Sunday, April 1, 2018

Essential oils warning

Just because something is “natural” doesn’t always mean it’s safe to ingest or put on your body. Some essential oils have been tied to hormone disruption, creating breasts in boys.

Likely the concentration of essential oils is part of the problem. Concentrations are one of three critical concepts for understanding nature and sustainability.

Concentrations: Your houseplant needs a bit of fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) but it needs them in relative concentrations. Your body needs a bit of metals like zinc and iron that you find in multivitamins, but too much will make you sick. We’ve increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over 40% since pre-industrial levels. Concentrations matter.

Thresholds: Your plant will live with varying amount of water, but at some point, with too much or too little, it crosses a threshold and dies. Your body temperature may range from 98-104 but spend much time at 105 and you’re dead. At what point do greenhouse gases drive our climate into a completely different state? In any system there is a point at which it shifts into a different state, like a canoe. You can wobble back and forth but at some point you end up in the drink.

Feedback loops: Many of nature’s feedback loops are designed to maintain equilibrium. Your plant releases oxygen during the day as part of photosynthesis but the reverse happens at night. When your body gets hot, you sweat which helps to cool you.  But sometimes feedback loops amplify changes. Climate change reduces ice in the Arctic which increases absorption of the sun’s rays and it melts permafrost, both which increase warming more. Feedback loops and the built in delays are key to predicting the future and making things better, not worse. A common example is trying to adjust the shower with a hot and cold handle; the delay caused by water lines often cause you to scald or freeze until you get it right.

More evidence essential oils 'make male breasts develop' - BBC News US https://apple.news/Am60Lmj7GQE-wCwvwOCuGDg

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