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Death By Christmas Candle: What’s Really in Your Favorite Products?


(eerie atmospheric music) – Hi, friends. I hope you're having
a wonderful day today. My name is Bailey Sarian and I'd like to welcome you to my study. Or you know, just to my
podcast, "Dark History." Now this is a chance to
tell a story like it is. And honestly, share the history of stuff you would never really
think about, you know? I'm a curious cat. I wanna know everything. I love learning. So all you have to do is sit back, relax, and just let me ramble. 'Cause you're gonna learn something new. And isn't that fun? Let me start off with this, 'cause I learned a
random fact the other day and I just need to share it 'cause I don't know where it belongs. Okay, so crows. Crows. Yes, crows. If you piss them off, they remember you pissing them off and they'll purposely mess with you. And if they die, the crows, let's say they have a kid.

Okay (laughs). This is what I do at night. Let's say that crow has a kid, okay? And that crow dies. He
hates you, remember? If that crow dies, there's something called chemical memory that kinda like passes on, and then the new crow
remembers that they hate you. This is actual factual information. Crows, if they hate you, they will mess with you
and they also never forget. And that's your fun fact
for the day (laughs). Great, I just had to tell
you, because I was like, what! That's sick. Okay, let's
get into today's story. 'Cause today's story
is gonna ruin your day. So you know when you go to Target or Starbucks or wherever you go, you're having a good day, you're in a good mood, and you're like, "I'm gonna treat myself," right? So you pick up your little
iced maccha frappe lakka, you know, and then you walk
over to the home section 'cause they always got something. Ugh, right? Something cute. Something with a little painting on it.

And you're like, "Ah, holidays!" So you're walking around, you're walking around. And if you're in California, something that you may come across, that we all kind of ignore, is a sign. There's a little white sign that says you are currently being exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. It's very vague and honestly
you're like, "Wait a minute, are we not gonna talk about this? What do you mean? Like, is there, should I leave? Is it too late? Is there cancer everywhere? Do I have cancer? Like, huh?" It's so confusing.

If you go to Starbucks, you see it. If you go to HomeGoods, Target, blah. Anywhere you go, they have these, I think they're called P65 warnings. It's California law. That's kind of scary. But then it gets scarier because guess how many
chemicals are on the list? You're probably thinking
like five, 10, 15. I don't know. Bitch, there's over 900
chemicals on this list. And all of these businesses, I mean all they have
to do is just tell you. They don't have to remove them. Which is an interesting law, right? So this isn't just a California thing. There's a California law that tells us we have to
have a sign warning us. But everywhere else, you
guys got chemicals, too. They're just not telling you. And this isn't like some weird
conspiracy, mah, mah, mah. No, this is some real shit and
it's very concerning, okay? Look, and we need to talk about it because, question number one, what are we supposed to do? You know? What? Not go to Target or Starbucks? I feel like that's doable, but you know, let's be realistic here.

Convenience. But it doesn't end there, because once you start
noticing these signs and you start paying attention to it, they're literally everywhere. So what am I supposed to
do, just burn down my house? 'Cause they're in your house right now. They're all over you. So naturally, I got to researching and I found out that these
chemicals are most often found in an ingredient called fragrance. If you're like me, the
first thing you think about when you hear the word
fragrance is perfume, right? (mimics perfume spritzing) You smell good. And I remember when I was younger, everyone was all about the
Bath & Body Works perfume or the Victoria's Secret.
(perfume bottle spritzes) Saturate in it, right? Because it felt like, even if you couldn't afford
the fancier things in life, you could always get your
hands on some perfume.

And it made you feel
good, you smelled good. And most perfume is in like
these really fancy bottles. They feel so luxe. And, unfortunately, there's a
shit ton of chemicals in them. You can't tell me that Pink Sugar perfume isn't a bunch of chemicals to make you smell like
cotton candy, right? So, like, how did we get here? How did we get here? Well, one of the first known
perfumers from 1200 BCE was a woman named Tapputi.

She lived in ancient Babylon and she worked for a king as
like a professional perfumer, which was a legit title back then. Like this was their specialty. And she was very valued
in the king's court because of her skills in making perfume. She made people smell bomb. Kings and queens, they loved her. She had a great reputation and she was used by many. Fragrance would end up making its way into religious ceremonies and just gave people more
attention and more confidence. And it stayed like that
for many centuries. I mean, back then perfume
wasn't just about smelling good or covering up the fact that
you haven't washed your hair in days, right? It was a very necessary but sacred thing. Palaces would even have
these giant rooms dedicated to documenting all the perfume
scents they used, they made. I mean, it was detailed information. And then of course, smelling
good back then also meant that you were of higher status.

Of course, right? Yeah. They had to separate
themselves from the poor. And most importantly, it
meant you were disease-free. Like if you smelled good, you were clean. And if not, you were
diseased and disgusting. Boo. Another use for perfume was
actually actually medicine. And we know from our episode
this season on mummies, perfumed oils were used
for embalming purposes, and also were a big part
of religious ceremonies to the gods.

Praise God, you know? So until the 1930s,
perfumes were strictly made from the things around us,
by Mother Nature herself. I'm talking, you know, the
flowers, the spices, the trees. Go outside, capture it in a bottle. And perfumers would extract these scents by mixing them up different ways with natural oils and waxes, which would then preserve them. And also, fun fact, did you know that if you
smell a very fragrant flower, like a rose when it's being bloomed, that means you're smelling sex? Ah, yeah, you nasty. So the flower is its, I guess horniest, is
the best way to say it, because when it's ready
to be pollinated by a bee, it's super fragrant.

So it's trying to lure in the bee. Like, "Smell me, bee, smell me." So, I don't know. It's just kinda like, no wonder
we're attracted to flowers. You know? What's always the number one perfume you smell out there? It's always a floral scent. We still try to do this
today with the florals. I can't stand it. I personally like the musky scents. I like to smell like I
got lost in the woods and a lumberjack man saved me, and we rolled around in the
leaves and stuff, you know? But then I learned that
musky scents actually, it comes from a fricking deer. More specifically, quote, "A hairy pouch just the size of a golf
ball in front of the penis." That's how they get the
the scent from that.

So I like deer balls, I guess. So I guess that hair
pouch is actually a gland inside the deer. And on its own, it smells pretty gross. But people say it has a sharp urine scent, and if you combine it with
ethanol over a few months or sometimes years, it starts
to smell pretty okay. (laughs) Pretty decent, I guess. It's almost like an aphrodisiac. Like, "Oh yeah, you like that? You like that dear dick smell, huh? Hot." I like it (giggles).

I think it smells good. Anyway, now we've been into
deer dick since the 6th century. Greek explorers brought
it to Greece from India, but the Arabic people were the ones who actually perfected it. Researchers know the path
it has taken to get to us, but no history book remembers
who the very first person was to, I don't know, figure out that the ball sack smelled good. Like that, you know, I
wanna know about that guy. What was that guy doing? I got some questions, but no answers. Millions of people into deer balls. We love that. Okay, I just wanted to
make myself comfortable if you're watching this over on YouTube. This chair's not comfortable. Okay, anyways, back to the story. So deer balls, deer balls are just the tip of this stink-berg. Another famous fragrance is called civet. And this is used in perfume
because, in small amounts, it makes the fragrance
smell velvety and radiant, which I know, I was like, "Velvety?" What does velvety smell like? And radiant? I don't know.

But that's what they claim. It also is considered by
millions to be an aphrodisiac. Meaning, you know, it gets you in the mood for the rocking and rolling. One day I'm gonna figure out what the hell I'm doing
over here in this chair. So if you wanna get some of this civet, you need to find a special
kind of cat-like animal. You gotta trap it in a cage and then once the civet
cat is in the cage, you taunt the animal
with a stick so it bites.

Then I guess they would
open the back of the cage and you can collect the civet oil from a gland on the outside
of its body near its taint. I know, it's always in the taint. But back then, a lot of hunters, they would just kill the animals and harvest the oil, so they
didn't have to fight them. Many of the hunters did this. It was just easier. And I'm just saying that lightly, 'cause it's like nowadays,
it's inappropriate. But back then it was their normal and that's how they figured it out. I don't know, again, how they
were getting this taint smell.

Like how'd they figure it out? That's the missing piece
I wanted answers to. But we couldn't get any answers. Who was sniffing balls? Most of you probably know Chanel No 5, a very iconic fragrance. Yes, most likely there's
cat taint in that. Now there are a bunch
of other gross example, animal stuff in fragrances,
but I think we get the point. But it wasn't until the
mid-1900s in America when fragrance went
from being this luxury, beautiful, I don't know, it was such a powerful thing, and then it just turned into
this dangerous fucking villain. The holiday season is around the corner and with it comes lots of
great food, fun, parties. And of course, I don't
know about you guys, but the dreaded holiday portraits. Ugh, look, I love the holiday season with all the decorations,
the cheesy movies, the ugly Christmas sweaters. I mean, yes, great, love that. But it can also be very stressful, right? Between all the parties
and shopping for gifts, there's so much going on, and how can you not get stressed? And when I stress, guess what? It shows up on my face,
just how I like it.

And just in time for the
holiday photos, of course. Well we can't control all
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for sponsoring this episode. So there's a lot of advancements
in the world of chemicals. People figured out how to make perfume that would last way longer on the skin than the actual natural stuff. And the longer it lasts on the skin, the longer you'd be smelling sexy. And the other benefit to that, you don't have to spend as much money because a bottle of this stuff is just gonna last you a lot longer. So instead of relying on animal juices, something called synthetic
fragrances became available to the market. Now these chemicals are the
copycats of the real thing from Mother Nature. So you don't have to be rubbing your wrist with a lavender nub all day. You could just spritz and smell like fresh
lavender all day long.

But we all know that, for
every nice little convenience, there's always a price to pay. You want your laundry to
smell like spring meadow, whatever the hell that is,
there's a price for that. And you're probably thinking,
"Well what's the price?" Not just money, we're
paying with our hormones. Not dollars. What? I know you might ask, "How?" Well, let me explain. That's why you're here, aren't you? So a lot of people, when they
hear the word "hormones," they tend to think like, I don't know, like when you're a teen,
like an immature boy. Like, "Oh, you're just on your period, your hormones are outta
control," you know? And it's like, "That's
actually, no, that ain't it." A lot of people have no idea that hormones are very
important for adults as well, just functioning with your every day. Hormones, they call the shots
by telling our body what to do and when to do it.

Hormones affect everything
from blood pressure, growth, infertility, your
sex drive, your metabolism, and even your sleep. Also for women, like when to ovulate, or for men, when to produce sperm, and when to grow your
hair and where to grow it. They factor into our
temperament and our skin. But even though this is science,
a lot of men still think that hormones are just a woman thing. But nay nay, it's an everyone thing. I mean, when you really think about it, hormones don't get enough credit. They're keeping everything
going, baby, okay? But here's the thing, our bodies can't tell
the difference between a naturally occurring hormone and something synthetic
that was created in a lab, like chemical perfume. Your skin is your largest organ.

So if you're putting chemical perfume on your skin, guess what? It gets sucked right in and goes right into your bloodstream. And that, my friends,
can cause total chaos, particularly on our endocrine system. The endocrine system is the
part of your body responsible for regulating your thyroid,
your adrenal glands, your pancreas, and your sex organs, like your balls and ovaries. And all these can be affected
by chemicals called EDCs, or endocrine disrupting chemicals. Let me tell you this, you do not want your
endocrine system disrupted. So I'm gonna call these
chemicals EDCs. Okay? So when I say EDC, just remember, it's a bad chemical that we do not want. Now EDC is just an umbrella term for all of those synthetic chemicals that are typically in perfume. So these EDCs, what they
do, is they throw everything out of whack by interfering with both your hormone production and the release of hormones in your body. This can lead to even
bigger issues, like cancer, respiratory issues,
weakened immune systems, endometriosis and infertility, and that's just a few.

And this is proven fact. This isn't some kind of
like, you know, a mystery. They know what it does. So yeah, even small amounts of EDCs can have lasting impacts, especially when you're
exposed to them constantly. Now a perfect example of this
was actually found in nature. There's this doctor, his
name's Dr. Louis Guillette. He's, I know, I was
thinking the razors, too. Mm mm, he's not related, I guess. Anyways, Dr. Louis Guillette, who's a reproductive endocrinologist, was studying the reproductive
rate of alligators at Lake Apopka in Florida. Phew, my tongue is getting tied today. So over time, this doctor, he's noticing that only
10% of the alligator's eggs were being fertilized and hatched. Now usually, for healthy alligators, this number is a lot closer to about 90%. So I mean, that's a big drop, right? So Dr.

Louis is scratching
his head and he's like, "What the hell's going on here?" But then he discovered the reason. You see, there was a
nearby fragrance factory and they were dumping their
chemical waste into the lake and all of the EDCs
and chemicals are going into the lake with it,
right, in the waters. So the alligators are
just marinating in it, just cooking in it. And over time, this had resulted in the
alligators only having 10% of the alligator babies they should. Yeah, sad for them, but I mean . . . Shut up, Bailey. I was gonna say we can
probably do without alligators, but you know, that's rude. I don't wanna upset
the alligator community and have them come after me.

I don't need that. I love you alligators. Just do your thing, I respect you. But this Guillette guy, he has a light bulb moment and he is like, "If this is
happening to the alligators, I wonder if this is
happening to people," right? What if the same logic applies to humans? And this seemed to make a lot of sense because a study had just come out showing that from the year 1973 to 2011, the average male sperm count had fallen by more than 50%. 50%! Now, I'm no scientist, but
if it continues at that rate, I guess, it would make
sense that by the year 2043, there will be no sperm.

(crickets chirping)
Crickets, I know. And then I was thinking again like, eh, is that a bad thing, you know? World's ending anyways, whatever. But that's not what we're
talking about right now. We're talking about sperm. And the sperm counts over the years, they just keep getting lower and lower, and nobody's putting these
pieces together except for this Dr. Guillette guy. The scientific community finally
realized the serious threat of human exposure to EDCs. And they realized there are two big EDCs that people should really look out for. I mean, they're all bad. Phthalates and BPAs, these
are the two big daddies.

These EDCs are linked to diabetes, liver disease, early miscarriages, and can even impact brain
development in children. And some researchers believe exposure to this stuff when you're
really young can lead to all sorts of disease that don't or won't show up until way later in life. (Bailey blows raspberry) We are so fucked. Now a phthalate is the chemical that makes a perfume last all day. So we love that, right? Because I like smelling good all day. So if you've ever walked into
an elevator and it's empty, but then you could still
smell someone's cologne, yeah, you're breathing in
that chemical, phthalate. I feel so bad for the people who work at Bath & Body Works. If you work there, you need to run, baby. Run. Okay? Don't come after me, Bath & Body Works. BPAs you've probably heard of, especially if you're in the market for a reusable water bottle or you're shopping for really
anything that's plastic, most of it, especially in California, now has to be BPA-free.

So that's nice, but what about, everybody else, you know, yeah. But there are more than
17,000 different perfumes and fragrances made out of
4,000 synthetic chemicals and the majority of
them contain phthalates. Now here's the tricky thing. You will not see phthalates
on an ingredient label because companies are not
required to list them. What? What? Nothing is safe? No, nothing is safe. Companies don't wanna tell you how they make their trademark scent. It's considered a trade secret. So if you come out with
some kind of fragrance, you don't have to say what it
is because it's a trade secret and you don't wanna give it away 'cause then everybody
will have your scent, and your scent's a trade secret, you know? Do you get what I'm saying?
You get what I'm saying. I know you're smart. Thank you. So a lot of times, you'll
just see the word fragrance or perfume on an ingredient list. And that word alone can
hide hundreds of chemicals. It's one big fat loophole.

It's disturbing. It's terrifying. It's sad. And America just loves a loophole, right? There are no requirements on any level, state or federal, that say
fragrance ingredients need to be disclosed. And there is no law or organization that says they need to prove what they're putting in
this stuff is actually safe. What I'm getting at, or what
I learned, is that no one, nobody, is regulating
the fragrance industry. Nobody! That sentence alone should
be kind of concerning to us, right? It's just the Wild West out here. I mean, they literally could
be putting anything in there. We don't know, and we'll never know. I mean, let's just go back
to the fucking deer taints and stuff, who's with me? At least it was safe.

Deers don't need balls, right? So many of my listeners
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purchase of a website or domain. Now let's get back to the story. So guys, this next part
pains me to tell you, but, you know, I gotta say it. I know you love your candles. I know, I love them too. I really do. Especially those fall inspired ones. Oh, let me tell you, Mahogany Teakwood smells like a sexy man. I love that one. Bath & Body Works. And also Winter. Oh, I love Winter! That one, yeah. Look, listen, they're killing us. They're bad for us. It's real bad, okay? Now there might be a reason why you're getting those headaches, okay? At least I do. I get really sick from candles and it always had me thinking like, "How come nobody else gets sick from them? Is it just me?" I can only light them for
a short amount of time and then I have to blow 'em out 'cause I get a fricking migraine.

So I just thought like, "Ugh, I don't have that white girl gene. I'm missing half of it
or something," you know? Turns out, if you google
this information, guess what? When you burn a candle, you're creating something
called indoor air pollution. This can be toxic, especially if the candle wax
is made out of petroleum, like paraffin waxes. And the chemicals you're
inhaling are the same ones that are found in, like, a fuel exhaust.

So you're just hooking your,
it's like, what's that movie? "Midsommar"? Remember? The fuel exhaust to the face? Oh fuck, yeah. It's like that. Anyway, so this, these
chemicals you're inhaling, they can cause allergies, asthma attacks, skin problems, headaches, all that. Yeah, I know. We need a minute. We need a minute of silence
for all the candles. (sighs) This is so
disappointing, right? I know. But I stink and my house stinks. I don't want it to stink. Bring in the deers? I don't know. Look, there's this guy,
his name's Andrew Sledd, he's a doctor, a really smart doctor, who specializes in
environmental toxicology, he said that burning a candle for one hour is like smoking a single cigarette. I know, and my follow
up question was like, "What kind though? Are we talking American Spirits, Marlboro Reds, Camels? Like, come on, Mr. Sledd. Gotta be a little bit more specific. How, which kind?" I mean yes, bad, right, bad,
you might as well smoke. I don't think you should, but you know.

Okay, anyways. And it's not only harming you,
it's also harming your pets. Mm hmm, I have some bad news. When you burn a scented candle, you are potentially
putting your pets at risk. They're inhaling the
chemicals just like you are. And when they breathe in
certain types of scented candles or perfumes, it can actually cause them to have coughing, give them
stomach problems, skin problems. It's so sad and they
can't tell you, you know? Aw. Poor babies. Now, some companies are actively trying to get rid of EDCs in their products. I mean, so they say. But as we know, there's no law saying that
they absolutely have to. And some companies are doing
something extremely shady and putting on their
labels "phthalate-free" without actually removing
any of the phthalates. Go ahead, try and take a guess
who was doing that nonsense? I'll wait. If you guessed Johnson and
Johnson, gold star, Henry! I mean this shouldn't surprise any of us after the things we
learned about them, huh? So yeah, Johnson and Johnson, they rolled out a line of baby products that claimed to be "phthalate-free." But in one study, when a lab tested 17 of these Johnson and Johnson products, all 17 of them came back
positive for phthalates.

Well fuck me in the ass and call me Romeo. But it's not just Johnson and Johnson. 'Cause 72 different body
products were also tested for phthalates in that same study. And most of them freaking
had the chemical, despite being advertised
as phthalate-free. (sighs) Lord help us. Now I know there's a lot of new words and info being tossed around here. I'm tossing your salad. So if you're like me, you're
probably wondering like, "Okay, that's great, but how
does this really affect us? Like if I'm someone who
doesn't want to have kids, are these hormone destroying
chemicals really that bad? Kind of doing me a favor?" Unfortunately, the answer is yes, it is, Barbara, get it together.

A lot of this information
is still pretty new. So we won't know for a
while what the full impact of EDCs are on our health. But so far, they've been
linked to many, many things. Asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, brain issues, behavioral issues, autism, cancer, fucking all of it, okay? And we're like the test dummies here. Jesus. We're gonna find
out (laughs) buckle in. But the big smoking gun here
is that medical research from the National Institute
of Health links EDCs directly with cases of breast cancer. I can't make assumptions here because what the fuck do I know? But there's a study that came out saying that one in eight women
will develop breast cancer. And it's like, you know, why? It's scary. And there's no way, like we talked about in the
Johnson and Johnson episode, there's no way to really track
where the cancer came from, so it's like, fuck, ugh. Stories about cancer spreading
hit really close to home for a woman named Emily Holden.

So this woman, Emily, she's
an environmental reporter living in Washington DC, and because of her job,
she's been in the thick of this toxic chemical crisis
that we've been talking about. So she's been meeting
people, interviewing them, trying to talk with big
companies, she's getting involved. And she noticed more and more experts sounding the alarm about
how Americans are exposed to toxic chemicals. I mean just by living our
lives and going about our day. And then one day, Emily
was like, "Wait a minute, what about me and where I come from?" And this got her thinking
about her and her own family.

Emily grew up in the
southern part of Louisiana and it wasn't all like Mardi Gras and titties down there, okay? Emily grew up in an area
known by the locals. So it was known by the
locals as Cancer Alley. Oh God, yeah. It's a whole region of
the country where people were getting sick from cancer and it was just kind of another
normal part of their lives. And at one point, Emily got
together with her parents to count the number of
people in her family that had died from cancer. They got to the number eight
and just stopped counting. So Emily began looking
around where she grew up, what's going on. And not far from her hometown, where all those family members got cancer, there are a ton of
companies that own factories and industrial sites, and one of them, they're known as a petrochemical company, which is essentially a fancy
way to say oil company.

Now I hear you, I hear you. You're yelling at me, you're like, "This is too much. Whatever." You know, I know, I get it. Why are we talking
about oil companies now? But the reason I bring oil
companies up is because a ton of phthalates come from oil companies, and when they make their products, their factories blast polluted air into the nearby neighborhoods. Because of the toxic air,
one town near New Orleans has a cancer rate that is 50 times the national average. 50 times, just this town. Are we not concerned? Why are we not doing anything? Like? It's, ugh. So I'm sure you can wonder
why Emily is concerned and because of this, she goes
to a hospital in New York to get some tests done on herself to find out like, "What's inside of me, what kind of chemicals
are living in my body?" So the doctors, they gave
her a silicone wristband. She ended up wearing this for five days and then when she went
back to the doctors, I don't know how this
wristband works, but look, they were able to see
what kind of chemicals were in her body.

And the director of the
hospital goes over all of the results with her and
they found 12 toxic chemicals were in her body. And she's like, "Dude, I
don't even do anything. I just live." You know, she's not living this wild life. But what they were able to
track was that there was a bunch of phthalates, some pesticides,
and even flame retardants. Oh, don't even get me started. We could do a whole episode
on flame retardants. It's all in your furniture. All the shit you're
getting from HomeGoods. It's in your baby clothes,
it's in everything.

So look, she's like, "Oh
great, my body's not even mine. It's all owned by chemicals." And then they gave her a urine test and there were even more
chemicals traced in her urine. This would make sense, kind of, if Emily was walking through a war zone or maybe she worked at a chemical plant, or you know, like, right? That would kind of make sense. But this was just a normal woman, living her normal life, doing normal everyday basic things. Like waking up, going to work, going to the grocery store, going home, making dinner, you know, like
things that we do, right? So it got me thinking, "Oh my god, I don't wanna know what's in my body." Ugh.

Do you know how much
fragrance is in makeup? Ugh, ugh, ugh! What am I gonna do? I don't know. I bring up Emily's story because
it's really our story too, because the CDC found
that 93% of human beings have chemicals like this in our bodies. 93%, that's like all of us, kinda. I wanna know about the
ones who don't have it. Where are they at? Mermaids? There's this incredible documentary you can watch on HBO right now. It's called "Not So Pretty," I would suggest washing every episode, but I'm referring to the
skin episode right now. And in that documentary, a woman goes to see a doctor to find out what her toxic levels are. When it comes to the BPAs found in plastic that I mentioned earlier, a normal level in the body
is considered a three. Hers was 23. Well hot diggity dog, right? And when it came to phthalates, girl, Jesus take the wheel, because the recommended
level in the body is less than 300 or something like that. And hers was 1,192. Okay. It's kinda like, what do you
do with that information? You're like, "Okay, thanks.

So fuck me, right? Okay, thanks doc." You know, like what are you
supposed to do with that? And again, this was a normal
quote unquote "healthy" person, just living their life. And then it gets even more scary. There was a recent study
that said phthalates in everyday products are
believed to be linked to over 90,000 premature deaths per year. So, what are we gonna do? We need a plan, right? Because of all the risks
associated with being exposed to these toxic chemicals, I mean, it's no wonder
that a ton of doctors and researchers believe
that there is no such thing as a normal level of these toxins, which totally makes sense,
but they're, you know, they're trying to convince
us that it's totally normal.

And then even worse, these companies say that these
toxins are not harmful at all because they've tested it themselves. And, you know, who's
gonna give themselves an F when they're grading their own test? Also, they test these
chemicals one at a time in very low amounts, which is not the way that we
humans are exposed to them. We're exposed to like a
cocktail of chemicals. Think about it like this. Maybe you're at home
enjoying a glass of wine or cider for my gluten-free friends. You're about to put on "The Wizard of Oz" for the 9,000th time, Bailey, again, yes. And then your friend calls and is like, "Hey, do you wanna meet me
at a cool bar for a drink? So you go there and then you're like, "I'm gonna have a vodka soda." And then the night goes on
and things get a little cray. You end up in a bush, you're taking shots, stumbling home and you're like, "I want a cheesy gordita," right? And then you feel sick because
you've got like five kinds of alcohol in you.

Yeah, it's like that. It's like that. That's what the chemicals are doing. Most of us just aren't
exposed to one glass of wine. We're getting sch-wasted, sloshed, on chemical overload every single day by everything we put in our bodies and also everything we
are putting on our bodies. Deodorants, lotions, shaving creams, body washes, laundry detergent, hair, like everything has fragrance in it. Deodorant, don't even get
me started on deodorant, 'cause there's two different
types of deodorants, antiperspirants and then deodorant. I never knew the difference, but I'm gonna tell you
what the difference is. Antiperspirant means that
there's a chemical involved that actually blocks your sweat glands and essentially stops the sweat from coming out of your body.

Sounds great, right? It's not great because
what you're actually doing is disrupting the body's natural process of getting rid of bacteria,
purging, you know? So antiperspirants get a
bad rap for having aluminum and other potentially cancer
causing ingredients in them. But the jury is still
kind of out on how bad that stuff is for us. And I mean lots of people have claimed that there is a connection
between antiperspirants and breast cancer, but there's no proper research
or anything being funded to determine if this is true or not. Because they don't wanna know, 'cause then they have to change everything and that costs many. But we need to demand
better, we really do. This is concerning. There was this huge recall
last year that CNN reported on where a known cancer-causing
chemical was found in dozens of batches of deodorant body sprays from 30 different brands. The chemical is not supposed
to be used at all according to the FDA because even
trace amounts create unacceptable toxicity.

But it's not just in deodorant. These chemicals can be
found in other places, like active volcanoes and forest fires, which is so random, right? But I mean, think about it. That's not healthy to breathe in. A forest fire? (sniffs) No, not good for you. And on top of that, the majority of deodorants and antiperspirants contain
all the sketchy things that we have talked about earlier. Fragrance, phthalates, blah, blah, blah. They're just trying to get rid of us. They hate us. I feel like this has been a conversation that's been going on for quite some time, the whole deodorant debate. But have you tried natural deodorants? 'Cause look, they're
not that great, right? I have tried, I have tried
so hard, but they, you stink! You stink.

What do we do? Rub leaves in our armpits? I don't know what to do. I don't have an answer for you. I still use deodorant knowing damn well that it's probably killing
my tit, I don't know. So I wish I had an answer for you, but that's what we need more of. So let's get the conversation going. So candles, perfume, deodorant,
makeup, shaving cream, body cream, blah, blah, blah.

The list goes on, I wish I
could say the list was short, but it's not. We humans got very carried
away with fragrance and yeah, just everything. Phthalates can be found in, bitch, the list, look. Tampons, lotions, scented trash bags, shampoo, cosmetic products,
nail polish, body wash, baby soap, cleaning products,
face paint, medical devices, shower curtains, toys,
hairspray, computers, laptops, smartphones, wallpaper, school
supplies, carpets, tap water, meat, cheese, soil, sex toys.

Yeah, it's in your sex toy. Ugh, ugh. What are we supposed to do? And since it's literally everywhere and we know how bad it is for us, like we know it's not good for us, it can't be legal, right? No, wrong of course not. This is America. The only state that has
any type of laws around what chemicals are in fragrance
is California, allegedly. And it went into effect
in January of 2022.

So yeah, 49 other states have got nothing requiring companies to
tell the truth about what's in their products. But what advocates say really needs to be done is getting a law
passed on the federal level. I came across an organization
called Earthjustice. Earthjustice! And they're a nonprofit legal company who, they pick fights with big companies, and I love it. Like, come on, their motto is, quote, "Because Earth needs a good lawyer," which (snaps) facts, Earth
does need a good lawyer. And the way that they're doing
that is by essentially trying to ban the bad chemicals
in everyday products. They have over 650 lawsuits
happening as we speak and over 180 lawyers fighting for us, essentially, and Earth. And if you wanna work for them, their website says their
offices are officially all fragrance-free and clean. So if you go for an interview, don't wear perfume or anything, okay? Good luck. Our expert on the episode also
pointed us in the direction of a couple smaller organizations that are fighting the fragrance fight.

Black Women For Wellness and Breast Cancer Prevention
Partners are amazing places to look at if you're
interested in learning more and also giving back. I would highly suggest
checking out the episode notes for some links to learn more. I mean, you know, I just scratched the
surface with this one. There's a lot, a lot more. It's quite depressing. Anyways, I also suggest
to maybe start looking at all the products in your house. Ugh, good luck. I did this the other day. Go to the bathroom, the kitchen, you pick something up, I mean anything up, you turn it over, you're
gonna see the word fragrance. Literally nothing in your house is safe. It's so unfortunate. One thing to do, you could
switch to unscented, right? Which is great, but also start small.

It could be really overwhelming, right? Super overwhelming. So there's apps you can
download that scan products and tell you if there's
bad chemicals in it. There's one called Skin Deep and Detox Me. They look up product rankings for toxicity and safety so you can
make informed decisions. I mean, when you really think about it, at the end of the day, like it kind of, it feels like we're not, it feels like we're powerless sometimes, but brands need us more
than we need them, right? So if we all, ugh, I hate
putting it back on us because I want it to be on them, you know? But if we stop buying scented
garbage bags and stuff, maybe they'll stop making them. I fucking doubt it. Okay, something also crazy
that kind of makes you frown is that it's not happening
in other countries, like this whole fragrance situation. Just for example, almost all of Europe has a very long list of banned chemicals and it's about to get longer. They're in the middle of trying to expand the list to 12,000 chemicals because they seem to kind of care, which is interesting.

On our list in the USA,
there are a whopping 11 banned chemicals that are
not allowed in our products. So, okay. We gotta look out for ourselves because America will
always put money first and not our wellbeing. I mean, have we learned nothing? (laughs) Don't be silly. Anyway, sorry to put a
little damper on your day 'cause this is really depressing
information, honestly. I sat and marinated on it for a long time because, look, at the end of
the day, we all die, right? (laughs) I know, I'm
taking a sharp left here.

We all die. So it's like, try your best
to eliminate the fragrance and the chemicals where you can, and there's gonna be some things that maybe you don't want to. Like for me, I'm so sorry,
but I love makeup, right? And it's just like, I
know it's bad for me, but I love it and I'll try and find the unscented stuff
where I can or, you know? So it's kind of like, just try your best. I'm not trying to get all
preachy on you like I'm miss, "Oh, come to my house and
I don't have a candle lit." Like I do, I'm a, you know? Being informed I think is
the most important part. Just knowing that something
isn't safe can either make you purchase or put it away. And that's all we kind of want, just some honesty and transparency. Like, "Hey, this product might
literally fucking kill you." Oh, okay, I might pass on that candle.

Good to know. Appreciate that. It's only until these companies stop being so fucking greedy. Let's rage. We meet at midnight in
front of the water fountain. See you there. Either way, we're all gonna die anyways, so see you in the underworlds. (laughs) Well everyone, thank you
for learning with me today. Sorry to be such a rain
cloud on a sunny day. That was kind of cute. Remember, be curious, don't be afraid to ask questions and to just educate yourself on shit because you deserve that. Now, I'd love to hear your guys'
reactions to today's story, so make sure to use the
hashtag #DarkHistory over on social media
so I can follow along, see what you're saying, my binoculars. Join me over on my YouTube where you can watch these
episodes on Thursday after the podcast airs,
and while you're there, don't forget to check out
"Murder Mystery and Makeup," where I cover myself
in fragrance on camera. I hope you have a great day today. You make good choices and I'll
be talking to you next week.

Goodbye. "Dark History" is an Audioboom original. This podcast is executive
produced by Bailey Sarian, Dunia McNeily from 3 Arts, Kevin Grosch, and Claire
Turner from Maiden Network. Writers Katie Burris, Allyson
Philobos, Joey Scavuzzo, and me, Bailey Sarian. Shot and edited by Tafadzwa Nemarundwe and Hannah Bacher. Research provided by the
Dark History Researcher Team. And I'm your host, Miss Bailey Sarian. And scene. (eerie atmospheric music).

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