Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Skin Care and BPAs

Many people are aware of BPAs in plastic bottles, liners of aluminum water bottles and plastic bags. But did you know they are in store receipts, too?

Natural Foods Merchandiser reports:

"Although BPA had come under fire mainly for its presence in food packaging and baby bottles, the EWG reported that “the total mass of BPA on a receipt is 250 to 1,000 times greater than the amount of BPA typically found in a can of food or a can of baby formula.” What’s more, research revealed that BPA can be transferred from paper to skin quickly and easily and penetrate deep enough that it cannot be washed off. And, according to EWG senior scientist David Andrews, PhD, “study results indicate that short or infrequent contact with BPA paper is similar to multiple contacts with BPA paper. That said, people who have constant dermal exposure to BPA, such as cashiers, have BPA levels up to 30 percent higher than the average adult.”

(EWG is the Environmental Working Group)

New receipts are being used in many stores. To determine if they are BPA free look for red threads on the back. Otherwise..handle with care or better yet, gloves!

On a related a recent festival I saw T-shirts being sold with recycled plastic in them. Sounds environmentally responsible, right? My initial thought was "what about the BPAs?" Now we know that exposure on the skin is far more detrimental than other exposures. Please be wary of these shirts when shopping.

Holistic Dentist - what to look for

I've been a patient at 5 different holistic dentists (hey, it's my job to check them out ;-). While they had appropriate equipment and protocols for removing mercury fillings, their routine care was far from what we think of as holistic.

Most of them are still using toothpaste with flouride. I was able to request flouride-free toothpaste, but they also could not tell the other ingredients. Since most toothpastes are made with sugar, I remain cautious and slightly uncomfortable with having my teeth cleaned.

Several of the dentists asked me to use mouthwash. These are the same products on the shelves at supermarkets and drug stores. They are bright blue - surely not a color existing in any food. One dental assistant told me that the dentist absolutely would not see me if I refused the mouthwash. Interestingly when I asked the dentist about that, he said if I didn't want to use the mouthwash that was fine. Always be responsible for your own health.

A few of the dentists handed me a "mainstream" brand of toothpaste and new brush after my cleaning. The toothpaste had sugar, artificial colors and flouride in it.

Certainly use a good holistic dentist to have your mercury fillings removed and for regular dental care, but also be aware of their practices and with what you are comfortable and not comfortable. In the end, we are each responsible for our own health.

So what do I use if not toothpaste? Mostly I use hydrogen peroxide to brush my teeth. A few times per month I'll also use baking soda. Sometimes I use Doc Bronner's soap. Lately I've also been doing what's called oil pulling in the morning. Before anything goes in my mouth, I take a teaspoon of coconut oil and swish it in my mouth for about 20-30 minutes. For a while I was spitting it out, but now I'm experimenting with swallowing it in order to test some information about coconut oil that I've been reading. I'll post that another time.

So, regular care:
-- hydrogen peroxide (3%, which is what you can buy at any drugstore or supermarket is fine. It doesn't need to be food grade which is usually 8%)
-- baking soda a few times per month (if you have gum disease, you may not want to do this. It is abrasive.)
-- clean (unadulterated) soap