January 21, 2012

How blind are we?

 The other day as I was putting in a fresh polythene bag in the trash can, I was hit by the sudden outburst of lemon fragrance. I was almost sure that it wasn't a thought-through decision to purchase the fragrant-trash bag pack, rather an involuntary one. I felt suffocated by the in-the-face kind of artificial fragrance that for sure was a result of some chemical concoction. As I got going with the rest of the errands, I realized that the trash bag episode had sparked off a debate in my mind.

Connecting strings of various conversations and observations, I was trying to arrive at some meaningful deduction.

Think LAUNDRY.  How can we not do with the detergent? Some of the recent detergent options have proven to knock off dirt in a jiffy! And then, we have fabric softeners. To induce some amount of freshness, there are fabric conditioners and fragrance inducers as well.

Think CLEANING. I happened to discuss washroom cleaning options with a Doctor-friend of mine. At least here, in this part of the world, we are spoilt for choice. We get cleaning agents that work on dirt, grime and mold to deliver results that can be equated to the ones shown in exaggerated advertisements. With the bleach sprays, which are, mind you, very fragrant as well, all dirt and mold vanish into thin air, in just minutes after spraying on the substrate! The dish-washing liquids/ powders am told are the strongest of all and carry some of the most potent carcinogens! Clogs in the drains? Worry not, for there are Clog removers. Just pour them in the drain, leave for a few minutes before you pour hot water down the drains. Even stubborn clogs give way in a few minutes.

Think HAIR HYGIENE. Shampoos for almost all kinds of hair and hair conditions. One couldn't ask for more! Conditioners of all kinds in all forms. Hair shine/ glow agents that help to set the hair and leave it undisturbed. And then, I have seen a host of other things, the names of which I forget.(Hair dye is another topic altogether. It gives enough dope for another post itself.)

There is nothing like stepping into a spic and span washroom, but, what if it's a hazardous chemical factory, in disguise? Unfortunately, all that matters these days is RESULT. And we must get them with the least effort and in an instant. Life has become easy with these products around. With life in the fast lane, it's just natural to embrace these convenience options. Even when there is awareness about their hazards, we turn a blind eye, out of sheer convenience.

WATER QUALITY. I dread to think about the deadly chemicals that we wash down our drains. I remember reading in a reputed science journal about how we contaminate ground water and cause irreparable damage with just our hair-cleansing products. While most of them carry active carcinogens, and if they seem to be mild on our hair, imagine the extent of harm caused by the strong detergents and cleaning agents? At the end of it, I come to the self-same conclusion. What isn't good for the environment is not good for our bodies.

Not that there aren't natural, environment-friendly options. There are enough and more for the mind that seeks. However, it isn't practical to suggest that we must stay away from convenience and go back to an era where people spent a lot of their time on cleaning and scrubbing. But, am sure there is a line in between, which we must will to find.