Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Bath Salt Scare!

Clearing Confusion

Over the past year there was a big ruckus on the use of bath salts, and splashed across every news channel in America, how they will be banned from the shelves in order to prevent them from being used in an illicit manner, and to provide safety to the public. When I heard this on my national news and after my initial panic of disbelief, I cringed thinking, this will only now fuel the fire of all those that are working so tirelessly to claim that bath and beauty products are killing us. The fervor went on for several months following the initial announcement and I watched closely to see how this would play out.

Of course, with patience and further research as the information unfolded, it was clear to see this was not the same thing as the bath salts you buy for personal care. Yet some of the packaging appeared to be that of a bath salt, lending only to further confusion. I also allowed some time to pass, and recently I looked to see how the EWG and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics had dealt with this latest scare. I googled this report with the connection to these two entities and not to my surprise;

Crickets.....nada.....zilch. Where were they in all of the hyper hysteria?

They continually jump on the bandwagon to promulgate about cancer causing agents, which instills fear, supposedly found in bath products, but when something so dire comes about that really draws concern and confusion into a "bath salt", they are content to leave it so. What a perfect opportunity for these entities to come forward to alleviate any fears or concerns that this particular "pseudonym" of bath salt was not the same as ones' beauty product. Trust me, this was not our "Calgon, Take Me Away" from our troubles, bath salt. Failure to clarify, simply shows apathy of displaying true concern to the public, especially at this crucial moment.

It is better it seems, to keep the public confused and scared since this solicits funding for their campaign to continue to spread unnecessary fear, so it is left to the rest of us who dare to get at the truth of the matter, in order to spread accurate information to consumers. It is sad when too much faith is placed in EWG and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics as being the truth tellers of our industry, yet on this critical issue they totally dropped the ball and squandered the opportunity to be in the forefront of really separating truth from fallacy. Especially when dealing with our youth!

Personal Care Products Council didn't hesitate and released their statement to inform the public of the lack of accuracy being spread throughout the media. Yet they are accused constantly by the EWG and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics as those with vested interest and they don't really care about the public concern.....looks like care and concern for the public to me.

PCT (Personal Care Truth) also created a statement for clarification. Lisa M Rodgers, co founder of PCT, was quick to get the word out on their website so that consumers who may be truly nervous about this, would have a source to learn the facts about "Bath Salts." So in order to educate and to let everyone know, including those with teens in the home, this article below will explain exactly the difference, yet also to be wary of what it is, in order to protect your teens from experimenting with this dangerous drug.

The Bath Salt Scare

Are people really snorting bath salts?

I know, it sounds crazy, right?

While I was making my rounds in the world of Facebook, I came across a status update that included a link to an article that said, "Several states may ban bath salts that contain the chemicals mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone because people are now snorting, injecting, and smoking them to get high". What? Ban bath salts? I had to read it twice to make sure it wasn't a joke.

So, in my quest for additional information, I found that the two chemicals mentioned are not approved for use in the United States and is not found in your typical bath salt. From the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration website, they report the following:

4-Methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) is a designer drug of the phenethylamine class and shares substantial structural similarities with methcathinone (Schedule I). Evidence of mephedrone use and associated toxicity has been increasing, in 2009 and 2010, particularly in the United Kingdom and other European countries. To date, one confirmed and several suspected deaths related to mephedrone have been reported by Europol-EMCDDA Joint report on mephedrone 2010. In recent years, law enforcement agencies have documented seizures (Oregon, Illinois and Alabama) associated with mephedrone in the United States.

Mephedrone is not approved for medical use in the United States. Mephedrone is sold over the internet and is promoted as a “research chemical”, “bath salts” or “plant food.”

Via the Europol-EMCDDA Joint Report,:

More local names for mephedrone marketed products are: ‘Rush’ (Belgium); ‘Miaou Miaou’ (France); ‘MMC Hammer’ and ‘Magic’ (Germany); ‘kapszula’, ‘kata’, ‘kati’, ‘mefi’, ‘mefó’, ‘mephisto’, ‘moonshine’, ‘piercing’, ‘zsuzsi’ (Hungary); ‘ronzio’ (Italy); ‘aka’(Malta); ‘Mef’, ‘Mefko’ (Slovenia); and ‘Mef’, ‘Meffe’, ‘Räka’, ‘Krabba’, ‘Kräfta’, ‘Fisk’, ‘Torsk’, ‘Lax’ and ‘Fiskrens’ (Sweden).

Irish head shop products sold as ‘legal highs’ that appear to contain mephedrone are ‘Blow’, ‘Snow blow xxx’; ‘bath salts’, ‘Hurricane Charlie’, ‘White Gold’, ‘White Aroma Crystals’, ‘Recharge’, ‘Volt’, ‘Star Dust’, ‘Flake’, ‘Wild Cat Oceanic Charge +’, etc; and ‘Ketones’, ‘Am Hi Co Doves’, ‘Doves’, ‘Rocket fuel’, ‘Xtacy’, ‘Speed Freak’, ‘Dynamite’and ‘Diablos XXX’.

In Romania, samples containing powder and crystals were identified in products sold as ‘bath salts’ under different names: ‘Flower Magic Powder’, ‘Flower Magic Powder+’, ‘Charge+’ (27), ‘Flower Power’, ‘Crush’, ‘Cristal bath’, ‘Dark+’, ‘Special Diamond’, ‘Special Gold’, and ‘Special Original’.

There are no indications that mephedrone may be used for other purposes. Furthermore, there is no evidence of mephedrone use as ‘plant growth regulator’, ‘plant feeder’, ‘herbal bath salt’ or ‘hoover freshener’, as widely advertised on the Internet.

So, as you can see from the above, 'bath salts or herbal bath salt' is a name given to this product and is in no way associated with bath salts that are marketed by personal care product manufacturers. K2 or "fake pot" is another form of this illegal substance that is marketed as "herbal incense" or "potpourri". Again, it is no way associated with incense or potpourri you typically use in your home.

The reason I wrote this post is because I've already come across a search result that asked the question, "How do I know if my bath salt contains mephedrone?" The cosmetic industry has enough fear mongering and misinformation to deal with without adding a "bath salt" scare to the mix. The products marketed under the above names weigh 3 grams and can be found in convenience stores, head shops or party shops and are NOT like the typical bath salt that is poured into your tub.

Lisa M. Rodgers, is co-founder of Personal Care Truth and the creator of Cactus & Ivy. Lisa has strong convictions, isn't afraid to defend them and has zero tolerance for an individual or corporate bullies. Lisa's parents raised her that you're only as good as your word, to stand up for what you believe and life is black and white, never gray.

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