Antidepressants produce suicidal thoughts

Landmark study shows antidepressants make people 'twice as likely' to consider violence and suicide

According to the latest research coming out of the United Kingdom, patients should think twice before taking SSRI antidepressant medications. Brand names can include Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa and others. Researchers in the UK evaluated clinical trials of SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors) and concluded healthy adults, who had showed no signs of depression before the clinical trials began, reported double the risk of having feelings which could lead to suicide and violence.

In other words, the control group, the group of normal individuals who did not have depression but were given the antidepressant medications during the trial phase of the drug company's research, reported they had experienced suicidal thoughts and ideations, and thoughts of violence. Put bluntly, antidepressants can potentially make a normal person want to kill themselves or others.

As reported by The Express, "Experts working on the study said the analysis was undertaken because the harms of antidepressants, including the risk of suicide, are often explained away as if they are disease symptoms or only a problem in children." The Free Thought Project spoke with an ER nurse to confirm these suspicions and get an opinion from someone working in the field of Emergency Medicine.

The nurse, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she'd been working in the emergency room of a hospital on the East Coast for 10 years. She said she'd taken care of nearly 100 patients who'd committed suicide and all but one, by her recollection, were taking antidepressants. And she has seen double that number attempt suicide, most of whom were taking the medicines. Most of the attempted suicides and suicides were done by hanging. But questions remain. After all, if the medicines are working to keep adolescents and adults from killing themselves, wouldn't the numbers be reversed? Wouldn't the reports coming from the ER be that children not taking medicines were killing themselves, but medicated children were safer??

She conveyed a conversation she overheard, whereby doctors in the ER were discussing antidepressants being given to children. One ER physician said, "I would never give antidepressants to children," to which the other doctors agreed, making similar comments.

As The Free Thought Project has reported on numerous occasions, the dangers of antidepressant medicines are quickly becoming known. And while Big Pharma and the FDA are quick to defend their clinical trials, and use data to demonstrate the drugs are safe for human consumption, even the FDA has placed a black box warning label on the medicines. The National Institute of Mental Health described the warning label saying, "Following a thorough and comprehensive review of all the available published and unpublished controlled clinical trials of antidepressants in children and adolescents, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public warning in October 2004 about an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents treated with SSRI antidepressant medications."

The aforementioned warning label on antidepressants was mandated by the Food and Drug Administration of the U.S. Federal Government. Here's the FDA's statement, "[5/2/2007] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today proposed that makers of all antidepressant medications update the existing black box warning on their products' labeling to include warnings about increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality, in young adults ages 18 to 24 during initial treatment (generally the first one to two months)."

Did you catch that carefully worded phrase? It reads, "suicidal thinking and behavior." In other words, even the FDA admits children and young adults are killing themselves while taking a medicine that is supposed to keep them from killing themselves.

Maybe you or someone you know is already taking the medicine and you've been wondering where those suicidal thoughts are coming from. It may be time to check to see if the drug you're taking is on the list. Here's the list of drugs which the FDA says must carry the suicide warning label.

Anafranil (clomipramine) 
Asendin (amoxapine) 
Aventyl (nortriptyline) 
Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide) 
Cymbalta (duloxetine) 
Desyrel (trazodone HCl) 
Elavil (amitriptyline) 
Effexor (venlafaxine HCl) 
Emsam (selegiline) 
Etrafon (perphenazine/amitriptyline) 
fluvoxamine maleate 
Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) 
Limbitrol (chlordiazepoxide/amitriptyline) 
Ludiomil (maprotiline) 
Marplan (isocarboxazid) 
Nardil (phenelzine sulfate) 
nefazodone HCl 
Norpramin (desipramine HCl) 
Pamelor (nortriptyline) 
Parnate (tranylcypromine sulfate) 
Paxil (paroxetine HCl) 
Pexeva (paroxetine mesylate) 
Prozac (fluoxetine HCl) 
Remeron (mirtazapine) 
Sarafem (fluoxetine HCl) 
Seroquel (quetiapine) 
Sinequan (doxepin) 
Surmontil (trimipramine) 
Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine) 
Tofranil (imipramine) 
Tofranil-PM (imipramine pamoate) 
Triavil (perphenazine/amitriptyline) 
Vivactil (protriptyline) 
Wellbutrin (bupropion HCl) 
Zoloft (sertraline HCl) 
Zyban (bupropion HCl)

While some free thinking individuals have known about the dangers of antidepressant medicines for years, others may be unwittingly taking the medicines and acting on their suicidal thoughts. Patient advocacy groups like the Citizens Commission on Human Rights have been sounding the alarm in an attempt to warn parents, adults, physicians and politicians of the dangers of psychotropic drugs being prescribed as one journalist described it "like candy."

Their website offers a list of alternatives to psychotropic drugs and a word of advice to persons seeking help from a psychiatrist. If a psychiatrist diagnoses you with a psychiatric condition, ask them to perform a blood test or a brain scan to confirm their diagnosis. They cannot, because there aren't any blood tests or scans which can be performed for any psychiatric diagnosis, according to CCHR. And therein lies the problem. CCHR suggests because the general public has been conditioned to trust their physicians without question, leaving patients at the mercy of the diagnosis and the drugs prescribed, which might just be a deadly combination.

Professor Peter Gøtzsche,of the Nordic Cochrane Centre and lead author of the research study, described the potential for the general public to be misled. He said, "While it is now generally accepted that antidepressants increase the risk of suicide and violence in children and adolescents, most people believe that these drugs are not dangerous for adults. This is a potentially lethal misconception."

Gøtzsche brought up an interesting point which even the FDA has yet to address. He used the word "violence" in connection with taking antidepressant medicines. The subject of violence, murder, and even mass murder correlated to antidepressant use was covered quite extensively in Dr. Ann Blake Tracy's book "Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? the Rest of the Story on the New Class of SSRI Antidepressants Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lovan, Luvox & More."  Tracy detailed numerous cases of homicide and mass murders which she contends are related to antidepressant use. Tracy detailed numerous cases of homicide and mass murders which she contends are related to antidepressant use.

Mass murderers who were taking antidepressant medicines is a subject The Free Thought Project has addressed on numerous occasions. The Baton Rouge, LA shooter Gavin Long was reportedly taking numerous psychotropic drugs including antidepressants and was said to have been suffering from PTSD when he gunned down five police officers in a rampage.

Omar Mateen, the Pulse nightclub shooter may have been taking psychotropic drugs and was suffering from psychosis in the days leading up to the nation's most deadly mass shooting, according to a Reuters report. Witnesses who may have known he was taking the medicines were reportedly asked by the Feds to stay quiet about the matter.

Suicide is now reaching epidemic proportions in the United States. As The Free Thought Project reported in February, suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and yet antidepressant prescriptions are skyrocketing. All the while, Big Pharma drug companies, which are manufacturing the medicines, are said to have known about the dangers of their drugs, even being complicit in covering up the suicides and attempted suicides which occurred during the trial phases of some of the drugs.

As Gøtzsche explained, "Antidepressants don't work in children, that is pretty clear, in the randomized trials children say that they don't work for them, but they increase their risk of suicide. What I get out of this colossal under-reporting of suicides is that [antidepressants] likely increase suicides in all ages ... it is absolutely horrendous that [pharmaceutical companies] have such disregard for human lives."

But what the researchers discovered, and what is likely more disturbing, is that the drug companies underreport the dangers of their drugs while they're being tested. As Dr. Tarang Sharma of the Nordic Cochrane Center stated, "The analysis suggests that clinical study reports, on which decisions about market authorization are based, are likely to underestimate the extent of drug-related harms."

As TFTP reported, "More than half of the suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts had been misrecorded as 'emotional instability' or 'worsening of depression.' In summary trial reports from the drugs giant Eli Lilly, suicidal attempts were missing in 90 percent of cases." In other words, Eli Lily, allegedly, whitewashed their data, to cover up the dangers of SSRIs and bring their deadly products to market, all done with the blessing of the FDA.

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Why people have allergies and how to alleviate them

 Allergies are a widespread health issue, and most people pass them off as relatively unimportant when it comes to evaluating their overall health. However, when you consider that an allergy is the result of a weakened immune system, then it become apparent that the root cause of the problem is a bit more serious than runny eyes and a stuffy nose. There are 3 main reasons a person has allergies, and most of the triggers are very common.

   Imbalanced immune function

One of the main causes of allergies is an imbalanced immune system, which will increases your odds of an allergic reaction. Many factors contribute to this immune dysfunction, including:

~ Increased toxic burden due to pollution in our air, food, water, and personal care products.

~ Disturbance of immune system function through repeated childhood and adult vaccinations and immunizations.

~ Over prescribing of antibiotics and steroids, which cause damage to intestinal flora (especially birth control pills).

~ Hereditary problems that are reflected in the gastrointestinal tract, which causes malabsorption and sets a person up for food allergies.

~ Nutritional deficiencies.

~ Repetitive and monotonous diet, which is rooted in grains and all forms of sugar.

~ Chronic intestinal yeast overgrowth (candidiasis).

Once the immune system becomes overwhelmed and confused about what is an invader and what is not, a "reset" needs to take place to properly orient it to harmful and safe substances.

   Barrier function default

Barrier functions are in place to keep a person from having a negative response (sensitivity) to substances that are considered "normal". For example, the barrier function for food sensitivity is digestion. If a person is able to properly assimilate and digest normally, they do not become sensitive to foods. Inadequate digestion for any reason (infection, inflammation, malabsorption) can result in digestive barrier default, which allows undigested food particles into the bloodstream, that in turn creates allergies.

The second barrier, for inhaled substances (dust, pollen, molds, dander) is mucus that covers the sinus membranes and respiratory tract. This mucus is in place to trap any irritants so they do not reach the membranes and can be removed.

The third barrier is the skin, and any break in it (cut, scrape, laceration, rash) compromises the barrier and sensitivities can occur.

Leaky gut, or excessive permeability in the digestive tract, is a major cause of allergies as the immune system reacts to undigested food particles that leak into the bloodstream and are seen as foreign invaders.

   Toxic overload

As our environment becomes increasingly contaminated with various pollutants and chemicals, our detoxification system can't keep up with the onslaught. This overload on our allergy barrier systems (intestines, skin, respiratory tract) weakens the barrier function and can lead to sensitization.

According to William Rea, M.D., an environmental physician, when key detoxification organs are unable to properly detoxify the body, a pattern of chronic allergies can develop in which the immune system attacks its own unprocessed toxic load. An overburdened immune system ultimately becomes overly sensitive, and allergies to food, airborne agents, and chemicals develop.

   Common allergy triggers

With allergies becoming more severe, the list of allergy triggers is growing. However, these still remain the most common:

~ Foods such as sugar, milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, pork, soy, tree nuts, corn, fish, and shellfish.

~ Medications such as antibiotics, birth control pills, and anti-inflammatory drugs (ie. aspirin).

~ Inhalants like plant pollen, animal dander, dust mites, mold spores, tobacco smoke, car exhaust, and chemical products.

~ Contactants like poison ivy, sumac, oak, jewelry, latex gloves, and beauty products.

~ Injectants like insect stings and some medications (i.e. vaccines).

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Why Are These 25 Carcinogens Still Being Sold?

The FDA is a killer organization.

So superior are they, and so very post-modern, that it seems they’ve transcended meaning, analysis, and the law of cause and effect. Given their exalted status, should it really surprise that they’ve not noticed the myriad ways they’ve advanced the march of carcinogens? After all, it’s not like they run studies, check results, or have some sort of mandate to protect, right?

With this in mind, let’s examine a few of the carcinogens approved, ignored, and/or excused by the FDA; whose motto really ought to be, “move along, there’s nothing to see, here”.

1) Baby Powder.  The talc in this powder is linked to ovarian cancer. The FDA’s response? Too much money at stake to investigate. Very nihilistic, FDA! Nietzsche would approve.

2) Cosmetics.  It’s a beautiful thing that the cosmetics industry uses industrial factory cleaners to pulchrify womankind, don’t you think? No regulation needed here, folks. Even though said chemicals have been found to cause cancer, disrupt hormones, and presage early puberty. I mean, the FDA is really busy. You can’t expect them to examine everything, can you?

3) Birth control.  The estrogen and progesterone within birth control have been found to “lead to cancer”. But since there’s no “smoking gun”, why “rock the boat”? After all, “the show must go on”. “It’s just business”. And an investigation might just “kill profit margins”. Priorities, folks. Priorities.

4) Fluoride.  Harvard scientists have found that boys in their 6th, 7th, and 8th years, are highly susceptible to osteosarcomas related to fluoride. Add to this the fact that fluoride is a mutagen, which means it alters DNA, and a neurotoxin, and it becomes quite clear the FDA is right to be unconcerned about allowing fluoride in our drinking water. Good job, old sport. Keep earning our trust.

 Note the white spots and stains on tooth enamel, this disorder occurs after excessive intake of fluoride in the body.

5) Pesticides.  Roughly 60% of pesticides lead directly to cancer. But the EPA seems rather bored with this statistic. Now, there has been “some news lately”, about a “new standard”, that’s “less deadly”. Whatever. It’s the circle of life. We have to put toxins on our crops that will kill us, so that the food we reap can keep us alive till we die. Can’t you people understand this?!

6) Sugar.  A large part of the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), sugar makes America go! Oh, did I mention sugar exponentially increases the growth of cancer cells? Well, too bad. We have to have it, cells or no. Whether it’s in soda, candy, or children’s cereal (aka sugar), the FDA is right to sleep on this one. Otherwise, how could people stay awake during the endless forty-hour work week?

7) Aspartame.   This sweetener/carcinogen was rescued from oblivion by Monsanto, who bought out the agency that was challenging it’s production. Listed as “toxic poison” by those in the know, Aspartame causes so many disorders it would take a separate article to cover to them all. Suffice it to say, the FDA and Monsanto are class acts, that obviously care deeply about human life. You stay classy, San Diego.

8) Ersatz Sugar and Diet Cola. Aspartame, Aspartame, Aspartame.  People reason taking this toxic carcinogen (which many KNOW is such) makes more sense than consuming real sugar, which might cause them to put on weight. At least I think that’s why they do it. After all, who in their right mind would choose Aspartame for its flavor? To summarize, many otherwise bright individuals voluntarily put a foul tasting chemical into their bodies, that might kill them, to (potentially) keep trim. Ironically, Aspartame may just be making Americans a lot fatter.

Modern pesticides are in our region mainly caused by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

9) Smoking.  Fifteen different types of cancer are caused by cigaretteswhich contain six-hundred “ingredients”, that when burned, turn into seven-thousand chemicals, sixty-nine of which cause cancer. Too bad you can’t smoke Aspartame, eh, Phillip Morris? 

10) Cell Phones.  The WHO believes cell phones are “possibly carcinogenic”, and French researchers  have found there is a threefold added risk of brain tumor growth in cell users with 900 plus hours exposure. Swedish researchers have concluded there is a similar risk for those who’ve used them twenty-five years or more. The main stream governmental and scientific community’s response to this? “Yeah, right! Nobody messes with progress.” It’s business before pleasure, and by pleasure, I mean human life.

11) Soy.  Eating soy “may” turn on genes  linked to cancer growth. And right now, I “may” be thinking of sarcastic things to say about our regulatory agencies. But I digress.

12) BPA.  According to Forbes, BPA is not harmful. (Thanks, guys; clearly there’s no conflict of interest.) Now, on to what real scientists are saying.  Apparently BPA disrupts genes that defend against cancer. So, okay, maybe it doesn’t CAUSE cancer, but it helps the things that cause cancer cause cancer. So please be sure not to touch or eat from plastic containers anymore, or handle glossy receipts. (Oh, wait, that’s impossible.) Now, moving on to more things Forbes probably isn’t worried about.

13) Acetaminophen.  Risk of blood cancer doubles for users of this pain-killer.

14) Statins.  Speaking of drugs that effect the blood, several statins have been found to be carcinogenic. Now if that doesn’t raise your pressure, nothing will.

15) GMOs.  A major study found recently that GMO maize caused cancer in lab rats. Surprisingly, the study was tabled. They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but the way Monsanto and the GMO crowd create organic anomalies, I’m starting to wonder. And where was the FDA in all of this? Oh, right! Drinking cocktails with Hillary Clinton at O’Malley’s Irish Pub. Clearly there’s something wrong with you if you don’t favor crossing human genes with corn, or corn with the hepatitis virus. That’s just progress. I mean, how could such things go wrong?

16) Pollution.  File this one under “part of the cost of doing business”. Seems we can’t create profits without creating poison, or create poison without turning it into food.

17) Microwave ovens.  Swiss researcher Hans Hertel has concluded that when we eat microwaved food, our cells form emergency anaerobic environments in response, the exact condition which leads to cancer cell growth. But don’t worry, the internetz is full of edumacational articles saying the opposite.

18) Lead.  Did you know that lead in lipstick may cause cancer? Why is lead in lipstick, anyway? Who was the first person who thought that would be a good idea? Perhaps it’s inspired by Hamlet’s famous quip, “Here’s metal more attractive”. Yes, that must be it.

19) Processed meats.  These include hot dogs, ham, bacon, sausage, and some deli meats, which have been "treated"  to “improve the flavor”. Yummy.

20) Gardasil.  This vaccine increases the risk of precancerous legions by 44.6%, if the person has already been exposed to HPV 16 or 18, before injection.

21) Research shows LED bulbs have tiny cracks in them that release UV rays, which burn skin cells, causing melanoma. (Too bad you can’t find the old bulbs anymore.)

22) High fructose corn syrup.  How many hundreds of products is this little monster hiding in? It’s ubiquity doesn’t erase the fact that it’s known to cause pancreatic cancer.

23) McDonald’s McRib Sandwich.  First of all, the entire fast food industry is a disgrace. It puts things in food that just boggle the mind (such as azodicarbonamide, an ingredient Subway once put in their breads. By the way, it’s also found in yoga mats.) But the disgusting McRib takes the cake. Chemicals used in soil fertilizer are found in it, as well as the aforementioned Subway chemical. Plus the pickles are carcinogenic. And the FDA just stands there, hands in its pockets, with a stupid expression, looking like Napoleon Dynamite. Can’t you just hear them saying, “Tina you fat lard, come get dinner. Tina! Eat the FOOD!”?

24) Monsanto.  Due to this wonderful organization’s  role in saving Aspartame from destruction, mass-producing GMO’s, and filling the world with deadly toxins, I feel Monsanto deserves a special place on this list of carcinogens. Bravo. And props to the FDA for defending us from this monster. You guys are the best.

25) The Standard American Diet.  (S.A.D.)  Let’s add things up from the list. Processed meats? Check. Total sugar overload? Check. Aspartame? Check. GMO’s, fake cheese, fake juice and brominated bread? Check, check, check, check. Put it in the microwave, and double down on the fun. Or you could just cook a frozen dinner. Everything is encouraged by our friends at the FDA, except cooking organic food, in a natural oven, with real butter and raw milk. In fact, if you produce raw milk, you might just get raided by the FBI.

Why in the world are these twenty-five carcinogens still being sold? And why is proffering poison so fashionable, while pure products are priced out of reach? Our world is now suffused with corporately created carcinogens, which build up the bodies of abstract entities, but give living beings the shaft. And all Washington seems concerned with is running Trump vs. Hillary, and bombing the tar out of Syria. Meanwhile, the SAD American diet clearly leads to cancer, and the health machine’s one response is to use toxic poison to “help solve the problem”.

All sarcasm aside, the FDA, EPA, and the myriad agencies responsible for monitoring food, health, and beauty, are doing such a terrible job, I think it not outlandish to question whether the whole system isn’t corrupt, and designed for a tragic end?

Cosmetics, sugar, technology, and fast food: these attractive items are like the glistening fibers of a spider’s web. “How could this lovely thing be dangerous”, thinks the fly. Little does he know, his appetite for attractive objects is well known to the spider.

The food we’re eating is eating us. Our medicine bites, and its oversight sucks. Meanwhile, where has the spider gone? He’s hiding behind the Board, looking respectably bespectacled. The last people you would expect to be monsters seem to be the first to profit from human misery. Let’s face it, either they really are monsters, or they’re so incompetent, they ought to be placed on a short bus. You tell me which alternative makes more sense?

The good news is that, even though the FDA is just awful, we can make lists like this of products to avoid. We don’t have to eat ourselves to death by imbibing the likes of Aspartame. And perhaps, with enough awareness, we can put these companies out of business. Viva la revolucion!

By Chris Veritas

Chris Veritas writes informative pieces like this at Veritas Gazetteat his blog, and humorous satire news at Some Cry Wolf.

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Most Feminine Hygiene Products Contain Toxic Ingredients

Women Beware: Tampons, sterile cotton, sanitary pads contaminated with glyphosate

The issue of safe feminine hygiene product options is rarely discussed, but it's a vitally important topic for roughly a third of the population.

Why? Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and also the thinnest. Less than one-tenth of an inch separates your body from potential toxins. Worse yet, your skin is highly permeable -- especially the skin in and around the vaginal area.

Anything coming in constant contact with your skin will land in your bloodstream for distribution throughout your body. This is why I'm so fond of saying "Don't put anything on your body that you wouldn't eat if you had to."

Chemicals on your skin may be worse than eating them. At least enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break down and flush chemicals from your body. But when they touch your skin, they're absorbed straight into your bloodstream, going directly to your delicate organs. Once in your body, they can accumulate because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down.

In my opinion, feminine hygiene products can be likened to a "ticking time bomb" due to years of exposure. The average American woman uses 16,800 tampons in her lifetime -- or up to 24,360 if she's on estrogen replacement therapy.

The vast majority ‒ 85 percent ‒ of tampons, cotton and sanitary products tested in a new Argentinian study contained glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, ruled a likely carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, 62 percent of the samples tested positive for AMPA, glyphosate's metabolite, according to the study, which was conducted by researchers at the Socio-Environmental Interaction Space (EMISA) of the University of La Plata in Argentina.

All of the raw and sterile cotton gauze analyzed in the study showed evidence of glyphosate, said Dr. Damian Marino, the study's head researcher.

Cotton gauze used to be a guarantee of security, but now is becoming a threat.

"Eighty-five percent of all samples tested positive for glyphosate and 62 percent for AMPA, which is the environmental metabolite, but in the case of cotton and sterile cotton gauze the figure was 100 percent," Marino told Télam news agency. An English translation of the Télam report can be found here. The products tested were acquired at local stores in Argentina.

   What's Really in Those Sanitary Pads and Tampons?

In the featured article, Andrea Donsky, founder of Naturally Savvy and co-author of Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart, reveals how little we're told about the materials in feminine products. In fact, tampon and sanitary pad manufacturers aren't required to disclose ingredients because feminine hygiene products are considered "medical devices."

When Andrea called Procter & Gamble directly to discover the contents in their Always Infinity pads, the service reps could only mention two: foam and a patented ingredient called Infinicel -- a highly absorbent material able to hold up to 10 times its weight.

This video demonstrates what happens when an organic vs. conventional sanitary pad is burned.

The 100 percent organic cotton pad, made by Natracare, burns slow and clean, leaving virtually no sooty residue. But the Always Infinity pad with its mostly undisclosed ingredients creates black smoke and thick residue, indicating the pad may contain dioxins, synthetic fibers and petrochemical additives.

In fact, conventional sanitary pads can contain the equivalent of about four plastic bags! With everything we now know about the hazardous nature of plastic chemicals, this alone is cause for concern.

For example, plasticizing chemicals like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic development. They're linked to heart disease and cancer. Phthalates, which give paper tampon applicators a smooth finish, are known to disregulate gene expression, and DEHP may lead to multiple organ damage. Synthetics and plastic restrict air flow and trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting yeast and bacteria growth in your vaginal area. Besides crude oil plastics, conventional sanitary pads can also contain other potentially hazardous ingredients, such as odor neutralizers and fragrances.

   The Price You Pay for "Clean" White Tampons and Pads

How do tampons and pads get that ultra-white "clean" look? Usually chlorine bleach, which can create toxic dioxin and other disinfection by-products (DBPs) such as trihalomethane. Studies show dioxine collects in your fatty tissues. According to an EPA draft report, dioxin is a serious public health threat that has no "safe" level of exposure! Published reports show that even trace dioxin levels may be linked to:

• Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
• Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
• Immune system suppression
• Hormonal and endocrine system disruption

Meanwhile, the FDA's official stance is that no expected health risks are associated with trace amounts of dioxins in tampons.

Naturally Savvy notes that 10 years ago, House Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation requiring research into the potential health risks of feminine hygiene product use, including cervical, ovary and breast cancers and endometriosis. Unfortunately, the legislation failed to pass, and it doesn't appear there's been any research.

   Could You Be Absorbing GMOs Via Your Tampons?

Numerous alarm bells went off for Andrea as she researched potential hazards of feminine products for her book, Label Lessons, such as:

• Conventional tampons contain pesticides: A whopping $2 billion is spent annually on pesticides to spray cotton crops.
 • Conventional tampons probably contain genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). According the USDA, 94 percent of all U.S. cotton is genetically engineered

• Tampons and pads with odor neutralizers and artificial fragrances are virtually a chemical soup, laced with artificial colors, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene and propylene glycol (PEG), contaminants linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness and infertility.

               How to find out what is good for our health?

Andrea wondered whether if using a GMO tampon several times every month was any different than ingesting GMO food. But it may even be worse, considering the vaginal wall is highly permeable, allowing toxins like pesticide residue and GMO proteins direct access into the bloodstream.

   Beware of Toxic Shock Syndrome

Remember: Tampons create a favorable environment for bacteria growth. Micro-tears in the vaginal wall from tampons allow bacteria to accumulate. One infamous risk is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), caused either by poisonous toxins from Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria. TSS is a life-threatening condition, so symptom recognition is crucial. Should any of the following symptoms occur during your tampon use, seek medical help immediately:

• Sudden high fever
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Low blood pressure
• Seizures
• Rash on palms or soles of feet
• Muscle aches
• Redness of your eyes, mouth and/or throat

To minimize your risk of this potentially life-threatening condition:

• Avoid super absorbent tampons -- choose the lowest absorbency rate to handle your flow.
• Never leave a tampon inserted overnight; use overnight pads instead.
• When inserting a tampon, be extremely careful not to scratch your vaginal lining (avoid plastic applicators).
• Alternate the use of tampons with sanitary napkins or mini-pads during your period.
• Change tampons at least every 4-6 hours.

• Do not use a tampon between periods.

   Safer Alternatives

Many of today's feminine hygiene products contain rayon, vicose, and cellulose wood fluff pulp... not cotton, let alone organic cotton. Rayon and viscose present a potential danger because of their highly absorbent fibers, which can stick to your vaginal wall. Upon removal, the loosened fibers stay behind, raising your TSS risk.

Fortunately, there are safer alternatives. Since the FDA regulates tampon absorbency, all tampons on the market must meet absorption guidelines. According to Dr. Philip Tierno, a clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at NYU Medical Center, 100 percent cotton tampons must "consistently test under detectable levels for TSS toxins."

Based on her own research, Andrea recommends the following brands of tampons and sanitary pads.

• Natracare
• Diva Cup
• Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Organic Cotton Tampons
• Glad Rags Organic Pads
• Organyc 100% Organic Cotton Tampons

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

For more by Dr. Joseph Mercola, click here.

For more on personal health, click here.

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