How 'natural' is your bathroom?

silversword(9A)March 5, 2009

Lucky mentioned in the ACV Thread an article that speaks of the dangers of using chemicals on our bodies, for washing and smelling good. One of those mentioned as being harmful was talc powder.

Since I was young my mother advised me not to use it, and I never used it on my daughter either. After looking it up I found that the American Cancer Society says that findings are mixed, but that "A case-control study published in 1997 of 313 women with ovarian cancer and 422 without this disease found that the women with cancer were more likely to have applied talcum powder to their external genital area or to have used genital deodorant sprays. Women using these products had a 50% to 90% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer."

They also found that women who had not had a tubal litigation had a 54% risk of increase. "Because tubal ligation is expected to block external carcinogens from reaching the ovaries via the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes, this finding provides some support for the idea that talc is a carcinogen."

My daughter's doctor recommended I not use it on her because the powder can be extremely irritating to her lungs and can cause pneumonia and even death.

There was a study done in 1996 that examined womens ovaries that had been removed for reasons other than cancer and talc powder was found in all of their ovaries, even those who did not use the powder on themselves.

But there was another study done that indicates talc actually reduces cancer growth and decreases the bulk of the tumor.

Basically, it's not a huge danger, and the jury is still out on talc. Potentially it causes cancer, and potentially it can reduce cancer... half dozen either way. If you're worried about it, use cornstarch based products instead.

As for shampoos and other body products, I think consumers should be wary of what is put into their cosmetics. There are numerous studies on the disruption of hormones in women due to phthalates and diethyl phthalate (DEP).

What do you think?

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I think that what we think is less important than what good evidence tells us.

As you noted, there is mixed evidence on any potential harm for talcum powder, with some studies showing a small association with ovarian cancer and others no link at all. If there is concern, a cornstarch-based product can be used as a substitute (though probably smeone will be along soon to claim that there are nanograms of mercury in those products that are TOXINS deadly to human life).

There are good reason to minimize use of cosmetics, bathroom cleaners and such, more for cost and environmental protection reasons than through unproven and unfounded assumptions that they are TOXINS that will cause human disease.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 12:05PM
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My favorite natural toiletry is the neem "toothbrush".
Twist a slim twig off a neem branch & rub it's exposed pith across the teeth/gums.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 1:23PM
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I'm not going to do a search to find the *proof* but I have read EPA reports on some of the ingredients in most commercial body care and home care products which show they contain known carcinogens. I've known this for many years and quit using most of those products a long time ago.

It's amazing how much money I've saved by doing this. The bar soaps I use are more expensive than most regular soaps but serve as shampoo as well so are a bargain. They are made with all vegetable oils and essential oils to scent. I sometimes rinse my hair with diluted ACV but it's a fallacy that bar soap doesn't rinse out well. We do have soft water, might not work as well in hard water. For skin care/moisturizing I use a good carrier oil and essential oils. I buy all natural deodorant and toothpaste at the health food store. What else do I need? Certainly not those very expensive skin cleansers/toners/creams that some of my friends and relatives use and my skin looks better than theirs. What they don't/won't understand is that good skin comes from within - it's what you eat and don't eat and your general state of health that makes healthy skin.

I won't light a paraffin candle in my house either, they emit known carcinogens according to many studies not done by the oil industry. There were many sites a few years ago which showed the EPA concurred. It's become difficult to find these studies online now as the petrochemical companies have threatened lawsuits. Big business won that one to save their multi-billion dollar industry. I use beeswax candles with cotton wicks.

I believe the danger in talc is that one can never know the source. There may be safe talc deposits but also could be many that are compromised with other harmful minerals. Not good for the lungs to breath either way. Also most talcs are scented with synthetic scents which are not the healthiest things to use.

Another potentially dangerous product is baby oil (mineral oil). Even the medical community is becoming aware of this and when one of our Grandchildren was born the nurse advised against it's use.

We live in a chemically toxic world, there's no doubt, and it's impossible to avoid them all. It is possible to make relatively minor changes in your immediate environment which might add to health.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 1:51PM
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Good mention on the mineral oil! It's amazing how much stuff has mineral oil in it. I recently decided no more kid's toothpaste. I never bought it, but my dd would come home with it from dad's house, grandma's house... with the cartoon characters on the front and "sparkles" in the paste. WTF??? Full of sugar and food coloring. The last one finally ran out and I said no more. The next one that comes in the house is going in the trash.

"I think that what we think is less important than what good evidence tells us."

Another argument for not trusting oneself and ones instincts, trust only what has been proven.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 3:06PM
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When my bathroom gets too "natural", I find it helps considerably to turn on the overhead fan and use a citrus-based odor-cutting spray.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 10:38AM
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TMI Eric.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 11:22AM
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jonnys(9 Orlando Fl)

Good one Eric. As for my bathroom, I use only vegan and all natural products. I also only use bar soap, usually neem. I find it lasts a really long time for just one bar.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Hi! Instead of talc-based powder, I use a combination of bentonite, slippery elm and arrowroot powders that "disappear" with the sweat. I don't like cornstarch because it balls up.

We clean our entire house with a mix of baking soda and vinegar (gotta love those volcanoes)and various essential oils. I prefer frankincense and clary as they do a bit of atmospheric cleansing at the same time. If we need a little more scrubbing power, we boil a citrus peel in baking soda and water for a few minutes then either apply it directly to the tough spot or add it to the volcano.

Today we made mouthwash with a little everclear, twice as much water & a few (REALLY FEW) drops of myrrh & peppermint. Really smacked those cold-abused gums back into place.

I have been making soap (liquid & bar) & a whole range of B&B products for a long time. I might possibly know how to make something you're interested in. Let me know.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 9:25PM
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Problem with the removal of talc from products is that most of the subsitutes will help feed fungus infections. Hubby has inflamed skin from rubbing. His doctor told him to use talc products because most use starches. The flora on his skin use the starch as a food source. Now that we can't find talc he has to use a hairdryer and spend a fortune on the one cream that will hold his growth in check.

He has heart failure and I will not use many of the herbals on him.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 11:52PM
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maifleur, I just found this site yesterday when researching organic fertilizers for my garden. If you scroll down about half way on that page you will see some info about using cornmeal for fungus infections. It has been used successfully in organic gardens to prevent fungal infections on plants and seems to work in humans also according to the testimonials. Certainly might be worth a try as I doubt there would be many side effects.

Here is a link that might be useful: cornmeal for fungus infections

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 12:02PM
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He has active yeast. Yeast feeds on starches and sugars. Thanks for the suggestion but I grin just thinking of his expression if I would ask him to allow me to rub corn meal in his upper thigh and lower stomach areas.

His bellow would be heard accross the country.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:25PM
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Why can't you buy talc anymore? I've found it everywhere...I'm not connected with any of these sites..


Talc Part #3190K177

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 8:58AM
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Silversword have you looked at the powders available in regular stores? By the time I pay for shipping cost is more than I want to spend. $10.00 is tops.

For some reason links are not working this evening.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:29PM
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No, I haven't. I don't buy talc. I was just referencing your link..."Now that we can't find talc..." and it sounded like you didn't know where to find it. Seems like $45 bucks for 25lbs would last a long time, which is why I posted the link. Sorry if it wasn't helpful :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 11:27PM
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I was mentioning products for personal use not industrial use such as bath powder, containing talc. I should have been more specific.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 1:13AM
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Maifleur, yeasts are fungi. I think if I had such an uncomfortable skin condition I'd be happy to try something as simple as cornmeal after reading those testimonials.

Another possible product to try would be powdered clay - the type that is used in skin care masks. Many are known to have healing properties and have a drying effect.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 6:20PM
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I had not thought of the clay. I have several small jars that were given to me of various types. Some smooth and some granulated.

Luckygal, yeasts feed on starches. Ground corn, cornmeal, has starches. If used where a yeast colony is active most yeast colonies expand and become even more active. One of the by products of yeast is a natural vinegar that will eat into the skin. Putting additional starches on yeast is like adding gasoline to a fire. Some yeasts eat other things but his loves starch.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 9:36PM
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Yes, before getting too enthusiastic about testimonials for foot fungus treatment on a gardening site, better check into corn gluten meal from other sources, or even elsewhere on the GardenWeb. This product has not impressed rose growers for its supposed antifungal effects, and possibly for the same reason that maifleur has noted - it makes a fine growing medium for at least some kinds of fungus. Not something I'd want to try on the basis of testimonials on a personal fungal infection.

Corn gluten meal does have its uses in gardening - there's good evidence that it works as an organic pre-emergent herbicide, useful in lawns (also for its fertilizing benefits).

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:01PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Nothing soothes a razorburnt face quite like talcum powder.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 2:47AM
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Found it. Has perfume but that and talc. J & J apparently brought the product back since I looked for it last year. Don't know about the scent but will try anything. Between this and MSRA he has had a bad winter.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 9:23PM
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If the bathroom come with hot tub,bathroom vanity,walk in tub,and grow some flower ,it looks really nice and natural.
You can enjoy yourself in the all kind of bathing.

Here is a link that might be useful: walk in tubs

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 2:28PM
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Yes indeed, an acrylic tub in your bathroom just shouts "natural".

What kind of flowers are you supposed to grow in it? Water lilies? You'd need a lot of light, and no soap could be allowed, which would make getting clean a challenge, but it would be kinda pretty I guess.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 4:32PM
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If you want to go all natural in your bathroom, I suggest using ONLY corn cobs.

I know. I'm a professional.

Charlie in Arizona
The Herbalist

Here is a link that might be useful: Herbology Science

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 12:34AM
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Use corn cobs for what?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 1:08PM
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> talc powder was found in all of their ovaries,


And I have this bridge, see...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 10:26PM
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My bathroom become natural right after me and my wife Dotty decided to remodel our bathroom 6 months ago. It could never be so beautiful without the advice of my father in law. He told me to ask help from someone who remodel their two houses in midtown.

Here is a link that might be useful: Everhart Construction

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 8:42PM
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Wow, how natural. They're doing such great things with corncobs these days.

It's almost as nice as the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:59AM
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