Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mothballs - the case for moths and people and APOPTOSIS or PCD

English: Mothballs
English: Mothballs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CELL SUICIDE  or Programmed Cell Death or PCD as it has been shortened to, sounds awful but its one of the most necessary things that has to occur for life to continue. 

I have been looking at life through the eyes of planets and the eyes of the tiniest cells to see the commonality to these and humanity.   What I have gleaned is this;  'death' is not what we have been made or trained or led to believe it is. 

All of lives we are taught to fear death and to discuss death or plan anything about it is considered uncool.  I think this is because people become very uncomfortable due to this past programming.

Some people even lie to their loved ones and keep from them the facts about their health or the facts of their impending death.  People need to know they are dying so they can prepare.  This action by friends and relatives does not allow proper cell suicide to occur in the person dying.  People need to give their loved ones permission to die if dying has been a taboo.  A taboo never really helped anyone.

IMG 6123
In Memory of a dead loved person - Steven Campbell
The article I read below on facebook regarding 'Mothballs" was interesting because I was a lover of Moth Balls.  Not because I like toxic things but because it reminded me of my childhood and the exciting smell of winter jumpers coming down from the high cupboard and blankets packed away and the end of summer. 

I had no idea it played a role in interrupting normal cell death.  This is quite serious.  Moth balls are not so much an issue today as much as "Air Fresheners" and "Fresh Blocks" and Toilet sprays could be. 
People here in Australia hardly use mothballs and they are difficult to purchase.

Its just not the done thing, people no longer store their winter things for long term.  Consumerism has given way to buying brand news ones.  It has changed to how things were done in the past and jumpers are no longer stored in the same fashion as when we were young. 

"At the cellular level, death is essential for life.  Apoptosis, sometimes called "cellular suicide," is a normal, programmed process of cellular self-destruction. Even though it involves cell death, apoptosis serves a healthy and protective role in our bodies"  Live Science

There is  hardly a case to use these anymore now is there.  I just didn't know the science the ingredients of the balls.
Mothballs, air fresheners and cancer

What do mothballs and some air fresheners have in common? They both contain chemical compounds which are carcinogenic. Mothballs and some air fresheners contain the chemicals paradichlorobenzene (PCDB) and naphthalene. A recent study from the University of Colorado has pinpointed why these chemicals can cause cancer. Both chemicals have been found to block apoptosis, the normal process of “cell suicide”.
Labelled diagram of a cell undergoing apoptosi...
Labelled diagram of a cell undergoing apoptosis. File adapted from a German Wikipedia entry: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Apoptosis serves as a checking mechanism to ensure that the right amount of cells are generated in the body,” said Dr. Ding Xue who headed the research team. In Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinsons’s disease, too much apoptosis is occurring, while in cancer and autoimmune disorders, too little apoptosis occurs, he explained. The study showed that both chemicals blocked enzymes which initiated apoptosis.

Understanding how carcinogenic compounds can trigger tumor growth is important for federal regulatory agencies that deal with human exposure to hazardous chemicals, said Xue.

More than 1 million pounds of naphthalene and PDCB are used by consumers annually. The chemicals are most commonly found in solid toilet block deodorizers, solid and spray air fresheners, and moth balls and crystals. One company describes its product this way,

Closet Freshener block is made of pure Paradichlorobenzene crystals and top quality fragrance pressed into large 275 gram rectangles with a hanger built right in. When the cellophane wrapper is slit or removed, the "para-zene" begins to evaporate, releasing a clean fresh scent. Our assorted pack contains Lavender, Summer Potpourri, Pine, and Cedar.

Parachlorodibenzene is a pesticide. The US EPA requires that moth repellent products containing paradichlorobenzene bear warnings such as "avoid breathing vapors" to warn users of potential short-term toxic effects. Yet paradichlorobenzene is also the key active ingredient in many air fresheners. Paradichlorobenzene is also an eye irritant and, according to the US National Toxicology Program, possibly causes reproductive damage.

The Janitor’s Product Pollution Prevention Project places PCBD in the category “Do Not Use - Severe Health Risk to Janitor and Building Occupants.”

Naphthalene and PDCB have been shown to cause cancer in rodents and are classified by the National Toxicology Program and the International Association for Research on Carcinogens as potential human carcinogens. However, their biochemistry has not been well understood, said Xue.

The methodology used in the study may mark a scientific breakthrough in determining whether other chemicals may cause cancer in humans. " For the first time, we have developed a systematic way to screen virtually any potential cancer-causing chemical that may affect humans using these nematodes as animal models, " said Hue.

The study was published in the June 2006 issue of Nature Chemical Biology.
So there you are, the entire story on Mothballs and Air Fresheners and Chemicals that cause Apoptosis.    I also liked finding out that Necrosis is traumatic cell death which is not preferable over Apoptosis which is required for proper cell function.  Further to that if you want a natural way of getting rid of certain annoying bugs use this : 
 Soak orange peels in vinegar for two weeks in a sealed mason jar. Then pour the vinegar into a spray bottle. Use for cleaning or bug spray. This is great for ants!
IMG 8816 Homie had a flower!
A flower for a day and then its gone... Apoptosis made this possible.
AGL and the Fracking... recently Mike Moraza head of Up Stream Gas said the chemicals are under the sink.  Well with these findings about normal under your sink chemicals, Moraza's sink cupboard of chemicals are looking more dodgy each day.

Images @ Eminpee Fotography

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