Thursday, June 10, 2010

Scare Tactics Epitomized! Are We Being Duped?

Guest Post Today by Lisa M. Rogers

This week I wanted to introduce you to one of the co-founders of Personal Care Truth. Lisa also manufactures natural soaps and skincare and is the owner and CEO of Cactus and Ivy.

Today's article is a testimony to how we can be duped through sensationalism, scare tactics, false claims or half truths, and I just loved this piece when I read it.

Lisa is one smart lady and is also no stranger to fielding questions from her customers, when junk science permeates our lives at every click of a page on the internet by those who wish to control our thinking by using scare words, like "toxins", "chemicals", "cancer", and the list goes on. Much of this junk science is perpetuated by many who use these descriptives to promote and sell their products.

Unfortunately, much of what they are spreading is misinformation based on taking what they read by watchdog groups at face value. What this article represents, shows how blatant disinformation, something we are subjected to by the watchdog groups, is used to cause undue concern and their intentions are neither benign or innocent, but egregious in nature, using similar methods to manipulate others with their ideology through scare mongering......and this in my opinion is reprehensible.

I also plan on trying to incorporate more guest posts down the road since there are many others using sound science, showing both sides to the equation as well. Dene Godfrey was my last guest post on the skin deep data base, some of you may remember.

Enjoy, and I now turn my Skin Care Guide over to Lisa. Hope you enjoy this piece as much as I do. Everyone have a great weekend and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to send them our way! Cheers!

Are We Being Duped?

“Manufacturers are using lead in lipstick”. “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) can cause cancer”. “Dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) is toxic and must be banned”. “If you can’t pronounce it, it can’t be safe”.

Those are just some of the things you will read on the Internet about personal care products that instill fear in consumers. Are we being duped? We sure are. Can you pronounce ‘Butyrospermum Parkii’? What about ‘Dihydrogen Monoxide’? How about ‘Vaccinium Macrocarpon’? Even on a good day I have a hard time pronouncing them and I’ve been in the personal care industry for 10 years.

While the chemical or botanical name of an ingredient can be quite alarming, the ingredient itself isn’t necessarily harmful. Alarmists are working 24/7 to scare consumers into believing many ingredients are harmful to your health. Butyrospermum Parkii is not one of them. It’s shea butter. Vaccinium Macrocarpon isn’t a harmful ingredient either. It’s cranberry seed oil.

Last night on Twitter, I was reading the tweet “If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t use or eat it”. It wasn’t tweeted by one but many. Just to give you an idea of how alarmists can use lack of scientific knowledge and exaggerated claims to cause fear, let’s look at dihydrogen monoxide.

In 1997, 14 year old Nathan Zohner completed a science project titled “How Gullible Are We?”, which he won first place. Nathan gathered a petition to ban DHMO or dihydrogen monoxide. Nathan proved that an alarmist can spread the word of junk science to instill fear in people. Where’s the proof? Here is what his petition contained:


Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.

Dihydrogen monoxide:

  • is also known as hydroxl acid, and is the major component of acid rain.
  • contributes to the “greenhouse effect.”
  • may cause severe burns.
  • contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
  • accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
  • may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

Contamination is reaching epidemic proportions!

Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the Midwest, and recently California.

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

  • as an industrial solvent and coolant.
  • in nuclear power plants.
  • in the production of Styrofoam.
  • as a fire retardant.
  • in many forms of cruel animal research.
  • in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
  • as an additive in certain “junk-foods” and other food products.

Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!

The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its “importance to the economic health of this nation.” In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.

Do you know what dihydrogen monoxide or DHMO is? It’s the chemical name for water. Yep, water. “Water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Literally, the term “dihydrogen monoxide” means “two hydrogen, one oxygen”, consistent with its molecular formula: the prefix di- in dihydrogen means “two”, the prefix mono- in monoxide means “one”, and an oxide is a compound that contains one or more oxygen atoms”.

As reported on -

In March 2004 the California municipality of Aliso Viejo (a suburb in Orange County) came within a cat’s whisker of falling for this hoax after a paralegal there convinced city officials of the danger posed by this chemical. The leg-pull got so far as a vote’s having been scheduled for the City Council on a proposed law that would have banned the use of foam containers at city-sponsored events because (among other things) they were made with DHMO, a substance that could “threaten human health and safety.

Does that scare you? It scares me that organizations peddling junk science can spread that kind of fear. That legislation, regulations and the minds of free thinking people can be changed based on misinformation. Demand more from the people shoving half truths and false information down your throat. If the lobbyist organizations are asking for donations to fight the good fight, don’t give them a dime of your hard earned money unless you are 100% sure that what they are selling you is true, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Ask the hard questions. You deserve more than educated guesses, false information or scare tactics and fear mongering.

Time for me to fix a glass of dihydrogen monoxide.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey Katherine -

    Thanks for sharing my post with your readers. Education is the key and it is important to ask the hard questions, look for the science.....look for the truth. Consumers deserve truthful information backed by scientific facts!