should you buy toothpaste
“Made in the U.S.A?”
In the news recently, there
have been warnings about toothpaste manufactured in China that contains
a poisonous ingredient that is usually found in automobile radiator
coolant. Rather than focus on the negative aspects of this news, and the
poor standards used in manufacturing and exporting maintained in other
countries, it may be a really good time to reflect on the standards that
the American manufacturer maintains in the production of personal care
products that we have, until this time, taken for granted.
A consumer gives little
thought when they pick up their toothpaste in the morning as to the
safety of the ingredients or packaging that goes into producing that
tube. We expect that there will be protections for us as consumers
against shoddy manufacturing practices, but usually little is known
about the process.
The first step a manufacturer
goes through is the state and local licensing of the laboratory or
facility where the product is to be made. Facilities are inspected to
make sure that the building and areas are clean and adequate for the
process that is proposed, and that all systems are sanitary. There are
OSHA safety standards with which the facility must comply, which include
having safety data sheets on file for every chemical or ingredient used
in every product manufactured or used for cleaning on the grounds of the
State and local laws
including wages, insurance and safety standards cover employees. Lab
workers are required to wear disposable paper head covering at all
times, and in the formulating areas, protective clothing such as lab
coats are worn. Workers in
other countries often work in unsanitary and abysmal working conditions
and are paid a miserable wage.
Then there are the labeling
standards set forth by the FDA. When
a new product is being developed to bring onto the market for over the
counter sale, the label must be in compliance with FDA regulations. The
proposed product label is sent to a lawyer that specializes in FDA
regulations. They check to make sure that there are no false health
claims on the label, and that each and every ingredient is on a list
issued by the FDA as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) this is a list of
ingredients that include chemicals, botanical and inert ingredients that
have been tested and have been cleared as being safe for consumers to
use. The approved label is
sent back to the manufacturing facility. Each product must have an
approved label on file in the manufacturing facility where it is
manufactured. Aside from the labeling considerations, the FDA also
inspects manufacturing facilities. Among the things they would be
inspecting would be the water systems. For example, if purified water is
used in products, there must be an exact log on file of the tests that
were done on the water when the manufacturing process on a particular
product were begun, and again, at the end of that product run. There
must also be a log of batches or lots of each product and the date of
the manufacture. Each product must have a lot number and expiration date
stamped or crimped onto the product.
When a product such as toothpaste is
finished; it is tested for quality and purity. It must then remain in
quarantine for several days, and then retested for bacterial
contamination before it is released from the manufacturing laboratory
When a comparison is made
between the high standards that must be met by the American manufacturer
of toothpaste and a product made in a country with little or no
oversight on manufacturing, ingredients or the facilities in which they
are produced, it makes little sense NOT to buy toothpaste proudly
“Made in the USA.”
Author: Yvonne Takhtalian, CNHP
Handmade Soap Facts
How many people know what soap really is? Several
of the cleansing bars that you buy at the store, for example, are
detergents-and not soaps at all. They are called syndet bars, or synthetic
detergent bars. They are made from synthesized chemicals and are usually
much harsher than soap. Detergents contain petroleum distillates rather than
oil. On the other hand, true soap is made from natural oils (such as olive,
coconut and palm) and is a gentle cleansing product more appropriate for use
on skin than is detergent.
Soaps, unlike detergents, are made by combining sodium hydroxide or lye,
oils and water in a process known as "Saponification". Some people
may question the use of lye in handcrafted soap. The fact is that all soap
is made with lye. What needs to be made clear is that once the process of
saponification is complete, the lye and oil molecules have combined and
chemically changed into soap and glycerin. There is no lye present in the
finished bars of soap.
The oils in our soaps are put there for a specific purpose. The
coconut oil creates a wonderful lather. The olive oil is used for a high
quality, long lasting bar. Sustain
ably harvested Palm oil carries nutrients to the skin, and the safflower oil
makes a creamy bar.
Glycerin is a skin soothing emollient that is a naturally occurring by
product of soap making and it adds to the goodness of handmade soap. In
commercial soaps the glycerin is removed for sale to the cosmetic industry
to sell separately, sometimes at a higher price than the soap itself!
Glycerin is important to skin care because it is a humectant. Humectants
draw moisture from the air, which in turn moisturize your skin. A whole 1/5
of a bar of our soap is glycerin.
Soap is often made with artificial ingredients to scent or color.
Some handcrafted soap is scented with fragrance oils. These are synthetic
chemicals that are mixed together to imitate a particular scent. They have
contributed in many cases to chemical sensitivity in some people. They also
have no aromatherapy benefits. The scents in our soaps come from essential
oils, which are steamed or pressed from plants. Essential oils are the
fragrance emitting components of plants and are at the heart of
aromatherapy. Not only do they smell good; they have many beneficial effects
on the body, mind and spirit.
The coloring in our soap comes from nature as well. For instance, the
petals of Lavender and Rose flowers as well as spices are used. Earth
Pigments, which are simply finely ground rocks are used as well. This makes
the colors rich and earthy, rather than artificial looking.
Our handmade soap is kind and gentle and
richly lathered. You will appreciate how VITA-MYR soaps pamper your skin,
gently cleansing without drying, leaving even sensitive and allergy prone
skins feeling wonderfully moisturized, luxuriously soft, smooth and
Author: Yvonne Takhtalian, CNHP
Bright white teeth and fresh breath does not necessarily mean you have a
healthy mouth! General
health is directly related to gum health.
Gum disease has been linked to several medical conditions such as
stroke, diabetes, heart attack and worsening lung disease. Healthy gums
can reduce a person's biological age by up to 6.4 years. Why? Because
studies show that the presence of periodontal diseases, most common in
people with tooth loss, actually affects longevity. The best of these
studies, done at Emory University in conjunction with the Centers for
Disease Control, indicates that people with gingivitis and periodontal
disease have a mortality rate that is 23% to 46% higher than those who
don't. Keeping your gums clean and healthy may help reduce the risk of
many illnesses, including heart disease.
disease or periodontal disease, a chronic inflammation and infection of
the gums and surrounding tissue, is the major cause of about 70 percent
of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four persons at some point
in their life. Red swollen and bleeding gums characterize gum disease in
the initial stages and progresses to infections, chronic inflammation
and bone loss in later stages. Eventually bacteria are allowed to flow
freely through your gums and into your blood stream that activates and
stresses the immune system.
shows that people with gum disease are 25% more likely to have a heart
attack. Bacteria originating from the gums to the veins and arteries
cause plaque build up and arterial inflammation that can provoke
jeopardous clotting. A 12-year study conducted by Harvard University
researchers and 41,000 healthy men free of cardiovascular disease showed
that those with periodontal disease had more clot related strokes.
disease severely affects the control of blood sugars.
The spread of bacteria through out the body through the blood
stream stresses and confuses the body when trying to adjust sugars to
the invasion. Antibiotic
treatment has help diabetics control blood sugars while treating the
infections caused by gum disease.
in oral bacteria caused by gum disease can cause lung infections.
Bacteria that grow in the oral cavities can be breathed into the lungs
to cause respiratory disease such as pneumonia.
Author: Yvonne Takhtalian, CNHP