state politicians and their lobbyists.”

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The dairy lobby is clearly not happy about this, and with the following statistics, you can see why this could be alarming for their business. The United States Department of Agriculture released a report in 2017 that showed milk consumption had declined by 22% between 2000 to 2016. It further revealed that vegan dairy alternatives currently worth $17.3 billion is predicted to nearly double by 2023.

 Dairy Is Scary – It’s Time For Change

Of course, the move away from dairy hasn’t come randomly, research continues to come out every few months illustrating just how bad dairy is for human consumption. From bone issues, increased cancer rates, inflammation, and pesticide and hormonal intake, we see only a small amount of what one might expect from regular dairy consumption.

What is interesting to observe is that instead of making an adjustment away from an unhealthy product, the dairy lobby holds onto its grip in fear of change. They also took up arms in creating and spreading lies to deceive the public on the health of dairy.

But not all dairy farmers are fighting back, some are actually looking at the health concerns and animal abuse and are changing. Elmherst Milked was a dairy producer that has now turned to plant-based alternatives.

Henry Schwartz, whose grandfather started Elmherst Milked stated:

“It was time to reevaluate the past and start creating the food traditions that would carry us into the future.”

It took just two years of transition and the company was on track producing healthier, nutritious, humane and environmentally friendly milk.

The Takeaway

The world is shifting! Holding onto old patterns simply because we are afraid to change or don’t want to see the truth coming to the surface in new research and understandings will only make it more challenging for us to thrive and it will turn us towards egoic tendencies of deception and manipulation in order to survive for just a bit longer.

It’s time to truly question what we do and why… not just that, but the effect it has on others including animals and our environment. Elmherst Milked was able to adjust and do well, so can others. Everyone is going through a challenge in one way or another, comparing who has it worse won’t lead us forward but will only have us spinning our tires.

Change can happen – it is happening.

You Can Help Stop The 5G Infrastructure

We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can't do it without your support.

We've launched a funding campaign to fuel our efforts on this matter as we are confident we can make a difference and have a strong plan to get it done.

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