How sure are you that the products you apply to care for your skin or lips are safe? This week there has been something of a furore in Germany due to the publication of a report about cosmetics containing mineral oil constituents. The research from a well respected foundation indicates that these products may contain potentially carcinogenic mineral oil based aromatic hydrocarbons. Have you recently checked the ingredients list of your favourite face cream or lip care product? More details below.
While you read the following article why not listen to my e-baroque compositions – just click on the box below:
or if techno music is more your cup of tea here are my techno/ambient compositions:
I hope you find the article below interesting…please visit chrisduggleby.com again.
In 1964 the German government set up the independent foundation ‘Stiftung Warentest’ to help consumers by providing impartial and objective information using scientifically based comparative investigations of goods and services. This week they published an investigation under the heading ‘Mineral Oils in Cosmetics: Critical Ingredients in Creams and Vaselines‘ (translated from the original German). In it they presented the results of tests on 25 selected cosmetics. All the products tested were found to contain what they describe as ‘critical substances‘ (kritischen Substanzen), some of which are believed to be potential carcinogens.
Specifically the investigation focused on the presence of Mineral Oil based Aromatic Hydrocarbons and concentrations upto 15000 times those normally measured in foodstuffs were measured. These cosmetic products may be used on the lips or skin and the take up of such substances into the human body and their effects are as yet uncertain.
It is not possible for me to go into all the details of this investigation in this short blog. However I am sure a number of visitors to ChrisDuggleby.com will be interested to learn more details about these German investigations and I have therefore included a special more detailed English report on my Risk Articles page. You can read that report by using the following link:
To get a flavour of the cosmetic brands involved (which included body lotions/oils/creams, products for babies, lips, hairstyling and vaselines) please take a look at the photographs on the link to the German article here. If you are particularly interested in one or more of the products in these pictures you might want to take a closer look at my English summary of the German research using the link above. Well established names like Nivea, Dove, Penaten, Bebe, Scholl, Blistex, Lobello, Satina, Schwarzkopf and Florena were evaluated.
Purcell – Amazing colours even at cold temperatures!
In addition to checking out the latest German research into cosmetics this week I also completed another track for my forthcoming album of contemporary interpretations of baroque masterpieces. This week’s contribution to the project was originally performed in the UK by it’s composer Henry Purcell in the early summer of 1691. Specifically my new arrangement was based on some incredible music from the Frost Scene of Purcell’s King Arthur Opera.
I will produce a more detailed description of the history behind this fascinating piece of music on the TRANSFORMATES.com website in the next couple of weeks. It is believed the work was inspired by the Frost Fairs on the Thames shortly before the music was written. When I first heard it I thought ‘Wow he must have borrowed some bits from Vivaldi’s Winter Concerto’. Then I realized that Purcell wrote this piece about 30 years before Vivaldi penned his famous four seasons!
In my interpretation I have rearranged the classical string instruments to play in staccato in order to reflect the freezing scene intended as the backdrop to this part of the opera. I have also added a harpsichord to try and enhance the baroque feel. The TRANSFORMATES 變Digital Choir also played a role to try and recapture the atmosphere originally performed by a solo tenor voice (the ‘Cold Genius‘). Actually I was very tempted to have a go at this part myself but I have spared listeners the pain of having to endure my vocal performance in this version (but I might still have a go and add it to my ‘techno’ collection later in the year!). I have named the recording ‘What Power Art Thou….!‘ which is taken from the first words of the tenor part.
All of the above uses pretty much standard Baroque type instrumentation. To try and ‘transform’ the piece I then connected up my more contemporary instruments. Right from the beginning you will notice a synthesizer playing one of the main themes. Although a lot of modern musicians get the computer to do a lot of the fancy stuff I prefer to play the whole piece manually on the keyboard from beginning to end. This piece includes many complex key changes which proved a bit of a challenge for my rusty playing skills. In addition, in order to create the classical synthesizer modulation effect (the wah-wah sound) I needed to use my right hand to turn the various knobs. This meant playing the music with my left hand which is not really my best.
Anyway to cut a long story short it took nearly a hundred takes to get the synthesizer part to a place where I was satisfied. Fortunately the distorted electric guitar which comes in a little later (with the choir) only required about 50 attempts – again playing the whole piece from beginning to end – no cutting and pasting clips or using fancy loop technology here! Here is the finished product:
Once again I have tried to provide a little eye candy with some flashy visual graphics. If you haven’t clicked on the video yet here are some screen shots of the graphics to try and wet your appetite.
So that is all for this week. Keep in mind that if you intend to use some skin or lip care products you should check the ingredients to see whether they contain any mineral oils. Likewise if you intend to kiss someone already coated with a lip-care product – ask them if you can take a look at the ingredients list first (the same applies to any intimate contacts in which Vaseline might play a role – we don’t want you getting inappropriately contaminated).
Have a great week.