Modern Life

Happy Friday, Friends!!!

Friday is Venus‘ Dayin the tradition of attributing one day of the week to each of the 7 planets visible to the unaided eye. Think Sunday (Sun), Saturday (Saturn). (Those are the obvious ones.) Venus lights up the night sky as the brightest planet.


It’s striking how electricity and modern life pull us away from the night sky. How calming must it have been to get hours and hours of “evening sky time” every night?!

Modern Life

You have to admit that the modern era exposes us to an amazing amount of stressors that hit us on every level of our existence.

We are more and more challenged to set good boundaries for ourselves, both in body and soul.

“Good fences make good neighbors”, as Frost references in Mending Wall.

Healthy Boundary

A Healthy Boundary region is neither stagnant nor inflexible. There is influx and outflow and remodeling. The body can shows us examples. Just study the cell wall’s permeability. To have a healthy boundary in our soul life we need to stay present to the subtle changes that are constantly weaving around and through us

Your Epidermis is Showing!

All of us are quite familiar with the boundary region in the body made up by the skinWe learn a lot about each other through what the skin has to say. 

It has a sensory role, of course, and it also breathes. Not only does it let off fluid and toxins, but it is active in absorption too. The skin assimilates atmospheric gases and is actually a very efficient surface for absorbing medicines…. or toxins.

What’s in that lotion or perfume or sunscreen you’ve been using?  I want to tell you, it matters.

The Point

That brings me to the point of the letter.

This is a question I asked myself this week:

With all we know about the skin as an efficient absorber, is it ok to use liberal amounts of antibacterial gel?


We might be at this for awhile, how should we adjust?

Are you using a ton of alcohol gel? It was hard to keep stocked at first. Now suppliers have popped up from who-knows-where to get their product on the market.

1st point. Reminder that washing with soap and water is best… and safest. Period. Wash for 20 seconds. Let the gels be your back-up when you can’t wash but have had an exposure. When you need to use an alcohol gel, it’s recommended to use at least 60% ethyl alcohol to be effective. The least amount of gel you need is best. Why? Keep reading.

2nd point. Be educated and check the contents. Definitely make sure your gel doesn’t have triclosan. DON’T USE TRICLOSAN. This is a chemical that was used in antibacterial products over the last several decades.  It does not offer any benefit to your health and it has lots of toxicities:

  • It can lead to antibiotic resistant bacteria.
  • it interferes with the body’s regulation of thyroid hormone.
  • it leads to a higher chance of developing allergies, including peanut allergies and hayfever.
  • and it is toxic for the environment.

3rd point. Ethanol gels can be contaminated with methanol, which is quite toxic. Methanol on the skin readily absorbs and can make you dizzy, can lead to blindness, and even death, especially in young children.
FDA has issued a recall on 75 different sanitation gel products that were improperly manufactured and tested positive for methanol.

The FDA highlighted nine products from the Mexican manufacturer Eskbiochem SA de CV, though the agency did not say where in the U.S. the products were sold. The products are:
·       All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
·       Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
·       CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
·       Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
·       The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
·       CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
·       CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
·       CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
·       Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer

The full FDA list is growing and is here.
You might want to clear your product with FDA list, and avoid products left out by stores.

4th point. Even if the ethanol gel is not contaminated, it is only safe when used in moderation. Its use can lead to dry skin and irritation and even infection. Alcohol poisoning is rare but can be a real problem, especially in children who are more inclined to ingest gels when they are colored.

The most troublesome thing in my view that  ethanol has been found to act as a penetration enhancer for many chemicals.  Basically, it makes us more open to the environment.  The barrier function is weakened. The barrier is opened and not with our blessing.  More of the environment is able to pass in.  The concern is the passage of Toxins.


So if we are going to be wise in our use of sanitizer, we should be mindful of our boundary function and careful of whatever we put on our skin and what we have in our environment.

A healthy house has non-toxic environmentally safe cleaning products: best for the environment and best for you. Buy clean, high quality, natural products for personal grooming and hygiene.




There is a family-oriented documentary called “Stink!” which shines a light on the unregulated use of toxic chemicals in U.S. consumer products, from baby wipes and shampoo to floor cleaners and laundry detergents.
The movie details how manufacturers, with the aggressive backing of the chemical industry, routinely conceal thousands of potentially toxic ingredients in the baby care, household and personal care products you and your family use every day.

  • Don’t overuse sanitation gels in an effort to be healthy
  • Take the option to wash with soap and water to sanitize when available.
  • Minimize your chemical exposure. You make an investment in your health when you buy natural cleaning and hygiene products.
  • HOCL (hypochlorous acid) spray is something I have mentioned before, and in my opinion can be used to supplement your approach and minimize your alcohol gel use.

Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL)


It has been around for a long time and is a food grade product. It is not proven or listed by the CDC to be active against the novel coronavirus, but it is viricidal and many people familiar with it are comfortable with its place in the pandemic. I have a spray bottle that lives in my car, one at home, and one at work. I carry it into stores and use it often while I’m shopping. HOCl exists in the body and is an important part of the innate immune system. HOCl is produced by white blood cells and is involved in boundary building against foreign substances.

Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) has many characteristics of an ideal disinfectant as it has broad-spectrum efficacy, is odorless, non-flammable, non-toxic, fast drying, environmentally friendly and is easy to use.

Consider it as an option.

Parting thought

I personally believe our task is to face the stressors of the modern era and our individual challenges and to receive the lessons they bring. Let the struggle with them shape you. Don’t waste any time or energy wishing they weren’t here.

  • Accept them.
  • Face them.
  • Find a way to thrive in the face of them. Not only in spite of them, but because of them!

And in doing so be part of the legions working to transform them and the world we live in.

Here’s to today!
May we use it for Good.

In Solidarity,

Dr Cooney and staff