All posts by CDM

This author is affiliated with, and supported by, CDM Creative Studios, London.

Agony From a Shampoo Bottle – Allergies Due to Hair Care Products – a Long Term Solution

A few years ago I effectively eliminated allergy problems I had been having caused by washing detergent products. My symptoms varied from allergic contact dermatitis to recurring headaches and sinus pains (different symptoms caused by different products). The solution was simple – I started washing everything in pure water. I do have a water softener because where I live has very hard water.

Washing Powder Allergic Contact Dermatitis

From the responses to my article about this topic I discovered that many people also worry that they are allergic to their hair care products like shampoo and conditioner.  This made me wonder whether a similar solution to these allergies might also work. Is it possible to go through life without using shampoo?

Allergy area – One month after eliminating washing powder

Based on my washing powder allergy solution I decided the only way to answer this question would be to use myself as a guinea pig.

For many years I have had very short hair and regularly in the summer I would go bald and shave my head for a couple of months (see pic).  Basically this was just a style thing – it was much cooler in summer without hair (and of course I saved money on hair care products).

As autumn arrived I let my hair grow back again and usually didn’t  use shampoo again until it was about half a centimetre long. The reason I started to use shampoo each Autumn was because as my hair grew longer it seemed to get more greasy.

About 3 years ago I decided to stop using the shampoo and simply washed my hair everyday in water under the shower. By strictly washing my hair with water each morning (but no shampoo etc) the greasy feel did not arise during the winter period of growth. I shaved my head the next spring and the cycle started again.

When I explained to my lady friends that I did not need any shampoo they pointed out that this was fine for a man but they could not follow this approach as their hair was much longer. However, none of my long haired friends had actually tried to go without shampoo.

Not using shampoo (no poo) is easier with short hair

So I decided to let my hair grow long and continue not to use shampoo  to see if I turned into a grease ball. After a couple of years my hair is now shoulder length (pic lower down – cheap model!) and quite frankly I believe it is in a better condition than it has ever been.

No poo with long hair is fine if you thoroughly wash your hair with pure warm water every day

Since my teenage dandruff days I had been a committed user of Head and Shoulders shampoo. Interestingly after 3 years of not using the shampoo there is not a spec of dandruff in sight – it is almost as if the shampoo was feeding the microbes that cause flaking of the scalp.

One of my cheaper models – after 2 years growth without shampoo (just water)

In addition I no longer get those little scalp spots that would arise from time to time. I suspect these were also a reaction to the chemicals in the shampoo (not necessarily an allergic reaction – it could just be sensitivity or irritation caused by chemicals on the hair follicle).

Very importantly, from a comfort and aesthetic point of view my hair is not greasy. I found that it is important to give it a thorough rub in the shower and use warm water (I suspect the warm temperature helps the water to remove excess volatile oils that build up). Shampoo is designed to also remove such oils but it does such a good job that the scalp becomes depleted in its natural oils. The scalp responds by overproducing these oils which makes your hair more greasy – so the shampoo becomes even more necessary. A rather vicious ‘greasy’ cycle.

Same cheap model – prepared for a windy day

So I can now safely say that it is possible to go without shampoo on a long term basis even if you have long hair. You do, however, need to thoroughly wash your hair with water every day to avoid a greasy build up. I have heard of people going without washing their hair at all – they claim it adjusts and comes into balance. I have not been able to go without any washing at all for more than 2 weeks – the greasy build up simply became unpleasant. Perhaps I wasn’t patient enough – but as I normally get a shower every day I might as well wash my hair too.

By the way I also do not use any soap in the shower – the formulation of my favourite soap changed and I became allergic to it (itches under the armpits and crotch). I stopped using the soap and all problems disappeared (see my article using the link below).

Prime crotch itch Suspect -Reformulated Pears Soap

In conclusion – if you think you are allergic to hair care products you could simply try replacing them with other products which perhaps  do not have the particular agent causing the allergy. Alternatively try and eliminate hair care products from your life completely and simply wash your hair regularly (and thoroughly) with pure water.

My approach – daily thorough rubbing in the shower, comb when wet (comb cleaned under hot water each day – removes excess oils) and if possible – allow to dry naturally

After a month or two you may find. like me, that you are quite pleased with the result. The hair actually appears to be able to condition itself – I guess that is why  the scalp evolved to produce natural oils. If your hair is greasy at first I recommend you persist because the greasiness may actually be your body’s way of responding to the excessive soapiness from many years of shampoo use.

Please do not hesitate to share your experiences with other readers using the comments box (P.S. In the interest of scientific transparency – My ‘expensive’ models still use rather expensive hair care products – they are included to add glamour to the article!)

Chris Duggleby

Don’t panic – if you replace shampoo with water you wont need to cover up !

If you are interested in reading my other health focused articles try the following

Torture In The Shower – Face and Body Soap Allergies – Main Suspect: Pears Transparent Soap

Poison in your Washing Machine: Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Laundry Detergents, Softeners, Conditioners and Whiteners

Is Alzheimer’s caused by the Gum Disease Bacterium P. Gingivalis – A Dementia Prevention/Treatment Breakthrough?

Toxic Chemicals in Sex Toys – 18 Vibrators, Cock Rings, Love Balls Tested – Only 3 Get All Clear

My T-shirt Made Me Sick – Textile Allergies – Sinusitis From Your Underwear


Is Alzheimer’s caused by the Gum Disease Bacterium P. Gingivalis – A Dementia Prevention/Treatment Breakthrough?

Research just published presents evidence of a causal link between the microbe causing common gum disease and Alzheimer’s. This exciting discovery opens up the possibility of dementia prevention and treatment in totally unexpected ways. There may be a powerful preventative tool in every bathroom!

Alzheimer’s link to Gum Disease Bacterium P Gingivalis – Preventative Tool

As a former Bacteriologist I and many in the medical scientific community have become very excited by research published in the respected, peer reviewed, scientific journal Science Advances on 23rd Jan. 2019 (link to original paper is here).

The research presents evidence that the common gum disease bacterium P. gingivalis may be involved in causing Alzheimer’s disease and proposes an approach to treating the disease that attacks the neuron damaging proteins produced by the microbe.

When did you last visit your dental hygienist?

We always have to be cautious about giving too much credence to ‘miracle cures’ until they have been repeated by other scientists and proven in large scale human trials but the results of this piece of work come very close to fulfilling Koch’s postulates – a set of criteria acknowledged by medical scientists as necessary to prove that a microbe is the cause of a particular disease (Robert Koch formulated the germ theory of disease).

If confirmed this would not be the first time we have had to throw away previous ideas about the causes of a commonly occurring disease. I remember many years ago when I lived in Tokyo, one of my colleagues was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. He was told that this was probably caused by stress or diet (or both) and needed to find ways to modify his lifestyle (difficult if you are a businessman in Japan!) and take medications to reduce his stomach acid. A few years later the Australian doctor Barry Marshall discovered that stomach ulcers were caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (and received a Nobel prize for his work). This led to a totally different approach to treatment.

Know the entry point!

Alzheimer’s disease has for many years been associated with the increased incidence of two proteins in the brain called amyloid and tau (the so called ‘sticky plaques’). It was thought (as with high stomach acid and ulcers) that these proteins may in some way be ‘causing’ dementia and much research has been put into trying to find ways of reducing the presence of these proteins in the brain. To date this approach has not been very successful.

What if these proteins, rather than causing Alzheimer’s, are actually the body’s way of fighting off a harmful bacterial infection? In fact such plaques have been found in the brains of people in their 90s with no sign of dementia! In 2016 scientists did indeed discover that the amyloid protein seems to be produced by cells as a sticky defence against bacteria.

Is this a sign of a healthy brain?

A important clue connecting gum disease with Alzheimer’s came in research published in the BMJ Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry (28th Oct 2009 link to paper is here). In this J.M.Nobel and coworkers found that levels of a periodontis (gum disease) were linked to the impaired delayed memory and impaired calculation symptoms typical of dementia. At that time it wasn’t clear if the damaged brain was allowing the microbes to invade it or whether the bugs were actually causing the brain damage (the two were linked – but which one was the cause?).

At this point several research teams started to focus more on the relationship between gum disease microbe P. gingivalis and Alzheimer’s disease. Mice, genetically engineered to develop Alzheimer’s were found to have increased Alzheimer’s symptoms following infection with the gum disease microbe. P. gingivalis has also been found to invade and cause inflamation in the brain regions affected by Alzheimer’s in humans. The microbe can also lead to typical Alzheimer’s brain inflation, neuron (brain nerve cell) damage and amyloid protein plaques in healthy mice.

Medical practices have improved considerably since the middle ages

In the latest research (published on 23rd Jan 2019) two poisonous proteins which P. gingivalis uses to ‘eat’ human tissues were found in 99 and 96% of human brain samples from 54 Alzheimer’s patients’ hippocampus (the part of the brain involved in memory). These bacterial poisons are called gingipains and were also found in parts of the brain producing high levels of the alzheimer’s tau protein (and thus also linked to cognitive decline).

This team also looked for, and found, P. gingivalis DNA in the part of the brain involved in conceptual thinking, the cerebral cortex, in the brains of three Alzheimer’s patients.

A unique feature of this report is that it demonstrated the presence of the common gum disease bacterium DNA in human brains and it showed that the bacterial poisons (gingipains) were in the same location as the plaques typically associated with Alzheimer’s.

One thing that makes the team confident P. gingivalis may be the ‘cause‘ of Alzheimer’s rather than its ‘result‘ relates to the fact that some people with no symptoms of  dementia can have small levels of P. gingivalis as well as plaque proteins in their brain. This indicates that the microbes are invading the brain before symptoms of Alzheimer’s become apparent – it is known that the plaque proteins (amyloid and tau) can accumulate in the brain for 10-20 years before external symptoms of dementia appear.

More evidence that the gum disease bacteria actually ’cause’ Alzheimer’s came from studies in which mice were given P. gingivalis. This lead to brain infection by the bacterium, production of the amyloid protein, tangling of tau proteins (= plaques) and brain cell (neuron) damage in those areas normally affected by Alzheimer’s.

More work is needed to determine how P. gingivalis gets into the brain. If dental plaque is allowed to build up underneath your gums localised areas of inflammation can build up where the microbe thrives and releases its poisonous tissue destroying proteins (= bad breath!). Interestingly people with fewer teeth (a symptom of chronic periodontitis) are also more likely to have dementia.

As the P. gingivalis destroys the tissues around the inflamed gums it can enter the blood stream and get to other parts of the body. It may also enter the blood if the gums are damaged through disease, eating or incorrect brushing. Although typically the blood brain barrier protects us from microbes entering the brain we know that P. gingivalis can get inside white blood cells and the cells lining blood vessels. This could be how it can get into the brain. Another route to the brain may be via nerve cells near the mouth – the microbes could travel along these nerve highways into the brain.

Once it is in the brain there are two possible ways these bacteria can cause damage. On the one hand they may encourage the production of high amounts of amyloid – the body’s defence against bacterial attack – which then leads to inflammatory damage by the immune system. Alternatively the microbe could use its gingipain proteins to damage brain tissues in the same way it destroys tissues elsewhere in the body. The kind of inflammation in your gums might also be taking place in your brain!

Could this also be happening in your brain?

If it is confirmed that this is a cause of Alzheimer’s disease (there could well be more than one cause) it opens up some interesting possibilities regarding prevention and treatment. Not everyone develops gum disease (good dental hygiene is key here) and not everyone with gum disease develops dementia – so presumably the actual level of damage/inflammation could play a key role. Also genetic factors will influence a person’s susceptibility to the progression of the disease

We can expect a lot of research to now be undertaken into how the brain can be helped to defend itself against Porphyromonas gingivalis infections. These bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance (not surprising as they live in the cavity into which we pour most of our antibiotic prescriptions!) so this approach may be limited in effectiveness. One exciting area of research could be aimed at attacking the bacterial toxins (the gingipains) which are known to attack a particular amino acid in the immune system’s defence protein ApoE (patients with a mutant of ApoE having an excess of this amino acid are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s).

I. for one, will be turning up with increased enthusiasm at my 6 monthly appointment with the dental hygienist next week!

If you found this interesting please visit my (mainly) health focused blog again – here is the link). If you become a ‘follower’ you will get an alert when a new article is published.

Chris Duggleby 

Toxic Chemicals in Sex Toys – 18 Vibrators, Cock Rings, Love Balls Tested – Only 3 Get All Clear

Lovers  have intimate contact with Sex Toys. A German Consumer organisation has analysed poisonous chemical levels in Vibrators, Cock rings and Love Balls sold in sex shops and on line. Do you know what you put next to your mucous membranes

Toxic Chemicals in Sex Toys 12 Vibrators Tested See article below

This week I came across this important research publication in Germany. It is from a highly respected independent organisation set up in 1964 to investigate consumer goods and services by the German Government. You will find similar Health related Articles at my website

On 30th January 2019 the German Consumer Organisation ‘Stiftung Warentest‘ (Homepage) published the results of its analysis of the chemical composition of 18 sex toys that it had purchased from erotic shops or via online retailers. These included 12 vibrators, 3 love balls and 3 penis (or cock) rings.

Toxic Chemicals in Sex Toys 18 Vibrators, Love Balls, Cock rings – Tested by Warentest

The prices of the items purchased varied from 6.8 to 165 Euro. Of all the products tested only 3 were found to be free of toxic substances. Five of the ‘Toys’ tested (4 vibrators and 1 Love Ball) were judged seriously inadequate (‘mangelhaft’) due to quantities of the substances found. Typical substances found were

  • Plasticiser diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) – which can affect fertility
  • Poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – which are possible/probable human carcinogens (linked to skin, lung, bladder, liver and stomach cancers in well established animal model studies)
  • Phenol – suspected of causing genetic defects
  • Nickel – potential allergen
Toxic Chemicals in Sex Toys  – what are you placing near your mucous membranes?

Interestingly there was no significant correlation found between the poor test results and the price or smell of the products. Two of the most expensive vibrators were among the worst test results. Many products had a ‘plasticky’ smell when unwrapped but some of the smelly ones’ test results gave no cause for concern.

The items tested are marketed to the German public under the following names:


  • Big Teaze Toys I rub my duckie Travel Size
  • Doc Johnson The Realistic Cock Vibrating 6 Inch
  • Fun Factory Ocean Mini Vibrator
  • Mystim Elegant Eric
  • NMC In-Style
  • OV-Großhandel You2Toys Space Rider 3000
  • Pipedream Fetish Fantasy Series Vibrating Hollow Strap-On
  • Satisfyer Pro 2 Next Generation
  • Sevencreations Bijou Sassy
  • Svakom Siime Camera Vibrator
  • We-Vibe Sync Couples Vibrator
  • Womanizer W500 Pro

Love Balls:

  • Joydivison Joyballs Secret
  • Lelo Luna Beads Noir
  • OV-Großhandel You2Toys Smile Loveballs Sporty

Cock Rings:

  • Durex Intense Vibrations
  • Fifty Shades Freed Lost in each other
  • OV-Großhandel You2Toys Get Hard 3 Penisringe
Unhealthy Chemicals  found in  Vibrators, Love Balls , and Cock rings

It is possible that these products are marketed under other names in your region therefore you may want to check the picture gallery which is on the Warentest website – the link to the article is here: ‘Sextoys im Test: Nur 3 von 18 Sexspielzeugen ganz ohne Schad­stoffe’. Then click on ‘Getestete Produkte‘ to open the ‘Products Tested’ window or click on the ‘Bildergalerie‘ further down the page (picture gallery) for a more pictorial description of what Sex Toys are.

The Warentest Foundation justified carrying out this detailed evaluation of sex toys because it is estimated that several million are sold in Germany each year. I am certainly not aware of any other Sex Toy study carried out with this degree of thoroughness.

Toxic Chemicals in Sex Toys  – intimate products for both men and women were tested

One of the problems in evaluating sex toys is that there are no established norms for levels of potentially toxic products in them. The foundation therefore relied on their own test experience of what would be an appropriate benchmark for maximum levels for the toxic substances or adopted appropriate norms used in other products like children’s toys. They were particularly concerned to get this right because unlike many other consumer product sex toys come into close contact with the body’s mucous membranes and areas with enhanced blood flow (especially during arousal). Therefore the potential for toxic substances to enter into the body may be increased.

If you want to see the specific test results for individual items (they are quite detailed) I suggest you check out the original report on the Warentest website using the link below (for 1.5 Euro you can download the full 6 page ‘Sextoys im Test‘ report as a PDF file).

Link:   Sextoys im Test: Nur 3 von 18 Sexspielzeugen ganz ohne Schad­stoffe

Poisonous Chemicals in Sex Toys: 18 Vibrators Love Balls Cock rings Tested – See article at

I have translated this description from the original German and therefore am unable to accept any liability for its correctness or completeness. If you have any concerns relating to potential contaminants in Sex Toys please refer directly to the Warentest Foundation or your own regional consumer product testing organisation. If in doubt with regard to health or toxicity matters always seek professional guidance.

Here is the Warentest video about the testing. Although it is in German you will be able to see the products being analysed and some of the methods in the lab (Warning: Video includes graphic images of a penis being cut with a sharp object):

Please visit the website again – I will regularly publish articles relating to health and lifestyle issues

Chris Duggleby

Here is a detailed (translated by me so no liability for accuracy!) list of the chemicals tested in the Warentest Stiftung Sex Toy Analysis:

  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

  • Phthalates

  • Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins

  • Nickel

  • Organic Tin Compounds

  • N-Nitrosamines and nitrosable substances

  • Alkyl Phenols (including Nonyl Phenol)

  • Alkyl Phenol Ethoxylate

  • Azo Synthetic Colourants

  • Monomers including Phenol

  • Heavy Metals

  • Latex Proteins

  • Flame Retardants

  • Other substances identified under Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry


Archaeology – Chariot Found Near Duggleby Village – The Pocklington Iron Age Ferrari

Hundreds of years before the Romans invaded Britain the Parisi tribe (Arras culture) in East Yorkshire had built a network of roads. They used consummate metal working skills with iron and bronze to manufacture high speed chariots for travelling between their villages on highways cut into the chalk countryside.

Map of the Territory of the Iron Age Parisi Tribe East Yorkshire

Recently archaeologists made a stunning discovery of an upright Iron Age Chariot complete with horses and rider in the town of Pocklington – 17 miles from the village of Duggleby with its famous Neolithic Round Barrow.

Pocklington (East Yorkshire) – Age Chariot Burial Scene (Reconstruction courtesy BBC/MAP Archaeological Practice)

When Dr Alice Roberts featured the find on her BBC programme she described the chariot as the Iron Age equivalent of a cross between a fast sports car and a military tank. For this reason I have christened it ‘The Pocklington Iron age Ferrari‘. Actually naming it after an Italian high performance car is a little ironic because this find together with other local Iron Age discoveries have cast doubt on the idea perpetuated by the Romans that their British opponents were a band of uncivilised, primitive barbarians.

Equivalent of ‘Iron Age Ferrari’ Found at Pocklington Archaeological Site

Regular visitors to will be aware of my interest in the Duggleby family history and our strong links to the area around the Duggleby Village in East Yorkshire (for more info see my Duggleby History page – link here). A few years ago I published a global Duggleby family tree (link here) dating back to Sir Henry Duggleby (born mid 12th century). Several Dugglebys mentioned in the tree have lived in Pocklington (17 miles from Duggleby village).

Pocklinton also played a key role in Duggleby history because Chancery Inquisitions made there in 1246  and 1282 mentioned Adam de Diuelkeby and Adam de Dugelby (spelling of Duggleby was a bit fluid in those days). These together with Ecclesiastical Land Transactions mentioning grants of land from wealthy Dugglebys to the Bridlington Priory helped elucidate early parts (12th & 13th Century) of the family tree (more detailed info in my article here).

So the news of a stunning archaeological site in this part of East Yorkshire caught my attention. Duggleby village is already home to Duggleby Howe, the largest prehistoric round barrow (burial mound) in Britain dating from around 3000 BC (similar age to Stonehenge). If you are interested in more detail about Duggleby Howe and its excavations check out the article by Alex Gibson using the link here (the first bit is in French – the English description starts at paragraph 10 – lots of pics!).

Duggleby Howe, Large Round Barrow or Ancient Burial Mound, Yorkshire, England
Duggleby Howe, Large Round Barrow or Ancient Burial Mound, Yorkshire, England

What I particularly like about the excavations in Pocklington is that they uncover a period between the Neolithic burial site at Duggleby Howe (ca. 5000 years old) and the records of Duggleby (Difgelibi) in the Domesday book  (dated 1086) and the early parts of the Duggleby family tree (with Sir Henri ca 1150). The Iron Age Chariot is over 2000 years old.

Domesday Book (1086) entry of Duggleby (Difgelibi) – Full text at bottom of page using link here

So what was so unusual about this chariot to ensure it featured in a BBC archaeology programme (Digging For Britain: Iron Age Revealed)? After all there have been 25 stone age burial chariots found in Britain – 23 in East Yorkshire alone! Well take a look at the following photo taken during the excavation:

Pocklington Iron Age ‘Ferrari ‘Chariot Burial Site (courtesy BBC/MAP Archaeological Practice)

This chariot was found near to an iron age cemetery involving 74 square barrows and over 164 skeletons (info from Current Archaeology using the link here). It was part of two barrows which the experts described as ‘most impressive, with no British parallel’. The smaller of these was round and contained a young man, 17-25 years old, buried with a spear. His remains indicate he had experienced violence during his life, perhaps in battle, many years prior to his death (two nose fractures – fully healed before his death).

From the larger  Square Barrow: Pilot’s Skeleton Found on Upright Chariot  (courtesy BBC/MAP Archaeological Practice)

It was the larger square barrow at the site that contained the Iron Age Ferrari driven by what was clearly a ‘high-status individual‘.  He is believed to have been over 46 when he died and therefore lived longer than most others in his community. The skeleton shows no signs of weapons injury. Unlike the other chariot burials in the UK this one was buried complete and attached to two upright horses. The rider was found lying in the chariot positioned on top of a well-preserved bronze covered shield. He also had a highly decorated brooch (but no weapons).

Bronze Shield found under the ‘Pilot’ of the Pocklington Iron Age Chariot (courtesy BBC/MAP Archaeological Practice)

Nearly all of the other chariots found in Britain were dismantled with the wheels laid flat – this one, however, was ‘ready to go‘. The two pony skeletons were also positioned upright ready to lead the chariot out of the grave. In order to get them into this unique position they were probably ‘well tried, tested and trusted’ ponies that were led down into the burial site and harnessed up to the chariot before having their throats cut. To preserve them in this upright position the burial area must have been quickly back-filled as soon as they were killed.

Pocklington Iron Age Chariot ready to go with Horses and Pilot in situ (courtesy BBC/MAP Archaeological Practice)

The wheels of the chariot had iron ‘tyres’ surrounding a (decomposed) wooden frame. Changes in the soil colour indicated where the wheel spokes had been. The hub at the end of the wheel axle was surrounded by an ornate bronze band. Although they were over 2000 years old the iron tyres were still complete and had been forged as continuous rings of iron. Clearly these ancient Brits had consummate metal working skills well before the arrival of the Romans.

Pocklington Iron Age Chariot Wheel and Axis in situ (courtesy BBC/MAP Archaeological Practice)

Another interesting feature of Iron Age East Yorkshire has been identified using aerial archaeology techniques. These have uncovered track-ways along the ground in which the local width of the ruts cut into the chalk match the axle width of the stone age burial chariot. These stone age road ways were probably cut out of the topsoil to reveal the underlying chalk which provided an excellent all weather surface for driving. It therefore appears that the invading Romans were not the first to introduce roads into Britain. These track-ways are believed to have preceded the Romans by several hundred years.

Areal Photo of  Chariot Track-ways from Iron Age East Yorkshire (courtesy BBC)

Lots of the local iron age communities were connected by these track-ways indicating the existence of an intricate network of chariot based transport. Close analysis of the bones of the fingers of the man placed on this upright chariot indicate swellings where the tendons would have been attached. Such swollen areas are indicative of the bone growth caused by increased use of the area in question – consistent with someone ‘experienced in handling horse reins’. This points to the fact that this person was indeed a ‘charioteer‘.

Pocklington Chariot Pilot’s Hand From Burial Site (courtesy BBC/MAP Archaeological Practice)

A further indication of the status of the individual found with the chariot were the remains of 6 suckling pigs. In fact an iron age meat hook was still attached to some of the ribs indicating that this may have been used to throw an offering to the dead pilot straight from the grill. Normally we would expect the pigs to be fattened before slaughter so the use of tender juvenile animals is a further indication of the man’s status and the wealth of the community seeing him off.

If you would like to see how such a chariot would have looked in action here is a short video based on a ride in a reconstructed vehicle (Acknowledgements to Dr Alice Roberts for risking life and limb as she impersonates Boudica ‘Queen of the Brits‘ – Courtesy of the BBC):

If you found this article interesting please visit the site again (Followers always welcome).

Chris Duggleby (Proudly born in East Yorkshire!)

I am indebted in this review to the contributions (information, visuals and dedicated archaeological work) of MAP Archeaeological Practice Ltd (Based in Malton, MD Paula Ware), the BBC, the Current Archaeology Journal, the Pocklington Post and several other on-line resources.

My T-shirt Made Me Sick – Textile Allergies – Sinusitis From Your Underwear

Do you sometimes wake up with a headache, pains around your eyes, sinusitis – and haven’t even had a drink?

It just might be your undies (or your partner’s).

Textile Allergens can be inhaled while you sleep – Here’s a case study based on a seemingly harmless item of underwear.

Regular visitors to my blog will know that I am particularly interested in allergies – especially the ones we don’t normally expect. The high level of interest in my article on deadly detergents (check out the link Poison in your Washing Machine: Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Laundry Detergents, Softeners, Conditioners and Whiteners) has alerted me to the fact that many people worry about allergic reactions to clothes or the chemicals in them.

My T-shirt made me sick! Textile allergies can come from unusual sources

Therefore let me share with you my recent experience involving the classical symptoms of sinusitis. I had these symptoms for about 5 days – including head-aches and pains around the sinuses (cheeks, nose and eyes) and other nauseous feelings that might commonly be associated with a hang-over. Like a hangover the symptoms were worse when I woke up in the morning and my sleep was disturbed.

At around day 3 I presumed I had simply picked up some bug and that the immune cells in my sinuses were leading the battle to neutralise the infection and rid my body of it. The symptoms I experienced were mainly due to localised inflammation as my body mobilised its defences against what I thought was a seasonal pathogen. As it was winter I felt this was a reasonable assumption.

You can still get Sinusitis in Winter – Even when you wear warm clothes

However one thing made me suspicious that my medical diagnosis (sourced mainly from Google) may not be the full story. I did not have a blocked-up or runny nose, chest pains, cough or tickly throat and I was not running a high fever. If a bug had caused my sinusitis I would have expected these kind of symptoms as my body tried to flush the little microbes out of my tubes. Generally cold and flu bugs do not like raised temperatures – that is why our immune systems have evolved the fever response . This puts the microbes at a disadvantage while our white blood cells try to nobble them.

So on day 5 as I awoke with another crashing head-ache (and still not having had any booze) I noticed that the T-shirt I had been wearing in bed smelled of perfume. This was one of the T-shirts I that I had washed in the days when I used to use washing detergents. Blog followers will know that some years ago I stopped using detergents in my washing machine (the link above has the gruesome details that explain this life style change). However, before this change, I used to conscientiously wash my clothes in Persil, hang them up to dry, iron and fold them into nice piles for storage in airtight containers.

It is not just T-shirts – You can also get Sinusitis from your panties If you don’t wash them carefully

Last week I sorted out some ‘fresh’ T-shirts ready to use in bed. As my normal stock was depleted I took a suitable ‘old-stock’ T-shirt out of its airtight container and hung it on a hanger in my bedroom. I didn’t actually wear the T-shirt until 4 days later. This item of clothing had been hanging in my bedroom since precisely the time that my sinusitis symptoms started.

It gradually became clear that I was being poisoned by my T-shirt! On morning 5 I quickly placed the T-shirt into a sealed container ready to be washed. Within an hour or so of removing the culprit all sinusitis symptoms cleared up. No head ache, no aching eyes and I started to smile again.

In recent years I realised that I have an allergy to one or more of the additives used in washing detergents (or softeners). This showed itself through allergic contact dermatitis (Pics of affected body parts in the blog referred to above). Following this realisation I started washing in pure, detergent free, water (from a salt based water softener). This seems to have removed, or at least diluted, whatever I was allergic to and my symptoms disappeared. Water at 60C appeared sufficient to get rid of any nasty bugs or smells and I follow a ‘stain minimisation strategy’ to avoid any unsightly accidents. So I do not wear white shirts when applying dark balsamic vinegar to my salad (no I have not started buying brown underpants!).

Occasionally an item slips through from my old ‘detergent washing’ days and if it spends a night in the bedroom with me I usually pay dearly. One night I was convinced I had contracted flu – until I remembered that I had changed the bed-sheets the day before (old ‘detergent washed’ stock!).

If your bed clothes or sheets smell of perfume or are ‘treated’ you may get sinusitis (if you have a textile allergy)

What surprised me with this latest sinusitis incident was that the only item involved was a contaminated t-shirt hanging in my bedroom. This was sufficient to give me symptoms for at least 5 days – symptoms which subsided during the daytime (when I was out of the bedroom) and returned with a vengeance the following night. It really was like having a recurring hangover for 5 days. I suspect that I have become more sensitive to whatever causes these allergic responses because I have been so successful in eliminating detergents from my environment.

A key ‘warning signal’ for me is whether an item of clothing or linen has a perfumed smell. Now when I unpack any item of clothing from my storage boxes I give it a quick smell test. If I can smell perfume it goes into the washing machine (water only) before being worn. This can lead to some interesting situations – If you insist on smelling the undies of any potential partners before you sleep with them it can come across as a little unorthodox!

Something else to look out for is second hand clothes. Many of us are keen to encourage recycling and I went through a period of buying used Levi’s on E-bay. The supplier was anxious to let me know they had been washed and when they arrived I was knocked back by the smell of perfume. Even without my allergy they would have stayed in the washing machine long enough to eliminate that smell! So if you do use second hand clothes it is a good idea to wash them thoroughly to remove any contaminants.

If you buy used jeans on line – Try sniffing them – Think Sinusitis and Contact Dermatitis

One of the main reasons for sharing this information with you is to highlight that it is not only allergic contact dermatitis that you need to be aware of when coming into contact with textiles. You may also, like me, find that you react through inhalation. This is particularly possible if you dry your washing inside your home. As this example shows I am even sensitive to a small, single contaminated item after it has been dried, aired, and stored for several years.

I realise that I have been experiencing these inhalation based allergic reactions throughout my life. I now understand why I often became ill on the first night staying in a hotel or with friends and family (all situations which normally involve recently cleaned bed linen). These days I avoid these problems by not sleeping around – it is a bit much to expect people to provide linen that has only been washed in pure water (and just try turning up for a date with your own bed linen!).

It is always a good idea to wash second hand clothes before you wear them – especially if you think you have a textile allergy

These kind of allergic reactions are not only caused by detergent products. Many new clothes have chemicals added to them to make them appear brighter (especially white products) or to improve their processing or reduce wrinkles (like formaldehyde). Here is a link to a list from Greenpeace – Hazardous Chemicals in Clothing (it includes Alkylphenols, Phthalates, Brominated/Chlorinated Flame Retardants, Azo Dyes, Organotin Compounds, Perfluorinated Chemicals, Chlorobenzenes, Chlorinated Solvents, Chlorophenols, Short-chain Chlorinated Paraffins and Heavy Metals).

If you want to share similar experiences/tips of your own with other readers please use the comments box below. If you are concerned about confidentiality simply adopt a neutral name and avoid mentioning anything that could identify you (e-mail addresses are not published). In this way, others can benefit from your comments and it makes it easier for me (and others) to reply to you on the website. If you follow this website you will get updates as they happen.

So next time you wake up with a hangover – check whether there is something nearby that smells of perfume!

Chris Duggleby

Public Crab Attack Scare – Take Care Sleeping in Berlin – Do Not Catch Crabs – Two Year Prison Sentence

Public Crab Attack Scare – Take Care Sleeping in Berlin – Do Not Catch Crabs – Two Year Prison Sentence: One of Germany’s most popular tourist areas is threatened by infestation with “Alien Crabs“. However many people do not appreciate that that under German law if you catch crabs you could find yourself faced with a hefty fine or up to two years in prison. More below…

Male human louse on a bloodsucking trip

I was staggered to read in the German national press this morning that Berlin is threatened with being ‘overrun by alien crabs‘. Tourists take note: if you find yourself a nice park bench for a rest – you may find you are not alone. The country that prides itself in maintaining order and setting tough hygiene standards is somewhat embarrassed that this infestation has taken hold. What’s worse for the locals is that the species involved is not a native of Germany – this alien vermin originates from America.

Pediculosis pubis on pubic hair
Pubic lice on eye lashes

Before I go on let me make one point of clarification. You may have landed on this page because you were searching for ‘Pubic Crabs‘ – those nasty little insects that like to inhabit pubic hairs and other parts of the human body. However, my focus today is on a different kind of creature – actually a much bigger one – the ‘Public Crab‘. Should you find one of these crawling through your genital hairs you would be well advised to remove it very quickly before it does some serious harm with its large, nasty, chopping claws.

Female Louse Pediculus humanus
Male human louse

To minimise confusion I have included above some pics of pubic lice happily co-existing with a host in their normal habitat. There is no need to worry about these little chums castrating your private equipment – they just want to suck your blood and lay eggs. If pubic lice is your area of interest your time has not been wasted – you can quickly jump (sorry!) to my other recent article about a high tech German invention: the Plasma Nit comb. If your would like to find out more about this development from the famous Fraunhofer Nit-research Institute just click on the article title or on the nitcomb picture below:

Kill Head Lice In A Day With The Newly Developed Plasma Nitcomb From The German Fraunhofer Institute

From Chris Dugglebys article about the Plasmacomb for lice The Fraunhofer Laeusekamm
The German Fraunhofer Research Institute’s Plasma Nitcomb

For those readers who are less interested in pubic infestations but would like to learn more about Berlin’s current public infestation read on. Why is the German national press creating hysteria with headlines about the Alien Swamp Crab (“Sumpfkrebs”) Invasion of Berlin? Well – parts of this iconic capital city are being overrun by bright red American crustaceans. These aliens were recently spotted walking around the streets near the Spanish embassy – presumably flushed out of their cosy underground lair by a summer shower.

These migrants are known is the US as a variety of Crayfish (Latin name Procambarus clarkii) – a culinary favourite in that part of the world known as “the Louisiana Crawfish“. Its natural habitat is normally the Southern US States and northern Mexico (Could this explain the preference for the Spanish embassy?).  It has a very pronounced bright red colour and can grow to be quite large (15 cm). It is this colourful appearance that makes it a favourite among those Berlin residents who like to keep an aquarium.

Procambarus clarkii (Swamp Crab or Crayfish) contemplates sex

One of the problems is that in the comfortable, protected environment of a German domestic aquarium crayfish can live for about 5 years. As they get bigger some owners find their size can overwhelm the rest of the ‘exhibits’. Alternatively they may just get bored with looking at the same crustacean for 5 years. So their ‘pet’ Sumpfkrebs may get relegated to the garden pond or be accidentally mislaid during a walkies in the local park. Once freed of their celibate imprisonment these passionate creatures are, unsurprisingly, desperate for a bit of sexual adventure.

Procambarus clarkii – note potential castration danger if  these crabs are found near pubic hair

As crayfish are able to mate several times a year it is not surprising that their numbers in Berlin have been increasing rapidly. The last couple of mild winters will have prolonged the time available for passionate pursuits – clearly re-enforcing Berlin’s reputation as a sexually adventurous city. Despite Angela Merkel’s open door policy welcoming migrants I understand the Berlin authorities are starting to worry about this foreign invasion. These crustaceans have a very diverse appetite and it will not be long before local fish stocks (and lots of other sensitive local delicacies) become seriously diminished.

Interestingly I noticed am article in the International Journal of Biological Science  reporting that Procambarus clarkii, our promiscuous crayfish, can actually reproduce without having to even bother with sex (Yue et. al. Discovery of four natural clones in a crayfish species Procambarus clarkii. Int J Biol Sci 2008; 4(5):279-282). The research team identified a number of natural genetic clones of the crayfish – indicating that these offspring were produced by a mother that hadn’t had to endure sex (Presumably when you have ten legs – performing sexual acts can be a bit of a challenge!). For any ‘scientists’ who are interest you can find the original crayfish sex article using the link here.

Dish of boiled crawfish

By the way – the picture above is not the result of feral crayfish having a wild night of sexual fun in Berlin. It illustrates one of the ways that our friends in the US keep their crayfish numbers under control – they eat them.  Just in case anybody in Berlin sees this and thinks the local infestation presents an interesting opportunity for a tasty crawfish supper – be warned. Under my assessment of German law (OK, admittedly I am not a lawyer) catching these little creatures is considered to be ‘fishing’. If you do not have the appropriate fishing licence from the authorities any attempt to catch the crustaceans can be punishable with a hefty fine and up to two years imprisonment. Is it really worth it?

Who knows? If you do go get incarcerated in a Berlin prison you might be lucky enough to enjoy an intimate relationship with that other kind of crab! (so don’t forget your plasma nit comb).

A pretty human louse

Happy scratching!

Chris Duggleby.

If you are interested in reading my other health focused articles try the following

Torture In The Shower – Face and Body Soap Allergies – Main Suspect: Pears Transparent Soap

Poison in your Washing Machine: Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Laundry Detergents, Softeners, Conditioners and Whiteners

Is Alzheimer’s caused by the Gum Disease Bacterium P. Gingivalis – A Dementia Prevention/Treatment Breakthrough?

Toxic Chemicals in Sex Toys – 18 Vibrators, Cock Rings, Love Balls Tested – Only 3 Get All Clear

My T-shirt Made Me Sick – Textile Allergies – Sinusitis From Your Underwear

Ladies Shop Till You Drop – Leave Your Man in a Husband Parking Pod – The Capsule Hotel Idea for Bored Shoppers

Ladies Shop Till You Drop – Leave Your Man in a Husband Parking Pod – The Capsule Hotel Idea for Bored Shoppers. If you get pissed off with the man in your life always complaining that shopping takes too long here’s a new innovation that will keep you both happy – the Husband Parking Facility – Coming to a shopping centre near you. Read on…

Pod Hotel Floor Ladies shop Till You Drop Husband Parking Pod Article at ChrisDugglebydotcom
The next generation of  Husband Parking Facilities? A ‘Floor’ of rooms at a typical capsule hotel

While you read on why not listen to my album ‘Electro Baroque‘ (all tracks are also available on iTunes using the link here)? Classical music using modern instruments:

or if you prefer to listen to my electronic music album ‘Studio Valiumm‘ here are the videos (also on iTunes using the link here):

More info about my music is at the dedicated website

When I lived in Tokyo in the 1980’s I had to pop down to Osaka regularly on the bullet train to meet my customers there. In those days my fellow Salary-men spoke excitedly about the new Capsule Hotel that opened in Osaka in 1979 – this facility allowed gentlemen to sleep in comfortable little pods for a fraction of the price of a Japanese hotel.

Pod Hotel Door Ladies shop Till You Drop Husband Parking Pod Article at ChrisDugglebydotcom
View inside a typical capsule hotel ‘room’

Now scroll forward nearly 4 decades and our Asian friends have come up with another innovation to help ease the life of those tired husbands. This new development has already been introduced to a couple of shopping centres in Shanghai including the prestigious Global Harbour Mall in the Putuo district. It has been described locally as a husband parking bay (although I like to think of it as a ‘Hubby Play-pod‘).

The cabins have been developed by the company Ingrem Technology. Their manager, Mr Wei Pengfei, explained that market research had shown that although most people go shopping in ‘pairs’ usually the men are the first to become bored with the experience. When this happens their wife (or girlfriend) can drop them off at the Hubby Play-pod (at the time of writing their are four of these facilities in the Global Harbour Shopping Mall).

Man at Play Ladies shop Till You Drop Husband Parking Pod Article at ChrisDugglebydotcom
A client being gainfully occupied in a Hubby-parking pod in a Shanghai shopping mall

Inside the pod is a comfortable sports seat which also provides a personal massage facility. The parked ‘guest’ can make use of the computer games on offer within the play-pod. Currently the facilities are free but the demand has been very strong with some gentlemen being left there for several hours by their partners. The plan is to start charging for the service in the near future.

Mr Wei Pengfei explained that interest is growing rapidly with enquiries from a further ten clients under consideration. The plan is to equip the next generation of Hubby-pods with air conditioning (it gets very warm in Shanghai in the summer months). Charges will be introduced based on the amount of time a guest spends inside the pod.

Ingrem Mgr Wei Pengfei Ladies shop Till You Drop Husband Parking Pod Article at ChrisDugglebydotcom
Ingrem Technology (Hubby-pod supplier) Manager – Mr. Wei Pengfei

And how is the feedback about the Hubby-pod experience? Mr Wei explained that generally the men have found the experience very enjoyable – their appetite for going shopping with their partners appears to have increased. However the ladies responses were more mixed. Li Ting, a 35 year old stay-at-home mother from Shanghai, told the China News (CNS):  “I think it’s a creative way for my husband to take a break from shopping, which men are often not interested in. It’s totally fine if he plays games there for half an hour while I’m trying on dresses and I don’t need his opinions.”

By contrast Ding Wen, a 29 year old primary school teacher, considered it unacceptable to see her husband sitting there playing computer games if he chose to go out with her for a date:  “Whether it was a decade ago when we started a love relationship or it’s now when we already have a three-year-old son, I always believe we should take the quality time we spend together seriously,”

Asian Gentlemen can sometimes find shopping very tiring – a typical  ‘after shopping’ scene in the subway.

Mr Wei explained that although most ladies support his development some women like to try on and show their husbands or boyfriends the clothes they are interested in. It should be noted however that the pods do have glass walls so theoretically the man could look at his wife from inside of the pod. Some other ladies were unhappy because they had finished with their shopping but then struggled to get their man out of the pod  – apparently he was having such a good time.

By the way if you do go to Osaka in Japan and want to check out the original pod hotel there the English language website to the Capsule Inn Hotel Osaka is here (This is not a recommendation or endorsement – just for info as a piece of Japanese cultural history). Clearly this could be the next development in the evolution of the Hubby shopping pod – don’t just go shopping with him for a couple of hours – put him in a pod hotel and spend the whole weekend shopping (but make sure you keep the credit cards ladies!).

Pod Hotel Decor Ladies shop Till You Drop Husband Parking Pod Article at ChrisDugglebydotcom
Long Term Hubby Parking option for a Weekend out shopping with the girls?

Enjoy the Weekend!

Chris Duggleby.

If you found this article interesting please consider taking a look at some of my other recent reports on similar subjects.

Just click on the titles below:

…starting with some fun related articles:

8th Mar 2017: Nano Chip Cock Ring Detects STIs – Size, Thrust, and Speed – From Penis via Smartphone to Facebook

28th Feb 2017: Vaccinations Cause Children to Masturbate – Public Frustration At Austrian Article:

16th Oct 2016: How to Prevent Smelly Trumps – Scientific Breakthrough in Australia – Good Carbs Mean Good Farts 

9th March 2016: Penis Ring Emergency – German Fire Fighters Rescue Man From Painful 13 Cock Ring Torture: Vorsprung durch Technik and erectile dysfunction

21st June 2015: Bio-undies: Guilt free Passion with ‘Easy Emma’ and ‘Loose Harry’and Getting Rid of Garden Snails with Rent-a-Duck

4th March 2015: Hamburg Reeperbahn (St. Pauli): Germans install walls that urinate on passers-by

17th April 2014: Niche On-line Dating Services (Specialities: Herpes, Thrush and Genital Warts)

18th August 2012: How Bavarians and Austrians use their middle finger – Fingerhakeln: a men-only sport (did Arnold Schwarzenegger start training this way?).

You can also find some of my more humorous reports in the Alpine Press section of this site using the link here.

some here is some more serious stuff:

12th June 2016 Hospital Serial Killer – Super Bugs Created With Jumping Genes During Bacterial Sex

21st May 2016 Skin Cancer and Cataracts From Your Car – Poor UV Side Protection – Windows Tested From 15 Vehicle Makers

19th April 2016 Torture In The Shower – Face and Body Soap Allergies – Main Suspect: Pears Transparent Soap

3rd March 2016 Using Gene Drives To Change Mosquito Sex In Fight Against Zika, Dengue and Malaria

3rd Feb 2016 Zika Infection Spread By Sex In Dallas – Earlier Sexual Transmission In Colorado – Detailed Symptoms 

31st Jan 2016  Bed Bugs – Insecticide Resistance – Arbovirus Transmission – Zika and Microcephy

13th Jan 2016 Kill Head Lice In A Day With The Newly Developed Plasma Nitcomb From The German Fraunhofer Institute

26th July 2015 Poison in your Washing Machine: Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Laundry Detergents, Softeners, Conditioners and Whiteners

29th December 2012: Spreading diarrhea and vomit through the washing machine– The Norovirus propagator in our kitchen

…please visit again.