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chemical consequences

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I am an old guy and I live only with Cookie so I as entertainment keep my TV running while I am home mostly to the various history and science channels. However they all have one thing in common and that is commercials. Most of the commercials deal with medicines for any number of ailments. They also have advertisements for cancer hospitals. Why so many, well it is because so many people are developing cancer these days and a significant number are people under the age of 50.

The authors of Anti-Cancer Living site statistics and one very discouraging statistic deals with childhood leukemia. As they state in the book we all have cancer in our body in a dormant state and something has to trigger it. The process takes time and mostly over the course of years. They point out people who smoked always develop cancer mostly lung cancer but it did not happen with the first pack of cigarettes, that was the catalyst. While smoking in general has dropped off so the number of lung cancer patients has as well I guess. However, I think in time that will change because we have legalized marijuana so the smoke from it will also cause cancer. But like smoking cigarettes over time it will develop and eventually surface. By the way I do not care what people put in their body so long as it does not affect anyone else since we do still live in a free country. But, when Medicare is picking up the medical bills I guess others are affected.

In the past few years the outdoor industry has seen a number of companies selling “no sleep sleeping bags” that are down filled with down that has been bathed in chemicals to make the down resistant to absorbing water. The down processors are the companies that are doing the processing. Before I get into this process let’s examine what down goes through before this process. Unfortunately I could not find the actual chemicals used by the down processors they only say water and detergent. However, one processor Allied Feather and Down states the following on their web site; I quote “As a bluesign system partner Allied ensures that chemicals and detergents are safe for the environment”. [How about the people wearing the jackets or using the sleeping bags is it safe for them?] This bluesign outfit was created as a third party organization that supports the member’s claims. All they say is that they wash the down in water with detergents.

In order to make the down theoretically water resistant they bathe the down in their own dwr chemical concoction that coats the down cluster and they also add an anti-microbial chemical to reduce bacteria growth by greater than 99 percent. So they are like the white man talking to the American Indians over 100 years ago, they are talking to the general public with “forked tongue”. Of course they are using chemicals and the companies that buy down from them to make jackets, “no sleep sleeping bags” and other bedding products are putting the down in these products. And to top things off they have a Chinese facility. China has no guidelines like we have from an EPA so they do as they please to maximize profits. This company shows a vast number of customers mostly American companies that have most all of their garments and “no sleep sleeping bags” made in China.

They talk about their down being non-allergenic again speaking with forked tongue. If that were the case why is Wiggy’s the primary sleeping bag if not the only one sold to the chemically sensitive market place, because every person and I mean every person who buys my bags tells me they have almost immediate negative reaction to down bags as well as bags that are synthetic filled with chemically treated fabrics.

Those who use these down bags and have yet to have a reaction and are still surrounding themselves with bags that are made from materials in total that are chemically treated and those chemicals leach out with fumes that you are breathing in and as I have learned from the book Anti-Cancer Living those fumes are dangerous.

The accumulated effect on the human body from absorbing chemicals either as fumes or solids does eventually activate the cancer in our body and in years past the demonstration of the cancer appeared in people between 60 and 80 years of age but today it is appearing in younger people because we in general are exposed to more and more chemicals than say I was having been born in 1941.

To the best of my knowledge the continuous filament fiberfill product I use either as Polar Guard in the beginning or now Climashield to make the Lamilite has for all these years starting in 1968 not been anything other than non-allergenic it is the only synthetic I have ever known of its original use was in bed pillows. When I stated selling my sleeping bags to chemically sensitive people I would send them a part of the sleeping bag to sleep with so they could find out if the materials would cause a reaction. To date no one has had a reaction, however if someone calls and is not sure I will gladly send them some material to test for themselves.

I know that calling any manufacturing company to ask about chemical treatments used for their products would probably be a fruitless exercise so ask at the retail level and be very rigid about your position. You could start with two retailers who also have product made for the; they are rei and ll bean.

A friend sent me an article titled “Comfort and Cooling” by Jan Beringer an employee of the ho ho institute of Germany. It is the first article I have ever read from anyone at the ho ho institute that makes sense. I will quote;

“For cold protective clothing, a low water vapor resistance is of high importance because it leads to reduced sweat accumulation in the clothing system. (The need of fishnets provides the method of getting the sweat away from your skin surface and the use of layers of Lamilite liners further allows the sweat as a vapor to move further away.) This is not only the case for “normal” cold but also at freezing point and far below at -20 C. Excess energy has to be dissipated by sweat evaporation and an energy loss in cold environments has to be compensated by shivering. Both excessive sweating and shivering result in losses in human performance efficiency, so it is desirable to control these consequences through better protective clothing and appropriate thermal insulation. The challenge is to achieve an even energy balance in the clothing system by understanding and balancing breathability and insulation”. (He makes a good point but his lack of knowledge of materials shows further in the article. He doesn’t understand the use of fishnet underwear or the need to wear non-moisture absorbing garments over the fishnets so the moisture stays as a vapor moving further away from your body or that the insulation of the final exterior garment also does not restrict the movement of the vapor in getting away from you. When I was lost I learned very well how well the fishnet underwear and my Lamilite insulated parks worked in concert to keep me dry so I stayed warm. I could not balance anything by design or on purpose it just happened naturally.)

He further says the following I quote; “Thermal insulation itself mainly depends on the enclosed air volume in the garment, (I agree completely and nothing does that better than Lamilite) as air has a very low thermal conductivity and is a good insulator. However, when a garment gets saturated and wet, the insulating air is replaced by humidity first as water vapor and then as water, which in contrast is a very good conductor of heat (A point I have made for years.) and a much poorer insulator. Therefore, body heat is lost rapidly under wet conditions. To keep a garment dry on the inside while sweat is evaporated by the wearer due to increased physical activity, a low water vapor resistance is essential.” (When you wear an outerwear garment with down as the form of insulation ALL the moisture the wearer produces is absorbed by the down and if you happen to be wearing a thick polyester fiberfill jacket the moisture just gets trapped in the garment or if you are wearing any of the numerous flat quilted jackets down or polyester the moisture is cooled so fast it just stays in the garment as moisture and of course you get cold.)

This fellow makes a good argument for Wiggy’s clothing as it is the only cold weather clothing that I know of that is capable of allowing all moisture to get out of it or if it does get wet to insulate as well as it does when dry.

Keeping with my policy of giving credit when credit is due I want to thank Jan Beringer for bringing up these two very important points.

Periodically I will listen for a few minutes of a program about people climbing Everest and I know that they are all living with chills because they are almost all wearing down filled parkas and wearing close knit underwear that is supposed to wick moisture. Unfortunately the fabric wicks nothing but the chemicals applied to the fabric leach into your skin aiding in eventual cancer I believe.

These garments are the reason I say “CHEMICAL CONSEQUENCES ARE LONG TERM”!!!

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