The Voice of Prevention

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“Prevention is better than cure,” to quote the humanist and great thinker Erasmus. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and pink ribbons are festooning store shelves everywhere. What you won’t hear from the plasterers of pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness groups is talk of prevention—so I am here to bring that concept to the forefront.

Let’s talk statistics. According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer diagnoses are not decreasing. This year, the NCI predicts there will be 232,340 new cases of breast cancer and 39,620 deaths from breast cancer. In 2011, those numbers were very similar: 230,480 new cases and 39,520 deaths. Indeed, since 2000, rates of breast cancer diagnosis have remained statistically steady. I am often asked why, with all the funding for and research on breast cancer, these rates do not decrease from year to year? Because a great deal of that money spent on breast cancer goes toward cure and awareness, NOT on prevention.

Think about it. If we don’t do anything to prevent new cases, we are destined to continue to diagnose them. Prevention is a common sense concept, yet according to a report on spending published by the Komen Foundation (http://ww5.komen.org/ResearchGrants/GrantPrograms.html), this major breast cancer organization spends only 7% of its research funding for prevention! That said, this is not the place to debate or question the actions and motivating factors influencing organizations and researchers working on breast cancer. If I am diagnosed with breast cancer, I will be encouraged by the fact that thanks to research on cure, I have a better chance of surviving now than I would have 30 years ago.

Doesn’t it seem logical that if we prevent breast cancer, we cure breast cancer? For this reason, the idea of breast cancer prevention is thrilling! How can we prevent breast cancer? I encourage you to check out the website www.BreastCancerFund.org. The Breast Cancer Fund is the only national breast cancer organization focused on prevention of this terrible disease. There are many, many factors that influence a person’s chance of having breast cancer in her or his lifetime. We know many chemicals found in our environment, both inside and out, fundamentally change our cellular function, affecting our hormone systems, reproductive systems, neurologic systems, etc. “With more scientific evidence emerging practically daily, it’s clear: the chemicals in our environment play a role in altering our biological processes. It’s clear that our exposures to toxic chemicals and radiation are connected to our breast cancer risk.” (Breast Cancer Fund,  http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/environmental-breast-cancer-links/).

So while pink ribbons adorn our products, many of which contain chemicals linked to breast cancer—mull that over for a minute or two—organizations will continue to say there is not enough evidence to link breast cancer to environmental factors. Indeed, a study funded by the Komen Foundation published last year by the Institute of Medicine acknowledges studies linking various chemicals to breast cancer, but in the next paragraph states more research is needed. We are all walking laboratories for breast cancer researchers. All of us, men and women alike, carry two petri dishes on our chests. I choose to take a precautionary approach—if there is potential for harm, it is better to avoid that threat when safer options are available.

When a company slaps a pink ribbon on a product, we in the business of prevention call it “pink washing.” A few examples of companies engaging in this marketing tactic, which in reality results in only pennies per sale donated to breast cancer causes, include Avon, Estee Lauder, and Revlon, all of which sell products containing chemicals linked to cancer. This ethical dilemma warrants serious consideration on the part of the consumer, as well as a commitment to choose non-toxic products instead. Sadly, truly non-toxic products can be difficult to find and are often more expensive. More and more companies use misleading labeling to suggest their products are natural or organic while still using toxic chemicals. Until better legislation governing the use of toxic chemicals in personal care products is passed, consumers must educate themselves and learn to read labels. If a product label looks like something only a chemist could understand, it is probably better to steer clear!

I have always said, if we prevent breast cancer, we cure it, and with it many of the other ills plaguing society today. By eating a healthful diet rich in vegetables and by avoiding products with chemicals linked to disease, we start down the path of prevention. Learn to read product labels, ask manufacturers and legislators what they are doing to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals, and finally, make safer choices, for ourselves and for our children.

Why Don’t Doctors Know?

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An article in yesterday’s Lexington Herald Leader took me aback. The article was written by Dr. Thomas Lewellen, an OB/GYN who practices at a local hospital. The purpose of the article was to give pregnant women tips to help them have healthier pregnancies.

Then why, I had to ask, did he say that while it is advisable to avoid saccharin, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are OK? Here is the advice he gives: “Moderate consumption of artificial sweeteners appears to be safe in pregnancy while avoidance of saccharin is recommended. Stevia, aspartame (Equal or NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda) are considered safe during pregnancy according to the Food and Drug Administration. However, the FDA recommends avoiding saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low).”

I have a feeling that were I to confront Dr. Lewellen on this, he would lean heavily on FDA guidelines and would have very little real understanding of the effects of artificial sweeteners on health. The reality is, there isn’t much evidence linking small amounts of aspartame, or any other sweetener other than saccharin, to disease. But there is equally little evidence proving that it is safe, and like so many other issues related to chemical exposure, the precautionary principle should apply.

For those of us on the non-toxic bandwagon, it is common sense that a pregnant woman should limit her exposure to chemicals that may cause harm to her or her growing baby. Chemical sweeteners definitely fall into this category. Dr. Lewellen failed to recommend that pregnant women avoid toxic chemicals of ANY kind, including those found in cleaning products and personal care products. He may have skipped the issue of the Journal Pediatrics in May 2011.

In May of 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics released the following position statement regarding toxins and the health of women and children:

The AAP recommends any chemicals policy should consider the consequences on children and their families. Among the other recommendations:

  • The regulation of chemicals must be based on evidence, but decisions to ban chemicals should be based on reasonable levels of concern rather than demonstrated harm. 
  • Any testing of chemicals should include the impact on women and children, including potential effects on reproduction and development.
  • Chemicals should meet safety standards similar to those met by pharmaceuticals or pesticide residues on food.
  • There should be post-marketing surveillance of chemicals, and the EPA must have the authority to remove a chemical if needed.
  • Federal funding should be provided for research to prevent, identify and evaluate the effects of chemicals on children’s health.

Someday, I hope, more doctors will be savvy about toxins, including those found in GMOs and the products made with them. Until then, it is up to consumers to be diligent–read labels, choose safe options, talk about the issues to keep them front and center in people’s minds, and work for change whenever possible. I always say it is impossible to be perfect, but for a pregnant woman, it is imperative that she try her best to be so. I believe most of us, if we had it to do over again (I didn’t know better back then!), would opt for hydrogen peroxide over bleach, glass bottles over plastic, and Ava Anderson over Johnson and Johnson and Arbonne.

A note to medical professionals: I do not in any way wish to discredit the contemporary medical system,  and I am not implying that doctors are negligent. I am simply calling for a common sense approach to preventing disease, and the place to start is most certainly in the womb! Where there are toxin-free options, they should be promoted as much as possible. And while time to stay current with findings related to toxin exposure and health is limited for busy practitioners, it would be worth the effort. With over 1300 chemicals banned by the EU from personal care products and over 50 countries banning GMO foods, our health professionals need to understand WHY these regulations are in place and QUESTION why they are NOT banned in our country.

Our Voice

Ava in DCThere is no question that the needs of the people are being overridden by the needs of corporate America. Those needs are veiled in a guise meant to convince us that their actions are for the greater good. The results are corn laced with pesticide and shampoo laden with carcinogens. When will the madness end?

While I tend to stay away from politically charged conversations, especially with those with opposing viewpoints, I have to say here, in my own personal space, that I believe we have lost our democratic government and have unwittingly replaced it with a plutocracy, in which big business supplies the wealth to make policy that serves its needs.

This is not a sustainable future for Americans, nor is it one any of us would choose. I am not savvy enough to have a solution, nor am I capable of running for office and trying to make a difference on a local level. The work to which I am limited is the daily proselytizing about the issue of chemicals and health–chemicals in personal care products, cleaning products, and food. Chemicals that 100 years ago would not have been found in the cord blood of our children because those chemicals were not yet in existence.

It is naive to claim that chemicals are not a concern, that low levels of carcinogens in baby shampoo are safe, or that making corn that genetically produces its own pesticide is OK. I wonder, do the CEO’s, COO’s, owners, and shareholders of these great companies think their children are somehow immune to the threats they have created? Do they buy into the rhetoric? Do they turn a blind eye when one of their own suffers from Autism or Alzheimer’s? Breast cancer? Infertility?

All we can do is make changes where we can. It is not fair to those who cannot afford safer options nor to those who simply do not know there is a risk and so continue to buy the bad stuff. By supporting regulation of the chemical and food industries, we can show our lawmakers what we want. And by choosing to spend our money on safer food options and personal care products, we can vote with our pocketbooks. Women are powerful, and as the primary buyers in most families, we have the opportunity to make a wave toward a better, safer future!

I am so proud of Ava and Kim Anderson, founders of Ava Anderson Non-Toxic. The day after she finished her freshman year at Babson College, Ava was meeting with lawmakers in DC about the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013. This is a company that walks the talk and really cares about our future. Even small companies can have a voice, and I am, again, proud to be affiliated with one that goes the extra mile! One family at a time, we WILL make a difference.

For the Animals

Hello KittyPeople often ask me if I miss being a veterinarian, and some even ask me why I switched to helping people instead of animals. I am always a little dumbfounded by the latter question. After all, everything that happens to our environment affects animals, including the four-legged variety!

Think about water and shampoo. Using too much water for our every day needs may someday contribute to a world-wide water shortage. I remember once reading that my great grandchildren may not have flushing toilets due to lack of water. Now think about shampoo. Americans use over 365 million gallons of shampoo a year! Only a tiny percentage of that shampoo is non-toxic. All those chemicals washed down the drain are NOT removed during the water treatment process. Some end up in the sludge used for fertilizer, and some just stay in the water piped into our houses. Think about all the other products we use and the hundreds of chemicals in them, plus the medications we take (residues pass through us. Enough said about that!)…it’s overwhelming, isn’t it?

I sometimes hear people say something along the lines of “it’s too late for me.” I know what they mean–they have used toxic things for so long that what difference will it make to them if they switch over to non-toxic now? Some people only buy safe products for their children, while they continue to use the bad stuff. Here’s the thing–we have to hope it isn’t too late for any of us–grandparents, mothers, children, the animals, and the planet.

If one decides to give up on themselves, or to use toxic products because they don’t want to sacrifice something about those products, we can easily say “OK, that’s up to you. It’s your body.” But we know it isn’t really that simple. She uses that shampoo because she likes how it smells. That shampoo washes down the drain. That shampoo contributes to destruction of environmental health, which affects not only everyone she loves, but the innocent creatures making our ecosystem work. If our ecosystem dies, we die. Pretty simple.

This spring I am giving to the animals. 10% of my sales will be donated to the Lexington Humane Society. The animals really don’t have a choice in all this. They follow us willingly, love us, and give us so much pleasure. I may not be able to give them all homes, make them all healthy…or clean up their environment; but I CAN do this.

 

 

SOCIAL SCENTS

Polar BearI am going to share a little personal experience to which I am sure many of you can relate. Today I had the great pleasure of attending a gathering of women and men in a discussion with poet and National Book Award winner Nikky Finney. Sadly, some of my friends brought unwanted guests.

I had not been in the house long before I was assaulted by the offensive smell of Mr. Downy on more than one person’s clothing. Then a hug from a dear friend resulted in an unwanted deposit of Madame Chanel on my cheek. The headache set in. The resentment started to materialize. The why’s and the not-fair’s and the why-me’s all bobbed around my head while I tried to make small talk and deep talk and pretend not to be affronted by the blatant disregard for my health and well-being.

OK, I know this is not fair and that the attack was not premeditated. I know my friends respect and like me as much as I do them. And while I acknowledge that I have a problem, the reality is it is EVERYONE’S problem. I feel it more acutely, but we are all suffering for the belief some have that cloths are not clean unless they smell like bathroom air freshener. And why would anyone wear that much perfume to a gathering of mostly women in the middle of the afternoon? To attract a mate? To assert her dominance over the other women in the room with her signature scent?

I carefully chose a seat in the back of the room, on the end of the row, behind an unscented man, in a chair widely spaced from its neighbor. I kept my water glass close in case the usual Downy throat spasms and cough set in. I was uncomfortable in a setting that would otherwise have given me immeasurable pleasure.

Nikky spoke to us about sharing her beliefs in her poetry. She said it is more effective to write about injustice than it is to scream about it. I did–I do–want to scream. I wanted to tell everyone in the room about the injustice, about the unfairness to the unwitting sniffers in the room, about the unseen effects of the poisons released into the air.  Instead, here are my thoughts, my subdued screams, written in a blog to be shared with anyone who will listen.

I don’t scream for my own sake. Yes, I would have much more fun when out and about if I didn’t get headaches and feel the need to cover my nose with a hankie, like a 19th-century aristocrat walking through the fowl-smelling streets of London. (Yes, I watch a lot of movies.) I scream for those who don’t know better. For the friends who complain of migraines while reeking of perfume; for their children with asthma, ADHD, and eczema.

I scream about the toxic world we have created. The poet spoke of endangered polar bears and elephants. I feel the despair, too, but I see that we are also endangering our own species. We ARE all connected. Our selfish need for convenience and our market-driven desire for everything sweet-smelling will be our undoing, and the far-flung effects will be felt by wild and tame alike. Dramatic, yes, but plausible, too.

Having the opportunity to spend more afternoons with friends and loved ones is a privilege I may have to forgo in the future. What if the host’s home had been full of candles scented with synthetic fragrance? Or Glade Plug-ins? Or Gain laundry detergent? Would I have had to leave, to give up the opportunity of a lifetime? These precious moments are becoming fewer for me. It is a self-imposed exile, my choice to avoid discomfort and awkward hugs. I will miss you…but don’t look for me in a crowd.

Evidence

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Today I was faced with a statement I hear quite often: “There just isn’t good evidence yet about the toxicity of the ingredients in our everyday beauty/cleaning products.” Here is how I answer this stance on the issue:

We are generally pretty trusting when it comes to this sort of thing–we look to the “experts” for the answers. Companies that produce and market products are definitely going to tell their buyers, sales reps, and customers their products are safe. Even most doctors will hear a drug rep say something is perfectly safe and trust the rep and the product; most will not take the time, nor do they HAVE the time, to question the claims. (The rep may be very honest, indeed, and just regurgitating the company line!) When I was practicing veterinary medicine in the 90′s and the latest, greatest flea product came out, we were told it was not only safe for the animals, but that the chemical agent in the product was used in Europe on children for treatment of head lice. It MUST be safe, right? Yes, I was naive to not think more deeply about this. Johnson and Johnson used to say their Baby Shampoo was perfectly safe, and then we discovered toxic chemicals lurking therein! Thanks to concerns raised by consumers and consumer advocacy groups, J and J is removing the formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane from Baby Shampoo. But, even now, J and J defends their previous formulation, saying the small amounts of cancer-causing chemicals present in the product are not harmful. While I am sure they could cite a study showing that claim to be true, it is very likely that study would be based on the chemicals’ effect on the average 180-pound male, as most studies have been until recently. As the American Academy of Pediatrics stated in a 2010 press release, chemicals should be evaluated for their effects on babies, children, and pregnant women before they are allowed to be used in products aimed at women and children. Common sense!

Think about the tobacco industry and how hard they fought to keep people from thinking smoking was bad for us. Now we know without a doubt that it is bad, but people still choose to do it. Doctors know formaldehyde is bad–it causes cancer without a doubt and is irritating if nothing else, so why leave it in baby shampoo when there are safer options? Scientists might not be able to agree on just how much is enough to make us sick when a chemical like formaldehyde is present in a product. Like making the decision to start smoking, deciding to use a product with toxic chemicals present is a choice. Sometimes it is an informed choice, as in the case of people who have heard the reports about toxic chemicals but either don’t believe the reports or opt to take the risk; for some, there is no choice–either they have never heard that there is a danger or they have heard but simply cannot afford safe options. This is why changing chemical policy in our country is so important. These discussions are like those the tobacco industry had with us back in the 70′s. Change is coming as sure as change came for the makers of cigarettes. Maybe we will see warnings on shampoo labels about cancer-causing ingredients!

My motto is to follow the precautionary principle, meaning we avoid something when there is reasonable doubt about safety. If parabens cause breast cancer in a petri dish, there is a chance they will cause breast cancer in me. Frankly, even if the chance of an ingredient causing disease is MINISCULE, I would still choose to avoid it if reasonably possible. And since there are safe alternatives out there, why opt for the bad ones? If a product containing 15 ingredients that have been proved to be safe works just as well as a product with 45 ingredients, some of which have been shown to cause harm, I’ll go with the safe choice. Common sense again, right?

There are things we cannot control, but there are also things we CAN control, like what we eat and what we put on our bodies and in our homes. Keeping up with the science and staying educated can be a challenge, but thanks to the Internet and social media, it is possible to make informed decisions. Liking Ava Anderson Non-Toxic on Facebook is a great way to keep abreast of the research on toxic chemicals. (Ava and her mom, Kim, spent a lot of time in Washington, DC, last summer talking to state representatives about the Safe Chemicals Act. I love that Ava and Kim both are willing to take on the chemical companies in this battle for better legislation! And they do an amazing job of keeping up with the literature!) We see reports every day about this issue. Some leave room for questions while others are extremely solid. The fact that so many chemicals are banned from products sold in the European Union (EU) is something else to consider. Are lawmakers and health professionals in Europe smarter than we are? Of course not. They are simply not as influenced by big business and lobbyists. For example, J and J has been making a safer version of its baby shampoo for distribution in other world markets, while continuing to sell us the harmful version. It is one of those things we like to think doesn’t really happen because deep down we think “who would do that?” This is why most people say “there isn’t enough evidence,” or another one we hear a lot, “if it was that dangerous, they wouldn’t be allowed to sell it.”

I always say “Small changes lead to big changes,” and “No one is perfect!” I try not to come across as a scare-tactic salesperson, because that is so not me at all! I am passionate about this issue and want to educate people about it. Everyone has their own comfort level with the issue, and I would never judge someone for making different choices. Eventually, there will be more than enough evidence to prove beyond a doubt that some of these biggies we talk about avoiding are linked to this or that disease, whether it be breast cancer or ADHD. For now, be diligent, learn everything you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for answers. And most importantly, use common sense and do the best you can, WITHOUT trying to be perfect!

Champions for Breast Cancer Prevention

Prioritizing Prevention

This is a happy day for me, and many others like me, we who preach the PREVENTION of disease as a way to END disease. A federal task force comprised of leading breast cancer experts appointed by Congress in 2008 has just released a report, “Breast Cancer and the Environment–Prioritizing Prevention,” that calls for measures focusing on prevention of breast cancer. As it is now, the majority of funding for breast cancer research centers around treatment and cure. Common sense dictates that if we prevent cancer, we summarily cure it. In light of that simple logic, it has always astounded me that so little attention has been given to prevention.

It is significant to note that in spite of the mega-millions and -billions spent on treatment and cure, the rate of breast cancer cases is still increasing. I like the way Jeanne Rizzo, a co-chair of the committee and a leader at the Breast Cancer Fund, puts it in the NY Times article, “Report Faults Priorities in Studying Breast Cancer”: “We’re extending life with breast cancer, making it a chronic disease, but we’re not preventing it,” she said. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/health/report-faults-priorities-in-breast-cancer-research.html?_r=0). Breast cancer as a chronic disease is a concept no one should be comfortable with!

The NY Times article also highlighted one of the very significant studies found in the full report: “Studies of women who have moved from Japan to the United States, for instance, show that their breast cancer risk increases to match that of American women. Their genetics have not changed, so something in the environment must be having an effect. But what? Not much is known about exactly what the environmental factors are or how they affect the breast.” I find this disturbing, and I can’t help but think that the American love of fragrance, processed foods, and sugar play key roles in this phenomenon.

Having said that, it is important to understand that while researchers cannot point fingers at specific chemicals as being THE culprit in breast cancer causation, there are many studies showing LINKS between individual chemicals or classes of chemicals, such as hormone disruptors, and breast cancer. The same can be said for low-dose radiation exposure (think about all those mammograms and dental x-rays), diet, and exercise habits. When I read articles about avoiding BPA or phthalates due to their link to breast cancer and other disease, I pay attention. I consider the source of the research and if possible I look for other sources with similar studies that reach the same conclusions. Based on this, I can make the decision to avoid those chemicals/risk factors, not because they have been DEFINITIVELY determined to cause breast cancer but because there is strong evidence that they MIGHT, and that is good enough for me. The precautionary principle must be applied when faced with choices that affect our health and well-being.

It is extremely important to note that in the case of breast cancer, and likely most other diseases, the timing of exposure to the various environmental suspect toxins is a significant factor. When a baby is in utero, growing rapidly, her cells are particularly susceptible to chemicals and can be altered to a point of malfunction. That damage may not be expressed until much later in life, perhaps as early puberty, polycystic ovarian disease, or breast cancer. Pregnancy and lactation are times when adult women become more susceptible to the effects of hormone disruptors and estrogen mimickers,  thereby increasing a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. Babyhood, early childhood, and puberty are also periods during which girls (and boys!) are at risk of incurring damage from chemicals encountered in everyday life. If you haven’t yet, do read my first post, chastising the makers of perfume for babies. The research coming from today’s report supports every reason I gave for the foolhardiness of spraying toxic chemicals on babies!

Another gem from Jeanne Rizzo is this: “This report demonstrates what the Breast Cancer Fund has been saying for years. We are all exposed to a cocktail of carcinogens and endocrine disruptors every day that puts us at greater risk for breast cancer, and we need to prioritize and invest in identifying and preventing exposures,” said Rizzo. “It may be the key to preventing many people from ever having to get the devastating diagnosis.”

While reading the entire 270-page report may not be an option for most people (I plan to take on this Herculean task soon–I will let you know how it goes!), do read the 4-page summary (2 1/2 pages excluding the cover page and references). Both can be found by going to the following site, http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/boards/ibcercc/. You can also click on Breast Cancer Fund in the top menu of this blog to learn more about the report, as well as how making simple changes to our daily routine can help prevent breast cancer. And, as always, you can ask me about safe alternatives to the toxin-laden products we use on ourselves, our families, and in our homes.

Breast cancer is exactly that–cancer. The lessons we learn about prevention and treatment of breast cancer can be more widely applied to other cancers. Cancer may never go away completely, but I like to imagine a world in which cancer rates are not reported in the outrageously high numbers we are seeing today. I always say when I speak to groups that it is reassuring that if I or someone I love is diagnosed with cancer, the chance of survival is better than ever; but I would really rather we never get cancer in the first place! When we prevent cancer, we cure cancer. Simple logic!

 

 

Perfume for Babies–Why That Stinks!

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Dolce and Gabbana recently announced it will be launching a new fragrance–for babies! I know, I know…why would anyone want to change the delicious smell of a baby?

Perfumes and colognes are some of the most toxic personal care products out there. If you’ve never heard me talk about this before, let me explain. Any synthetic fragrance is a secret mixture of multiple chemicals. If you see the word “Fragrance” or “Parfum” on a label, the product contains a synthetic mixture providing the product’s scent. Some of the chemicals in Fragrance mixtures are neurotoxins (think of the headache you get when you walk into Bath and Body Works or a Yankee Candle shop), allergens and sensitizers that can trigger asthma attacks (thank you Bounce for the cough attack I had in my yoga class last week), or hormone disruptors.

Most synthetic fragrances include phthalates, which have been linked to disorders ranging from genital malformation in boys to infertility and cancer. Phthalates are what help a fragrance stick around, so when you can still smell your shampoo hours after you shower or the fabric softener on your cloths for days or weeks, you know you are in the presence of these bad boys!

Synthetic musks are another class of ingredients often used in fragrances. These chemicals are hormone disruptors, meaning they affect how estrogen, androgen (male hormone), and progesterone work in our bodies. They have been linked to early puberty in girls and breast cancer.

BHT, or butylated hydroxytoluene, has a negative effect on the thyroid gland, causing malfunction and potentially cancer of the gland. BHT is used as a stabilizer and preservative in fragrances. (It is also on the label of MANY foods–especially cereal! What’s up with that??)

The list of toxic chemicals in fragrance goes on, but I think you’ve heard enough for now. All of these chemicals are really bad for anyone at any age, but babies, pubescent girls, and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to their effects. The toxicity of these chemicals is documented and there is enough reasonable doubt as to their safety that it is inexcusable to use them in any product meant for living beings–especially babies! Manufacturers will say that the small amounts of these chemicals used in the product have a negligible effect–there is little or no consideration of the fact that this is not the only fragranced product this baby will be exposed to in a day, a week, and a month. What happens when we add up all the tiny amounts? Who is determining the point at which toxicity begins?

The public has not yet seen the list of ingredients in D & G’s new perfume for babies. It is reasonable to assume that it will contain some, if not all, of the above-mentioned chemicals. Other baby scents already on the market claim to be non-irritating, but what about the other effects of fragrance? Fragrance ingredients such as linalool, limonene, and citronellol, which may sound natural (lemon? citronella?), are banned from use in personal care products in the EU because of their toxic nature (irritants/allergens) but are commonly used here, even in baby products. Will they rear their ugly heads in D & G’s baby fragrance?

The bottom line is to avoid synthetic fragrance of any kind and enjoy the heavenly scent of babies au naturel. Dirty diapers not withstanding, it doesn’t get any better than that!