Zero Xeno is my personal 28 year journey of suffering and success. It has taken me multiple places filled with many highs and lows. The path life has led me along has afforded me the privilege to experience what was necessary to compel me to search for answers. Answers for myself and for those who suffer in silence as I once did.
It has been through my struggles that I found solutions. Like a newborn chick, I had to wrestle out of my shell to find the answers which have led to my story of struggle and success. So, what is my story? In my early 20's it began with ovarian cysts, heavy monthly bleeding and other hormone related diseases that negatively impacted my life. After undergoing extensive tests, visiting multiple specialized doctors, being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and having surgery for an ovarian cyst the size of a large goose egg, I was no closer to finding solutions than when I began.
I remember reading and learning as much as I could get my hands on about hormones and related issues. In the early 90's my husband was attending university so I had access to some scientific literature (pre-internet days). I read a book called 'Our Stolen Future' that contained big words like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) which the authors described as endocrine disrupting chemicals (my first introduction to xenoestrogens). To the best of my ability, I applied the knowledge and understanding I gained from these sources. My new found understanding allowed me to experience relief from my hormone related issues to the point that I was able to reverse my infertility and live a full life again. I enjoyed years of health, vitality and energy but then the hormone issues returned, slowly at first but then with a vengeance.
I now suffered from fibrocystic breast disease (benign breast disease) a pre-cursor to breast cancer, goiter, hypothyroidism, uterine fibroids (endometriosis), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, unexplained weight gain, acne, allergies and more. I did not have answers and my problems were growing at an alarming rate. I was a young mother who was homeschooling my kids and had so much life to live, yet I could not seem to overcome these debilitating conditions. Then I had blood tests come back with high biomarkers that pointed toward cancer. How could this be happening to me? I ate organic food, baked my own bread, cooked from scratch and was a huge advocate for healthy, natural living and yet my body was telling me another story.
I cried out from deep within my soul and begged for answers. I craved to live the vibrant life I once had known. I desired to see my children grow up. I wanted to grow old with my husband. Was I really asking for too much? I remember a phone call I had one day with a neighbor who was suffering from many of the same hormone related issues I was. As I heard her words, I listened but at the same time could not really believe what I was hearing from the newspaper article she was reading to me. Preservatives (parabens) that can cause breast cancer in my deodorant and lotions. Plastic softeners (phthalates) linked to hormone dysfunction were in the ingredients of my hair conditioner and perfume. Even my household cleaners had antibacterial ingredients that contained chemicals which disrupted my hormones. My first thought of course was that it couldn't really be true. Didn't governments regulate things like this? I felt like I was entering a zone which was more like a science fiction movie than true reality. It seemed too crazy to believe!
After the initial shock, I decided to look into this unbelievable tale. I dug deep into scholarly articles, reading peer reviewed study after study from multiple bodies of science (thank you internet). They all had the same common theme, from biologists to endocrinologists. Our world was under attack by a myriad of endocrine disrupting chemicals that mimicked estrogen and were the potential cause of so many hormone related diseases including breast cancer. I came face to face with the reality that the scientific community had known for years. Xenoestrogens were changing our world in ways which were not only impacting people's quality of life, but also the type of life many were literally being born into on a chromosomal level.
Children born not as XX (female) or XY (male) but rather XXY or XXYY and multiple other chromosomal variations. New terminology was being coined to deal with the ever increasing number of hormone related problems in human infants - testicular dysgenesis, disorders of sexual development (DSD), hypospadias, intersexed, gender disphoria and the list goes on. The impact of learning that using body care products, putting on sunscreen and keeping my home clean was affecting not only my hormones but changing the sex of unborn babies and of fish in the lake in my own back yard, was mind blowing to say the least. As I researched more I discovered other bodies of water all over the world, including in my home country Canada, were being affected as well. Fish, frogs and amphibians were no longer male or female but were intersexed, meaning that both sperm and eggs were in the same fish. Scientists were pointing the finger at hormone disrupting chemicals contained in shampoo, personal care products and household cleaners as the likely culprit. Even the World Health Organization was concerned (they've published three extensive articles asking the governments of the world to deal with endocrine disrupting chemicals).
What did all this mean? For me, it meant I needed to find a skin care line and household cleaning products that were free of these nasty hormone disruptors. The search was now on to find organic personal care products that didn't adversely affect my hormonal health. I thought it should be fairly easy, after all many companies were going green and eco-friendly. The reality was sad and disheartening to say the least. Once I educated myself with the names xenoestrogens were hidden under, I discovered many of the 'natural' and 'organic' brands were actually no better than their commercial counterparts. They claimed on the front of the label to be free of nasty chemicals, but the ingredients on the back of the label stated otherwise. This was my first introduction to the world of 'Green Washing'.
Not being one to quit, I decided the next logical step was to learn the chemistry required to make my own personal care products and household cleaners for my family and I to use. Through trial, error and years of hard work I developed a line of safe, effective lotions, body washes and household cleaners. I formulated my products using food grade ingredients from my own home kitchen to ensure that they were free of xenoestrogens.
My family and friends became intrigued with the tale I told of how their daily personal care routine was negatively affecting their bodies and the environment. Soon people were asking me to make batches for their loved ones so I decided to take my products and my tale to the community I cherish so dearly. I set up shop at the local Farmers' Market, in Kelowna, BC and spoke to anyone who would stop and listen. The support I received was overwhelming and inspiring at the same time. Today, my products are manufactured at my own factory, and sold online at my web-store as I continue to research, educate and develop new products so others can enjoy a xenoestrogenfree world. I invite everyone to explore the Learning Centre on my website and my Facebook Page to learn the truth so you can make your own decisions on how to help our world and future generations to come!
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