Sunday, 1 January 2012

Do your homework!

On a previous blog, I was discussing cleaning, sterilising and disinfecting stuff and various methods.  In that blog, I mentioned a specific product which is well known and recommended, and said that there must be something to it if it is so popular.

On this blog though, I'll be highlighting the importance of doing your homework even when popularity exists.  Things change - and new discoveries are made.  Companies change their formulas all the time, so it is important to check their more recent background stories to see what they have been up to.

Allow me to give you an example. 


Asbestos was an extremely popular material amongst manufacturers and builders in the late 19th century.  It was reckoned to be a miracle material because of its numerous features.  It was well love for its sound absorption qualities, average tensile strength, and its resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage. It was used in such applications as electrical insulation for hotplate wiring and in building insulation. When asbestos is used for its resistance to fire or heat, the fibres are often mixed with cement (resulting in fibre cement) or woven into fabric or mats.

Needless to say, it sounded like the perfect material to use in numerous scenarios. Until it emerged that the inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma (a formerly rare cancer strongly associated with exposure to amphibole asbestos), and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis). Long exposure to high concentrations of asbestos fibres is more likely to cause health problems.This is most common among the miners of asbestos, since they have the longest exposure to it. The European Union has banned all use of asbestos and extraction, manufacture and processing of asbestos products.

For more in-depth info,  you can clicky here.

Back on topic.

When it comes to baby & child products that have had a good reputation for a long time, we find Johnson's Baby.

Looks familiar?

I grew up with the Johnson's Shampoo commercial being aired on  Italian TV on a daily basis.  So much so, the song Loco-motion, by Kylie Minogue, was automatically associated with the product in my head.  

I grew up thinking "Great! I know I can rely on that brand."  Over the recent years though, I have come to do my utmost to avoid their products.  Why? Well, I strongly disagree with Animal Testing - and Johnson's is guilty of conducting animal testing.  Therefore, they do not have my support.  

Recently, their name has come up in the media.  Apparently, their products contain traces of formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is carcinogenic.  Their PR people claim that it is only found in tiny traces - no more than what you would find in a pear, or an apple.  To me, that is no justification.  Especially seeing as they have a range of products free from the aforementioned chemicals - which of course is higher in price. Here is an article about it, and here is their formal Press Release.

The moral of the story is this - don't rely on word-of-mouth, and don't believe everything you see on TV or hear on the news.  Use your own brain - the information you require to make informed decisions is out there.  All you need to do is to take a few minutes to look it up.

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