Monday, 15 October 2007

Green sex blogging

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Encouraged by Rups to make a post for the Blog Action Day about the environment with a sexblog slant, I watched a programme on Thursday about the toxicity of our makeup and cleansing products. It was really quite scary to discover the high levels of triclosan, parabens, phthalates and other manmade chemicals in the urine/blood of the people tested for the programme.

Phthalates make plastic bendy and give that supersmooth feel to make up, but there is a body of research that believes they could be linked to the early onset of puberty in girls and birth defects in boys. There are three phthalates that are banned in products for kids under three years old because they could affect our children's sexual development.

This was not mentioned on the programme but, as per Rups's directive, I should point out that a lot of your plastic-based sex toys could contain phthalates and you would be wise to consider the phthalate-free version in any future purchases as who knows what repeated use of such an item could do in terms of the leeching of these toxins into our bodies through the soft, absorbent surface of the vagina/anus. Some on-line sex emporia actually specify when a product does not contain them.

The reason why I draw this to your attention is because what was scariest of all was the effect that this cocktail of manmade additives can have on any children you plan to have in the future since these chemicals can remain in your body for years. Some of them have been linked to birth deformities in children, particularly hypospadias, a problem where the genetic message about the baby's sex becomes confused. All babies start off as girls and at a certain stage, signals are sent through to boy children to develop the genitals into a penis. In hypospadias the urethra (the wee opening) does not develop at the top of the penis, but in varying positions down the shaft and sometimes as low as the testicles. It is believed that manmade chemicals could be responsible for interrupting the signal resulting in a child being born part girl and part boy with the urethra in the wrong place. It is operable but, in the worst cases, the deformity is so severe that further tests have to be done to ascertain whether the baby is meant to be a boy or a girl and which operation to do.

These toxins also affect your breastmilk so, whilst you may be thinking that breast is best, if you analyse the content of the milk you are producing, you discover that you are actually feeding your baby a delightful cocktail of different manmade chemicals with all their possible side effects.

It was alarming to learn that the term 'simple' or 'natural' does not necessarily mean what you think in relation to a product's content. The programme explained that the term 'simple' has no legal definition and that one of the products which bore that title did in fact contain 23 manmade chemicals, one of which was used to clean the oil out of car engines. 'Natural' or 'pure' did not mean that these were the only constituent parts and most also contained a form of the manmade chemical parabens, which is the subject of a lot of debate in the scientific world as it is believed that this can mess with your hormones and some studies have suggested could also be linked to breast cancer. Some of the worst offenders were products aimed specifically at young children - babywipes purporting to be just like cotton wool and water; baby shampoos/washes for cleansing their delicate skin - with so many containing manmade chemicals like formaldehyde, another that is used in antifreeze and limonene, which is used as a pesticide and flea control agent.

The guinea pigs on the programme were 'detoxed' for a week with products that contained none of these suspect ingredients. On the whole, they felt that the natural alternatives did not always perform as well as their toxic sisters but that the general improvement to their overall wellbeing was worth the perceived drop in performance. One of the products the testers did highly recommend was the PitRok deoderant, which contains no parabens and was actually successful in controlling their underarm odour. I shall be giving this one a go next time I go shopping - for both myself and my teenage daughter.

For the sake of the sexual health of future generations of bloggers, it would seem that we should all be looking at what we ingest... through any of our orifices.

Beauty Addicts: How Toxic are you? Thursday C4 8pm
This week's programme is dealing with the toxicity of our teenagers' diet.


Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Please don't try and turn me off my thumper, he's all I've got at the moment! lol

Gypsy said...

That is VERY scary!!!

Anonymous Boxer said...

Oh Good Lord. I'm afraid to leave my house.... or use anything in it.... or.... Good writing, Cake.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I saw the show, it was really scary! Great writing as usual Cake :)

Dazza said...

Who comes up with a word like phthalates? Scientists, honestly!!


toby said...

Excellent post! So many dilemmas we face today. Not least, when to live dangerously and abandon the latex :)

re previous post - hope our boys making Monsieur Chabal cry hasn't affected his animal attraction!

re phthalates - scientific terminology is precise and often provides simple definitions of complex molecular structures; but if someone is not versed in the language it is, of course, as meaningless as writing in Russian or Mandarin. Ti ponimaesh, dazza?

Gledwood said...

... very odd writing, my dear. Are you serious or not? I'm confused...

having my cake said...

Vi - Of course not, just advising that you read the labels and choose the rabbit without the phthalates...

gypsy/ab/bg - I know!

dazza - Id love to know how to pronounce it!

toby - Ta muchly. Re Chabal: nah, he's just got a vulnerable part as well now. Re: phthalates - how do you say it?

gledwood - Serious about which bit? Im not advocating chucking out everything with these things in, just being more aware when we purchase our staple essentials.

Loving Annie said...

That is scary. I think I'll just rub my clit from now on and forget about buying the fancy sex toys when I'm on my own, masturbating and desperate for something that feels REAL.
Oh wait, what about the glass dildoes ???

toby said...

Hi again, phthalates is pronounced with the "ph" silent :)