Monday 6 April 2009
The Way We Live - It Stinks
In recent years many celebrities have produced own brand fragrances, or have endorsed a wide range of personal and household products. There has been barely a whisper of criticism; indeed they are usually greeted by fawning attention and adulation from the media and politicians. Suddenly, one, the intelligent and talented actress, Gwyneth Paltrow, ventures the thought that it might be possible for some of these products to be not quite what they should be, and for many people detrimental to their long term health.
There is a howl of rage, she is vilified and insulted by Pennington, a leading scentific Quangocrat with political connections. UK Cancer Research, a charity owing much to government support, mutter reservations, and the tone of the reporting is adverse. Pennington indeed, sometimes wheeled out by the government as the senior scientist, says that shampoo's are "perfectly safe", and indeed implies that you can drink the stuff.
Hang on a bit squire, products made substantially from synthetic petro-chemicals, unregulated and untested, much of it imported from regimes with slave labour regimes, these are "perfectly safe"? Pennington it seems is an Aberdonian, a university chap. Aberdeen is a base for oil company work in the North Sea. The university gets a lot of help from the companies. No, no, it could not possibly be. Evidently, a coincidence, and there is not a shred of evidence. Just like whenever Pennington and his associates look for carcinogens or allergens in petro-chemical products for consumer use. Honest, guv, there ain't nuffin in the boot that shouldn't be there.
I have a problem, or rather more than one. One fabric conditioner brings me out in nice purple rash. Other stuff gives me the vapours. Some hair products make me a strawberry blonde. The blonde is my white hair, the ripe strawberry is the way the skin goes underneath. And so on and so on. I had to stop swimming because the toxic muck getting into the pools were sending the chlorine haywire. There are many others out there wondering what is doing the damage and few know because the NHS does not test, and nobody is saying, it is just take the pills or use the cream or both, and don't worry about the cough, its a nervous reaction.
It is about to become worse, and nasty, because Procter and Gamble and the rest have got hold of nanotechnology. With the particulates already employed in fragrances they last indefinitely, transfer from one thing to another several times, retain their potency almost permanently, and carry yards from the point of origin. When the nanotech, remember uncontrolled, unregulated, untested, with no information on immediate effects or long term implications, gets going you are all going to get your synthetic petro-chemicals whether you want them or not, and they are a lot more dangerous than the traffic emissions or tobacco that we take so much trouble about.
So Gwyneth seems like a voice of sweet reason, sense and sensibility. As for the scientists making the stuff, perhaps they have been having a few too many shampoo snifters.