Monday, October 10, 2011

My Occupy Wall Street Rant

from here  

My anti-corporation rant focuses on the blatant use of toxic chemicals in health and beauty products. I'm also highly concerned about the same for food, but there's already a documentary about that. In fact, I'm surprised that there wasn't a revolution and mass protests when Food, Inc. came out. I mean, didn't that just make you so mad?

Anyway, I'm super upset about corporations getting away with killing us slowly. I feel that science and the government has failed us here. Just because a chemical is perceived (and given legality) to be safe in low doses and hasn't YET been proven to cause cancer, doesn't mean that it's ok to put them in products that I put on my body every day. Products that are absorbed by my skin - the largest body organ. Once you think about it, it really just comes down to common sense.

I don't know if this fits in with the Occupy Wall Street revolution. Honestly, the movement is disjointed and difficult to understand. I assume that it's largely fueled by anger over financial institutions and government complacency, but it also seems to be an outlet for expressing disapproval of corporate irresponsibility. So, I thought I would do that and invite you to join me.

From Crain's New York
Here's what I'm mad about. I recently came across GoodGuide, a consumer informational website that lets me determine how safe a product is for health, and how good or bad a company is in terms of environmental and community impact. You search for a product and view it's rating for each of these 3 elements on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best, 1 being the worst). Sadly, I found out that my favorite hair gel (Biolage) received a 4 health rating for its use of propylene glycol - suspected of causing immunotoxicity, respiratory toxicity, and skin or sense organ toxicity. Aw boo. Worse yet, my favorite hair cream (John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon) received a 3 health rating for propylene glycol, triethanolamine, phenoxyethanol, and propyl paraben (the latter two being of low concern).  And you don't even want to know the rating for Kiehl's Creme de Corps (ok, I'll tell you - it's a 1!). Holy crap, corporations, why are you doing this to me? With all of the advances in science (particularly biology) and technology, and increasing consumer support for green products, how can you still be using questionable chemicals? So, I asked some of them. Frizz-Ease was nice enough to respond and here's their main point:

In summary, our marketed products meet the safety expectations outlined by the European Union, US Food and Drug Administration, and Health Canada legislation as well as other country regulations.

Hmm, wait a minute. The same government that is currently being protested for lack of corporate oversight? Uh-oh. Your response doesn't make me feel any better and, frankly, I'm afraid of using your product and I'm also concerned about how to properly dispose of it! In a world with a finite water supply, I'm surely not satisfied to wash my hands of this situation, lest I later drink in this toxic waste.

I'm not trying to single these companies out - it's just that I researched them because I've been using their products the longest. And the original Frizz-Ease serum actually has a 10 health rating - so good for them for that. Too bad I didn't know to stock up on that product instead of the nasty one I brought with me. And too bad that crappy products are on the market. It seems that it's up to the consumer to research every product we buy and make safe choices.

Yes, I know that I should have realized this years ago. But I grew up in a consumer society that was content to ignore confusing, lengthy ingredients and just assume that all products for sale in the US are safe. I know that for the baby boomer generation, these products offered a convenience and experience that had never been offered before. But today's corporations must now deal with a consumer group that grew up watching FernGully and Captain Planet. So watch your backs, health and beauty corporations trying to overload me with toxins to placate my ego. Sure, I want to be beautiful and you've made enough money playing off of that vulnerability. But now I want to live. And I've got my eye on you.

from The Captain Planet Foundation


Julia (Color Me Green) said...

you know i'm with you on this. we need way more regulations environmentally, fiscally, socially and on and on... i haven't been down to the protest yet but i'm thinking i would like to

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