October 24, 2014

I Want to be a Trailer Park Boy and Move to Sunnyvale

It’s been a friggin’ looooong winter at ye olde Jersey shore. My Mary Jane supply is practically nil. Sadly, I’m forced to roll teeny pinners that burn up in mere seconds upon lighting. I think I’m high, but it could just be the lighter fluid, I don’t know. Sad times indeed but like a bear living off of her fat during hibernation (is that what they do?), I’m forced to make the best of it.

Luckily I’ve found that watching copious amounts of Trailer Park Boys is practically the equivalent of getting high until some kind soul (hint, hint, Exit 63) visits me at the Jersey shore and replenishes my stash.

Okay back to the best show ever.

Now there are plenty of pot-friendly shows (Weeds, Workaholics, etc.), but then there’s Canada’s Trailer Park Boys who literally swim in the shit. (They make a driveway out of hash. Need I say more?)

The cast is adorable, the plot lines are insane and if you watch it long enough, you a. experience a second-hand high and b. almost get the sense that Sunnyvale really exists. (If it does, I’m moving there and hanging with Ricky, Julian and Bubbles.)

So stop what you’re doing and watch the clips below. (Because whatever you’re doing isn’t that important, I promise. Remember I can see you. It’s the Internet.)

Available on Netflix or YouTube.

———

 

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

The Top Ten Biggest Buzz Kills

 

Just because you’re buzzed doesn’t mean life stops being annoying. In a perfect world, we’d beam ourselves to a hassle-free planet and ride unicorns and eat marshmallow pies all day.

Until then, we must deal with these 10 buzz kills:

 

1. Cops

The uniform, the car, the militaristic attitude…goodbye buzz, hello “Can you step out of the vehicle?” (If you’re lucky, it’s a stripper cop and it’s all a great big joke with a sexy ending.)

 

2. Losing Stuff

My friend Lisa had a rule of thumb: get everything ready before you get stoned. Everything. If you wait until after, you will search endlessly for your keys, phone or general purpose in life. And never find it…never find it.

 

3. Frigid Temperatures

When I was a flannel-wearing teen lass, I used to hang out at an arcade in South Jersey. Our long-haired gang would pop into the woods on an icy winter’s night to light up. We’d all wonder why we didn’t feel high…until we went back into the arcade and our high would thaw out, just like magic! Head magic.

 

4. The Rambler

Nothing can be more deadly to a perfectly good high than the Rambler, who starts a story with no intentions of ending it. And because you’re high, you can’t muster up the energy to interject. So instead, you get sucked in, deeper and deeper. Soon your buzz has been bored right the hell out of you, never to return. (The Lecturer has a similar effect.)

 

5. Your Mother

Okay, some of you get high with your mom and she’s so cool and blah, blah, blah. But parents are similar to cops; you feel like you’ve done something wrong by merely being in their presence. They’re judging, watching all the time. And don’t you forget it.

 

6.  A Blow to the Head

Once during a party I got hit on the head by a lamp while pulling my coat out of the closet. Boom – high completely gone. Fucking lamp.

 

7. Monsters

They’re fun in the movies but when they are in your living room, they are unpredictable, angry and messy (because of the green goo). They also will eat your weed and projectile vomit it back up, which isn’t pleasant and a waste of perfectly good weed.

 

8. Dental Work

I thought it would be a good idea to smoke a little prior to some extensive dental work I had years back. Unfortunately, it just heightened the torturous sensations. Pretty soon, I thought the dentist had it out for me like Olivier in Marathon Man. My buzz was literally drilled out of my head.


9. Existential Angst


There is no god. You are all alone. The people are laughing at you and you look ridiculous. The world feels dry, chalky and desolate and you’re the only scrap of humanity left. The best you can do is listen to some Pink Floyd and embrace the painful truth. Cheetos may help but I make no guarantees.


10. Alien Abduction

I know, it depend on the alien, of course. Some aliens are totally down for a good time but others are into naval probing and mind melding. I find the smaller, ET-style aliens are much more easy going than the ones with the two rows of teeth.

 

So watch out for buzz kills. Life is short and highs aren’t cheap. Remember: you can always just walk away…even from the cops. Especially from the cops. Go do your own thing. Create your own world. Screw everyone else. Marshmallow pies await you, my friend.

 

 

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

 

Long-standing Medical Marijuana and Sex Work Activist Robyn Few Dies

 

Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.


 

Sex work and medical marijuana activism share common ground. Both parties understand that their cause is based on a victimless crime, needlessly stigmatized by society. Both parties have been on the wrong side of the law and have witnessed wasted lives and countless dollars in needless arrests. And both movements benefited immensely from Robyn Few, who passed away on September 12, 2012 from a long struggle with cancer.

Robyn Few, a native of Kentucky, USA, ran away from home at age 13 and later became an exotic dancer. After marrying and having a daughter in her twenties, she began to take college courses in the hopes of earning a degree in theater arts. She went to California in 1993 to pursue theater and become an activist. Acting and activism not being the highest paying jobs, Few turned to prostitution to pay the bills in 1996. She has worked tirelessly as an advocate and caregiver for medical marijuana and AIDS patients and has gained quite a reputation in the Bay Area activist community as an effective lobbyist for the issue. In June of 2002, the FBI arrested Few, under the direction of the U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Using the Patriot Act, Ashcroft was able to equate terrorism with prostitution and get additional funding for the very expensive investigation. She was convicted on one federal count of conspiracy to promote prostitution and received six months house arrest, which she finished serving in June 2004. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel allowed Few to continue her activism and volunteer efforts while under house arrest.

Dubbed the “patriotic prostitute,” a campaign centered on the idea that prostitution should be decriminalized to protect women from violence began in October 2003 with The Sex Workers Outreach Project. SWOP is an outgrowth of the anger and frustration that Few feels as a result of her federal bust. “Until prostitutes have equal protection under the law and equal rights as human beings, there is no justice. Until prostitutes are no longer criminals why would they come forward and allow themselves to become targets for law enforcement? Decriminalization is the beginning of the solution; it’s not the solution itself” — says Few.

Robyn Few was the Director of SWOP-USA and co-founder of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, held on December 17th each year. SWOP helps sex workers and their organizations organize to protect their rights and fight against stigmatization and discrimination. It published media manual, citizen lobbying handbook and decriminalization fact sheets. Its volunteers and staff provide consultation on local, national and international campaigns and organize trainings on topics including lobbying, media, action planning, civil disobedience and strategy.

 

 

Driving Under the Influence – Are you Too Stoned to Drive?

"Well there goes my high!"

 

I just finished a piece where a Saskatchewan driver was acquitted on impaired driving charges even though she admitted to using marijuana before she drove. It brought several questions to the judge’s mind:

  1. What signs of impairment would one expect to see in someone who has been using marijuana?
  2. How long after using marijuana would you expect to see these signs and how long would they last?
  3. Can the results of drug evaluation tests taken over 1½ hours after the time of driving be reliably related back to the time the woman was stopped?
  4. Was the woman’s performance in some of the tests an indication of poor balance or poor coordination?

It should be noted that this woman was stopped at a checkpoint. She had not exhibited any erratic driving. She was polite and accommodating when the officer requested her paperwork and conversed with him normally.

But she couldn’t touch her nose…and that’s where we enter the wild and crazy land of field sobriety tests where even the creator of these tests (Marcelline Burns) concluded that there is no direct correlation between field sobriety tests and impaired driving.

From my personal experience, I’ve watched a friend ace a field sobriety test while very intoxicated and another acquaintance fail it miserably after two drinks. If you asked me to say the alphabet backward, I’d get stuck somewhere around X.

So where do pot smokers fall in this spectrum? Obviously, alcohol affects your equilibrium far more than marijuana. But can you be too stoned to drive?

According to one study:

Both levels of THC cigarettes significantly affected the subjects in a dose-dependent manner. The moderate dose of alcohol and the low THC dose were equally detrimental to some of the driving abilities, with some differences between the two drugs. THC primarily caused elevation in physical effort and physical discomfort during the drive while alcohol tended to affect sleepiness level. After THC administration, subjects drove significantly slower than in the control condition, while after alcohol ingestion, subjects drove significantly faster than in the control condition. No THC effects were observed after 24 h on any of the measures.

After reading several other studies, I can’t help but wonder whose behind them. Certain findings just seem so radically unlikely (such as performance levels being affected 24 hours after smoking marijuana or that some effects of marijuana were on par with those under the influence of alcohol.) And then there’s more comprehensive studies that prove that drunk driving fatalities are less in states where marijuana is legal. (Because apparently, people will substitute marijuana for alcohol.)

Personally, I don’t think one should drive right after smoking pot. No, I don’t think your reaction time is that drastically affected but you are under the influence of a drug and hell, driving high just isn’t that enjoyable (to me). An hour or two later? Yes, I would, without thinking twice. Because most of us know, we’re capable of driving after smoking.

My bigger concern is this: in our increasingly over-reaching militaristic world, what kind of new laws will be enacted in order to target marijuana smokers? (Because heck, no one really cares about those cocaine-induced road ragers or asleep-at-the-wheel heroin-addicts, right? We can’t catch them easily with a piss test, so let’s let those seriously impaired folks off the hook.) Do we really want the police to obtain any more power to bully citizens? Will we have to take an “on the spot” swab test that will (again) unfairly target marijuana users? (You know, we’re about this close to that happening.)

Driving while stoned does not seem like a great idea. But driving after taking a couple Valiums doesn’t sound that wise either and I’m sure the “authorities” have no problem with that. This Canadian judge actually asked some smart questions and kudos to him for not doing the “throw the book at her” routine.

P.S. What about the really old people? Do we think for one second that some of our older citizens could pass these field sobriety tests? Where I live, they pose the most danger. The only fender bender I’ve ever had was when an elderly woman slammed on her brakes in the middle of a highway (55 mph) because she couldn’t merge into the right lane. I rear-ended her and was held entirely responsible. I’d trust a pot smoker over an 80 year-old with the beginnings of dementia any day of the week.

 

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

 

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban- Little Los Angeles Fights Back

It’s hard to watch the twisted medical marijuana power play in California and not cringe a little. What happened to that rogue hippie state, living by its own wacky free-minded rules and dancing around buck naked through fields of daisies? The federal and state government have combined efforts to rule the state with an iron fist, needlessly and clearly for its own benefit. Now California seems to be falling, like a New Age long-haired giant, to its aging knees.

But signs of hope arise in it’s kinky, smoggy epicenter, Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles City Council’s effort to close down the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries next week could face a serious challenge Wednesday, when activists say they will submit a petition with 50,000 signatures to overturn a recently approved ban.

The petition that will be turned over to the L.A. City Clerk’s Office calls for a referendum next March on the new ordinance banning storefront dispensaries effective Sept. 6. But the petition’s immediate effect will be to prevent the ordinance from even going into effect.

The City Council voted last month to ban the dispensaries, citing conflicting court opinions about whether the city can legally regulate cannabis collectives. While banning storefront dispensaries, the city will allow licensed patients or caregivers to grow and transport their own medical marijuana under the ordinance.

After the vote, the City Attorney’s Office sent letters to 1,046 suspected dispensary locations, warning them to shut down by Sept. 6 — or face court action and a $2,500 fine for every day they remain open past the deadline.

Medical marijuana supporters quickly mounted a signature-gathering effort in hopes of forcing a referendum on the issue. A minimum of 27,425 signatures is required to get the issue on the ballot, according to petition- drive organizers, who say they’ve collected around twice that many.

Read more…and check out the comments, a decent barometer of public opinion.

 

Here are some old school Cali images by photographer Hugh Holland (first image) and Jeff Divine. And as always, turn on, tune in and drop out, man.

Opening image: photographer unknown.

 

California in the good old days

 

 

 

 

 

My Cali Hippie Shot:

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished actor and director with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can often be seen surfing or singing karaoke at the local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

Other blogs:

on Opensalon.com

Hot Buttered Media

 

Grandma’s New Crop

Growers come in all shapes and sizes. And all may have their various reasons and methods to keep their crops alive in various climates, both geographically and politically.

This New York Times piece details the poignant struggle of one grandmother in Swaziland, Africa as she tries to make ends meet.

“Without weed, we would be starving,”

 

PIGGS PEAK, Swaziland — After her daughters died, Khathazile took in her 11 orphaned grandchildren without hesitation. It is what a gogo, or grandmother, does in a country where the world’s highest H.I.V. infection rate has left a sea of motherless children.

“God will help us,” she said.


Perhaps. But Khathazile has some insurance in case divine intervention fails: Swazi Gold, a highly potent and valuable strain of marijuana that is sought after in the thriving drug market of next-door South Africa. In a field deep in the forest, atop a distant hill in this arid corner of tiny Swaziland, Khathazile grows Swazi Gold to keep her growing brood of grandchildren fed, clothed and in school.

Read more.

How Drug Busts Mean Big Money for Law Enforcement and Melinda Haag

 

I’ve been a long-time fan and Internet friend of Mr. Dan Carlin, a Libertarian-leaning journalist, commentator and historian who painstakingly crafts some of the best podcasts in podcast history. Hardcore History is a captivating look at historical events and should be a must-listen for any college student who is tired of history being flat and boring. (I’ve learned more from this program than all of my college years combined.)

Dan Carlin’s other podcast is Common Sense. This is where Dan gets down and dirty with current political events and their bigger implications on our individual freedom.

What does this have to do with medical marijuana?

His latest podcast called “Fearsome Safety” is an in-depth look at the local and federal incentives behind drug busts as well as the increasing militarization in our police forces.

To have a greater understanding of what’s going on behind-the-scenes in California as the federal authorities there continue to close established, law-abiding medical marijuana dispensaries by the dozens, listen to this first.

I’ll give you a little hint:

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, spearheading the most massive medical marijuana dispensary crackdowns in history. And laughing all the way to the bank with her cronies.

 

In short: the Feds reward police forces with money and equipment for drug raids – and have for a long  time. Due to forfeiture laws, police keep money and property seized as “suspected” drug proceeds. No conviction is required. Drugs destroyed, money kept.

In the US Attorney’s current “witch hunt” in California, the financial and political gains are multiplied exponentially. Millions of dollars are being seized and dispersed, with little to no accountability. Legal profiteering, plain and simple.

And even more insidious are the ultimate Big Brother goals, which are to rid the U.S. of these “mom and pop” dispensaries and replace them with Big Pharma companies hand-chosen by greedy politicians such as Haag.

And to put a cherry on top of this pile of…corruption is the oh-so-noble reason Haag gives for these relentless and needless crackdowns:

Come on, let’s say it together. You know the words: THE CHILDREN.

“The main theme that I was hearing from members of this community, members of our community in the northern district of California was a concern about children.” – Melinda Haag

So touching, her concern. I wonder if she can babysit for me tonight.

 

Listen to Dan’s Podcast Now!

Dan Carlin’s Facebook Page

Dan Carlin on Twitter

Dan Carlin on iTunes

Americans for Forfeiture Reform

Book suggestions by Dan Carlin on this topic:

(Click on books for purchase information – Amazon free!)

 

 

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

 

Marijuana Causes Face Eating and Other Convenient Myths

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (if so, congratulations. It’s just safer there, isn’t it?), you know about this story. Rudy Eugene (left) committed a gruesome and heinous act in which he ate the face of Ronald Poppo in Miami over Memorial Day weekend.

What you may not know is this: the toxicology report showed no use of “bath salts” or any other psychosis-inducing drug. The only drug he tested positive for? Marijuana. Very unfortunate. Obviously, marijuana did not cause this man to go ballistic, but inherently psychological instability. Or a drug combination he was never tested for, since not all drug testing is available at every lab.

Medical examiner Dr. Bruce Hyma said in his statement, “The laboratory has tested for but not detected any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs…This includes cocaine, LSD, amphetamines (Ecstasy, Meth and others), phencyclidine (PCP or Angel Dust), heroin, oxycodone, Xanax, synthetic marijuana (Spice), and many other similar compounds.

A second forensic toxicology test conducted by a separate lab also confirmed the absence of the most comment ingredients found in bath salts, which mimic the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine and have been associated with various bizarre “zombie attack”-like crimes in recent months, and many — including Miami police officials — believed they were what caused Rudy Eugene to attack Ronald Poppo, and chew off at least 70% of his face.

“Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories,” the statement continued, “marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene.”

And this is when marijuana becomes the convenient “fall guy yet again.”

Dr. Patricia Junquera, who is an assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and is considered an expert on addictions, said she wouldn’t rule out the fact that a different “strain” of marijuana could have caused the attack.

“It could have been the strain of marijuana that increases the dopamine in the brain,” she said, adding that there are two strains of marijuana called sativa, which increases dopamine and gives you energy, and indica, which is a “sleepy high.”

“People don’t really know what the amount of either is in each little packet of marijuana,” Dr. Junquera explained. “And we can’t differentiate between the two in the blood, much less in a dead person.”

A “little packet of marijuana”, huh? You’d think an “expert” on addictions would realize most serious smokers don’t bother with “little packets.” Anyway, no one in their right mind would suspect marijuana as the cause, right? Well, unfortunately, many commenters on this story have already chimed in with “And this is why marijuana should stay illegal.” Yes, exactly. Marijuana smokers have a loooong history of face eating that they’ve kept hidden in the closet, all these years. But now they got us. Put down that nose. The gig is up!

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished actor and director with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can often be seen surfing or singing karaoke at the local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

Other blogs:

on Opensalon.com

Hot Buttered Media

Funny Pipe Cleaning Video

 

Ah stoners. They get a bad rap, for sure. But sometimes it’s well-deserved and just plain funny.

Note this recent video I found on cleaning your pipe. (A little background: I had a persistent cough. A friend noticed the state of my pipe and suggested that could be to blame, which I hadn’t cleaned in quite a while. I’m guessing there may be some truth to it, since you’re smoking an old tar-like substance and particulates that probably can’t be that good for your lungs. I’ll have to ask Jahan Marcu about that.)

 

“So this is a new method I invented today. It’s called the “fishing line method.” First, you need….fishing line. You can find it in your basement or in any, I don’t know, fishing store.”

 

Anyway, laugh and learn:


(I went with the method my friend suggested. Soak pipe in rubbing alcohol then use pipe cleaners. I was surprised how much stuff came out.)

 

 

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

When your Baby Tests Positive for Marijuana

Mommy, I want a Bob Marley poster!

 

What do you do? Your baby has just tested positive for marijuana. First you have to deal with the social embarrassment of it all. What will the neighbors say? But more importantly, your baby is now unemployable. That extra income your family so desperately need is tossed away like used Pampers.

But seriously folks, babies are testing positive for marijuana. And not because they found your stash and rolled a fatty. Apparently some of the compounds found in baby soap have a structure partly similar to THC or the chemicals in the soap change the way the test works.

Here’s a look at the brands they say produced a positive marijuana test:

  • Johnson & Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash
  • J&J Bedtime Bath
  • CVS Night-Time Baby Bath
  • Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash
  • Aveeno Wash Shampoo

Unfortunately this information could be used as a way for social services to become very involved in your life, though this article claims otherwise. (Figure it this way: in this day and age, if the “authorities” need an invitation into your life, they’ll find it.)

Another aspect you won’t see addressed in this article? The chemicals that are found in baby soap could practically degrease your car engine. Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate are cheap chemicals commonly found in about 90% of your toiletries that can cause a host of health problems. You won’t read as many articles about this because big companies hardly want to replace this cheap detergent with something less harmful. You don’t need suds to feel clean, whether its in your toothpaste, shampoo or soap.

 

Remember: If it bubbles, it’s trouble.


Strange Reason for Newborns’ Positive Pot Test Found by Rachael Rettner

 

Certain soaps used to wash babies shortly after birth may cause the baby to test positive for marijuana on some newborn screening tests, a new study suggests.

In the study, urine samples that contained minute amounts of any of five baby soaps — Johnson & Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, J&J Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-Time Baby Bath, Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Wash Shampoo — gave a positive result on a drug screening test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana.The researchers began their investigation after nurses at a North Carolina hospital reported an increase in the number of newborns testing positive for marijuana.

The amount of soap in the urine needed to produce a positive test result was tiny, less than 0.1 milliliters, the researchers said.

It’s important to note the soaps do not produce a “high,” or any other effects of marijuana, in infants. “It’s not marijuana a in any way, shape or form,”  said study researcher Catherine Hammett-Stabler, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

A screening test that indicates a baby has been exposed to marijuana can lead to the involvement of social services, and accusations of child abuse, the researchers said.

Given these consequences, it’s important for health-care providers and laboratory staffs to be aware that these soaps may lead to a positive test for marijuana, and to consider confirming positive tests with a more sensitive method, the researchers said.

“We really did this to help protect families from being falsely accused” of drug use, and to help ensure that intervention efforts are directed to babies who are truly at risk of drug exposure, said study researcher Dr. Carl Seashore, a pediatrician in the newborn nursery at UNC Chapel Hill.

Drug screening tests in hospitals that come back positive are not usually sent out to laboratories for additional conformation, because of the time and cost involved, said study researcher Catherine Hammett-Stabler, also of UNC Chapel Hill.

Newborn screening for exposure to marijuana is common, and is especially recommended for babies born to women considered to be “high risk” for drug use, such as those who do not come in for prenatal care visits, Hammett-Stabler said. At UNC Chapel Hill, 10 to 40 percent of babies born in the hospital receive the test each month, Seashore said.

Read more at MSNBC.

 

 

Ready to read the REAL Ingredients in Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash which is “as gentle to the eyes as pure water”? (Better put your Hazmat suit on first.)


(Thanks to the SmartMama.com for this analysis.)

Ingredients of Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash include:

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Polyquaternium-10, Fragrance, Quaternium-15, Citric Acid.PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate and PEG-150 Distearate are all ethoxylated compounds.

Ethoxylated compounds, unless vacuum stripped, are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. 1,4-dioxane has been identified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1,4-dioxane is not listed on the ingredient list because it is a contaminant from the manufacturing process, not an ingredient.  The FDA encourages manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane from products, but there is no requirement that it be done.

And, testing reported by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics did find 1,4-dioxane in Johnson’s Head-to-Toe baby wash at 5.3 to 6.1 parts per million (ppm). In fact, in its FAQ section of its website, Johnson & Johnson admits that “[s]ome of the ingredients in our products may contain 1,4-dioxane as an incidental ingredient at extremely low levels.”

Further, sodium laureth sulfate can cause eye and skin irritation. Do you think that is consistent with the claim that the product is “hypoallergenic”? Wouldn’t you expect it to be free of any ingredient known to cause irritant responses? As a note, sodium laureth sulfate was widely reported on the web as being a carcinogen, but at least to date, research by the EPA, OSHA, NTP and IARC has not suggested that sodium laureth sulfate is a carcinogen.

Cocamidopropyl betaine, PEG-80 sorbitan laurate and PEG-150 disterate can all cause allergic reactions.  Again, these ingredients aren’t what you would expect in a product advertising itself as hypoallergenic.  Cocamidopropyl betaine may also be contaminated with nitrosamines.

Quaternium-15 may release formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. But, I actually think that Quat-15, as it is called, is more of a problem because it is the number one cause of contact dermatitis from preservatives, according to the American Acadmey of Dermatology’s Testing Tray results. Also, it is identified by the cosmetic industry’s Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel as a sensitizer, but is still considered safe by the CIR as a cosmetic ingredient. (If you want to learn about the function of the CIR, I encourage you to read Stacy Malkan’s Not Just A Pretty Face). It has also been linked to birth defects in laboratory animals when administered orally.

Finally, the product contains “fragrance” – which means synthetic fragrance and, of course, phthalates. Phthalates are used in fragrance to sustain the fragrance and make it adsorb better to the skin.  Johnson & Johnson admits that it uses diethyl phthalate (DEP) in its baby products.  And, as reported in a recent study, exposure to DEP in baby care products results in the presence of a DEP metabolite in baby urine.  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, which means that they can mimic hormones and disrupt’s the body’s normal function. Phthalates have been linked to premature breast development in girls, deteriorated sperm quality, low sperm counts and poor sperm morphology in men, and a host of other adverse health effects.

 

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com