Got allergies? What are you wearing?

Combination of two articles originally published May 2014, EXAMINER

What are you wearing?

I don’t think many of us are aware that our allergies can be directly related to what we wear, or put on our bodies. Things do penetrate the skin. That’s why they say we have pores – we are porous! And though it’s true, that molecules of whatever have to be small enough to get through the pores of our skin, I’ve heard it said that what we put ON our bodies could impact our health just as much as what we put IN our bodies!

Think about the chemicals and dyes used in the manufacturing process of clothing. When we sweat, our pores are open, and whatever is laying against the skin can enter INTO us!

What allergens are you wearing?
What allergens are you wearing?

Have you ever handled garlic (or onions) and within a few moments began to taste it? Either the food penetrates the skin, entering our pores so quickly (rushing into your bloodstream) that you begin tasting it in your mouth, or your fingers have taste buds! Either way, science has discovered that we have taste buds in other parts of our bodies!

The science

Going further, this scientific evidence suggests bitter foods open lung passages (scientists are studying taste buds in the lungs to help cure asthma). And when I use my Young Living essential oils on the bottom of my feet, depending upon the oil I use, I have tasted the flavor in my mouth!

Manufacturing safety data sheets (MSDSs) have warned people for years “AVOID CONTACT WITH SKIN” for hundreds of chemicals. Why? Granted some chemicals are so strong, they are caustic (could literally burn) your skin. But do other reasons exist?

The Center for Disease Control’s PDF document states that, health impacts may occur at the point of contact with the chemical, or the chemical may enter the body through compromised skin (such as a wound) or by permeating the skin. Then the chemical can be distributed by the bloodstream, causing or contributing to a health problem somewhere else in the body.” It continues, “Exposure to organophosphate pesticides, which can enter the body through the skin, may cause damage to the nervous system.

Sensitization is another type of health effect resulting from dermal exposure to chemicals. Combined health effects from a single chemical exposure may also occur.” So when they say “combined health effects” is that a little bit like saying they don’t know – because it could depend upon you combine the various chemicals.
I remember from high school science class we’re not supposed to mix bleach and ammonia, but it sounds to me like there’s a lot more going on here.

Later in that same document it states, “Chemicals absorbed through the skin can damage an entire body system, including the immune system, nervous system, or respiratory system.”

The chemicals between us

My question then becomes, what chemicals? Is there a list?

The chemicals listed in the PDF document that can cause skin irritation and/or damage are:
• Epoxy resins
• Chromates
• Rubber chemicals
• Amine hardeners
• Phenol-formaldehyde resins
• Pesticides
• Herbicides
• Carcinogens
• Tar
• Asphalt
• Some disinfectants
• Fiberglass
• Food products
• Oils
• Lubricants
• Solvents
• Isocyanates (contained in many paints and other building materials, like spray-on insulation and roofing materials)

I am sure that is not an all inclusive list.

Also, why do they list “food products”? Could that be like hot peppers that burn my skin when i touch them?

Absorbing through the skin

Skin care experts will explain how many layers of dermis (skin) we have on our body, but anyone who’s gotten a tattoo can tell you, some areas of the body seem to have thinner skin than others – because the tattoo in those sensitive areas hurt more than others (specifically near the underarm area vs. outside of the upper arms).

Vitamin patches deliver nutrients via transdermal supplement delivery system which, effectively moves ingredients into the body while bypassing stomach acids. Western (traditional) medicine has used these types of patches applied to the skin for years to deliver everything from heart medication to hormone therapies. Also, smokers are very familiar with this delivery method because it’s how nicotine therapy is often applied – as a patch on the arm.

What can you do? How small do the molecules have to be before they can pass through our skin? It depends not just upon the size of the molecule but also the solubility of the molecule. It may also depend upon your own personal sensitivity or how often you are exposed.

Next time you begin sneezing consider what you are wearing, or what you’ve recently applied to your skin. Check out this list of commonly used toxic chemicals in your clothes (thanks to Silver Needle and Thread). When I saw acetone on the list, it reminded me that I quit polishing my fingernails years ago, hence, I do not use acetone fingernail polish remover (yes I know they sell non-acetone remover but it never worked as well so when I used to polish my nails I used the acetone stuff, ugh). I also believe the acetone penetrates the nail bed and contributes to dis-ease.

The more you begin digging into the topic of “what we put on our body impacts our health” the more convoluted and intense it becomes!

Let me encourage you to check out this video by Dr. Brian Clement of Hippocrates Health Institute regarding his new book, “Killer Clothes.”

Dr. Clement states that it’s very important to buy organic cotton materials and clothing because cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops and we see pesticide and herbicide on that CDC list!

Since my first article on this topic, quoted below, I’ve been scouring the internet for organic cotton clothing. I have a short list now, and will continue to add to it as I find more reputable companies.

Here’s one of my source lists – Green People. The other source list I’m using is: All Organic Links.

Jiffy shirts
Ecoland
• Synergy
Maggie’s
Fair Indigo
Gypsy05
Hemp Sisters
Hanna Andersson
Goddess Gear
• Organic Fiber Apparel

Also, while doing your online shopping, enter the word “organic” in the search box (if they offer a search, most do) and see what you can find – like I did on the Gaiam site.

I’m also really getting into Hemp made clothing too! And bamboo! If you just do a little research, you can find small (perhaps even local) people to buy handmade clothing from these wonderful, natural, and sustainable clothes!

Note: Cotton Seed Casual Wear. are 100% cotton clothing but are not organic – for those of us transitioning from unnatural fabrics, they are super easy care and comfortable, my skin in the Florida heat really breathes so much easier in these clothes than all the polyester, rayon, spandex, and blends I used to wear.

Common Sense

Millions of people think they need some authority (doctor or other) to tell them what to eat, drink, or put on their body! Bogus! Use your common sense!

Look at history. People didn’t start having all the various ills they have today before processed foods, synthetic fiber clothing and furnishings, and chemicals became such an integrated part of our day-to-day lives! It just doesn’t pass the sanity test to think we can put crap into our body, wrap ourselves in synthetics and chemicals, yet expect to experience vibrant health and longevity.

I have a family member who was exposed to cement on his legs (it got down inside his rubber boots, and rubbed against his skin) which, resulted in irritation from the alkaline nature of the cement. He had to go to the emergency room and have his skin scrubbed – a very painful process! We have learned he may have also become sensitized due to the chrome salts present in the concrete.

As well, in the 1960s my maternal grandfather died of cancer! Since he didn’t smoke or drink alcohol, I have often looked back at what I know of his life to find possible causes. He was a truck driver and inhaled a lot of exhaust and gas fumes. He also worked on his own truck – putting his hands directly in fuel and other solvents. I imagine the combinations of those things contributed greatly to his untimely death at 57 years of age. He and my grandmother did live directly across a small river from a rayon factory though. That factory was sued for polluting the river and later sold / went out of business. (I’m sure that’s another reason that I do not wear clothing made of rayon.)

If you work with concrete or any other potentially hazardous substance please wear your personal protective equipment (PPE) and always consult the MSDS for the item you’re using. Yes, there’s even an MSDS for Formula 409.

Contact the following centers for more information:
• Indexed Dermal Bibliography at (1995–2007)
• NIOSH’s Skin Exposures and Effects topic page
• NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards and Web site
• Quick Selection Guide to Chemical Protective Clothing Fourth Edition
• OSHA Dermal Exposure topic page

I am committed to help get the word out and show people what you put on and in your body makes a difference.
With all things, have FUN and ease! 😉

Why do people think they can put synthetics and chemicals on their skin and not suffer some weird effect? I guess it’s because we aren’t aware that these things can penetrate the skin.

How is it then, we can put a patch on our body with something containing vitamins or substances to help us quit smoking and we fully expect it to pass into the body? I suppose it comes down to “how” it happens, and how small the molecules have to be before they can pass through our skin – the largest organ of the body.

Look at the natural skincare aisle at Whole Foods, or other health food stores. There are so many more natural skincare items available now. I think we’re finally waking up to that part, but what about or clothes, or our household furnishings?

If wearing fake stuff can affect our health, how about sitting, or sleeping on them? I had been thinking of writing this article for some time, but when I saw this article, I knew I needed to put my thoughts to paper (well, internet).

The state of California is moving to get cancer-causing flame retardants out of home furnishings.

History

So to back up a little bit. My mother was told by a chiropractor in the 1960s to put only natural fiber clothing, and shoes on me – no plastics! I had been diagnosed with asthma (around 1968) and it was this doctors understanding that in order to clear my body of illness I needed to wear natural fiber clothing (along with several other treatment offerings) this was basic to allow my body to heal naturally.

To my mom’s credit, she attempted this, making / sewing many of my garments for several years, and buying me only leather shoes. In high school I took four years of home economics classes and learned how to make my own clothes. However, with the advent of my mother needing to work outside the home, and my desire to get a job at age fifteen (perhaps also since my health had improved), along with the ease and cheap cost of manufactured clothing, slowly we started buying and wearing “anything and everything” sold in the big box stores.

I do recall also, that flame retardants were introduced on the fabrics. I am not sure we were following, at that time, why flame retardants could cause a health problem but some were banned in 1977 due to toxic effects. Now most Americans test positive for traces of flame retardants in our bodies. (See this wiki page for more information on this).

For a more broad explanation about why flame retardants and synthetics are bad for us – check out this video by Dr. Brian Clement of Hippocrates Health Institute regarding his new book, “Killer Clothes”. Dr. Clement states that it’s very important to buy organic cotton materials and clothing because cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crop!

For about the last eight years I’ve been wearing cotton bras but in the last year I’ve found, ordered, and have begun wearing organic cotton shirts from Jiffy shirts with jeans, even under suit jackets with slacks to my professional office. I also started checking the labels of my jeans and getting rid of the ones that added that stretchy material which, I hadn’t even paid any attention.

I believe the toxins put onto fabric is another very meaningful reason why manufacturers ask us to first wash clothing when we buy it and take it home, BEFORE wearing. However, I have a feeling just washing is not enough to properly protect ourselves.

Committed to organic fiber

I am committed to buying and wearing organic cotton socks and underwear and buy these for my granddaughter and great-granddaughter from Ecoland. Also, I am slowly changing out my wardrobe of office and casual attire to cotton clothing from Cotton Seed Casual Wear. They are super comfortable, easy-care (just wash and dry, no ironing), and they don’t shrink!

Many people with allergies do not even consider it could be the rayon, nylon, elastic, and polyester they’re wearing that is contributing to the problem.

I know the government passed a law about flame-retardant cloth years ago, but actually – there’s no law stating you have to wear it.

It can’t hurt to wear more natural, non-chemically treated clothing – can it? Unless you’re a fireman and need flame-retardant suits, I just can’t think of any other reason why its necessary to wear. Even so, they can wear cotton underneath all of that – so the chemically treated fiber is not laying against the skin.

Find relief for yourself or your loved ones. Pay the farmer or the doctor.

Check out this original song, The Connection. My husband wrote this song (with some muse from moi) and it was performed and recorded in a Nashville, TN studio. You can download it (it’s Track 14) from this link: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/chevyfordband2

A bit about me:

An Amazon bestselling author of two co-authored books: “Transform Your Life Book 2 Inspirational Stories and Expert Advice” and “Energy of Receiving”, available on Amazon.

Plus, the brand new book that’s been in the making for 13 years, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, is now available for online sale and distribution (PDF format).

Buy it here: https://beingwhollyvibrant.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/book-launch-take-it-upon-yourself-to-live-a-wholly-vibrant-life/

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Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

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Lou-Lou and Beau, my “kids with fur”

About our fur babies

Preface: I’d been told that when you’re in recovery, it was a good thing to get a dog. I had no idea what I was in for, or what a huge commitment I was making! 🙂 Over the years, I was going to observe and learn a lot from my two doggies, “kids with fur”, or “fur babies.” Oh yes, a lot!

Receiving them into my life

I bought Beau from my cousin, while she was working as a long distance trucker. She also bred Shih-Tzu’s. Her mom and dad brought Beau to me (via a long drive on her mom’s lap) from WV to FL when Beau was only 6 weeks old.

I don’t recall if my cousin told me this, or it just seemed to me to be the case, but Beau must have been the runt of the litter. Always quiet and unassuming, he would let the other puppies walk all over him. At least that always proved to be the situation when we introduced him to our spirited and challenging female Shih-Tzu, Lou-Lou.

Lou-Lou was about a year old when a friend of mine convinced me she should have a playmate or mate as it were. I actually registered Beau with AKC under the name, “Lou-Lou’s Beau”.

Lou-Lou was the alpha of the two. They had two litters of puppies together when Beau was about 2 or 3 years old. My cousin told me to be careful that Beau didn’t hurt the puppies. But that never happened. Beau would help Lou-Lou keep all the puppies clean. He was the best dad!!

I had both Lou-Lou and Beau spayed and neutered after that second litter. Later we would come to learn that an accidental pregnancy (too soon after her first) would put severe strain on Lou-Lou’s health. She lived to 12 years of age, mostly because we ate an excellent raw diet and because she was so strong-willed. She had always experienced recurring bladder issues (which meant lots of trips to the vet for us), and finally succumbed due to a combination of complications from arthritis, infections, and more.

Conversely, Beau, has always been easy-going. He’s so polite in fact, he waits to be invited up on the couch! (Now I have to lift him up on the couch). Up until this year, he wouldn’t remain on the couch when I would get up for a few seconds to grab a drink or something! (I have to lift him from the couch to the floor now). He has never had an accident in the house, unless ill. He never barks. He never scratches anything. (Well, he did a couple times, no idea why). He never begs. Okay, maybe a little! He’s really just the perfect “man.” LOL

Lessons they taught me

Beau has taught me much about life, and continues to. He never sees a stranger. Beau is totally the social butterfly! 🙂 His eyesight has deteriorated now, so his behavior has changed some. He is more concerned with the smell of things than who is walking near us. But he used to make me a tad bit jealous, because he could just take off, go to anyone, and leave me behind without a second thought. In fact, I am quite sure of that. I am the one that superimposes my human ideas onto him.

Lessons my fur kids taught me

Beau introduced me to many of our neighbors, some even when they were outside (and did not have a dog)! He’d just go over as far as I would allow (on leash) and stand, until I acknowledged the neighbor, or admonished Beau that it was time for us to go home.

He’s more fond of adults than children but he’ll put up with kids petting him – though he gives me a look sometimes like, they’re not his type! LOL. Of course he’s always gentle. Only rarely does he come upon another dog that he doesn’t like. I always find that amusing and feel it must be a “vibe thing.”

Letting go

When we had to say good-bye to Lou-Lou December 2012, Beau never missed a beat. He didn’t display any sadness. Perhaps he knew it was just time. I think he’d really known much sooner than I that it was time for her to “move on” to another plane of existence. At any rate, he seemed relieved.

She had always shared food and they ate together well, but she had to get on the shared doggie bed first, get it all ruffled “just right”, before Beau could lay down. When I came home from work, she had to be on my lap first, get leashed for walking first, absorb the most of my time, and grab all the attention (she was a barker) with neighbors and other dogs when we walked. Many of our walks were stressful just because she would bark and carry on when other dogs walked by. I even took her to doggie training to try and curb her behavior. It worked – for awhile.

Now, all the focus is on Beau. And I promised Lou-Lou it would be – on our last trip to the veterinarian.

I had to fight many battles for her with different veterinarian’s over the years as her bladder issues reoccurred. I developed anxiety over even having to take her to the doctor. I had to learn it was never about me. It was always about her and I had to determine eventually that my intention was the same as the doctors we saw – to help her whatever we had to do. Granted everyone has to make money but for the most part, those who I had accused of just wanting to make more money from me, well, maybe they just didn’t know any other way to treat her than do many tests (eventually we did all the tests we could) but I struggled with that – a lot.

In the end sadly, to help her – when on top of everything her arthritis was too much for her to even allow me to gently bathe her – the best I could do for her was to make that final decision.

For a year, I had carried her up and down our steps for every walk because she couldn’t make it on her own. Now, I carry Beau as his eyesight is failing him. But thankfully he is pretty healthy otherwise – no arthritis.

Taking good care

My intention continues to be ensuring the best quality of health and life for Beau and I believe I’ve found the best healthcare providers to partner with me. Thank you so much Dr. Rumore and Lisa at Lake Seminole Animal Hospital. Your “petside” manner and love for animals is heartwarming and so very important.