Essential Oil Safety
Recently my wife and I decided to set up a company and website offering to sell essential oils as well as accessories to use essential oils. Her health concerns brought her to the point where she found some pain relief using essential oil diffusers and we felt it was an opportunity to present products to people that may be able to reap the benefits of essential oils. The one thing that we decided was that we would want our customers to have the best experience regarding the safe use and application of the products that we sell. I recently came across an article from the CBC regarding the complaints made by a woman titled "London mom warns of sales reps pushing essential oils as medicine" http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/london-mom-warns-of-sales-reps-pushing-essential-oils-as-medicine-1.4556533 so i felt compelled to write a post regarding the concerns outlined in the article. The first thing I would like to say is that I agree there is a problem and find that the current state of affairs regarding the advocacy of health and safety is poor. I not only say this as a consumer of products, but also as an author of health and safety Safety Data Sheets. I have been working in the chemical manufacturing field for well over 2 decades and have come to realize that most of the items that are purchased as consumer goods from your local stores have special provisions labeled as "Limited Quantity". The special provision allows individuals to purchase and transport Toxic items without carrying all the paperwork that is normally required when transporting in bulk quantities, as required by federal and local requirements. To put it simply, if there were no Limited Quantity provisions you would need to be supplied with Safety Data Sheets (SDS's) for every purchase of a toxic product that you purchase and to put that into perspective here are some items that are considered Toxic: Talc powder, yes the product that you put on your childs bottom, is considered toxic and can cause cancer, Sand that is found on beaches, most household cleaning products and home renovation chemicals. Additionally the ingredients in shampoos and skin care products contain hazardous and toxic products, which brings us full circle to the fact that the manufacturers of these consumer based products incorporate the same essential oils that are manufactured by the companies outlined in the article presented by the CBC. The problem boils down to a general lack of understanding of cause and effect. Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform and is the 6th most valuable public company in the world. Facebook didn't get to that point by simply allowing people to network with their friends, their biggest income is from advertising. So, you can be assured that anyone selling Multi Level Marketing (MLM's) companies products, such as the ones listed in the article, will be on the look out to promote their products at any opportunity, including on facebook. WE live during a time where due diligence is our own responsbility and if we don't take the time to understand the implications of our actions we fail to understand cause and effect. If you ever have any questions about the safety of a chemical you can easily do an internet search for it with the phrase MSDS or "Material Safety Data Sheet" or "Safety Data Sheet" included. As and example searching "MSDS Olive Oil" presents a variety of MSDS's to choose from. Everything should be read in the (M)SDS, but if you want to cut to the chase, you should go to section 11 in the document where you will find the toxicological effects that have been established for the chemical or compound. If the item has a description of "not available" or "n/a" that means that the test has not been conducted and that doesn't mean that it tested negative. Conducting testing for the toxicological effects is quite expensive and most companies can't "afford" to perform all the tests, nor do they wish to expose their products as dangerous, so not perfroming the tests allows the manufacturer to persist in ignorance. As new requirements to conduct testing is established, information becomes available and the data sheets become updated. As an example DibutylPhthalate was once considered safe and was used in baby soothers but has since been considered very toxic and is on California's prop. 65 list, as well as Europes Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) list to name a few. Blame is not a word that should be thrown around, but responsibility is to each our own. Mom isn't to blame for posting on facebook, MLM sales reps aren't to blame for trying to make a buck, the Editor of the article isn't to blame for using a pharmacologist instead of a toxicologist in their article, Dr's aren't to blame for ignorance of the ingredients of materials bought at a local store, facebook isn't to blame for being one of the largest advertising venues in the world, no less than Wintergreen essential oil is to blame for being a toxin. Things are what they are, what you do with them is what makes them dangerous, plastic bags kill everyday. Education is the most important line of defense in protecting ourselves and for essential oils that comes in the form of the documents our governments require manufacturers and processors to produce called Safety Data Sheets (SDS's) and soon to be outdated Material Safety Data Sheets(MSDS's). As concerned providers of essential oil products we will be sending out safety information regarding the items that we intend to sell to consumers as it is the best thing we can do to protect the consumer and ourselves.
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