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THE CLOTH OF LIFE

Industrial pollution. Pesticides. Genetic-engineering. Where does a health-conscious individual get away from it all? Although GMfood and pesticides are prominent news, many don't realize that clothes and feminine products can also threaten health.

THE RISKS

Dioxin, a chemical known to cause decreased fertility, birth defects, abnormal metabolism, compromised immunity, andfeminization of male offspring, leach from tampons and disposable diapers.

Wearing synthetic garments traps body heat, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Body part that are constantly moist, warm,and dark can be a site of candida infection, especially the scrotum, vagina, underarms, inner thighs, skin over the base of the spine,and skin under breasts. In healthy newborns, the most common form of candidiasis is a diaper rash, occurring twice as often withthe use of disposable diapers. Any diaper rash lasting three days or longer may be candidiasis.

Of no less concern is genetically modified cotton. Bacillus thuringiensis ("Bt") a naturally occurring bacteria, is safely and sparinglyused by organic farmers when pests are particularly menacing. Recently, however, Bt has been injected directly into cotton seeds.According to Sally Fox, noted entomologist, "each cotton fiber is a complete cell containing its entire DNA sequence". When Btinjected cotton contacts the other species, the Bt gene can "jump." Fox recalls from her earlier work, that Bt randomly mutates tocreate a violent, life-threatening illness in mammals. Fox expresses concern that the release of Bt spliced cotton into the the openenvironment does not allow for comprehensive testing to assure the absence of this mutation during polination.

THE ALTERNATIVES

Certified organic cotton is grown from seeds free of genetically modification and without synthetic chemicals. Synthetic chemicalsavoided by organic farming include five known to be cancer causing. These chemicals are also linked with behavioral and learningdisorders, liver disease, and infant mortality. Successful organic cotton farming industries are developing around the world.

The word "lingerie" is derived from "linen", initially a hemp product. Hemp, the strongest natural fiber, proliferates withoutpesticides or herbicides. Hemp fiber is naturally resistant to mold and bacteria. Contrary to common perceptions, industrial hempcannot be used to induce psychoactive effects.

A naturally occurring filiment, silk most closely resembles the chemistry of the human body. Many people with sensitive skin,preventing them from comfortably wearing other fabrics, find relief wearing silk.


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