Opinion

“Totally Awesome” Consumer Advisory by Timothy Gates, CW Correspondent

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“Most of the chemicals, if not all, have common household uses.” Charlotte Batson of Batson and Company made this statement in an interview with Don Dubuc on WWL AM 870 that took place on June 12, 2015, with regard to the Helis Oil and Gas Company’s hydraulic fracturing endeavor in Mandeville.  As ridiculous as the statement sounds, Batson is absolutely correct on this point.

totallyawesome - CopyOne such product is LA’s Totally Awesome, “as seen on TV” and making its rounds locally and cheaply.  The active ingredient of this particular “non-toxic and biodegradable” cleaner is 2-butoxyethanol.  Also the main component of Corexit (the dispersant sprayed in the Gulf after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster), the substance is an endocrine disruptor that allows the passage of other chemicals and toxins through cell membranes.  The website claims the product is “non-toxic,” and the bottle is printed with the advice “Keep Out Of Reach Of Children” and “Warning:  Eye Irritant” with further precautions.

This may not be the most toxic fracking fluid component, as per the brief list of substances, many carcinogenic, compiled and published in a letter by local Oncologist Dr. Jay Saux, but its use as an everyday household cleaner seems excessive.  This writer has no background in endocrinology, but a basic understanding of the action of this substance should lead one to the conclusion that it can have very negative effects on biological systems.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (1998):  “This Public Health Statement is the summary chapter from the Toxicological Profile for 2-butoxyethanol. This information is important because this substance may harm you.  The effects of exposure depend on the dose, the duration, how you are exposed, personal traits and habits, and whether other chemicals are present.”

Considering that at least one individual known to this writer has endured 8 months of detoxification and rehabilitation from exposure to Corexit after diving in the post-disaster Gulf of Mexico during clean-up and recovery, consumers may want to think twice about this super-cheap cleaner.

Contact Timothy at covweekly@gmail.com