Body Work Tracking


Examining my Body Work chart, I use pretty much the same products most days. I feel that this is probably pretty standard for a college student male of my age. Perhaps someone of lower class might do away with the contact lenses and stick with glasses, but apart from that I feel that most people in the United States use at least this many products regularly, if not daily. In an economically disadvantaged country, perhaps there would be no contact lenses or deodorant or chapstick. Perhaps these products would be used with much less regularity. As a man, I use hygiene products somewhat less often than many women are socialized to. Men’s bodies are not subject to nearly the same degree of scrutiny that women’s are. Without the same emphasis on physical beauty, I’ve never felt the same pressure many women face to use make-up. However, societal standards dictate that I maintain a certain standard of cleanliness and attractiveness each day, so I use these products almost every day.

 

Time

Date

Product Type

Product Name

Brand Name

11:10 pm

Tuesday

Health

Contact Solution

Opti-Free Replenish

11:12 pm

Tuesday

Hygiene

Toothpaste

Crest Cavity Protection

7:30 am

Wednesday

Hygiene

Hand Soap

Ivory

7:31 am

Wednesday

Health

Contact Solution

Opti-Free Replenish

7:33 am

Wednesday

Hygiene

Toothpaste

Crest Cavity Protection

7:37 am

Wednesday

Hygiene

Deodorant

Old Spice High Endurance

7:38 am

Wednesday

Beauty

Chapstick

Burt’s Beeswax Lip Balm

2:07 am

Thursday

Hygiene

Hand Soap

Ivory

2:08 am

Thursday

Health

Contact Solution

Opti-Free Replenish

2:09 am

Thursday

Hygiene

Toothpaste

Crest Cavity Protection

2:15 am

Thursday

Hygiene

Shampoo

Head & Shoulders

2:19 am

Thursday

Hygiene

Bar Soap

Dial

 10:00 am

Thursday

Hygiene

Hand Soap

Ivory

10:01 am

Thursday

Health

Contact Solution

Opti-Free Replenish

10:03 am

Thursday

Hygiene

Toothpaste

Crest Cavity Protection

10:07 am

Thursday

Hygiene

Deodorant

Old Spice High Endurance

10:10 am

Thursday

Beauty

Chapstick

Burt’s Beeswax Lip Balm

12:10 am

Friday

Hygiene

Hand Soap

Ivory

12:11 am

Friday

Health

Contact Solution

Opti-Free Replenish

12:14 am

Friday

Hygiene

Toothpaste

Crest Cavity Protection

7:45 am

Friday

Hygiene

Deodorant

Old Spice High Endurance

 

For my toxicity report, I chose my Old Spice deodorant stick as a product to examine. Given the successful and popular marketing of Old Spice, I was curious as to how toxic it was. Mostly, it appears, this deodorant stick is harmless. One ingredient stands out from the rest: fragrance. Fragrance is apparently used in over 10,000 products, and consists of a cocktail of innumerable chemicals. The exact chemical makeup of fragrance is considered a trade secret, so companies never share what chemicals they use to mix it. However, it contains a possible range of toxins, many of which are troubling. One such toxin is a sensitizer, which may cause immune system damage and cause people to become sensitized to the ingredient with an allergic reaction to follow every time they encounter it. They can also trigger asthma attacks. Another possible chemical is pthalates. Pthalates (such as diethyl pthalates or DEP, which is widely used in fragrance) are known endocrine disruptors, and may cause problems with development or fertility. Pthalates are also quite common, found in 97% of American citizens tested by the CDC. Banned in Europe, pthalates still make their rounds among Americans disguised under the label of fragrance. Finally, there is moderate evidence to suggest that fragrance is also a neurotoxin, but further research in that area has not been done. For a chemical cocktail that is so widely used in hygiene products, fragrance is a shockingly dangerous one. Petitions to release the composition of fragrance have largely been ignored by the FDA and corporations have continued to hide whatever they please in this potent cocktail. I cannot say that I’ll stop using my deodorant because, well, fragrance is also in everything else. Ideally the government would make an attempt to regulate this harmful chemical in a manner similar to Europe, so as to avoid such widespread exposure.

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