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Women Seeking Wellness

Dr. Stephanie Maj is a chiropractor, author, podcast host, international speaker and has been in practice over 20 years! Click here to visit her clinic website

Oct 11, 2017

Talking toxic overload & mold exposure in Portland, OR at our Knights meeting. Why is it important and what can you so to help stay healthy. Very relevant with the recent hurricanes and the mold that will follow. Enjoy!

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toxins, toxins, everywhere………………………………

Presented to:

The Royal Chiropractic Knights
Of The Round Table

Dr. Diane Feils

Last fall, I was at a Beauty Counter party at my daughter in law’s house.
I knew the make-up and body products sold were supposed to be safer for human
use than many of the products on the market today, but learned that the United
States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used
in personal care products since 1938. I found that stunning. I was aware of the fact

that many chemicals were used in our hair and body products, but not really sure
what they all were.
It reminded me of the awareness I had at a Norwex party several years ago
concerning the toxic cleaning products, as well as the knowledge I have learned
when talking to people that use essential oils.
With all of that said, I am not here to sign you up for a home party or ask you to be a
I learned that there are over 80,000 chemicals on the market today, and many don’t
have safety data. Manufacturers are allowed to use their best judgment as to what is
ok to use. Compared to other countries, the US has only banned a slight percentage
of those available for use, by comparison. Because we have the FDA, EPA, and CPSC
(consumer product safety commission) we, as consumers, are under the false
impression that someone is watching out for us…. but quite the contrary is true.
The Beauty Counter products have a list called The Never List…. a list of certain
chemicals that are never used in their products. These chemicals consist of solvents,
disinfectants, surfactants, preservatives, plasticizing agents, softeners, moisture
carriers, pesticides, as well as other unknown ingredients.
The addition of the chemicals cause side effects ranging from cancer to minor skin
irritations; endocrine imbalances, allergies, fertility issues, birth defects,
neurotoxicity and developmental toxicity. Some damage DNA and accelerate the
growth of skin tumors. The most astonishing ingredients are those called fragrances.
Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets
and they can remain undisclosed.
(I wonder if that is how Secret antiperspirant got its name)
So, with this realization, I searched out other toxic chemicals known to be a
problem, and learned about the Fire Retardant Law for children’s pajamas in mid
1973 put in place by Gov. Jerry Brown. A chemical called TRIS phosphate was used
on the fabric of the pajamas for children age 6 and under to resist the incidence of
sudden igniting of the fabric in the case of a fire. This was soon questioned as to the
safety and two scientists, Arlene Blum and Bruce Ames, performed an experiment
exposing bacteria to TRIS. It was discovered that the DNA of the bacteria was
mutated, naming the chemical a carcinogen.
The test was called the Ames Test. With this realization, The National Cancer
Institute banned the chemical instantly for use on children’s clothing.
However, the clothing manufacturers sued the government because they had their
entire stock of unsellable products on hand. The ban was overturned, but they
started using chlorinated TRIS. It was really just as dangerous. The manufacturers
decided ultimately to stop using both chemicals.
It was 20 years later when the furniture industry in California decided that house
fires could be reduced if fire retardants were sprayed on the furniture fabrics and
the polyurethane foam in cushions. Arlene Blum was contacted to get her opinion of

using Tris again on the furniture. Finding out the danger, chemicals called PBDE’s
(polybrominated diphenyl ethers) were used. Technical Bullitin117 was issued by
Gov. Jerry Brown of California as required use in all furniture manufacturing. Since
the California furniture marketplace was so large, it became the nation’s Fire Safety
Unfortunately, baby products were categorized under the classification of furniture.
This allowed the chemicals to be put in products such as cribs and mattresses, car
seats, high chairs, changing tables, strollers, bathtubs, nursing pillows and rockers.
It was also found that the chemicals flaked off into dust, from furniture cushions and
children were exposed to the particulate matter floating around the house, on the
floor and toys. Much of this furniture is still in use today…a never-ending source of
particulate matter continuing to expose individuals now.
Obviously, the concern of exposure with infants and young children was the effect
on fetal and early brain development, and the effects of thyroid hormone mimicking
action of the PBDE’s causing other conditions such as infertility and
Researchers revealed that these exposures also were also associated with
neurodevelopmental delays such as decreased attention; fine motor coordination
and cognition in school-aged children.
Flame retardants on furniture were tested, and found to not be as effective as
intended. The chemicals put into the foam doesn’t work, as the flame is never
actually put to the foam, but the fabric covering. Once that cover is on fire, the
chemical is overcome and the rate of burning is not reduced. They did conclude that
the amount of toxic carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide gas released into the air
from the burning chemicals during a house fire is the leading cause of death rather
than burns.
The chemical industry is a 4 billion dollar per year industry. Here’s a story: In
California, lawmakers heard a case in which a 7 week old baby was burned and died
3 weeks later following a fire caused a pillow on which a baby was sleeping started
on fire. The testimony was meant to keep the retardant laws in place. As it turned
out the story was a complete hoax and the Dr. who was a burn specialist was also
found to be the star witness for the flame retardant manufacturers. He was part of a
decade long campaign of deception by the chemical industry loading American
homes with pounds of toxic chemicals causing the above listed health issues. Ethics
and integrity go by the wayside when there is money to be made.

So, speaking of Flame Retardants, I became aware of another; BVO
Brominated vegetable oilis a complex mixture of plant-derived triglycerides that
have been reacted to contain atoms of the element bromine bonded to the
molecules. Brominated vegetable oil is used primarily to help emulsify citrus-

flavored soft drinks, preventing them from separating during distribution.
Brominated vegetable oil has been used by the soft drink industry since 1931,
generally at a level of about 8 ppm.
Careful control of the type of oil used allows bromination of it to produce BVO with a
specific density (1.33 g/mL). As a result, it can be mixed with less-dense flavoring
agents such as citrus flavor oil to produce a resulting oil whose density matches that
of water or other products. The droplets containing BVO remain suspended in the
water rather than separating and floating at the surface. [2]
Alternative food additives used for the same purpose include sucrose acetate
isobutyrate (SAIB, E444) and glycerol ester of wood rosin (ester gum, E445).
United States
In the United States, BVO was designated in 1958, as generally recognized as
safe (GRAS), but this was withdrawn by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in
1970. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations currently imposes restrictions on the use
of BVO as a food additive in the United States, limiting the concentration to 15 ppm,
limiting the amount of free fatty acids to 2.5 percent, and limiting the iodine value to
16 BVO is used in Mountain Dew, manufactured by PepsiCo; Powerade, Fanta
Orange and Fresca made by Coca-Cola; and Squirt, Sun Drop and Sunkist Peach
Soda, made by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Numerous generic citrus sodas also
use it, including "Clover Valley"/Dollar General sodas and Stars & Stripe On May 5,
2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo said they will remove BVO from their products
BVO is one of four substances that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has
defined as interim food additives the other three
are acrylonitrilecopolymers, mannitol, and saccharin.
Canada BVO is currently permitted as a food additive in Canada
Europe In the European Union, BVO is banned from use as a food additive. In the EU,
beverage companies commonly use glycerol ester of wood rosin or locust bean
gum as an alternative to BVO.
India Standards for soft drinks in India have prohibited the use of BVO since 1990.
Japan The use of BVO as a food additive has been banned in Japan since 2010. 
(This source leads to a study done about the concentration levels of BVO in North
Americans, and requires more context.)
Health effects of BVO
The United States Food and Drug Administration considers BVO to be safe for use as
a food additive. However, there are case reports of adverse effects associated with
excessive consumption of BVO-containing products. One case reported that a man
who consumed two to four liters of a soda containing BVO on a daily basis
experienced memory loss, tremors, fatigue, loss of muscle coordination, headache,
and ptosis of the right eyelid, as well as elevated serum chloride. In the two months
it took to correctly diagnose the problem, the patient also lost the ability to walk.

Eventually, bromism was diagnosed and hemodialysis was prescribed which
resulted in a reversal of the disorder
An online petition at asking PepsiCo to stop adding BVO to Gatorade and
other products collected over 200,000 signatures by January 2013. The petition
pointed out that since Gatorade is sold in countries where BVO is not approved,
there is already an existing formulation without this ingredient. PepsiCo announced
in January 2013, that it would no longer use BVO in Gatorade, and announced May 5,
2014 that it would discontinue use in all of its drinks, including Mountain Dew,
however, as of July 5th, 2017 BVO is still an ingredient in Mountain Dew, Sun Drop,
and AMP Energy Drinks.
Again, huge corporations are more concerned by the almighty dollar instead of
consumer safety.
How many questionable medical conditions could be caused by a similar situation?
Patients usually don’t reveal over-consumption of certain foods and drinks, because
they know it’s unhealthy and don’t want to be told to discontinue it.
In many cases a patient could be given an inaccurate neurological diagnosis, and
medicated for it, when the culprit is excessive consumption of a government-
regulated toxin.
I remember a child in our Onalaska neighborhood that became unable to walk for
weeks. Her parents had her to local doctors as well as Mayo Clinic. It was a DC who
specialized in Neuro Response Testing that discovered it was her blanket that was
making her sick. Most likely, the polyester or the flame-retardants on it were the
cause. The Mayo Clinic told the parents, that they couldn’t give a definitive diagnosis
and “this is just how your child will live out the rest of her life.”
Gee, polyester……….so popular once…. is now back, and it’s everywhere.
That took me to another thought process. I searched toxic fabrics.
Not that long ago, people stuck to the natural fibers: wool, cashmere, cotton, silk,
linen, and hemp. But if you take a look at your clothing labels today, you are likely to
find materials like rayon, polyester, acrylic, acetate and nylon. And your shirts and
slacks may be treated to be wrinkle-free or stain resistant. These technological
advances in fabrics may make our lives simpler, but at what cost? Here's ashort list
of fabrics to avoid, and the healthy ones to pick instead.
Polyester is the worst fabric you can buy. It is made from synthetic polymers that
are made from esters of dihydric alcohol and terpthalic acid.
Acrylic fabrics are polycrylonitriles and may cause cancer, according to the EPA.

Rayon is recycled wood pulp that must be treated with chemicals like caustic soda,
ammonia, acetone and sulphuric acid to survive regular washing and wearing.
Acetate and Triacetate are made from wood fibers called cellulose and undergo
extensive chemical processing to produce the finished product.
Nylon is made from petroleum and is often given a permanent chemical finish that
can be harmful.
Anything static resistant, stain resistant, permanent press, wrinkle-free, stain proof
or moth repellant. Many of the stain resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics are treated
with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), like Teflon.

Keep in mind that many fabrics (including natural fibers) undergo significant
processing that often involves:
 Detergents
 Petrochemical dyes
 Formaldehyde to prevent shrinkage
 Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
 Dioxin-producing bleach
 Chemical fabric softeners
These additives are often toxic to the human body, may contain heavy metals and
can pollute our environment.
If you are chemically sensitive or just want to surround yourself with healthy
fabrics, there are new options. Doris Brunza, a fashion designer who worked in the
Garment District in New York City for 20 years, knows about finding fabrics that
don't cause reactions, because she is chemically sensitive. She points out that nearly
ALL fabrics, including organic fabric, are treated with chemicals at some point
during their processing. Still, some choices are better than others. In general, look
for natural fibers like cotton, silk, linen, hemp, wool and cashmere. If you can,
purchase and wear organic fabrics and organic clothing. While they still might be

processed to some extent, they are often a better choice than synthetics. Brunza also
advises people to buy high quality European garments made with the finest fabrics.
Expensive clothing may seem overpriced, but the quality of the raw materials is
superior, and the fibers can be woven into beautiful fabrics that are soft and strong,
requiring little chemical processing to make them suitable for you, the consumer.
They also last you for years so are a wise purchase in the long run.
Remember to avoid chemical dry-cleaning whenever possible and wash your
clothes in a "green"detergent.
So, in closing you need to be your own advocate when it comes to toxic exposure.
Choosing organic food, pure water, safe body care products, natural or organic
clothing and textiles in your home can work together to enhance your wellbeing and
help you live a healthier life. Reducing your toxic load may sometimes seem like an
overwhelming task, but just like any other change, make it step by step. Over time,
you'll see improvement in your own life and in the world around you. Change in the
world begins with you making simple changes in your own life.

The Never List ™ is made up of approximately 1,500 harmful or
questionable ingredients including the nearly 1,400 ingredients banned
in the European Union.

The Never List
Benzalkonium chloride: a disinfectant used as a preservative and
surfactant associated with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and
allergies. Found in: sunscreens, moisturizers.
BHA and BHT: synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are
likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage.
Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.
Coal tar hair dyes and other coal tar ingredients: a byproduct of coal
processing that is a known carcinogen. It is used as a colorant and an
anti-dandruff agent. Found in: hair dye, shampoo.
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA): a chelating (binding) agent
added to cosmetics to improve stability. May be toxic to organs. Found in:
hair color, moisturizers.
Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA): surfactants and pH adjuster linked to
allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain
development. Found in: hair dyes, mascara, foundation, fragrances,
sunscreens, dry cleaning solvents, paint, pharmaceuticals.
Formaldehyde: used as a preservative in cosmetics. A known carcinogen
that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity.
Present where quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea,
diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo- 2-
nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), and several other preservatives are
listed. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.
Hydroquinone: a skin-lightening chemical that inhibits the production of
melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation. Found
in: skin-lightening creams.
Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone: chemical
preservatives that are among the most common irritants, sensitizers, and
causes of contact skin allergies. Found in: shampoo, conditioner, body
Oxybenzone: sunscreen agent and ultraviolet light absorber linked to
irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption.
Found in: sunscreen, moisturizer.
Parabens  (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others): a class of
preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.
Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter

important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. Found in: shampoo, face
cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.
Phthalates  (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others): a class of plasticizing
chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances
stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause
birth defects. Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray, and
plastic materials.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds): PEGs are widely used in
cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers.
Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with
measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both
carcinogens. Found in: creams, sunscreen, shampoo.
Retinyl palmitate and Retinol (Vitamin A): a nutrient that may damage
DNA and speed the growth of skin tumors when used topically. Found in:
moisturizer, anti-aging skincare.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES): SLS
and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger
allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a
petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other
chemicals in order to make them less harsh. Found in: shampoo, body
wash, bubble bath.
Synthetic flavor or fragrance: an engineered scent or flavoring agent
that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical
ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. ****Fragrance
formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets
and therefore can remain undisclosed. Found in: all types of cosmetics.
Toluene: a volatile petrochemical solvent that is toxic to the immune
system and can cause birth defects. Found in: nail polish.
Triclosan and Triclocarban: antimicrobial pesticides toxic to the aquatic
environment; may also impact human reproductive systems. Found in:
liquid soap, soap bars, toothpaste.