Hmmm, I think I'm going to go wash off my make-up after reading this ; )
The Close Relationship between Solvents, Mercury and Microbes
Recently, the alternative health community has become aware of the possible toxicity of isopropyl alcohol and other solvents used in personal care products. This information was propagated through several books by Dr. Hulda Clark
including The Cure for All Cancers and The Cure for HIV and AIDS.
Dr. Clark's premise is that isopropyl alcohol and other solvents destroy the tough shell surrounding the eggs of the human intestinal fluke, Fasciolopsis buskii. This allows the parasite, which normally causes minimal harm in the intestine, to migrate out to the liver, thymus, prostate, uterus, etc. In these vital organs, the fluke can multiply and become quite devastating and, in Dr. Clark's opinion, predispose to cancer and AIDS.
In my clinical research, I have found Dr. Clark's solvent/ parasite
theory to be valid. Parasitic intoxication can often present through energetic testing 2-3 weeks after the patient has avoided solvents. Treatment with paracidal herbs at this point is much more effective than usual, when compared with previous clinical experience.
However, it is important to point out that parasites, like Candida albicans overgrowth, are primarily opportunistic and therefore secondary to more injurious and unnatural toxins, such as heavy metals. It is futile to treat candida or parasites
herbally, homeopathically, or allopathically, in the presence of mercury Amalgam
fillings. Over time, the patient's complaints almost always return, and the doctor begins to feel like s/he is simply chasing symptoms.
filling removal however, and subsequent drainage and detoxification, considerable progress can be made in treating parasites
and candida albicans, as well as with other opportunistic organisms such as bacteria and viruses. With the addition of Dr. Clark's solvent protocol, removal of these organisms has been greatly enhanced.
Additionally, solvent withdrawal allows deeper toxic metal stores to emerge and be cleared from the system. Often after mercury has diminished, other metals such as tin and copper will begin to display through clinically, with all their particular accompanying physical and psychological symptoms. Dr. Clark's focus on solvents has been, therefore, both an important element in more complete toxic metal removal as well as in the treatment of opportunistic pathological organisms.
Am. Academy of Neural Kinesiology. firstname.lastname@example.org Ph. 415-460-1968
Louisa Williams, M.S., D.C., N.D. 86 Valley Rd., San Anselmo, CA 94960
The Damage Solvents Do
The greatest injury from petroleum solvents is to our cell and nerve membranes. This is consistent with the research literature in which neurotoxic effects are most commonly described ---ataxia, paralysis, memory loss, dementia--- from solvent intoxication. Both isopropyl alcohol and benzene and their related compounds are lipophilic. They are naturally attracted to the lipid bi-layer surrounding the cells and nerves, and are especially injurious to the fatty myelin sheaths. The fluid quality of these lipids is important so that messenger proteins in between them can move their receptor sites into position to receive neurotransmitter information. These messenger proteins then shuttle this information into the cell's interior.
However, in the presence of these alcohols and aromatic hydrocarbons, lipids become too fluid and slippery, and the proteins cannot properly line up their receptor sites (Erdmann, 1987). In essence, these cells are "drunk," neurotransmitters miss their protein receptor binding sites, and communication chaos ensues. After a period of time, these membranes begin to adapt and adsorb cholesterol and fats in an effort to become more stable. However, this more rigid and inflexible cell membrane is now even more dysfunctional.
As time passes, the cellular enzyme systems become exhausted and the cell becomes starved of oxygen. These "senile" cells are now completely incapable of ridding themselves of past or present metal and chemical invaders.
After avoidance of these toxic solvents, the cell membrane can start to repair and regenerate. The cellular enzyme systems become more functional, the cell oxygenates more efficiently, and neurotransmitters can bind to protein receptor sites. This is when deeper stores of mercury and other heavy metals begin to emerge, and why we have found the solvent protocol so valuable in heavy metal detoxification.
It is also probably the reason why amino acid deficiency begins to emerge clinically after 2-3 weeks of solvent detoxification. Not only do the cell membrane lipids get damaged, but so do the large proteins sandwiched in between them. Amino acids in the form of supplementation or eating more organic meats and fish, are needed for both cell membrane and central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) repair, as well as for supporting the production of neurotransmitters (7 out of the 8 major neurotransmitters are derived from amino acids - Kandel, et al., 1991).
The major treatment for the toxic effects from these aliphatic (alcohols) and aromatic (benzenes, etc.) hydrocarbons is simple avoidance with appropriate drainage remedies and detoxification supplements. Fortunately, many of the same products for heavy metal detox---chlorella, MSM, antioxidants---have also been clinically helpful in solvent detoxification. Therefore, patients can rely on many of these same products to facilitate both heavy metal and toxic solvent removal.
Why are these petroleum derivatives put in our cosmetics and personal care products? Because, for one, they have shown mild antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, solvent, and skin penetration qualities in laboratory tests. However, there is actually much more research data available attesting to these chemical solvents' skin and mucous membrane irritating properties, cardiovascular and central nervous system depressive effects, and carcinogenicity.
Therefore, why use products with such strong "side effects?" The second - and major reason - is profit. Remember that these solvents are by-products of the oil and gas industries. In fact, Standard Oil (Rockefeller) sponsored some of the early research articles which concluded that isopropyl alcohol is a safe additive in cosmetics and medicines. So it's quite a financial coup for these major oil companies to make an additional profit on their waste products after refining their petroleum. How would you like to be paid for your garbage?
The truth is, these chemical solvents are not necessary. There is plenty of research on the antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and natural preservative properties of herbs - echinacea, goldenseal, chamomile; plants and fruits such as aloe and grapefruit seed; and antioxidants such as vitamin C and E. There are safe alternatives to toxic chemicals. However, these natural products are not patentable, so just as with vitamin and mineral supplements, big mainstream companies fear competition and less profits.
Furthermore, except for dyes, the F.D.A. does not regulate cosmetics, defined as any "product that improves appearance, versus drugs that diagnose, relieve, or cure disease" (Winter, 1994). So it is - as usual - up to us as the consumers to read labels carefully and only use products that are propyl-, methyl-, butyl-, benzene, toluene, xylene, styrene, etc. - free.
However, it's not easy knowing which products are completely clear - especially when benzene and other aromatic hydrocarbons are not listed on the label. Therefore, the "Best Bets" list on the last 2 pages should help lead you to the safest products now available.
Finally, it is important to not get discouraged by the hydrogen cyanide, benzene, formaldehyde, arsenic, etc., from second hand smoke you may unavoidably inhale on occasion, or the benzene, butane, pentane, xylene, toluene, etc., from car exhaust. Although air pollution is a major health issue, eliminating the immediate toxins from your body does make a significant difference. The toxic solvents we have been microdosing ourselves with - from our first baby shampoo to our present drugstore soap - have had profound effects on our immune system. Eliminating these can make us more able to withstand environmental toxins we can't always control. (Of course, if you are in a toxic profession artist, painter, industry, dental, hospital worker, etc. you must protect yourself as much as possible with the use of masks, air filters, good ventilation, etc.).
Further, after the first 6 to 8 months of solvent avoidance, most people can handle unavoidable toxic exposures better. For instance, patients who simply must have a permanent in their hair or have to get dental work, can simply come in that day or the next for treatment Auriculotherapy, neural therapy, additional drainage or detoxification remedies, etc. - to mitigate much of the recent toxic stress.
General Guidelines for Eliminating Toxic Solvents
Read the labels on all your personal grooming products - shampoo, creme rinse, soap, hair spray and gel, moisture lotion, shaving creme, deodorant, toothpaste, etc., your make-up, base eyeliner, mascara, blush on, lipstick, nail polish, etc., and household cleaning products. Eliminate all the products with obvious toxic solvents:
Isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol - 2 times as toxic as ethanol, and is absorbed through the skin.
Produced as a by-product of the petroleum and natural gas industries.
Used as rubbing alcohol as a mild antiseptic and in fever reduction, in paint thinners, racing fuels, fuel line deicers, antifreeze, paint removers, cleaners, and disinfectants. It is also extensively used in medications (aspirins, Alka-Seltzer, etc.) and many cosmetics, from make-up to shampoos and moisture lotions.
Twice as toxic as ethanol. Also, has a longer cumulative effect in the body due to toxicity of its oxidation product, acetone. Isopropyl intoxication can cause skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, mental depression, narcosis, coma and death.
Propyl alcohol or propanol - similar to the effects of isopropyl alcohol but has an additional drying effect on the skin.
Propylparaben - propyl alcohol plus ester form of p-Hydroxybenzoate. Used extensively; can cause contact dermatitis and is toxic.
Propylene glycol - permeates through skin better than glycerin and is less expensive. Widely used in cosmetics and hydraulic and brake fluid; can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.
Or any other chemical listed with "prop" in the name.
Methyl alcohol or methanol - common solvent especially irritating to the eyes.
Made from the distillation of wood.
Used widely in household cleaning products, in industry, antifreeze, cosmetics, some herbal blends, infant formula, and carbonated drinks.
Although methanol is only 1/3 as intoxicating as ethanol, in the liver it is converted to toxic formaldehyde and formic acid. (McMartin, K. et al, American Journal of Medicine, 1980) It is especially toxic to the eyes, and many cases of blindness after overdose are reported in the literature. (Sullivan, Krieger, 1992)
Methylparaben - widely used as a preservative in cosmetics; can cause allergic reactions.
Methylcellulose - a binder and thickener that has caused cancer in rats.
Or any other chemical with "methyl" in the name.
Butyl alcohol or butanol - solvent and clarifying agent that is a strong irritant and toxin.
Manufactured from the fermentation of maize or synthesized from acetaldehyde.
Used in the lacquer and dye industries, in the manufacture of safety glass, hat and textile industries, shoes, and cosmetics.
Butylparaben - used as an antifungal and is toxic.
Butylene glycol - common in hair sprays; toxic to central nervous system and kidneys.
Or any other chemical with "butyl" in the name.
Ethyl alcohol, ethanol, cetyl alcohol, S.D. alcohol.
Made by the fermentation of sugars and starches
Used as an antibacterial agent in mouthwashes, nail enamel, astringents, as the base for many perfumes and colognes, and many cosmetics. Medically used as a topical disinfectant, sedative and blood vessel dilator. (Winter, 1994)
In its pristine form and in moderate amounts ethanol or regular drinking alcohol is not toxic, due to its chemical similarity to alcohol produced in the body from the fermentation of sugars. However, in order to be used in cosmetics it must be denatured (made undrinkable) by such toxic solvents as acetone, turpentine, and benzene. (Oettingen, 1943) This renders it poisonous in moderate to large amounts. Ingestion may cause nausea, vomiting, impaired perception, stupor, coma and death.
Grain alcohol - The only non-toxic alcohol additive; it is not denatured. (Some companies therefore break the guidelines and do not denature their ethanol.)
Ethylene glycol - used as an antifreeze and solvent; very toxic to central nervous system, lungs, and kidneys.
Ethylene dichloride - solvent and wetting agent; highly toxic even through skin absorption.
EDTA or ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid - preservative that is highly allergenic, and can cause kidney damage and cancer. Also used in carbonated beverages.
Benzene, toluene, styrene, xylene, etc.
Toxic aromatic hydrocarbons from petroleum, but these will rarely appear on the label.
Therefore, avoid obvious sources - Vaseline, Jell-O, candy, throat lozenges, all medications if possible, most cold cereals, chewing gum, many tea-tree products, ice cream, many pet foods, fruit juices, most water in plastic bottles, perfumes, almost all cosmetics and personal care products, and all household cleaners not bought at the health food store.