I start here by saying that what I write is my speculation, based on my own experience, and a little knowledge. You know what they say, ‘ a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’.
For a long time I have been frustrated by soap manufacturers, for constantly changing the ingredients in the soap, so I have to find another because I am allergic to perfume and the additives they put into soap. Right up until the 50s, when we had the copper boilers, the washboard and the galvanised iron bath, soap was soap, and except for the wealthy, or some fussy women, it was pretty basic and uninteresting stuff. When I was at sea we were issued once a month with a long hard piece of yellow soap with which we washed ourselves, our clothes, our bedding and hammock, and if need be scrubbed the deck. Housewives used bars of red carbolic, at least our family did, and I don’t ever remember people talking about allergies. Now my problems are not only with the piece of soap I use, and the shampoo, but also what my clothes are washed in, and I believe this is the greatest source of my problems to the extent that everything that I use, underclothing and towels, are rinsed twice to get rid of the additives, put in probably more to do with promotion and economy, than cleanliness. They are now adding perfume, or should I say scent to washing powder, designed to remain in the clothes and perfume them long after they’ve been dried and possibly ironed. So additives, you didn’t want anyway become a permanency. How long does the build up last, depending on the efficiency of the washing machine, how often the article is used, and to what extent can this become more than just a fad, but an irritant in every sense of the word,?
Two things in recent papers brought on these thoughts, one was fears about the addition of folic acid to bread during its manufacture to prevent spina bifida causing birth deaths, the other, eating too much bacon and sausages could give you cancer of the bowel. As a sausage and bacon freak, I believe neither the sausages, nor the bacon today, taste as they did when the butchers made their own sausages, and sliced their own bacon. For whatever reason, probably shelf-life and a perceived flavour, there are additives in these products, and are they all on the packet? There is such a thing as chemical reaction, if you put some chemicals into a product and you’ve got chemicals in the water, has anyone bothered to check that you can have a chemical reaction? Water companies in the different regions use chemicals in the water to purify it, for dental reasons, maybe others I don’t even know of, all without my permission. What really grieves me is that all of us are being asked to consume some chemical or other to save a very small minority of occurrences, mainly in health. Surely it is the responsibility of the individual, if their fear demands it, that they, not all of the rest of us, take the medication for a specific reason. I suspect that when people test for these products they don’t really follow up to see if there is a build up in the retention of these additives within the body, it would take years. When you think of the Thames for example, with water shortage in London, and sewage disposal some 50 miles from the coast, it is not surprising that the water of the Thames is recycled repeatedly. I question whether a lot of these additives, particularly in our food and soap, is totally eradicated by the filtration and treatment of the water supply, or is that also building up, as you go downstream in the quantity and effects of the additives.
I remember in the 50s that packet tea blenders went to the trouble to design the mix of the tea, to suit the water in different regions because it affected the quality of the taste of their products. I doubt they do this now, so must find a common denominator of water-taste across the board, and modify the selection of the various types of tea to suit generally, and maybe put in additives to make it more palatable.
In writing the above cases made me examine the possibility of the cumulative build up of MRSA and the other alphabet scourges in hospital wards. Some people take excessive amounts of antibiotic. Animal husbandry, I read, injects their young animals and birds with antibiotics because of intensive production. The doctors have long instructed us that excessive use of antibiotics causes the germs to become resistant and the individual’s resistance to be lowered. Can the effects of antibiotics and the injection of medicines into the animals be passed on to those eating the meat, and the effects among humans passed on through generations? Can the level of cleaning in the hospital’s today make them so drastically dirty, by comparison with those in the past which were just scrubbed by the nurses? Is there not perhaps another knock-on effect that has not been researched?