Thursday, October 12, 2006

Keeping the Worry Monster at Bay

I probably should have writeen Keeping the Worry Monster Away since I have no idea where the words 'at bay' come from to mean away from me.

I am constantly bombarded with worrisome reports. Yesterday, there was some more in the newspaper about the emissions from the Rocketdyne facility now owned by Boeing on the edge of our community. There were radiation leaks around 50 years ago. One day in July of 1959, the 26th to be exact, "a nuclear power reactor at the Santa Susana Field Lab suffered a partial meltdown, releasing a large amount of radioactive material" says the newspaper report. Radioactive tritium, along with already know 'perc' has been found in groundwater. The reactor has long ago been removed. I am not savvy enough to know anything about half-life and whether or not there remains any danger, particularly several miles away. Still, I worry.

Last night, I had my hair colored. My stylist keeps persuading me to get it colored. In the back of my mind, I have thought about the supposed connection between hair dye and lymphoma. Today I began to read my November Prevention magazine. This has news that calms that worry down. Apparently in 1979 manufacturers stopped using known carcinogens in the dyes. I had not been coloring my hair much before that time. I probably started in the 1980s.

I do like to put nail polish on now that I no longer bite my nails. I still have a hard time growing the nails evenly. It does help to apply a coat of clear polish. There is another article in Prevention that also calms me down. Apparently some base coats are labeled formaldehyde free. I will be reading the packages to find one that is so labeled. Recently I have become aware that a compound called phthalate is, well, worrisome. The writer says that CoverGirl, L'Oreal and Avon now make their entire nail care lines sans phthalates. I wonder how I can find out if OPI does also? Further on OPI Top coat is recommended, so perhaps they do leave out phthalate but perhaps not.

I'm buying more and more of my self care products at Whole Foods and other health food stores. I wonder if my trust is naive and I might as well just buy my shower gel at the grocery store, probably at a lower price.

We spread lots and lots of compounds on our bodies without giving it much thought. I wear sunscreen every day, applying it in the morning. I certainly do put sunscreen on my son when he is going swimming or going to play basketball outdoors. Yet I read that if I don't apply it enough before he goes outdoors, it doesn't work as well, as it hasn't sunk in, and if I don't reapply it within two hours, he is in more danger than if I didn't put any on. At least here I don't need to worry about whether or not he gets enough Vitamin D from sunshine. Just walking around from the car to the store or through our outdoor mall, he gets sun exposure when I haven't put sunscreen on. With his fair skin and blue eyes, I probably should be even more diligent. He does hate the feel of it, and I wonder if he will put it on himself when he reaches an age when he refuses to let mom put it on.

I've almost stopped having any bleach or cleaning compound that has chlorine in it in the house. In addition, for the past few years, our swimming pool has not had chlorine in it. The chemical Don uses is basically peroxide.

The slogan "Better Living Through Chemistry" certainly seems to have been yes, it's wonderful on the one hand, and no, it has been increasingly awful since the proliferation of chemicals in our homes, food and environment over my lifetime.

I would still like to learn to meditate. So far, it hasn't worked, as these thoughts keep running through my mind.


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