As a baby boomer (and enjoying some of the privileges of belonging to a dominant group in our society), I grew up believing that the government and its agencies would protect all of us. I got a rude awakening about 2 years ago when a friend directed me to the Skin Deep website to read about the contents of products we use every day on our bodies. I had learned through my association with Usana that most products (e.g., hand cream, toothpaste, cleansers, body lotion, etc.) contain preservatives or parabens which are harmful when absorbed into our bodies. However, Usana has developed a patented self-preserving technology such that no chemical preservatives are added to the ingredients of Usana’s Sense skin-care products. I did not understand the significance of this information until I visited the Skin Deep site. Most everything we use on our skin contains ingredients which are hazardous to our health! There are a handful of companies who have signed a special compact in which they promise to exclude hazardous ingredients, but I had never heard of most of these companies (except Usana :)). Look for “compact signers” if you visit the site. [You will see that Usana Health Sciences is a compact signer but their products are not listed in the Skin Deep database so they won’t appear if you do a search.] I was shocked, and I felt betrayed by the FDA and the US government. If you haven’t already reached this conclusion, you may now be wondering how I could be so naive. Well I am not naive anymore, and I’m glad I woke up. It takes a long time for these hazardous materials to accumulate in our bodies and begin to exert an effect, but then it’s often too late! Now I am watchful about what I put on my skin (deodorant, lotion, cleansers, etc.) as well as what I eat. We all need to pay attention because the FDA is allowing these harmful materials as if there is no alternative. The alternative does not even necessarily need to be more expensive. The alternative will also help keep the earth clean as well as our bodies. It took me a long time to get here, but I finally understand more about the personal responsibility of living. It’s up to me, not the FDA or anyone else, to ensure that I am taking care of myself and the earth.