Updated: May 27, 2018
I had an eye opening, slightly nerve wracking experience last night and realized that this is probably something you guys would be interested in (and really everyone should be interested in).
It all started when I was shopping on Amazon a few days ago. I was buying a plastic protein shaker for a client, and I noticed at check-out there was a hazard symbol and a big "WARNING" in all caps. The warning message mentioned something about Prop 65 and potentially cancerous materials in the product I was about to purchase. I thought "Hmm, that's interesting. The bottle said BPA free." I deleted the item from my cart and ended up buying a glass shaker. Nice save, Isa. Nice save.
But then it happened again. Last night. At checkout. The little warning sign:
I thought, "What the actual heck. How come this is happening all of a sudden or how have I never noticed this before?" And to be honest, I just really wanted the items in my cart and I wanted to order them immediately so they would ship out Friday instead of Monday. #firstworldproblems
So I took to the 24 hour chat support. (I blocked out the company's name for the sake of the company. Nothing that they did wrong in my opinion; I actually think Simon from support handled it really well, and to what I now understand, all companies have to list Prop 65 warnings at check out if eligible).
I was taken aback, to say the least. Viscose exposes you to an increased risk of cancer? Totally news to me, so I decided to do some research.
Viscose is derived from cellulose, a natural plant material. Now this sounds all great and dandy, until I found out about the processing factor. In order to turn cellulose into viscose, it has to undergo a multitude of chemical treatments involving carbon disulphide, sulfuric acid, chlorine and caustic soda. These hazardous chemicals are released into the environment as gasses, which have a toxic effect on your heart, skin and nervous system. Carbon disulphide poisoning is said to be similar to alcohol poisoning— unconsciousness, depression, nausea, restlessness, etc. One article in particular stated that people who wear viscose regularly might experience headaches, muscle pain, insomnia or vomiting.
What I also learned during my research is that it's not just viscose. It's nylon, polyester, acetate, and acrylic too. And it's incredible that we're allowed to manufacture and sell products that expose us to cancer, especially items like clothing that we put in contact with our bodies largest organ, our skin, every day. Crazy!
That being said, our bodies are strong and know how to detox. If they didn't, we'd be buried in the hatchets a long time ago. So if there is a clothing item you really really want and you notice this Prop 65 warning at checkout, just do a little digging. Find out what material it is that's hazardous, find out how much is in the item and weigh your options. Will you be wearing it every day? Is there a better option? Is the amount insignificant enough that your body can probably detox any residue that might be absorbed by your skin?
Of course there are many other factors to think about as well. Such as purchasing items like viscose might encourage the market to produce more synthetic materials and that polluting the environment during the production of these synthetic materials is okay, but that conversation could go on for hours 😁
I hope this gets you thinking! I had an epiphany that it might be beneficial to share my experiences first hand as I grow through this health journey, instead of just sharing information I feel well versed on. DM or email me and let me know if you want more of this type of content! I love to hear from you guys.
Also if you want to learn more about Prop 65, go here! https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/fact-sheets