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February 22, 2024

  • Danez Smith at AWP
    Richard Saker/Contour by Getty Images As we end Black History Month, here is one of my favorite poets, Danez Smith, who writes on intersectionality between their Black and Queer identities. At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Kansas City, MO, I had the opportunity to personally meet Smith, and they are […]
  • Lying in Memoir
    Lauren Slater crafts diligent, depictive metaphors in narrative, and I hate her writing, simultaneously. Should there be lying in memoir? In her book, Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir (2000), Slater crafts lies from epilepsy to nunneries to doctor visits and proposed peer reviewed theses to AA meetings. However, within these lies, she allows us to question […]
Spring Housing Guide

Ditch the chemicals, go organic

Did you know that there may be a correlation between the number of hours a woman wears a bra every day and her chances of getting breast cancer?

True story. A few studies (which need to be replicated) have suggested that the more a woman wears a bra, the greater her chances of getting breast cancer.

Of course this is one out of many possible contributing factors, but it is something to consider. Another everyday item that plays a huge role in this area is deodorant, particularly those brands that contain aluminum. Aluminum zirconium has been shown many times to contribute to both cancer and Alzheimer’s, yet most of us still put it under our arms every day.

When we consider the ingredients in our other personal care products, it starts to make sense how wearing a bra may contribute to other diseases.

Think about it. Every day most women roll these harmful chemicals on under our arms. Then we put on tight clothing made out of synthetic chemicals that do not breathe well. Essentially, we are allowing these chemicals to just soak into our skin day after day. Seem like a bit of a stretch? Not when you consider that most breast cancer lumps are detected in the under arm area.

The purpose of this little anecdote is to demonstrate one of the many ways in which our personal care products are slowly killing us.

Especially us women. For instance, did you know that most tampons sold in the United States are not even approved for use by the European equivalent of the FDA?

Our Tampax and Playtex are bleached with chlorine and other harmful chemicals, and then we insert them into the second most porous part of our body, where we absorb all of those toxins into our blood stream.

When you sit down and do a little investigating about what goes into our hygiene products, the results may disgust you.

I am certainly disturbed by my findings. And to me, the worst part is not that companies use such lethal ingredients (although that in itself is pretty disgusting). These things are all approved by our FDA when companies in other countries would never get away with this.

Why does our government allow this to happen? I can only assume that the lobbyists on Capital Hill had something to do with it. Money will go a long way in judging whether something is safe for human consumption.

Luckily, we have several resources right here in Bowling Green that will help to save us from our own personal care products. The Kroger’s in town has a wonderful organic food section, which also contains hygiene products and cleaning supplies.

Here you can find aluminum free deodorant and toothpaste, organic shampoos and conditioners and a wide selection of essential oils, among other useful products.

Another great resource is Squeakers Vegan Café and health food store, which is located on Main Street. Squeakers has an awesome selection of organic foods, personal care products (they even have organic hair dye and sun screen!).

And, they carry organic tampons. Plus, shopping there gives you the added bonus of knowing that you are supporting a great local business.

These organic products do typically cost a little more than their non-organic counterparts, but they are safer for both us and for the environment.

But, I don’t mind spending a little more on my deodorant or hair dye if I know that it could end up saving my life in the end. And really, aren’t you worth the extra money?

Send comments to Erin Wethern at [email protected].

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