Daily Gasp 10.10.16

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BAC and your health

An eye examination or the use of artificial tears should not end in a condition worse than before the supposed protective activity.  But many times this is just the case.  Eye drops – regardless of their chemical makeup – contain preservatives to keep them free of bacteria. These preservatives can and do cause many people a great deal of suffering.  The good news is, this suffering is avoidable.

If you are a sufferer of Chemical Sensitivity, then this post will be much more than simply, an article ‘of interest’ to you. The information here will spare you some serious suffering; some of it potentially life-threatening.

As I write this article, my right eye is puffy, red, irritated, itchy, watering and inflamed.  I had an eye exam 3 days ago, in which my regular ophthalmologist used an examination eye drop containing one of the most common preservatives used: BAC.

BAC is a widely used chemical preservative. BAC is used in a wide range of commonly used products, such as soaps, cosmetics, cleaning products, ophthalmic preparations, disinfectants, and spermicides. BAC inhibits bacterial and fungal growth. Thereby rendering the solutions, in which BAC is found, safe from bacteria-borne infections.  A very useful commodity for sure.

However, most such solutions (read: ALL!) come with a price. BAC is NOT an exception to this rule.

With BAC, that price is paid in your health.

Yes, the very premise upon which it is intended to protect; at least in the publicized intent of the manufacturers of the products in which it is found. But in reality, BAC is more dangerous than most of the chance infections it is intended to prevent.

BAC is one of four (4) acronyms used for Benzalkonium Chloride [1]. BAC is a highly hydrosoluble bipolar compound with surfactant properties; which means it acts like a detergent.  When BAC is in concentration between 0.004 and 0.02%, topical products (liquid products) do NOT allow bacterial cell walls or membrane to attach to any part of the products cellular structure. BAC’s use is focused on stopping what is called, Gram-positive bacteria; those who are known to be serious causative agents of infection.

Simply put, BAC makes the liquid environment ‘too slick’ for bacteria to colonize. If bacteria cannot colonize, they die.  With no bacteria in the solution, then the solution drops to an industry standard level of ‘unlikely infection potential’.  That is, for manufacturers and medical professionals, a sought-after acceptability.  Products then can be promoted, sold and used, on humans, for an often broad-spectrum of needs, by the millions of units.

Underneath all this euphemistic jargon, it simply means the product will become profitable. Those who make it can make money; usually a lot of money; from it.  Score. Point. Game.

For the most part, this kind of logic is also based upon a reasonably scientific rationalization. A product that ‘stops or interrupts’ infection is a good thing; especially in the medical professions.  So why would this not be a good thing?  Well, it is, in concept, for the most part.

For the most part.  That is until you look into what Benzalkonium Chloride does to the cells of the human body.  Then the value of its use comes into serious question.

Animal studies have shown that BAC has toxic effects, even in a single dose, at low concentrations, on the corneo-conjunctival surface (cornea: clear covering over the iris; conjunctiva: the clear mucous covering of the eyeball).

It has been long known to ophthalmological professionals, that BAC, during prolonged usage in topical drugs, that damage will occur and the rise in allergic response is exhibited.

I address BAC (Benzalkonium Chloride) here because it is the most popular preservative used in topic pharmacology for the eyes.  But as this one study [2] clearly shows, ALL preservatives have either a toxic or allergic danger (or both) in their use; especially prolonged use. Or to quote them:

“…study confirms that most preservatives used in ophthalmic eye-drops may similarly induce strong histopathological and inflammatory changes in the ocular surface after short-term use.”

Alright. I have addressed the problem.  I said there was a path to avoid this suffering. And so there is.

Preservative Free Eye Drops   

UPDATE:  My eye doctor suggested I use the Refresh PLUS artificial tear because it is ‘preservative free’. And it may be – BUT – it is not free of chemicals harmful to hypersensitive people.  Thus I cannot recommend any OTC or prescription eye drops either. What my MCS facilitator told me today – when I went in to be cleared of the chemicals that caused the MCS FRAGG event, was to use highly diluted baby shampoo to wash your eyes. People who are hypersensitive to chemicals should NOT use Refresh PLUS or any kind of eye drop.  Even though the package and product are marketed as ‘Preservative Free’, it still contains far too many chemicals that would be detrimental to the hyper-sensitive.

Refresh Plus (Preservative-free) eye drops

Refresh Plus Eye Drops – the only Preservative-free eye drops I can honestly recommend because I have used them without negative incident. – YOS

Never assume a medication is OK.  You do not know until you try it. And that could be a very painful – possibly destructive – experience.  In this case:  “The more you know the better off you will be.”




[1] Benzalkonium chloride – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzalkonium_chloride

[2] Histopathological effects of topical ophthalmic preservatives on rat corneo-conjunctival surface – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9561834

[3] Refresh Plus (corporate info) – http://www.refreshbrand.com/Products/refresh-plus

[4] What is: Carboxymethylcellulose sodium  – http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-18521/carboxymethylcellulose-sodium-ophthalmic/details

[5] Drugs.com on preservatives in eye-drops – https://www.drugs.com/otc/108027/refresh-plus.html

Continue Hope… but Honestly!

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In this, the first article published on YOSAKIME, how appropriate that it fire a first salvo across the bow of both the Fragrance and the Advertising Industry.

Serendipity once again smiles upon my publishing efforts.

I found in the article,

Fragrance In The Workplace: Campaign For The Recognition Of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity As An Illness

a very clear and precise commentary  on the problems of ‘fragrance pollution’ facing the worker in today’s work environment: enclosed office or outdoor environment.

After reading the article, which I thought was quite good, I placed the following comment on the  blog, Pierce Mattie Public Relations New York.

I appreciate the comments found attached to this blog article. I will make a link to this piece from my new blog YOSAKIME .. an acronym for Your Smells Are Killing Me.

The chief problem with chemical – specifically fragrance – pollution, is an issue, first felt by the Chemical Sensitivity Community(CSC), but as Betty Bridges (first commenter) clear back in August 2007 states so correctly,

“…decreasing the exposure to fragrance is a health issue for us all.”

Yes, the CSC feels it first, but the rest of society is close to impact themselves! Far closer than any would care to believe. They just don’t realize it yet! When they do … it will be too, late to ‘correct’. At that point they can only struggle to adjust… like the members of the CSC do every moment, of ever day.

I invite ALL who suffer from Chemical-Fragrance Sensitivity, those – like this blog – working to draw attention to the issue and those working to educate – and in some cases, legislate – to clean up the air environment – to join YOSAKIME in our efforts to push for action.

Not just words, but ACTION !!!

My own personal condition has locked me out of nearly all social interaction with friends and family. Many either don’t think or don’t care to make concession for my sensitivities. Even though I am the one who suffers, I feel bad constantly asking people to concede to my needs and restrictions.

The psychological impact on the suffer is immense! Guilt. Anxiety. Frustration. Fear. All of it, co-mingled with anger: at self and the ‘inconsiderate’. The toxic environment becomes both internal and external. It’s not a pretty picture.

I can no longer work in the ‘regular’ work space environment. I am even limited in a ‘non-standard’ work environment. A ‘walk in the park’ becomes a dangerous game of ‘roulette’ with the with every wave of people I encounter. Will they or Won’t they … engulf me in a cloud of neurologically hyper stimulation chemicals … or not ? This becomes the focus. Not a calm, peaceful walk in a natural surrounding. Par for my new course in life. Hell’s Other Half Acre.

None of us ever truly knows or understands, just how debilitating such a physical ailment as Chemical-Fragrance Sensitivity can be. Not until we are standing in the shoes-of-experience ourselves.

I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

But it does seem that, most people are inured to understanding the immensity of the impact of their ‘casual use’ of various fragrance embedded products. When it happens to them, they are amazed at just how serious their own threat was to others.

Unfortunately, once that threshold is crossed, there is no return. At least, not yet.

I do still have hope. I work toward that hope.

One day, I and the others in the CSC will live a normal life again.

It doesn’t take much analysis to see that I have a very personal investment into this project.  And you might understand the double-take I did when I read this piece, from the same blog.

It also does not take a rocket scientist to understand the implications and profound confusion such mixed messages send to the already ignorant-as-sin and lazier fair attitude general public!

Thus, my HOPE is this:  That those who are willing to publish the realities of the problem of Chemical-Fragrance Sensitivity maintain the relevance of their conversation with dignity, honesty and integrity.  If you stike out against the problem of Chemical-Fragrance Pollution, then keep your edge at the throat of the beast!

Don’t – one minute hold IT at bay with steelie-edged commentary and the next be caught snuggling up to its financial cuddling.   Make a stand. Hold your ground.  Be either Friend of Foe.  It’s that simple.

If you’re for a Fragrance Free Environment, then say so.  Show it in your actions.  Don’t backslide. Duplicity does nothing but muddy the waters and extend our suffering.   I don’t need it.  No one in the CSC needs it either.

If you’re NOT going to stand for a Fragrance Free Environment, then say so.  Don’t toy with us.  We don’t want or need your confusing duplicity.

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