Which One Did He Drink
- and -
What Will You Do?
From a speech titled "Did You Know". Speaker is an Anonymous Registered Nurse.
Picture the scene. It is a beautiful spring day. The birds are singing and it’s a lovely breeze. You are inspired to do your spring cleaning. You're hard at it when the telephone rings. You enter the other room to answer the phone. You are only away from your job a short while when you hear a strange gurgle and a loud thud! You quickly get off of the telephone suddenly to return to find your three year old passed out on the kitchen floor. He is not breathing. There are three household cleaners with lids open beside him. Which one did he drink and what will you do?
Did you know that New York Poison Control recently conducted a survey and found that 85% of household cleaners are incorrectly labeled with first aid instructions in the case of accidental ingestion? Did you also know that according to the law, anyone can develop or market a product? It can contain any chemical that they wish to include. The manufacturer is subject to the restrictions of no one if that product was intended for use in the home. Legally, a manufacturer can poison you and your family and there is no accountability.
Well, this should be okay because we have labeling laws in place. Manufacturers are required by law to properly label their products - aren't they? Don't you think we'd know if this poisoning was really taking place? The Federal Code of Regulations, which is the law, states that if any one believes that a particular hazardous substance shouldn't be listed on a label - for whatever reason - all they have to do is complete a form and submit it to the commission and they are exempt from full label compliance. The Mosby Manual, which is the handbook published as a service to the scientific community and frequently used as a text book in the field of medicine, states in its section devoted to poisoning:
"Ingredients, first aid measures and antidotes often printed on product containers may be inaccurate or out of date."
Doctors and nurses are taught that labels on household products can not be trusted when you're dealing with a case of poisoning. But let's return to our three year old. He's passed out on the floor. He is not breathing. What will we do?
I recently found a list of twenty-four household products. Seven of the products labels say to induce vomiting in the case of accidental ingestion. Thirteen of the labels say not to induce vomiting, and four labels don't specify whether you should or should not. Nine of the twenty-four product labels state 'to seek emergency medical aid'. How fast is emergency medical aid? How long do you have? What will happen if you are not fast enough? Do you give milk before you induce vomiting? Do you give water? If your child or grandchild drinks a cleaner you currently have under the kitchen sink, would you know immediately what to do? Are you certain that the label on the product under your sink is one of the 15% that has an accurate label?
Let's investigate the possible chemical content of a household product. Many laundry detergents, for instance, contains sodium nitrotriocity which is reported by the National Cancer Institute to be a known carcinogen. You might have bright and shiny clothes, but if it causes cancer, is it worth it? Cancer is a killer.
Phenol is a chemical that's found in lots of disinfectants, mold and mildew cleaners, furniture polish, air fresheners, mouthwashes, chapped lip preparations, and skin preparations. Phenol is defined by Mosby's Medical Dictionary as a highly poisonous caustic chemical that is derived from cold tar or plant tar, or is manufactured synthetically. Absorption of Phenol can occur whether it is in liquid, midst or vapor form. If Phenol contacts your eyes, it may cause severe damage or blindness. Severe poisonings or burns may be caused from skin contact. It is extremely neurotoxin in high exposure which means it affects the central nervous system. Well if it's extremely neurotoxin at high exposure, what will happen if you are exposed to it little by little, once or twice a week, for 40-years?
Because Phenol is a very effective germ killer, surgeons used to use Phenol to scrub with before they did surgery. When it began to kill the surgeons along with the germs, the field of medicine totally stopped using it.
We know that Phenol exposure can cause convulsions in children as well as respiratory, cardiac and circulatory failure. Well, if it killed the surgeons, and it has the capacity to kill my child - I think I'll find something else to kill my germs with.
Cresol is Phenols cousin. It is defined as a potentially lethal protoplasmic poison that can be absorbed through the skin. Poisoning by oral intake can cause circulatory collapse and death. It is toxic whether it is inhaled, absorbed through the skin or splashed into the eyes. Cresol can interfere with circulation to the point of gangrene if it is not properly rinsed off of the skin. It can cause blindness, muscle weakness, dizziness, headaches, mental confusion, and loss of consciousness. Potential for severe damage to the liver and kidneys is present with exposure to Cresol as is death. Cresol is found in mouthwashes, dandruff shampoos and air fresheners just to name a few.
Formaldehyde is basically an embalming fluid. It is a known cancer causing agent. The National Institute of Health recently released a report that said 'our dead people are not decomposing anymore because they are pickled by the time they reach the embalmer from Formaldehyde exposure in their homes'. And that's a real potential problem for disease processes down the road. But for some reason, Formaldehyde is found in shampoos, in carpet cleaners, in mold and mildew cleaners and disinfectants, in dishwashing liquids, air fresheners, toothpaste, mouthwash, carpeting, fingernail polish, and fingernail polish remover.
Nitrobenzene is a chemical that causes drowsiness, headaches, vomiting, convulsions, delirium, comma and respiratory arrest. Nitrobenzene is a primary ingredient in furniture and floor polish; and, very few people realize that the chemical effects of furniture sprays can be found on your furniture for two-full-weeks after you dust.
I want you to understand that I am not an environmentalist; I never thought very much about saving whales or how many trees we have. I am a wife and a mother. I'm a regular person. I go to church on Sundays and take my kids to ball games and get roughty along with all the other parents. But I am now self-employed and I'd like to tell you why.
I'm a nurse by profession. I worked in the field of medicine in some capacity since I was a candy striper at the age of fourteen. The good Lord blessed me with a why-type of brain and the stamina to endure until I answered my own questions. In nursing, I found that twenty years ago, asthma was not a huge problem in the United States. Right now there are approximately 2.7 million children under the age of eighteen with asthma. Right here in America!
When I was a little girl, no one ever heard of Attention Deficit Disorder. We now have millions of families suffering with it. Natural aging and senility occurred, but Alzheimer wasn't a reality when I was little. We live in a day when 85% of all the cancers that we have in our body systems are readily affected by our environment. Lupus is on the rise. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is on the rise. And guess what? These things all began to appear within a few short years of the legal addition to hazardous chemicals to our household products.
I decided that I can do more physically by helping make you aware of your choices where household products are concerned than I can ever do when the damage is done. I can't help you when you've had chronic asthma for twenty years. The person who gave you this [tape/transcript] to [listen] to cares very much about your health. They care about our environment. We must remember that any hazardous chemical that is used in the home will go into the environment, and - it does have the capacity to come back and harm us.
Ask the person who gave you this [tape/transcript] who they have chosen to purchase their household products from. There are companies out there who have our safety and our health in mind and we simply have to find them. Please consider what is under your sink. Weigh your purchasing power very carefully as if your life or your child's life depended on it - because it may. And while we continue to purchase from companies that produce toxic deadly products, our general public health will continue to decline. They say that ignorance is bliss and prior to [hearing] this [tape/transcript], you probably thought nothing much about it. I know I certainly didn't. But now I know and now you know and we need to do something about it.
As a nurse I have stroked the arm of a comatose three year old that will never ever be normal again because of a household cleaner. I have given syrup ipecac to children to make them endure the agony of prolonged vomiting to eliminate a household cleaner from their little bodies so it didn't kill them. And I have seen children with such severe burns in their esophagus that they will spend their lives in misery thanks to a household product.
Please, seek the products that are safe. Look and dig and study until you are absolutely satisfied that your home is clean and safe. Question, but if the answer that you get is not satisfactory, don't buy the product. Listen intently to what is being said by the person who gave you this [tape/transcript]. There are lots and lots of manufacturers, large well known manufacturers that are poisoning us day after day after day. One household at a time. I believe that we can stop the poisoning of our nation.
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Note to the reader: Most consumers believe that reading labels on products will enlighten them as to possible harmful ingredients contained in the product that may be hazardous to the health. This is not true in all cases. Most labels today list ingredients in languages that require a biochemist, medical or science degree. Please do not be fooled! Let me share with you additional information that may assist you in selecting products that are Star-K Kosher Certified and proven to be environmentally safe to use.
For additional information or to schedule a speaking engagement, please contact:
MentorMe Drug Testing Services
ATTN: Tracy Everette-Duncan, Founder & Executive Director
4421 Forbes Boulevard, Suite Q
Lanham, Maryland 20706
Office (301) 574-1289