Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A taboo subject - up close and personal

What do we get up close and personal with each day !

This clip shows recycled paper being used to make toilet paper.  
What is interesting about this clip is what is NOT said, but seems an obvious question !
What solutions and chemicals are used to break down the paper, remove the inks, bleach and starch the paper ?
I recently had a discussion with someone where the issue of toilet paper chemicals was raised along with health concerns and skin irritation such as itching, soreness and redness in places we don't discuss.  Since that discussion I have raised this issue with a few people and it has been interesting to note that a few people have mentioned their concerns and sensitivities ....   I had not given any thought to loo paper however given the direct and intimate contact we all have with this product and the chemicals used perhaps its something that should be added to the list of items to carefully consider.  

Recycled content toilet paper traps by Greenliving.com 
"Buying toilet paper made from recycled materials is great but even this can present some challenges.
Recycled paper needs to be deinked before it is pulped and processed. This deinking process may involve chlorine to bleach the paper. Chlorine based chemicals can react with paper fibers to create toxic compounds such as dioxin and organochlorines.

Dioxins cause cancer, learning disorders, decreased immune response, diabetes and all sorts of other nasty problems in the environment. By the way, the same chlorine issue is prevalent when using virgin-fiber based toilet tissue too.

When shopping for earth friendly toilet paper look for statements such as "unbleached", "processed chlorine-free" or "totally chlorine free."