Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
Nature lovers from Minnesota to New York to Maine have always endured winter, and dreamed of summer. All that changed with the advent of Lyme disease, and its association with Fibromyalgia, commonly referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My friend Dr Karen Vrachota works extensively with Fybromyalgia patients as well as patients with other autoimmune disorders. The genesis of the disease, disorder, or ailment is more often than not difficult to analyze. The deer tick may often be the culprit. Another theory or agravant is environmental toxins, often from plastic.
Karen has found that many CFS sufferers respond well to exercise. Being that I’m and inventor, and had my exerciser in the car, I showed it to her. It’s an exerciser that is a portable home gym. She liked it, but was wary, because it was made of high impact plastic. Karen was an early crusader against using plastics for food containers, especially in the microwave. Then I explained that the polymers I used were RoHS certified, i.e. safe polymers that don’t leach toxins. RoHS stands for reduction of hazardous substances. It’s a European standard for plastics.
What traits we share with the lowly sponge
We as humans are many things. Like living sponges we are filtering organisms. We have always ingested toxins, filtered them, and moved on. What has changed is the number and strangeness of the toxins. We are now ingesting new and never before ingested toxins that float in the air, our food, liquids, and even through our skin. Many of them from are from plastics.
A New World to Explore: Plastics
My early work was with electric vehicles, and my exerciser was an offshoot of that. I had never really worked with plastics before. As a matter of fact I used to like burning plastic on the end of a stick and dripping it into the fire. It makes a great noise. I won’t even tell you how much fun it was burning mothballs. Needless to say I don’t play with plastics and fire anymore.
Off-gassing that you can’t blame on your dog
BPA, phthalates, lead, and other fun stuff exist in many plastics. Can you believe I spelled phthalates correctly? Aren’t I a phphabulous speller. Did you ever notice the white film on your wind sheild. That is plasticizer. Plastics are basically crystals held together with goo. The plasticizer is the goo. If it is BPA it also resembles estrogen- that’s right female hormones. There was once a j0ke, “How do you make a hormone?” Take away … Luckily, I forg0t the answer. But these products are leaching into the environment and possibly causing havoc with our hormonal balance leaving some males with breasts, low sperm counts, and female characteristics. That’s not to mention what it is doing to fish and amphibians.
Lead in Plastic- your kidding me
RoHS is an acronym for Reduction of Hazardous Substances. It is a European standard also prevalent in the US. RoHS compliant polymers don’t leach phphalates, BPA, and don’t contain lead or cadmium. US and European industry have regulations, lawyers, and liability insurance. Yes they drive up front end costs, but they also protect you, an probably lower your medical bills. It costs a lot of money to not use hazardous materials, but is worth it. Anyone who has been to China knows the costs of living in a land where the sun shines like a dim bulb through the toxic haze of brown coal, smokestack effluent, diesel fumes and the like. Many Chinese are chronically ill just from breathing.
Lead in plastic? Yup! It’s legal in the USA. Lead makes plastic easier to mold, and is also used in pigments. Lead is not in RoHS compliant polymers or my products, or USA made polymers.
Our supplier had a customer that decided that he could get his product cheaper in China. Three months later, the same customer comes back to Brian and says,”Brian, do you want to buy a truckload of Chinese plastic pipes? They’re all full of lead and I can’t use them.”
Latex is another product that people are intensely sensitive to. Oddly it is completely natural. There is immediate sensativity to latex and irritant contact dermatitis that can be delayed. Both can cause rather severe reactions including anaphylaxis. Latex is a very useful product, especially in exercisers, until it bites back. Latex is stretchy but breaks down rather quickly in sunlight. So I’ve gone to latex free product that costs a little more, but it also lasts way longer because it’s tougher. So there you have it my friends, a little more knowledge to walk the earth with.
Nick Musachio is the inventor of the Kefty portable home gym. Kefty.com