From the May 1999 Idaho Observer:
Save the fish, poison the people
by Don Harkins for the SPOTLIGHT
Trish Lockridge, 68, from the Columbia River Gorge area in Oregon, has spent the last several years of her life studying soap. Lockridge's life story is one of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. She has been purposefully exposed (without her knowledge or consent) to dangerous substances four different times in Oregon, California and Utah. As a result of her exposures to mercury, plutonium, uranium and a mysterious toxic gas in Long Beach, California, in 1942, Lockridge suffers from chronic chemical toxicity. As a result of her toxicity, Lockridge is extremely sensitive to chemicals, particularly chemical additives to foods, cosmetics and soaps.
In her efforts to live a normal life, Lockridge has uncovered information about soaps that should be of concern to all people even if they show no outward signs of chemical sensitivity.
According to Lockridge's survey, as of June, 1998, nearly all dish and laundry soaps contain surfactants. Prior to June, 1998, many soaps did contain surfactants, but many did not and the consumer could make a choice. Suddenly, the element of choice was virtually removed from the supermarket shelves.
When asked of there was some law passed which mandated the use of surfactants in soaps, Lockridge replied, not that we have been made aware of. It was just that all of a sudden, all at once, all of the soaps contained surfactants and other unusual and seemingly unnecessary additives.
If you take a look at any of your laundry or dish soaps, you will find that high on the list of ingredients are anionic and/or nonionic surfactants (anionic is positively charged, nonionic is negatively charged). Anionic (or ionic) surfactants are the bonding agents for the metals, the non-ionic surfactants serve as water softeners.
Also high on the list of ingredients will be a silicate of some form--usually aluminum silicate.
Lockridge, who has an acute sensitivity toward aluminum, called Amway for an explanation as to why the aluminum had been added to their product.
I was told that the aluminum silicate was added to 'protect washing machines and sewage treatment plants' from the effects of soaps, said Lockridge.
Lockridge called the operator at her local sewage treatment plant and asked if the silicates were helping the operation of his facility. He told me that if they were helping, he hasn't noticed and that he has no money in his budget to do the testing necessary to say for certain whether or not they were any help to the operation of his treatment plant, recalled Lockridge.
Then Lockridge explained what she learned about the purpose of anionic and nonionic surfactants.
The aluminum silicate is added to the soap to reduce wear on washing machines caused by corrosion. Since aluminum and other metals have been associated with water pollution that in turn harms fish and aquatic plant life, the surfactants bond with the aluminum silicates so that they will stay in your clothing and not be released into lakes and rivers.
Lockridge has experimented with soaps containing aluminum and surfactants and she believes that 60 percent to 80 percent of the aluminum silicate that is placed into a load of laundry with a ration of laundry detergent remains in your clothing.
Amway told Lockridge that the original formula for their laundry soap without the surfactants is available, but that it will have to be ordered directly from the main office in Ada, Minnesota.
Clyde Reynolds, N.D., stated that surfactants hold toxic waste in our clothing to be absorbed by our skin. Dr. Reynolds said that the absorption of heavy metals in our bodies through soaps can cause skin rashes, can compromise peoples' immune systems and lead to the onset of adult diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis and a variety of other infections throughout the body. The medical profession has already linked Alzheimer's disease to aluminum exposure.
Dr. Reynolds finds it ironic that we are poisoning people with aluminum so that we can save fish.
Not that I am interested in poisoning fish, but there are better ways to deal with soaps than to load our clothing with toxins. If we can put men into outer space and if we can separate from crude oil every single petroleum substance in the refining process, then we can treat waste water in a manner that is not harmful to people, fish or our shared environments, commented Dr. Reynolds.
Lockridge said that anybody can check to see how much soap is left behind in their clothing by simply dropping a garment into a bucket of water and begin swishing it around. You will see how much soap you can feel in the water and you will be amazed, said Lockridge.
It is decisions like these in government and industry that that are bringing on the cascades of sicknesses that we are suddenly seeing everywhere we look, commented Dr. Reynolds.
Lockridge said that you can neutralize the effects of surfactants by adding a cup or so of vinegar into a load of laundry during the rinse cycle.
Lockridge also makes her own soap and advises other people to do the same. Using due caution, soap making is inexpensive and easy to do, just go down to your local library and get a book on how to do it, Lockridge advised.
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