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Health Alerts, Scares, Bad Advice and Medical Anecdotes

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Coughing during a heart attack can save your life message claims.  Actually, it can kill you.

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Various cancer scares.

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Aspartame causes MS, Lupus,  and a host of other diseases, but there is a government cover-up and scientific cover up.

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Needles in ball pits, needles on gas pumps, needles in pay phone coin slots - all infected with HIV.

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Rat droppings in warehouses & on soda cans can contain Hanta virus or drinking from soda cans can cause leptospirosis

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People in Florida die from spider bites because the spiders hide under toilet seats. 

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Drug contained in many over the counter products is recalled.

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Heating or freezing plastics & water.

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Is the Swiffer wet-jet toxic to pets?

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Is using "Dust-Off" a new way for teens to get high?

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Can plug-in air fresheners cause a fire?

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Is drinking cold water bad for you and can cause a heart attack?

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Can a Magic Eraser sponge cause burns?

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Is hydrogen peroxide good to use as medicine and is it better than bleach for cleaning?

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Will using Zicam products damage your sense of taste & smell?

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Does lipstick contain lead?

 

Very Bad Health Tip:  Coughing During a Heart Attack Can Save Your Life

Dr. Rich Buhler's Truth or Fiction site

 "TruthOrFiction.com has checked with several sources, including the American Heart Association, and none of them recommends relying on this procedure. The version of the erumor that has gotten the most circulation on the Internet originated from an article in a newsletter published by a chapter of the Mended Hearts organization, whose members are heart attack survivors. Mended Hearts has retracted the article. "


The American Red Cross issued this statement in December 1999:

"The ARC does not endorse the "How to Survive A Heart Attack When Alone" coughing technique which is being publicized on the Internet.  Even though self initiated CPR is possible, its use is limited to clinical situations in which the patient has a cardiac monitor, the arrest is recognized before loss of consciousness, and the patient can cough forcefully. To date, there is insufficient scientific research concerning the efficacy of Cough CPR. Therefore, the ARC cannot advocate teaching the technique until it has been thoroughly tested in national studies and found to be effective. Remember that the key signal of a heart attack victim is chest pain that does not go away. If the pain is severe, or does not go away in 10 minutes, stay calm, reassure the victim and call your local emergency number!"

 

Further Information From Snopes:

"Those in the know have come down strongly on the side of cough CPR being a dangerous procedure for the uninitiated to attempt. If you were a doctor and knew exactly what you were doing, it might help save your life. If, however, you are not a physician and you misjudge the kind of cardiac event you're experiencing, cough CPR could kill. This "helpful" e-mail could help you right into a grave."

 

In the event of a heart attack, all health care professionals recommend calling 911 then taking aspirin - IN THAT ORDER! 

VARIOUS CANCER SCARES

 

Padgets Disease - A New Kind of Cancer?

Paget's Disease of the Nipple is not a new form of breast cancer, but it is an extremely rare one. It occurs in less than 1% of breast cancer cases.  IT IS NOT NEW, just rare.

 

The section detailing the supposed fate of an unnamed woman was a later edition to this message, which began circulating in 1999 . Even later editions added various names and supposed relationships to some anonymous sender. 

 

Warning women to get breast cancer checks is great.  I fail to see how warning them about any specific type of cancer is useful.  As always, any strange or unexplained rash, redness, irritation or bump should be looked at, and early.  Survival rate for most breast cancer is increasing.  Click here for a good article explaining Paget's.

 

Anti-Perspirants Cause Cancer!

An email claiming that antiperspirants cause cancer is a hoax that began circulating in 1999.  It has been debunked by all cancer institutes and society's.  If you do as this email asks - look up the information and call cancer centers - you will find this information to be patently false.

 

OVARIAN CANCER TEST CA-125

In this message, a woman claims that she had Primary Peritoneal Cancer which was not caught by regular test or even a CT scan.  Only Test CA-125 properly diagnosed the situation.  However, medical experts say that this test is only good for "evaluating treatment progress," not screening for the disease.  The American Cancer Society says the following:

"Although the study finds the CA-125 blood test useful for evaluating treatment progress, the study results do not suggest the test can be used to screen for ovarian cancer. A recent email making the rounds urged women to ask their doctors for this test. For the CA-125 test to be a useful screening tool, it would have to detect most ovarian cancers in their early stages and not give positive results in women who do not have the cancer. The CA-125 test does not meet these standards. "

"The poor accuracy of CA-125, even in combination with ultrasound, is the primary reason why the American Cancer Society does not recommend screening [with CA-125] for women at average risk."

ARTICLES:  The American Cancer Society  

Message Claims That Aspartame (Nutrasweet) Causes Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus And a Myriad Of Other Diseases

This is very old (circulating since 1998) and very convoluted.  Before delving into the history, let me say that it is a well known medical fact that some people cannot tolerate aspartame.  As a person who has had fibromyalgia for 20 years, I stay away from it.  I use some Splenda, but mostly use Stevia.  As more products come out with Stevia, I will give Splenda the boot.  Stevia is not artificial at all.  It is a plant leaf that is sweeter than sugar, calorie free and does not raise blood sugar levels.  It took the FDA umpteen years to approve it as more than a supplement so it can now be purchased in grocery stores and there are promises of products coming out with it.

 

The message has been on the internet for many years with only a few minor changes.  In the original, the unnamed sister of the unnamed writer was actually put in the hospital and given a pill for poisoning.  Although that was clearly ridiculous, it remained for some years.  Some later versions eliminate this from the story.  Someone must have finally recognized the trouble. There is no science that recognizes as condition known as aspartame poisoning, so no pill could be given to counteract this non-existent condition.  If it is not recognized as existing, who was it who developed this wonder pill?  What is in it that can single-handedly and quickly counteract all these drastic symptoms?  Why isn't the public aware of this wonder pill?  It amazes me that most people reading it never gave one thought about not believing a story that had no named people (always a red light) and never questioned whether any such thing as aspartame poisoning existed.  It is usually sent as if it is verified, scientific evidence.

 

Now, that brings up two questions:  (1) Where did this story and other info come from?  (2) Is aspartame truly dangerous?

 

The story that begins the message has no way to be confirmed because there are no clues as to who these people are and it did not exist in the original form of the message.  Since the story is unverifiable (no clues to verify it from), we begin to take the message apart at the point where it says, "I have spent several days lecturing. . ."

 

This information does not come from any keynote address by the EPA.  It is information written by a woman by the name of Betty Martini - a rabid anti-aspartame advocate.  She claims to have been a speaker at the "World Environmental Conference" at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina in November of 1995, not a speaker at an EPA conference.  Her diatribe against aspartame was originally distributed on the internet as being by someone named Nancy Markle (who does not exist). The original contained much more of Martini's allegations than later versions.  The original talks of epidemics, plagues, blindness, etc. 

 

As of yet, no government or independent study has been able to come up with a genuine link between aspartame use and other issues (although there is some anecdotal evidence that it may exacerbate symptoms of certain diseases - more on that later).  Martini claims that this is due to a conspiracy funded by Monsanto.  All who do not agree with her are part of this conspiracy, no matter how independent they claim to be.   This mindset is typical of those who believe in and preach about vast conspiracies.   Martini distributed this under the name Nancy Markle.  Martini wrote to me a few years ago, continuing her diatribe against Monsanto and the U.S. government.  I kid you not, the lady is obsessed.  She started doing this about Splenda not too long ago.

 

The message has been modified somewhat since some of Martini's claims were plainly silly.  She used to claim that there is an "epidemic" of MS.  I don't know what her definition of epidemic is, but by any known definition, this is not true.  Lupus and MS have been around and recognized for many years prior to the invention of aspartame.  I've known several people with these conditions.  They are genetic.  Something occurs which triggers the gene involved.  It would be possible, though not scientifically shown, that aspartame could exacerbate symptoms of these diseases, but not cause them. The original also talks of "a plague of neurological diseases caused by this poison." A plague?  A lady, talking to one of the speakers at the conference, says that she has six friends who were diet Coke addicts who all came down with MS.  Now really!  Worldwide, MS affects only about 1% of the population.  Northern Europe, the northern United States, southern Australia, and New Zealand have the highest prevalence, with more than 30 cases per 100,000 people.  I read dozens of medical articles on this issue, and not one linked it to use of aspartame.

 

Further, this does not explain the health of many diabetics who use the product.  Beyond the few who have an actual intolerance to the product, most of these people do not overuse it.  Overuse of anything can cause major health issues.  This includes the soda.  There are numerous ingredients in sodas, diet or otherwise, which could cause trouble if overused. When I was growing up, sodas were a treat, not everyday drinks.  I have known people who drink nothing but and they usually have health issues.  My chiropractor tells her patients not to drink sodas at all.  I gave them up a few years ago.  I now only have one on a rare occasion.  Most of the problems are from the carbs and non-food ingredients used in most of these sodas. 

 

So, does aspartame really convert itself into methanol?  None of the science/medical articles I read can come up with this conclusion.  There are articles that support the idea, but they also contradict themselves several times.  ALL the articles that support the idea are fans of Martini and Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.  Blaylock is the originator of everything Martini has written.  In fact, the ONLY stuff you'll find on the internet making these claims about aspartame are people either affiliated with Blaylock/Martini or fans repeating their claims.

 

According to the Food and Drug Administration, aspartame may cause health concerns if consumed in excess. The FDA recommends that no more than 50 mg per kilogram of body weight be consumed each day. The average person would have to drink more than 19 cans of diet soda before reaching the maximum intake for the day. Thousands of individuals have reported adverse reactions to aspartame to the FDA, and research is ongoing.  The generally recognized symptoms of aspartame intolerance are headaches, dizziness, confusion and impaired memory function. It may also cause seizures and tremors, extreme sleepiness, limb numbness, facial pain and restless legs.  There are other symptoms that have been put forth, but again, no genuine research has produced a link between the two, and that includes any independent studies.  Many have certainly tried and found no connection, much to their own dismay.

 

The American Diabetes Association claims that this is all false, but Martini claims that they are funded by Monsanto, so their information cannot be trusted.  They are part of the conspiracy.  She also claims any info from the FDA is tainted by Monsanto.  The problem is that a good number of independent studies have been done without any success in proving the harms of aspartame (beyond intolerance).  However, Martini's claims are always that anyone disproving her pet theories must be a part of the massive cover-up.  Even the evidence that it may exacerbate symptoms of diseases is still only anecdotal.

I read ALL the anti-aspartame info I could find on the net recently.  Out of all the sites, only one had conducted a genuine, verifiable scientific experiment with the product, and this test did not deal with the effects of the product on the human body.  It dealt with how temperature changes effected the taste of soft drinks containing aspartame.   I then went on to read several papers by real researchers using proper research techniques.  None have found any evidence for these claims, and at least one had opposite results in the claims about what it does to children.  The best advice is if you are having problems, especially with memory, vision, dizziness, etc., stop using products containing aspartame and SEE A DOCTOR!  Don't rely on anecdotes for a diagnosis!

If you do have MS, Lupus, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the best advice is to stay away from artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame.  It does seem to exacerbate problems associated with these diseases and conditions. 

One last thing of note.  I could write a similar article about any food item out there.  Refined sugar has known health hazards.  People should use common sense when eating and drinking.  Anything in excess is going to be bad for you.  People who drink diet sodas to excess are going to have some repercussions.  People who ingest refined sugar to excess will have health issues.  People who eat fruit to excess are going to have some health issues, etc., etc., etc.  I could even write an article about the hazards of overuse of water - yes, water.  Anyone remember the story of the lady who died in 2007 of water intoxication after a water drinking contest? 

So, is aspartame harmless?  No.  We know it is definitely harmful to a small segment of the population and there may be some side effects, especially in people who use the product to excess.  More and more independent research is being done on this product which will provide us with more answers.  It is for sure that the outrageous claims made in this message and by Betty Martini are not plausible.

HIV Infected Needles In Public Places and Dirty Play Area Ball Pits

One message claims that HIV infected needles are being put on gas pumps.  It is purportedly written by Jacksonville, FL police Captain Abraham Sands.  It claims that 17 people in the Jacksonville area have been victims.  Right.  17 known incidents and no news reports - yeah, sure.  The other problem is that Jacksonville says that there is no Captain Abraham Sands.  He's just the figment of someone's sick imagination.  The message began circulating in 2000.  Other messages claim that infected needles are being put in all sorts of slots: mail slots, pay phone slots, etc. There was also a message about needles in movie theater seats.  None of these are true either. 

Another message claims that infected needles were put in a McDonalds playground ball pit and that a child died from this. While such an incident could happen, it didn't.  The message says that it happened in Midland, TX, and gives the child's name.  The message combines the name of the newspapers in Midland and in Houston.  Research by both papers reveal that no such incident happened and no child of that name has died.   New versions of the message begin with a parent (unnamed) finding a filthy ball pit at Discovery Zone.  The unnamed parent in the unnamed city tells management and they say that the ball pits are not cleaned out regularly and are fairly unconcerned.  Trouble is, Discovery Zone bit the dust in 1999, so the message would have to be really old.  It also cannot be confirmed. 

All of these messages are bogus.  You'd have heard about it on the news if they really happened.

The only known cases of hypodermic needles in any kind of slots available to the public have occurred in Virginia.  These were copycatted from the hoax messages sent around the internet.  The messages had been out for a long time and someone decided to try it.  As far as anyone knows, they weren't infected with anything and were wrapped in cotton.  What's interesting is that one week before the first reported incident, there was an article in The Roanoke Times debunking the hoax!

HOWEVER, just because no needles have been found in play area ball pits doesn't mean that they are safe and sanitary.  A man who used to manage a large chain restaurant that used these pits told me that children regularly "relieve" themselves in these pits.  I have also read about the types of things are being found at the bottom of these pits:  food, dirty diapers and human feces.   This former manager told me that it is pretty well impossible to keep the pits reasonably clean and that many of the chains are phasing the pits out as a result.

Rat Droppings Kill Man In Hawaii from Hantavirus or Leptospirosis

Urban Legends at About. com sent an email inquiry to the Hawaii Department of Health and received the following response from Dr. Philip Bruno, Chief of the DOH Communicable Disease Division: "The State of Hawaii Department of Health investigated this question last year, and has shared its findings with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The email is not true. There have been no known hantavirus cases in Hawaii. The email may be a hoax, or a misinterpretation of some other event."

The CDC has information on their site about hantavirus, but none about problems with soda cans.  Hantavirus is fairly rare and is carried by certain species of mice and can be spread to humans by exposure to virus-contaminated rodent droppings, urine, or saliva.  There are only certain types of mice and rats that carry this disease.  An outbreak occurred in 1993 in the Four Corners area of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.  It was contained to that specific area. 

The message asserts that rodent urine can get on tops of cans, pasta boxes, cereal boxes, etc. in warehouse storage.  This is highly unlikely. Items like these are received at stores on large pallets and are shrink wrapped in bulk for storage.  They are also moved very quickly.  Having worked in a convenience store, I can assure you of this. A quick check of your local grocery store's receiving area would confirm this.  Most items are not actually exposed until right before being placed on shelves.

Another version of this message talks about getting Leptospirosis from drinking from soda cans exposed to rat droppings. Leptospirosis is spread by contact with warm, contaminated water.  The virus cannot live once it is cooled nor outside the water.  It cannot be spread on a can.  The message clearly states that the can had been refrigerated.  Again, you can ONLY get leptospirosis from contaminated water.   From what I read, you can get it bathing a dog.

Message claims that numerous people have died from receiving spider bites in restrooms. 

The first version of this message began in 1999.  In the original, the women were in Chicago.  In later versions, it's Florida.  In the original they were bitten at Big Chappies at Blare Airport.  Later versions had an Olive Garden at an unspecified location.  In the original, the spider was a South American Blush spider.  In later versions, it was a Two-Striped Telamonia (which is not poisonous).  In the original it was a Los Angeles lawyer who had taken a flight from New York City that changed planes in Chicago.  In later versions it became a Jacksonville lawyer who had flown from Indonesia, changing planes in Singapore. In the original, the flight investigators discovered the flight had originated in South America.  In later versions it originated in India.

 

Both versions I have seen claim to have come from the Journal of the United Medical Association, but there is no such journal.  The investigators were from the Civil Aeronautics Board, but that shut down in 1984.

 

Both versions begin with "if you haven't heard about it on the news. . . ".  Of course you haven't since it never happened. 

 

The spiders named are not a problem.  There is a problem with brown recluse spiders.  One of our church members was bitten in her sleep (never saw the culprit!) in 2010.  Nasty!  It eats the flesh from the inside out.  Another friend was bitten at work and was nearly off his head when he was finally taken to the hospital, where doctors were able, with much difficulty,  to save his leg.

Drug Recall - PHENYLPROPANOLAMINE (PPA)

This particular message began circulating in 2000. It was NOT true that drugs containing phenylpropanolamine were being recalled.  Here is what really happened.  At that time, most products containing this ingredient were voluntarily pulled from pharmacy shelves . Most of these products was reformulated to exclude phenylpropanolamine.   It was all over the news back then.  It was not "recalled" by the FDA and is not now being recalled. Part of the reason for the pull and reformulation is that the ingredient was known to enhance the chance of a hemorrhaging stroke in a small portion of the population - people between the ages of 18 - 49.  I heard from a young woman who did have exactly this problem.  She used a form of Afrin Nasal Spray (never use nasal sprays - except saline - anyway; they're very bad for you) and did have a hemorrhaging stroke,

In 2005, the FDA officially recommended that companies remove this ingredient.  However, you can still purchase a few things with it by asking the pharmacist. I've not had any good results from using the reformulated decongestants.  I rarely need one, but when I do, I ask for the original formula.

Microwaving OR Freezing Plastics

This message began circulating in 2002.  Beginning in 2005, a new section was added claiming that a Johns Hopkins study indicated that this was true and warned against freezing plastics as well.  A later version cited Sheryl Crow's breast cancer, trying to make a connection between it and the plastic bottles. Crow did warn people about drinking bottled water in 2006, but did not blame this for her own cancer.  Crow also wants everyone in the world to use only 2 pieces of toilet paper to save the environment.  So we're going to listen to her instead of science? Another version claimed that plastic water bottles in a hot car would have the same issue.

This message doesn't come from any John Hopkins report nor from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (new versions have added this information to bolster the claims but it is false).  In fact, a John Hopkins study DEBUNKS some of the information in this piece. http://www.jhsph.edu/publichealthnews/articles/halden_plastics.html 

The message began as an exaggerated story taken from a short interview with Dr. Fujimoto that aired on January 23, 2002.  Dr. Fujimoto is a Ph.D. serving as the Director of the Center For Health Promotion at Castle Medical Center in Kailua.  Newer versions of the message also include information about not freezing plastics.  None of the studies on dioxin leeching from heated plastics has included freezing issues and even Dr. Fujimoto did not address that.  It was added to the message much later.

The issue of dioxin leeching only involves lightweight plastics being heated and coming into contact with hot food with high fat content. The FDA says that these levels are considered safe (we get some from a number of sources including food).  The upshot is that plastic wrap should not come into contact with food during cooking, single use trays with frozen foods should be used only once, and lightweight plastics such as margarine tubs should not be used for microwaving.

There are some who believe that freezing plastic changes the structure, but there is no proof of such. In fact, the message has never offered a single bit of proof for the allegations - no links or official papers, nothing but the supposed words of this Dr., yet it is taken as scientific evidence because it was received on an email.  Go figure.

Some of the rest of the info has been recently added and some of it is flat out contradictory.  Some versions of this message note that you are told not to use paper, then are told to use paper towels.  Many food companies moved away from using foam containers because of the dioxin problem in the manufacturing process.  The concerns were the pollutants in the manufacturing process and in the breakdown of the product in landfills.   Parchment paper is used in cooking even by the most professional of chefs and is perfectly safe, as is wax paper.

There is one particular kind of bottle (not used in water you purchase in bottles) that has a problem and it is being fixed.  Most of the time this particular plastic has been used for baby bottles and reusable water bottles.  It is a very thick plastic and the problem has been shown to be in the manufacturing process.  It has definite carcinogens. This is known as BPA, so choose bottles that are BPA free.

One last thing to mention:  some people believe that any microwaving is bad.  I've read both sides of the issue.  The anti-microwave crowd believes that the way that the food molecules are excited actually changes the molecules, thus changing the nutritive content.  Generally, I only use it for something that needs reheating for no more than a couple of minutes. 

Is the Swiffer Wet Jet Formula Harmful to Pets?

This message came out around the beginning of May 2004 and has caused a panic among pet lovers although it offers not one single iota of proof for its claims. The stories contain no verifiable information - names, dates, places. This is very typical of hoaxes. I paid special attention to looking into it since I have two spoiled house cats.

 

So, what is in the Swiffer Wet Jet formula?

90-100% WATER

1-4% Propylene Glycol n-Propyl Ether

1-4% Isopropyl Alcohol

1% Other minor Ingredients

1% Preservatives

 

Propylene Glycol is sometimes used in anti-freeze, but it is not the ingredient that we have heard about that is not only sweet-tasting to animals, but deadly.  That is ethylene glycol.  Propylene glycol is also used in low calorie syrups & sodas. Still, propylene glycol n-butyle is different.  It is not listed as toxic.  Ethylene glycol n-butyl is listed as problematic to a developing fetus.  There is no evidence that either is harmful to "non-pregnant adults of any large mammal species."

 

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has said that both propylene glycol n-propyl ether and propylene glycol n-butyl ether are safe ingredients at levels used in cleaning products.
 

P&G recommends not letting children or pets on the floor while it is still wet, but that there is no residue when dry.  That's what the isopropyl alcohol is supposed to do - help it dry faster.

Is using "Dust-Off" a new way for teens to get high?

The story is true, but Dust-Off is no more a problem than any other aerosol can when a teen wants to get high.  ANY AEROSOL WILL WORK. 

This is also not a new thing. Kids have been using aerosols to get high for years.  About 15 years ago, a teenage boy I knew was driving around with two friends in a van.  They stopped at a store, and unknown to my friend and the driver, the other boy purchased some kind of aerosol product in order to get high.  He used it before getting back in the van.  Within minutes, he stopped breathing.  He was dead very quickly.  It really shook the other kids up.

Huffing, as it is called, has been a fairly widespread, but under-reported issue for many years.

Plug In air fresheners cause fires

The message, which has been circulating since 2004, claims that a house burned and the cause was found to be a plug-in air freshener, particularly citing Glade.  An unnamed fire investigator then tells the owners that "he's seen more home fires from plug-in type air fresheners than anything else." 

All the red lights of a false message are here - unnamed victims, no names, places, dates.  No one knows who wrote this either.  It turns out that there are a couple of known instances of house-fires being attributed to a plug-in, but not with a Glade product.

Cold Water can cause a myriad of health problems including heart attacks and cancer

This is one of the silliest messages I've ever seen.  It's scientific information includes the claim that the "cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this "sludge" reacts with the acid, it will break faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer."

Here's an experiment:  Put a bit of food into a cup of cold water and watch to see if it "solidifies".  Guess what?  It's not possible.  The water would have to be ice, and even then it would take quite some time to freeze the food.  Further, if it is left at room temperature, it will never happen because the ice will melt.

Our bodies have a natural temperature of about 97.  So, when cold water goes into the body, what will happen to it?  It will warm up pretty fast.  By the time it hits your intestines, it's body temp.

The scenario is simply not possible by any stretch of the imagination.  This particular message is even more nonsensical when you consider that oil and water do not mix.  Just being next to cold water for seconds (the time it would remain cold in the stomach) would be enough to solidify "oily stuff?"  Note the very non-scientific term "oily stuff."  What the heck is that? 

A heart attack is not caused by food in the digestive system "sludging" if such a thing even ever happened.  There are many factors that can lead to a heart attack and cold water certainly isn't one of them.  The arteries can become clogged and be a cause of a heart attack, but not the digestive system.

Do Magic Eraser sponges cause burns?

The story that accompanies the message is true, but the sponges can cause burns because the melamine foam is extremely abrasive, not because of chemicals in the sponge. That's why is can take off surface stains.  The stain is softer than the hard  material it is on and is simply rubbed off.  So, if one uses it on soft skin, guess what?  The skin will be essentially exfoliated off.  So what you have is not a chemical burn, but raw flesh.

I use it on occasion to take scuff marks off of linoleum.  I've never had any problem.  I'm not stupid enough to have used it on my body, but in researching this I found that adults have done so.  I also found that some people are allergic to this foam, just like a latex allergy.

The upshot is that no cleaning product in the world (except maybe baking soda) should ever be given to a kid to use without complete adult supervision.  And, don't keep them out for an animal to chew on.

Message advocates using peroxide instead of bleach

High strength hydrogen peroxide is also a bleaching agent. It is also used as a an ingredient in rocket propellant.  That's a shocker, isn't it?

Hydrogen peroxide was first isolated in 1818 by Louis Jacques Thénard by reacting barium peroxide with nitric acid. An improved version of this process used hydrochloric acid, followed by sulfuric acid to precipitate the barium chloride byproduct. Thenard's process was used from the end of the 19th century until the middle of the 20th century.

In fact, until the past few years, hydrogen peroxide was highly used for antiseptic and anti-bacterial purposes in the medical field.  However, an OR nurse friend of mine says that it is being used less and less as better alternatives are now available.

It was interesting that the message makes no distinction between types of peroxide, which could lead someone to use the wrong kind.  Anything said applies only to hydrogen peroxide in a 1 - 3% solution.

FDA warning against using high strength hydrogen peroxide as medicine.

Another article

Here's some eye opening information on the issue of peroxide as medicine. I was especially interested that internal use of hydrogen peroxide has been scientifically linked to blood disorders and some deaths.

A friend of mine who is a licensed nutritionist and homeopathic doctor recommends cleaning fruits and vegetables with a mixture of vinegar and peroxide, but the vinegar is the main ingredient.  Even then, she says you have to wash them off thoroughly to get rid of the peroxide.

Dentists solutions for tooth whitening contain hydrogen peroxide, but everything is formulated correctly and professionally.  It's in OTC whiteners and toothpastes, but again, in exactly the right strength.  You could damage tooth enamel by using too much.

Bleach water is better for cleaning.  Having worked in a sub shop in the past and having a sister in the waitress business for over 20 years, I can assure you that no food service uses peroxide.  They all use bleach water to clean and kill germs.  Health laws require them to do so.  If peroxide is an acceptable substitute, the food industry hasn't discovered it.

I would certainly NEVER put it into my nose!  If you're clogged, used a buffered saline solution.  Salt is what is needed to clear up a sinus problem.

Peroxide is a bleaching agent, not a colorant.  It could be used on skin to gently bleach discoloring, but I wouldn't use it on my hair.  Modern colorants are designed to be good for one's hair.

Do Zicam products lead to permanent olfactory nerve damage?

The active ingredient in all Zicam products is zinc - a natural mineral which you are probably getting through your multi-vitamin.  Zinc has been used successfully by people to treat colds for umpteen years.

Although no one knows the reason why as yet, a few people have had a strange reaction in the last few years and have lost their sense of smell, and with it, their sense of taste.  These incidents have only been reported in the last few years and researchers are baffled as to the reason.

Zicam products are still on the market . The message claimed that the swabs had been pulled but not the nasal gel.  This is not true.

Is there lead in lipstick?

A message has been circulating for many years.  A 2nd season NCIS episode even featured a heavily leaded lipstick that concealed a plague spore.

Lead is used in the manufacturing process of many types of lipsticks, so minute traces could end up in lipstick. The amounts are super tiny throughout a whole batch of the stuff.

U.S. manufacturing standards require testing of each batch for levels of any dangerous chemicals and for lead.  If too much got into the batch, it's supposed to be history.

The gold ring test doesn't work on lead at all.  People used to test the purity of gold by rubbing a stone with lead over it, but you can't test for lead with gold.   Barbara Mikkelson (Snopes) tried this test, not only with a gold ring, but with other kinds of metals.  She did indeed get the dark streaks.  However, remembering that lipstick is mostly wax, she tried the same experiment with wax and got exactly the same results.  It had nothing to do with the presence of lead.

F&C Red # 6 cannot contain more than 20 parts per million of lead (also not more than 3 parts per million of arsenic or 1 part per million of mercury). The earliest version of this message claimed that lead was a chemical, which of course, it isn't.  It's a metal.  However, I see that this part has been expunged of late to make the message seem more credible.

 

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Truth Miners is run by, owned by, written by and maintained by Cathy Holden - all articles, unless noted, are written by me.  Ask for reprint permission please.  Thanks!