Will & Can Masks cause cancer? And if so – Why & HOW?

Now by in no way shape or form am I an anti-masker, or anti-vaxxer, but there have been many false claims in regards to masks and their side affects, from breathing issues to cancer. As someone who regularly has had to wear one for work, before it became mandatory most places, I was somewhat concerned in hearing of the many health issues that may develop from use, so I delved into researching the best I could with the resources I have at hand.

Firstly, to actually block germs, one will need to use one without a filter as shown below – Non-Medical VS Medical. With that out of the way, we proceed to the ‘breathing issue’ created once the mask is fully sealed.

Non-Medical VS Medical

Personal experience with the breathing issue, I’ve a slight trouble breathing already due to a smacking my nose from an accident years ago which makes my breathing sound laborious however, I seem to have done just fine with the cloth masks and the N95’s, but…I do find the circle style makes me dizzy…thankfully, there are a few different designs, I chose the duckbill one instead which allows a bigger air bubble past my beak of a nose, and it lets me breathe just fine. (See below for the ‘duckbill’ design.)

You also should be made aware there is a difference between KN95’s and N95’s, however the CDC has authorized the use of KN95 as a suitable alternative to N95 for its response to Covid-19. See a few article references below:

Rolling Stone
Smart Air
Popular Mechanics

Breathing issue aside, I started writing this blog post to clarify the information put forward in this Instagram video in particular.

As I’ve worked in the medical field for 6 years, 2 of which I wore a mask to ensure the patients that had open surgery didn’t get infection from us. So naturally when this whole ‘masks give you cancer’ thing came up, I was like…um…so I used them for years and I have many friends who still do, was I in danger and are they?! What I discovered was the chemical that your speaking of, Ethylene oxide, a “known carcinogen” which is used to sterilize surgical masks. And ONLY in use for hospital settings, as they it sterilize the entire package, not the individual masks, and only in rare cases do they sterilize each mask, as it is ill-advised by the FDA.

When surgical masks are sold for use by health care professionals, they may sometimes be packaged in bulk for terminal sterilization — when products are sterilized in their final packaging — and will be labeled as sterile, the spokesperson explained. If sterilized, face masks or surgical masks would likely be sterilized using ethylene oxide.

——–

According to the World Health Organization, ethylene oxide is a “potent neurotoxin, a known human carcinogen, a potential reproductive hazard, and an allergic sensitizer” that can cause health problems with acute overexposure and chronic exposure. Lymphoma and leukemia are the cancers most commonly linked to occupational exposure to ethylene oxide, although stomach and breast cancers may also be associated, according to the National Cancer Institute.

At the same time, “ethylene oxide sterilization is an important sterilization method that manufacturers widely use to keep medical devices safe,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Ethylene oxide may sometimes be the only method of effectively sterilizing equipment that would otherwise be damaged in other sterilization processes, the FDA notes.

About 50% of all sterile medical devices in the U.S. are sterilized with ethylene oxide, according to the FDA. The FDA encourages medical device makers to follow consensus standards to ensure residual levels of ethylene oxide are within safe limits.

There are a limited number of online listings where manufacturers claim their masks are sterilized with ethylene oxide, also known as oxirane. However, according to the FDA, face masks sold to consumers (including cloth masks) are generally not sold as sterile, and surgical masks are not typically provided as sterile.

When surgical masks are sold for use by health care professionals, they may sometimes be packaged in bulk for terminal sterilization — when products are sterilized in their final packaging — and will be labeled as sterile, the spokesperson explained. If sterilized, face masks or surgical masks would likely be sterilized using ethylene oxide.

As with other medical devices sterilized using ethylene oxide, FDA guidance helps ensure any remaining levels are within safe limits.

Early on in the pandemic, Illinois-based medical supplies manufacturer and distributor Medline Industries sought FDA approval to resterilize used masks using ethylene oxide. Crucially, however, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends against using ethylene oxide for resterilizing single-use filtering face piece respirators — masks like N95s — due to risks associated with the chemical. 3M, which manufactures masks and personal protective equipment, also warns against using ethylene oxide to decontaminate masks because wearers could breathe in residual amounts.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/11/fact-check-masks-dont-lead-lung-cancer-but-some-include-chemicals/6176080002/

Ok, you say, I found a website where it says they sanitize each mask!? Now note that these are the Chinese masks that aren’t approved for use by medical nor the movies….3M, the north American maker disapproves of this method as well as the FDA.

(Also, if you do take the time to read the article above, it does address this)

There are a limited number of online listings where manufacturers claim their masks are sterilized with ethylene oxide, also known as oxirane.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/11/fact-check-masks-dont-lead-lung-cancer-but-some-include-chemicals/6176080002/

I feel we as humans are too quick to jump on things when we are afraid, and we end up with fearmongers stirring up the pot, when it is an issue that is already taken care of by the powers that be. Not saying they are perfect, just saying someone up the food chain thought of this problem before a keyboard warrior noticed a huge issue, which in fact isn’t allowable by the FDA. I’m not saying I’m an expert either, I’ve only done a month of online research before creating this post, I don’t work in the creation, packaging, shipping and any other part of the process of mask creation, but I’m just hoping those that say they are experts aren’t completely lying to millions with a lie so large it would kill us all off.

So with all that said, if you feel worried about your provided masks, do your own research, and buy your own N95’s if you wish to ensure that you’re not supplied incorrectly.

Now, all that being said – whether you believe in COVID or not, I’d like to just point out…I’ve only been sick ONCE this year, where I was getting sick anywhere from 3-6 times a year before COVID….it’s been nice people haven’t been spewing their germs, being a lot cleaner in general, and more germ conscious then they were before. I hope we continue to put care and effort into keeping things clean, as it’s nice not to be sick, COVID or otherwise!

What is Onsen Therapy?

Glad you asked!

This practical, no nonsense type treatment that is used to structurally balance all the joints in the body so they can open and close properly without pain.

Training in Onsen TherapyTM has provided me with the tools to help those who have not found help from other Forms of Therapy. Students can re-educate the joints by detailed assessment and correction of those joints.

As therapists, we accomplish that with this protocol:

  1. We assess Structure:
    • What’s out of place?
  2. We assess Muscles:
    • What is too strong or weak pulling our structure/joints out of place?
  3. We retrain and restore Muscle Memory, so that:
    • your muscles can once again hold
    • your structure is where it should be
  4. We re-balance the Muscle with:
    • a specialized muscle-energy technique
    • an isometric exercise treatment protocol
    • light transverse friction massage
    • 2-4 stretch/strengthening exercises at home

Onsen TherapyTM gives relief to pain conditions, for example:

  • -98% of all arthritic cases
  • Fibromyalgia, chronic pain, burning, scaring, lesions
  • -Spinal bulges, herniation, fusions, frozen shoulders
  • -Repetitive strain, ie athletic and work injuries to the wrists and elbows
  • -Auto injuries, neck, foot, knee, back.
  • -Spiral Fractures
  • -Migraines, Sciatica, hip replacements, hip pain, and put simply other unexplained pain.

Please wear loose garments, such as a t-shirt and stretch pants or shorts when you attend an Onsen TherapyTM Session, where we will balance your structure for you to feel the best you can!

-Original Write up accredited to Linda Leeson, Therapist & Instructor.

Blood Based Dieting – Dieting for Your Blood Type

An important thing to consider when dieting is your Blood Type. Why, you ask? Well, something like cucumbers can make someone of Blood Type O decrease in microbiome diversity, which is bad! At the same time, cucumbers will increase this in a Blood Type AB person, while also making it easier for them to lose weight. (To understand more why lowering of this is bad, check out this article here.)

There are four main blood groups (types of blood) – A, B, AB and O. Your blood group is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents. Each group can be either RhD positive or RhD negative, which means in total there are eight main blood groups.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/blood-groups/

Keeping this in mind, I feel it is wise to check each item you ingest before starting a new fad diet. Something simple could be holding you back!

The Blood Type Diet

Story Twisters

I like to talk – SURPRISE! However, when it comes down to it, what I especially like is exchanging stories – you tell a story, I tell a story vice versa – I am fairly open and completely honest about my life, as I don’t believe in keeping secrets, or hiding how I feel, who knows maybe my stories will help you, as I know many people’s stories have helped me! However, if you are going to judge everything I say without an open mind, I probably won’t share anymore stories with you.

That being said, one day, I realized things I had said were coming back to me twisted through another in an effort to make the subject of my story look like an ass, this person also feeding the information to someone else I had already moved away from speaking to, as similar events had occurred. I’m all for sharing stories, but to manipulate a story for your own use! – It wasn’t just one story either, it was every single one that I told about this particular person, and they decided according to their finite knowledge that this person was a piece of garbage and that I shouldn’t associate. – I was appalled, and immediately cut ties with this person, removing them from Facebook and any other social site.

I’d like to be very clear. Just because your way of life is different then mine, and you don’t care or want to understand it, doesn’t give you the right to pass critical judgement behind my back and say what I should or shouldn’t do. I will tell you my opinion on a situation if you ask for it, based on my experiences, but I will NOT say you HAVE to follow what I say, it is your life.

Now I write this in hopes of making some soul feel better about doing the same. It is not right for others to twist your stories, and you have a right to say NO and to remove these harmful people from your life. ‘It takes all sorts to make a world!’ as my late New Zealander friend Alice used to say, and it is up to you which ones you chose to love, and why, not everyone else’s business.

P.S. If you feel I ever missed or misconstrued information in telling a story, please let me know!! I’m only human, so know if I did, it wasn’t in malicious intent.

Yew Berries – A Pretty Killer

I spotted an ‘unknown’ berry a few weeks back, however not knowing the name of the berry doesn’t mean I’m not aware of when its prime time for picking is, so I had set out today to get a few, in hopes of bringing home and researching. As I was harvesting the fells, a grandma and her two grand-kids passed me and she asked ‘Are those berries edible?’ to which I replied, I was pretty sure the berries weren’t poisonous, but there was something odd about them that pointed to toxicity, so I’d be researching when I got home, as I was pretty sure they were soap berries or something to that effect.. She correctly nomenclatured them as Yew berries, which, I was correct, the berry itself is completely harmless, however as little as THREE of the seeds can do incredible harm! Even the foliage itself can kill you!

“The entire yew bush, except the aril (the red flesh of the berry covering the seed), is poisonous. It is toxic due to a group of chemicals called taxine alkaloids. Their cardiotoxicity is well known and act via calcium and sodium channel antagonism, causing an increase in cytoplasmic calcium currents of the myocardial cells. The seeds contains the highest concentrations of these alkaloids.[25][26] If any leaves or seeds of the plant are ingested, urgent medical advice is recommended as well as observation for at least 6 hours after the point of ingestion.[27][28] “

Yew Tree

These plants are located right between the new dog park and playground on Richter. With that in mind, all I can say be aware of the plants around you and watch your pets and kids!

Now that being said, everything in moderation!!! This plant, in controlled dosages, is a beneficial plant for extreme conditions, such as cancer and tapeworms. For more on that, click here!

Incentive Overtime Offered for Alberta Nurse

Looking for a job that comes with lots of money? Look no further! Become a nurse and work for Alberta’s healthcare, (as this practice below is not active in BC) and you’ll never have to worry again!

Incentive Overtime is being offered to nurses when no one can be found at straight time. What that means is that you offer out the shift to everyone at Straight time, then Over time, then once all calls have been exhausted, you send out a final call-out to everyone, regardless if you are straight time or over time, you will get Overtime when you go in.

Hearing of this practice petrifies me, I feel like patient care is being lost in the dollar signs. I hope this practice NEVER comes to BC.

Pharmacy Dispensing Fees

I went to pick up my prescription the other day, and realized it was a bit more expensive then I remembered. I had recently moved pharmacies as a new location had opened up conveniently under my work location. However, this location had been tacking on an extra 4 dollars for a dispensing fee! For the extra 5 minutes it takes me to go to the other location, I’ll keep my 4 dollars thanks!

So, word to the wise, ask what their dispensing fees are before hoping over to a more convenient location!

‘Sticky Weeds’ – A gardeners Nightmare, a Herbalist’s dream

The first hint that a plant is good for you, is if it’s defense mechanisms are good at making you want to leave it alone! Sadly most gardeners feel removing said plants is better then using their qualities, creating a large gap in knowledge which separates your average gardener from a herbalist, IE, those who want it to look pretty, vs those who can live off the land.

Take for example Echinacea, most of us know it is an immune boosting plant, however, if you’ve tried harvesting one, you know you’ll need gloves for the spines and heavy duty to snips to break up the spiny flower once dried.

As per a thread on this site, ‘Sticky Weeds’ , bedstraw or its official name Galium Aparine should be removed asap as it will spread and cause havoc. Here’s a thought, you about you learn how to control it and use the benefits of the plant, instead of throwing out the baby with the bath water? Like most ‘weeds’ we’ve been told to remove, this ‘annoyance’ holds medicinal properties. Galium Aparine is a natural cancer fighter, yet whens the last time you’ve seen this as an ingredient?

Do yourself a favor, find out what’s growing in your yard, and see if it will help you before removing it! And in doing so, you’ll more then likely uncover a wealth of knowledge that will help you for years to come 🙂 The earth gives us what we need, let’s use it!

Carrot Cake Tea

Ingredients:

Other Items Required:

  1. Mortar & Pestle
  2. Mixing Bowl
  3. Loose Leaf Tea Ball or French Press, etc

Preparation

  1. Gather Ingredients
  2. Using a mortar and pestle grind each ingredient then put in mixing bowl
  3. Mix thoroughly
  4. Test out! – For every cup of water, use half a tablespoon of tea mix

Ready in 15 minutes

Serves 10-13 people

Tips

When grinding ingredients, take care not to grind too fine as it will leave a layer of silt in the bottom of your tea cup.

Note: Orange Mint has been suggested as a substitute for Orange Peel, however I have yet to test this yet.

Step By Step Guide with Tips!

What’s in Your Tea? – Orange Peel

When sourcing your orange peels, be aware that they pick up pesticides! After hearing about major tea companies crafting teas with unacceptable pesticide levels, and orange peko being the top, I delved into to check if there is any way to retain the flavor while eliminating the chemical – No verified safe methods have been found.

If you still choose to use orange peel in your tea, it is suggested to use ‘organic’, however, organic is just a title, and the source should be researched.

As I do grow a lot of my own tea ingredients, someday I see myself growing a little orange tree, but for now, I’ll be limiting the amount of teas I make with this item, as it’s hard to source safely.