Darin Olien, the renowned Superfood Hunter, co-host of the Emmy-Award-Winning Netflix docuseries … [+] “Down to Earth

Fatal Conveniences

Darin Olien, the renowned Superfood Hunter, co-host of the Emmy-Award-Winning Netflix docuseries “Down to Earth,” and original formulator of Shakeology, has been on a lifelong quest to uncover hidden dangers in our everyday lives. As a New York Times bestselling author and host of the widely popular podcast The Darin Olien Show, he curiously explores people, solutions, and health as well as life’s Fatal Conveniences™ – a segment of the show uncovering modern-day flaws and challenges that may be undermining our health and our environment, which he also explores in his new book ‘Fatal Conveniences’.

Olien’s groundbreaking work sheds light on what he terms ‘Fatal Conveniences’—everyday products and habits that silently undermine our health and environment. From laundry detergent, tap water, ultra-processed food, cheap clothing/fast fashion, slippery dental floss, cell phones, lotion, makeup, shampoo, deodorant, and cleaning products, among many others, these conveniences contain a myriad of chemicals, with minimal safety testing performed.

Olien’s message is clear: it’s time for brands and corporations to prioritize safety over profits.

Darin Olien’s journey into the world of health and wellness was significantly influenced by a personal tragedy. When he was at university in the 90s, his father began experiencing sensitivity to common chemical smells and fragrances from everyday products, like laundry detergents, shampoos, soaps, paints, and the list goes on. Even the off-gassing of a ‘regular’ T-shirt affected him. Through working closely with his doctors, they determined he had a condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)—meaning low levels of everyday-type chemicals found in everyday products can trigger physical symptoms. Symptoms can include headaches, brain fog, fatigue (the latter were the majority of what his father experienced), memory loss, joint-muscle aches, as well as potentially asthma.

The most dangerous places to work in healthcare

Two of the 10 most dangerous job sectors in America are in the healthcare industry, according to a recent analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Fitch Law Firm.

The firm, which focuses on personal injury and wrongful death suits, examined the number of nonfatal injuries in each industry per 200 million hours worked (or 100,000 full-time workers at 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year). The higher the rate of injuries, the more dangerous the law firm considers the job.

Ambulance services ranked third, with approximately 10.5 injuries for every 100,000 full-time workers. Veterinary services topped the list (13.8 injuries), followed by bottled water manufacturing (10.6).

Here is how other areas of helathcare ranked, listed alongside their overall rank out of more than 636 industries and rate of nonfatal injury per 100,000 workers.

3. Ambulance services — 10.5 injuries

5. Nursing and residential care facilities — 10.3 injuries

12. Hospitals — 7.6 injuries

17. Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals — 7.1 injuries

34. General medical and surgical hospitals — 6.1 injuries

81. Specialty (except psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals — 5.1 injuries

169. Outpatient care centers — 3.9 injuries

330. Home healthcare services — 2.6 injuries

347. Offices of physicians, mental health specialists — 2.5 injuries

414. Home health equipment rental — 2.1 injuries

454. Medical and diagnostic laboratories — 1.9 injuries

539. Surgical and medical instrument manufacturing — 1.2 injuries

632. Direct life, health and medical insurance carriers — 0.1 injuries


Surfactants can cause toxic chemicals in aerosols to last longer in the air

Research led by the University of Birmingham has found that hazardous chemicals commonly encountered in aerosols, such as those produced by cooking and cleaning, can be ‘protected’ in 3D structures formed by surfactants, causing them to last longer in the air.

Surfactants, or ‘surface-active agents’ are a class of chemical compounds that are used in everyday objects such as soaps and cleaning products, as emulsifiers, foaming and wetting agents. They are also released through natural processes such as sea spray and a key emission from cooking activities.

The research, published in Accounts of Chemical Research,was led by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with the University of Bath and the Central Laser Facility at the Science and Technology Facilities Council. It was funded mainly by the Natural Environment Research Council.

The scientists have built an extensive body of research over the last 5-6 years initially examining how one of these surfactants, oleic acid, a common cooking and marine emission, forms complex structures at the nanoscale, and how these affect the interaction of oleic acid with other chemicals in the air. Recent experiments explored increasingly complex mixtures of surfactants to establish the impact of a broad range of aerosol components encountered in the air.

Professor Christian Pfrang from the University of Birmingham who led the work said: “Aerosols are commonly created by everyday activities such as cooking and cleaning, and with modern life seeing people spending on average 90% of their time indoors there is an urgent need to understand how indoor aerosols are processed. Oleic acid is known to self-organise into a range of 3D nanostructures, some of which are highly viscous and can delay the ageing and thus the breakdown of key chemical components in aerosols.”

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