How Toxic is Our Civilized World?
In light of Bisphenol A research do you recommend avoiding all plastic water containers?
Since pollution results from almost everything we do in modern society, we probably should ask: How toxic are we in our extremely toxic environments? Rather than selectively address compounds in plastics first, I will introduce discon- certing data that most people do not want to face or admit about overall disease-producing pollution at its beginning. I discussed in my books that even the basic act of cooking produces many chemical changes that cause environmental and body toxicity. Those chemical changes occur both in food and our environment.
It starts when we light a fire. Fire produces monoxides. Monoxides are poisonous to our cells. If utilizing flintstones to start fire, often flint dust is inhaled. Flintstones contain metallic minerals that are not bio-actively or ionically bound, nor evenly distributed with bio-nutrients. When inhaled, flint dust causes destructive free-radical activity that is predominantly destructive on cellular levels. Even if we use the ancient wood-to-wood friction method to make fire, smoke disburses tars and monoxides into air we breathe. Monoxides arrest oxygen absorption and smother cells. Vegetable tars from burned wood harden and eventually crystallize in humans.
Now, consider a modern-day fire such as barbeque. We use poisonous lighter fluid, fabricated and chemically treated charcoal and sulfur matches or lighter. Charcoal contains mercury that vaporizes and we inhale it. Mercury is the worst neurotoxin on this planet. It dissolves cells, especially brain and nerve cells. The chemical structure of lighter fluids are: aliphatic petroleum (solvent used to ignite charcoal), denatured alcohol (methylated fermentation); butane (highly flammable, colorless, easily liquefied gas used in cigarette lighters and gas-flame grills); and naphtha (volatile flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture used in wick type lighters and lamps). All of those are usually deadly to the entire body if swallowed, and deadly to many cells when inhaled. All of them add pollution to our environment. With those alone, we added a minimum of 26 man-made chemicals to our world that we are not properly equipped to live with optimally, healthfully.
Rachel Carson pushed Americans to question chemical "miracles" when she published Silent Spring in 1962, and legislation was passed to address concerns she and others raised about environmental toxins. By early 1970s, more alarms rang. DDT, the pesticide that was advertised to have saved American soldiers who fought in the South Pacific from malaria and been sprayed on millions of acres of cropland, was fingered as a killer of birds, especially the beloved bald eagle. Eggshells thinned by exposure to DDT resulted in fewer hatchlings that survived. DES, a drug believed to prevent miscarriage, was found to cause cancer in young women whose mothers took it during pregnancy; emergency hysterectomies saved many of the daughters' lives, but at a terrible cost. It was also responsible for many deformities including very small hands and genetically twisted uteruses.
PCBs, highly effective lubricants and insulators used in electrical capacitors, transistors, hydraulic fluids, plasticizers, inks, waxes and adhesives, were deforming and killing birds and fish. By 1971, Monsanto voluntarily stopped making PCBs. Each of these problems was seen as an isolated case; simply a few rogue chemicals had wreaked havoc, but havoc could be contained. We were lead to believe that we could stop chemical damage by scientific inquiring and goodwill.
The average person still thinks about chemicals as single entities because that is what we are taught, and that our system of federal regulation that decides on a case-by-case basis whether chemicals are safe enough to circulate in our world provides safety. What most people do not know is that only about 2,000 of the approximately 80,000 man-made new chemicals of the last century have been tested. Only a handful of those have been properly tested for health consequences.
By having introduced so many substances that did not evolve along with living organisms over hundreds of millions of years, have we unwisely initiated changes in our biology that may be damaging them profoundly for convenience? How well do we enjoy those conveniences in states of weakened senses and ill health? How many people are satisfied, even with all of our endless gadgets and conveniences? Could it be that our lack of optimal health is the reason most of us are unsatisfied and want more and more? Are we unable to be satisfied because we are trying to achieve satisfaction from something other than health?
As a boy of 3-7 during the early and mid-1950s, I remember traveling through parts of Alabama, Tennessee and Florida when racism and segregation were strong and bitterness flourished among whites. It was so pervasive that African-Americans rarely ever contested whites. However, what I remember most is the joy of life that blacks enjoyed even under such suppression. I saw playfulness with considerat- ion and abandon, and it all seemed so natural.
Blacks young and old played outside their shakes in ragged clothing and crude handmade toys, if any, with such joy I could touch it but not understand it. We drove past them in our 1951 Packard sedan. We had luxury that the blacks I watched could never embrace for themselves. My family utilized all that modern medicine that the times had to offer, especially since my mother was a Certified Nurse. My father, who was an engineer and inventor, idolized technology. If he heard anyone say anything bad about technology, he entered rage. He yelled at anyone who suggested that harm resulted from it.
We ingested all of the modern canned processed foods and packaged processed cereals full of chemical additives that claimed superior nutrition and safer than from a garden. We did not know the fraud.
Rarely did my brothers and parents enjoy each other. My family quarreled and fought daily if not hourly. Those blacks I watched and adored could not afford many of the modern foods and conveniences. Overall, most of them ate from their gardens and looked so much healthier than most whites. Looking back on those events with what I know now about cooked and processed foods with myriads of additives, I understand why we were an unsatisfied and unhappy modern family, and why those "poor" blacks were rich with health in their poverty. They could not afford many chemically poisoned processed foods and were not contaminated as my family was.
The following study demonstrates that living a pure organic cooked processed lifestyle offers no protection: Toxic Nation: A Report on Pollution in Canadians This is a report of studies conducted by Environmental Defence (in Canada) which arrives at indications of excessive industrial toxicity levels in people. The results challenge much of the average health-conscious individuals. For instance, many vegetarians came to discover after years of eating vegetarian that vegetarianism caused much health deterioration. Average health-conscious individuals discover everyday that their faith in our "healthy" food products leaves us toxic.
In the Canadian study, children as young as 10 were found to have flame retardants, heavy metals, insecticide metabolites , organophosphates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and stain repellents even when raised by health conscious parents. One 34-year-old mother who conscientiously selected mostly organic, biological food stuff discovered from the study that she had 36 toxic chemicals; the highest among the volunteers. Her 10-years-young son had 25 toxic chemicals in his body. A 24-years-young mother and her 10-years-young daughter had similar results, 31 and 24 respectively.
Three generations of one family of native-north-Americans from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation in Sarnia, Ontario were tested. The elder had 32 chemicals in his body. His son had 36, and his 14-years-young granddaughter had 20 chemicals. The elder Wilson Plain Sr. commented, "What's most shocking is my granddaughter has chemicals in her body that were banned before she was even born. Canadians have the right not to be polluted by these chemicals." I think that everyone in the world has a right not to be polluted except those who manufacture, distribute, sell and utilize them.
Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence stated, "Pollution is now so bad in our country that the bodies of our children have higher levels of pollution than their parents. Our children are being poisoned every day by toxic products in their home, in their schools, and when they are at play."
Because of our adherence to low-fat diets - fostered, promoted, advertised and brainwashed by media rhetoric from food, agricultural and medical industries - our children have had little healthy fat to bind with toxins. Therefore children are at much greater risk from toxin-generated diseases.
A lifetime exposure to even low-level toxins ultimately degrades health when bodies lack fat. Some of the chemicals found in test-subjects' bodies have been shown to harm development of children, cause reproductive disorders and cause cancer, and/or cause neurological problems.
The "biomonitoring" method used in the Canadian study which sampled human tissues and fluids gives us only a small sense of the various chemicals our bodies have absorbed and are absorbing through air, food, industrial products, soil and water. The study specifically tested for only 88 known chemical toxins of 80,000. Tests detected 60 of those 88 chemicals in 11 volunteers, including 18 heavy metals, 5 PBDEs, 14 PCBs, 1 perfluorinated chemical, 10 organo- chlorine pesticides, 5 organophosphate insecticide metabolites, and 7 VOCs. Forty-four various chemicals were detected in each volunteer, including 41 carcinogens, 27 hormone disruptors, 21 respiratory toxins and 53 reproductive/developmental toxins.
This study was the first Canadian measurement of PFOS levels (the key ingredient in Scotchgard, the 3M-made fabric protector that is in nearly every home) in people's bodies. It is also an ingredient in "sizing" (chemicals used to protect and reduce stretching in materials while being cut and sewn). That means that we are absorbing PFOS from our clothes, bedding and home furnishings. Sizing remains in the fabric until many washes removes it. However, some of it remains in the fabric and every time we inhale or ingest a fiber of lint, our mouth, lungs, esophagus and stomach dissolve it and release it into our bodies. Even organic fibers may contain sizing. Some producers tout the label organic which only means that the fiber was grown or raised organically but does not mean that the fabric was not subjected to chemicals during processing.
A First Nations leader from northern Quebec found that he had the highest levels of mercury and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as PCBs and organochlorine pesticides. That reaffirmed other studies indicating that many chemicals migrate through air and water currents and other climatic conditions.
PCBs were detected in all volunteers including those born in the early 1980s even though PCBs were banned in USA in 1970s. However, results revealed higher levels of PCBs in older volunteers in comparison with younger volunteers; for example, between 12 and 14 PCBs were detected in samples from volunteers aged 60 and older, while an average of 5 PCBs were detected in subjects aged 25 and under. Those results are similar to equivalent studies done in the U.S. and Europe.
It was reported on April 9, 2006, at a conference examining air quality from sources such as coal, motor vehicles, and residential oil-emitted metals such as copper, zinc and vanadium that these were present in the air at unhealthy levels ( Health Effects Institute ). Those metals accumulated in lungs, heart, liver tissues and in blood. There they damage cells and very often prevent proper functions that are detectably or obscurely disease, including allergies, respiratory, and cardiovascular problems. At the conference, they failed to properly acknowledge that mercury, the worst neurotoxin on Earth that is mainly in our environment because of coal-burning, should have been outlawed 60 years ago.
Mercury is in fish, beans, grains, lakes and oceans. It's in mouths within amalgam fillings. Mercury is pervasive in our environment, released mainly into the atmosphere through extensive coal-burning for energy.
I blame airborne pollution including vehicle emissions totally on industry. I did that because the auto and power industries have fought our right to clean air with billions of dollars over the last 40 years. Otherwise, we would have clean air because we would have technologies that are not dependent on oil and fossil fuels, or we would have technologies that cleaned the byproducts so they were not dis- persed into our environment. Industry fights clean air sources so that those invested in coal and oil continue to accumulate greater profits without having to spend much of it on pollution-prevention.
In our homes, there are many sources of toxins that enter our bodies, including metal toxicity from cookware. Even stainless steel which is partially made of nickel and chromium gradually leeches from cookware every time food is cooked in it. Consider that while cooking, food changes to highly fraction- ated chemicals that often form into solvents. Those solvents gradually erode surface metal of cookware. Compare and consider that simple water gradually erodes rock made of metallic minerals. Now, consider what highly reactive cooked compounds from food will do to metal cookware.
Is modern stainless steel less toxic than metals made from a century ago? Yes but that does not mean that we are not being poisoned by cooking in them. It simply means that we are being less poisoned. Aluminum and other metallic cookware including and especially non-stick coatings (i.e. Teflon) are quicker to erode into food while cooking. Non-stick cookware is more toxic than any cookware produced prior to 1950s.
Flame-retardants containing polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are added to plastics including foam products and mattresses to make them less burnable. (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's fact sheet .) PBDEs are in many home and office products to protect against extreme fires. PBDEs can easily leave the products that contain them and enter the environment. Children teethe and chew on such products. Children wear clothing that industry tells us protect our children in case of fire. However, while every moment our children perspire into and inhale fibers from those clothing and bedding, they absorb PBDEs.
The scientists didn't test vegetables and fruits, but found PBDEs in a soy infant formula and breast milk. All soy products are toxic to humans in raw or cooked form and should not be eaten and here is another reason not to consume soy.
Organic Consumers Association states that scientists claim they aren't sure how PBDEs get into foods such as butter, cheeses, chicken, eggs, duck, fish and ice cream but they theorize that particles escape from carpets, furniture, computers and televisions into the air (out-gassing). Those microparticles fall to ground and water, and are inhaled by animals including humans. Animals also consume crops grown in soil polluted with PBDEs.
PBDEs concentrate in fat as animal's bodies try to bind it and prevent cellular damage. Animal studies have shown that PBDEs alter hormonal function, change the development of reproductive organs, harm the nervous system, affect behavior including attention deficit disorders, and cause liver tumors.
It was and is relatively ignored that when burned in fires, PBDEs and other chemicals in products caused such airborne pollution that people hundreds of miles from fires are rendered functionally helpless from breathing drifting smoke. Permanently or temporarily, some chemically sensitive people could not or cannot think rationally or coherently. Some are in a state of constant panic and fear, unable to perform normal everyday chores. Some cannot sleep so they pace incessantly. Some smoke-inhalation sufferers' appetites are thrown into frenzy.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a mixture of up to 209 individual chlorinated compounds. Most of them are extremely toxic. There are no known natural sources of PCBs. Although PCBs are no longer produced in the USA since 1970s, and have not been utilized since 1990s, they are still found in products produced elsewhere in the world, are imported into USA, and are in our environment.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's PCBs fact-sheet states numerous ways we are exposed to chemical cocktails: a) small amounts of toxic chemicals outgas into our air when products get hot during operation and could be a source of skin exposure and inhalation, b)eating contaminated foods and drinking contaminated water, during repair and maintenance of PCB transformers, c) accidents, fires or spills involving transformers, fluorescent lights, and other electrical devices; and d) disposal of PCB- laced and other chemically laced products and materials.
PCBs caused cancer in laboratory animals. Human diseases associated with PCBs-exposure include immunological and neurobehavioral changes in children and acne-like skin conditions in adults. PCBs were found in over 500 of our most toxic 1,598 sites on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Priorities List.
Fluorochemicals (PFOAs) such as perfluorooc- tanoic acid (PFOA) are used in non-stick coatings on cookware, as a stain repellent on clothing, carpets, and upholstery, as undercoat on beach umbrellas to provide increased sun-protection and as liner in canned and other food containers, especially fast- food packaging. Some references to PFOAs and PFOSs are Chemicals in frying pan a potential hazard to environment and Fluoropolymers may have harmful long-term effects . PFOAs are suspected carcinogens only because the industry fights the debate like the tobacco industry argues that smoking does not cause and promote cancers.
Another fluorochemical is perfluorooctanyl sulfonate (PFOSs). The 3M Company was the largest worldwide producer of PFOS chemicals but stopped manufacturing PFOSs in December 2000 because PFOSs do not biodegrade. They persist in our environment and effect long-term damage to health and environment. Although 3M Company does not manufacture PFOSs, PFOSs continue to be sold from the manufacturer's stockpile of it. Any manufacturer who desires to utilize it in their products worldwide may do so. PFOS were found in wildlife species across the US, such as fish-eating birds, and in the Baltic region and in Sweden, and in human blood samples.
PFOSs accumulate to a high degree in humans and animals. It has been estimated that PFOSs remain in the human body for up to 8 years. However, according to Dr. Frances Pottenger and Edward Howell, toxins are often transferred to new cells for up to 5 generations. That means that they could remain in humans for as little as 40 years in people who eat a diet rich in raw fats and proteins, or a lifetime in those who eat poor diets.
In a 2-generation "reproductive effects" rat study, PFOS caused postnatal deaths and developmental effects in offspring. At higher doses in this study, all progeny in the first generation died. At extremely low doses, many progeny from the second generation died. It is very rare that the public is privy to reports of such dire effects. Most often, those results are confidential to the industries that make and utilize chemical hazards. Understand that I am addressing only few chemicals of the 80,000 that are or have been produced globally.
Organochlorine pesticides, introduced in the1940s, persist in the environment long after they are applied, in soil, environment and animals, including people who eat food grown on or near application. They accumulate and levels build in the body daily, yearly. People may be exposed to organochlorine pesticides by eating cooked fatty foods, such as pasteurized milk and dairy products, or fish that are contaminated with those pesticides (Center for Disease Control (CDC) fact sheet ).
Organochlorine pesticides may be absorbed by eating foods imported from countries that allow persistent pesticides usage. They are passed through placentas to unborn children and are passed by breastfeeding to infants. They are absorbed through skin and inhalation.
One organochlorine pesticide, lindane, is used to treat lice and scabies and is readily absorbed through skin. They produce reproductive and neurological effects in animals. People who work with organo- chlorine pesticides for years develop liver damage. Hold on to your panic button: organochlorines are used to "purify" our environments, food and waters of microbes, and to "clean" clothing and other materials.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) include toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene, acetone and a host of other chemicals, some of which have already made the EPA's list of Extremely Hazardous Substances. Many can be found in medication such as formaldehyde which is used in vaccines, perfumes and cosmetics.
Other examples of pervasive VOCs contamination and health hazards are mentioned in the report Toxic Carpet: Dangerous Toxins that Live in Your Carpeting . Known carcinogen p-Dichlorobenzene is in new carpets, as are other chemicals that produce fetal abnormalities in test animals. In humans, those chemicals also cause hallucinations, nerve damage and respiratory illness. Some of new-carpet odor is outgassing of the chemical 4-PC that is associated with eye, nose and upper respiratory problems. Many new carpet owners suffer from these for as much or as little as 5 years, depending on the individual. 4-PC is used in latex backing of 95% of US carpets.
Government and chemical industries seem to let us think that they are conscientious and caring in regards to our health. Occasionally, they selectively disseminate to the media that one specific chemical has caused problems and that they have agreed to discontinue USA production. The other 79,900 chemicals and their hazards are ignored.
In 2000, 3M Company removed perflouro-octanyl salphonate from Scotchgard because it caused reproductive problems in rats. It had also been found in high levels in urban wildlife. Rarely does a company who has polluted, or does pollute, suffer criminal or civil retribution. 3M Company did not suffer for harm it did to humans and environment for perfloouro-octanyl. In fact, none of the chemical companies were charged and convicted of criminal behavior. They never admit to gross harm from the worst chemicals, such as vaccines and dental amalgams.
It should also be a crime that companies can be allowed to produce chemicals that are not tested and proved safe prior to usage. It may be very likely that all industrially produced chemicals cause harm to environment and life just as there are side effects to all medications.
Chlorine has been used for more than 100 years to disinfectant water under the false belief that microbes in water caused disease such as malaria. About 50 years ago, it was discovered that that noble attempt to offset infectious disease in public water supplies caused disease. Since water is basically a solvent that disperses and gradually fractionates most objects within it, when chlorine interacts in water, toxic byproducts result that cause increased risk of certain cancers, and birth and developmental defects. All of those hazardous results are ignored and combinations of chlorine and ammonia and chlorine-dioxide (chloramines) and ozone are used to "disinfect" water and other items of our daily advanced modern society.
I have illustrated many times that microbes do not cause disease but the chemicals we use to destroy microbes and make our lives sterile are disease- causing. Toxic byproducts from chemicals used to disinfect public drinking water were named Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs).
It has been postulated that it is materials in water that react with chlorine and chloramines that cause toxicity resulting in disease. However, some of that debate is merely "legalese" to prevent successful lawsuits, arguing that the companies cannot know the content of all water because they are all different. Most of the same diseases resulted when those substances were administered alone into laboratory animals. However, approximately 600 DBPs have been identified since 1974 because of the combining of chlorine with substances that naturally occur in waters.
Scientists believe they've identified about half the DBPs that occur in chlorine-treated water. They estimate they identified 17% of those occurring in chloramine-treated water, 28% in chlorine-dioxide- treated water, 8% of those produced in ozone-treated water, and of the 600 structurally identified DBPs, the toxicity factor is known for approximately 30%.
Genetic toxicologist Michael Plewa, who headed a research team that examined DBPs in the public water, stated "This research says that when you go to alternatives, you may be opening a Pandora's box of new DBPs, and these unregulated DBPs may be much more toxic, by orders of magnitude, than the regulated ones we are trying to avoid." Plewa's research team that included 3 EPA employees discovered idoacetic acid (a DBP) in US drinking water treated with chloramine that when tested on samples of mammalian cells proved to be the most genotoxic DBP ever reported. "These iodoacetic acids raise new levels of concerns. Not only do they represent a potential danger because of all the water consumed on a daily basis, [that contaminated] water is recycled back into the environment. What are the consequences?" Plewa and his colleagues found that in hamster cells, just one iodoacid they tested was anywhere from 2-300 times more toxic than other chlorine byproducts.
Using chloramines as "safe" alternatives to chlorine for water purification has substantially increased lead levels in some people. The chemical compounds used in purification, fluoridation and basic plumbing materials interact causing more hazards to our health. Tetravalent lead scales have been found inside lead water pipes from several utilities. In a free chlorine solution, tetravalent lead is stable, but in the presence of chloramine it dissolves into the water. ( Experiment confirms chloramine's effect on lead in drinking water .) American Free Press highlighted "unhealthy consequences" of chloraminated-water in Washington, DC; Corpus Christi, Texas and San Francisco, CA.
Dioxins are created when chlorine and organic matter react in the presence of heat. Dioxins linger in the environment long after initial exposure. Most plastics are treated with such chemical processes to prevent plastic from fungal molds. Fungi were the principal reason plastics were much delayed in manufacturing. Poisoning the environment was and is less of a concern than making plastics utilizable for practically everything in our technically advanced lifestyles.
Dioxins are known carcinogens. In fact, one dioxin in particular, TCDD, is the most potent animal carcinogen ever studied and has been linked to cancer in humans. We traded plastic conveniences and economy for deformed children, miscarriages, still births and a myriad of diseases, just as we have traded "purified" water with the same results. Are we happy or even content with those trades?
The military industrial complex is a grand user of dioxins such as in Agent Orange. Dioxins so contaminate cellular structures that cells can no longer perform normal metabolic detoxification. Resultantly, HIV-1 virus is activated in genes to perform detoxification; it does so very poorly. Dioxins, like most industrial chemicals, are virtually inescapable as they permeate our air, food, land and water.
Identifying merely 60 toxic chemicals in the Canadian study fails to address the possible consequences of new chemicals and hazards resulting from environmental and bodily mixtures of those 60 chemicals. Yes, an even greater catastrophe is the fact that there are dire reactions from mixing and combining 80,000 industrially produced toxins within our environment that enter our bodies.
Finally, to directly answer my subscriber's question about drinking water from plastic, I would not drink water from plastic. Also, I remind readers that I am against drinking much water. I rarely drink water because waters do not contain any bio-active nutrients to properly utilize H2O within cells. When I do drink water, it is from water bottled in glass.
We may easily conclude that even if we try to live pure organic lifestyles, toxins are mostly unavoidable and inescapable because the bottom-line is business and profits not health or environment. Although we are frequently exposed every second to one or more industrially produced environmental toxins and have many accumulated within our bodies, eating my Primal Diet will help remove them and bestow to us greater chances of preventing or reversing severe diseases in a world where 1 of 2 men and 1 of 3 women gets cancers (Samuel Epstein, M.D.). We need the best naturally grown raw, unheated-above- 96-degrees F. and non-frozen animal and other fats to protect our cells from those industrial toxins. Raw unpasteurized aged-in-wood apple cider vinegar chelates with many industrial toxins and heavy metals.
Consuming small amounts of that vinegar, about 1 tablespoon daily with or in one vegetable juices mixture, or divided into several vegetable juices, while eating a diet with plenty of raw fats mentioned above, helps remove industrial toxins including heavy metals gradually. However, the process of the body utilizing vinegar to chelate with those toxins causes massive mineral losses. Minerals are utilized to further chelate and neutralize those toxins. Each molecule of toxicity may require up to 200 molecules of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium to harness and neutralize it.
As much as possible, we need to prevent toxins from entering our bodies. Avoid drinking water in any form that is not bottled in glass. Decontaminate home water with filters by adding 3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons sun-dried sea salt and 3-5 tablespoons coconut cream to bath water, and a fraction of all of those to dish water. Avoid showers because there is presently no filter system that removes all the myriad of industrial toxins from municipal waters. However, filtration systems are very helpful. Avoid cooked and processed food. Keep plants that absorb toxicity in our homes to absorb many airborne pollutants. See Primal Diet newsletter for summer of 2007, dated June 9.
I suggest that we do not use soaps for cleaning anything except laundry. Many "ecologically friendly" soaps and cleansers are not friendly to us or environment. They may contain on average 30% biodegradable substances and the rest are the same chemical toxins used in commercial products. Yes, they are less toxic but they are not totally safe.
The only company I have researched that utilizes up to 93% biodegradable substances is BioKleen in their Cleaner, not their laundry detergent. I use a tablespoon of BioKleen's Cleaner for each load of laundry. To clean my dishes, I simply use warm water with 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon coconut cream. For my body, I use fresh or fermented coconut cream that leaves my body moisturized and protected against environmental toxins.