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Category Archives: Natural News

Focusing on natural news for consumers and businesses. Chemical free products and health risks.

Additional Banana Boat Sun Care Products Recalled Due to Fire Risk

How does this stuff get approved anyways? I have very little confidence in our government and the so called regulations that it abides by. Something that was ‘deemed to be safe’ and yet, here it now, after it’s been proven to ‘not be safe’.
THIS is why I need independent companies to review and analyze certain ingredients and PROVE to me they are SAFE (versus stating they are not proven to be harmful.) Prove they are safe BEFORE putting them on the market. What a backwards system!

 

Additional Banana Boat Sun Care Products Recalled Due to Fire Risk.

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Natural & Organic Health Products: What You Need to Know

ImageWondering what all the hype is about? You are not alone!

What are Natural & Organic Health Products anyways?

Well, if you are like most consumers, you are now paying a bit more attention to ‘safe’ and ‘green’ products for healthy living.

If you are also like most consumers you are confused as heck as to what a healthy natural product is anyways!

Let’s face it, the ingredients on the labels today are so crazy, it’s hard to tell what is a synthetic man-made chemical and which ones are long names for essential oils and plant essences!

Natural vs Organic: Is there a difference?

Sure, Organic ingredients are those that have not come into contact with pesticides or other harmful, toxic ingredients during their processing. Natural Ingredients, well, these are debatable. Natural can mean “exists in nature“, or natural as in “no additives“.

Companies use these words all the time and interchange them as they see fit.

Are Natural Products Safer?

That depends really. What are the ingredients? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is natural, derived from natural plant sources that is, but it’s highly irritating and toxic to skin and eyes. Also, what other ingredients are included in the product? It’s great to have a “natural” shampoo with some essential oils but if you have a bunch of other toxic ingredients in there, it’s not really safe is it?

Are Organic Products Safer?

Same things as above. If a product says “Made with Organic Ingredients” or “Contains Organic Plant Essences” it means nothing! It needs to be certified organic and even then you need to check. Often you will find some organic ingredients mixed in with non-organic. Crazy stuff!

Finding Safe and Non-Toxic Products

Not easy! Even your local health and wellness store (big and small) will often carry products they ‘think’ are safe, but really, they still contain some of the toxic ingredients. The most common in something like fragrance. I can’t tell you how many stores I visit that offer brands I know are bad, but the owners don’t know any different (Or they do and don’t care, not sure on this one!)

I’ve been accused before of jumping on the ‘green’ wagon and that because I sell my products for profit I am just fear-mongering without any scientific evidence. (Yes, you all know who are you our there!)  🙂   The truth is, I believe in both arguments. I do believe some advocate groups go a bit far to prove their point and don’t always use valid points. However, I believe even more that the government really sucks at doing their job protecting consumers and is totally incapable and unwilling to do what needs to be done.

Look at companies like P&G that make so many products. Why do they care if their food products contains additives and food colorings that may lead to behavioral disorders in children? They manufacture Concerta, a very popular ADHD drug prescribed to children or any children who ‘seem to have ADHD’ today. What’s the big deal for these big companies? Their products cause reactions and they have more products to be the solution!

I can see their little hamsters running now:

“Oh, our body and face bar contains ingredients that dry out your skin and make you develop atopic dermatitis (eczema)?  No worries, just use our over-the-counter cream to treat your eczema.”

Or how about:

“Interesting, these food colors make these kids active crazy hyper and lose their focus in school. Many teachers think the kids are ADHD and are telling parents to just get them on drugs. So now they take anti-psychotic drugs that do only gosh knows what to their development and if they develop side effects or long term problems, well, we’ve got drugs for that too! Keep the money coming!”

Interesting!

Finding Natural and Organic Stores you Can Trust

They do exist! You may have to look hard and likely they don’t make too many products in really large quantities, but there are manufacturers out there you can trust. Be careful too though, many ‘natural’ companies can take advantage of this whole ‘green fear-mongering’ and offer you products that aren’t really that safe either or tested to be safe!

Look around, check out a company’s profile and social media pages like facebook, twitter, etc. What do their customers say? Do they promote other related companies, letting you know that they really do stand behind their mission statement? Are their prices super high (or insanely low?) Do they offer any sketchy products mixed in with ones that you know are good?

I could just say shop with NaturaleGREEN but I don’t need to do that! As a consumer you have find companies you can trust and also learn how to read labels so that shopping isn’t as scary as it is now. There are other companies like ours though, that are dedicated to providing safer products for consumers. We are always here though if you have questions and want to learn more about chemicals to avoid. Feel free to drop by our site at shopNaturaleGREENonline.ca where you can browse products that have already met our criteria and also read hundreds of articles to help you gain a better understanding of Natural vs. Organic vs. Safe vs. Not!

 

 

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Breast Cancer: Methylparaben and BPA Increase Risk

Breast Cancer: Methylparaben and BPA Increase Risk

Bottles like these are BPA Free

A new study shows methlyparaben and BPA, chemicals used in many consumer products, may reduce the effectiveness of cancer-fighting drugs like Tamoxifen.

September 13, 2011 – Researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco have just discovered that two common chemicals used in consumer products, methylparaben and Bisphenol A (BPA) are having a negative effect on cancer drug effectiveness. When both chemicals were combined and added to breast tissue cells, they rendered Tamoxifen ineffective. Tamoxifen is designed to kill both cancerous and normal cells.

Breast Cancer Drugs Blocked by Methylparaben and BPA

Reported in the San Francisco Chronicale, the latest study took noncancerous breast tissue cells and exposed them to Bisphenol A (BPA) and Methylparaben. When Tamoxifen was then introduced to stop and kill the cells, it was unable to do so. The results indicated to researchers that introduction of these chemicals made the cells take on cancer behaviors.

Most breast cancer drugs focus on minimizing estrogen, since most breast cancers are driven by estrogen. Both methylaparaben and BPA are known to disrupt hormone function. The Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) confirms that Parabens are known to mimic estrogen and have been found in breast cancer tissue. Continue reading: Parabens in Cosmetics and BPA May Aid Breast Cancer Development | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/news/parabens-in-cosmetics-and-bpa-may-aid-breast-cancer-development-a388837#ixzz1XxQCdiP8

 

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FDA Sends Warning Letter to Brazilian Blowout: Formaldehyde

FDA Sends Warning Letter to Brazilian Blowout: Formaldehyde

Published on Suite101 is today’s article regarding Brazilian Blowout. The popular hair straightening treatment was banned from entering Canada back in October 2010 and has now been warned by the FDA to re-label it’s product and disclose all ingredients found within.

From Suite101: FDA Warns Brazilian Blowout

The FDA sent a warning letter to Brazillian Blowout about their use of formaldehyde as an ingredient. Currently the product is misbranded and adulterated.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has issued a letter of warning to the makers of Brazilian Blowout, surrounding their use of formaldehyde as a ingredient. The popular hair-straightening solution is used in salons and is currently labeled as “formaldehyde-free” and states that it “contains no formaldehyde.”

Brazilian Blowout Hair Straightening Procedure Dangers

In 2010, Brazilian Blowout was all over the news when salon works and customers began complaining to the Health Canada that they were experiencing illness when using the product. Investigations by Health Canada revealed that the popular hair straightening product contained unacceptable levels of formaldehyde.

Due to the dangers of formaldehyde, FDA guidelines only allow formaldehyde levels to be 0.2 percent. When tested by Health Canada, the levels were 8.4 percent, 42 times the acceptable limit. Formaldehyde is often used in cosmetics as a preservative. It causes irritation to the skin, eyes, lungs and nose and is also linked to causing cancer.

 

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Toxic Metals Found in Makeup Cosmetics

Toxic Metals Found in Makeup Cosmetics

May 17, 2011 – In a report released by Environmental Defence, it was disclosed that 100% of products tested, all tested positive nickel and over 90% tested positive for both lead and beryllium. Environmental Defence is calling on Health Canada to modify their regulating standards and to enforce the laws set forth.

What Toxic Heavy Metals Were Found in Makeup Cosmetics

SGS Canada tested a wide array of mascaras, eye shadows, lip glosses and other cosmetic products that are worn everyday by most women. The results were alarming and outrageous:

  • 100% tested positive for nickel
  • 96% tested positive for lead

    toxic heavy metals in makeup cosmetics

    Heavy metals in cosmetics

  • 90% tested positive for beryllium
  • Products, on average, contained at least 4 of the 8 metals of concern (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, beryllium, nickel, selenium and thallium)
  • Highest levels of arsenic (70ppm) cadium (3ppm) and lead (110ppm), found in lip glosses that are often ingested while being worn
  • Highest level of lead was Benefit Benetint lip gloss, 110ppm whichwas 10 times higher than allowable level (Health Canada allows 10ppm maximum on lead in products) The same brand contained 70ppm Arsenic, which is 20x higher than Health Canada limits of 3ppm.

How Toxic Heavy Metals Get Into Makeup and Cosmetics

These metals are not put there intentionally, they are simply impurities in the product and are not required to be listed on the labels, since they are not a directly-added ingredient. Manufacturers could, and should, take care to remove these impurities, but time is money and since guidelines are so laid-back, very few manufacturers remove these heavy metals from the final product.

Neither Health Canada nor the FDA require the manufacturers to supply test results before the market is allowed for sale to the general public. Rather, it is up to the manufacturer to “know” what is allowed and not allowed and to follow the rules. Basically, it’s an honor system and the consumer pay the price for those manufacturers who are not on their best honor.

Toxic Metals of Concern in Makeup Cosmetics

Canada needs to modify their guidelines to not only lower the allowable amount of toxic metals allowed in makeup cosmetics, but also needs to include the whole range of metals that are a concern. They include:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Beryllium
  • Nickel
  • Selenium
  • Thallium

Health Hazards Caused by Toxic Metal Build-Up in Body

Heavy metals accumulate in your body and over time, cause a variety of health concerns including: cancer; reproductive and developmental issues; neurological disorders; loss of memory; mood swings; joint and muscle problems; problems with cardiovascular, skeletal, blood, immune system, kidney and renal systems; headaches; vomiting, nausea, diarrhea; lung damage; dermatitis; brittle hair and hair loss.

Heavy metals are also considered to be endocrine disruptors which disrupt your normal regulation of hormonal levels. They are also suspected to be respiratory toxins and there are no known “safe” blood levels.

How Consumers Can Avoid Heavy Metal Toxins in Makeup Cosmetics

Consumers need to begin reading labels and doing their research before using makeup cosmetic products. Since these heavy metals will not appear on the labels as a direct ingredient, you will need to research the brand and company and get familiar with ingredients that you need to avoid.

As The Vancouver Sun reported May 16, 2011, you wont’ find these metals listed on the ingredient label and will have to do your own research to find out what’s safe and what isn’t. Consumer can pressure Health Canada and ask them to start enforcing the guidelines and making it mandatory that full lists of ingredients are disclosed to consumers, including by-products and contaminants.

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned parents to avoid letting their children use any products that contained lead. Unfortunately, there are no quick and easy lists to read so as to how parents can help their children avoid lead in their products is anyone’s guess.

What the Cosmetic Industry Says About Toxic Metals in Makeup Cosmetics

Now of course, we can guess what the industry says about any concern for toxic metals in cosmetics, but for the sake of argument and to remain unbiased – let’s give a paragraph or so to Darren Praznik, president and CEO of the Canadian Cosmetics, Toiletries and Fragrances Association (CCTFA).

Praznik indicates the Enviornmental Defence’s report was skewed and misleading; designed to only scare the general public. He also indicates that that consumers would have to consume “several pounds of cosmetics every day to get within any amount that was of real risk…”.

To Mr. Praznik I would say, ” since these toxic heavy metals are known to accumulate in our bodies over time, how can you tell me that consuming even ‘acceptable’ levels of lead and arsenic will not cause me serious health issues after a decade or two?” The body does not rid itself of these metals and with so many products containing these metals, you are likely ingesting much more than you think.

I would also note that Mr. Praznik indicated that “skin wouldn’t absorb any heavy metals because it acts as a strong shield,” but I wonder if Mr. Praznik has heard of propylene glycol and other cosmetic ingredients that increase absorption rates and allow these toxic chemicals to penetrate the skin easier? Sure the skin is strong, but it’s not made of teflon and what goes ON your body, goes IN your body.

One last note as to why Mr. Praznik hold his viewpoint: It’s his job! He represents 160 companies that are members of the CCTFA including: L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Chanel and Procter & Gamble Beauty, so there is really no surprise which side of the fence he’s on. Imagine how long a president could hold onto his position if he starting saying ” These cosmetic companies are poisoning the general public and don’t want to spend the extra money to ensure the heavy metals are removed from the final product!”

Finding Products Without Harmful Ingredients

You can check out the Environmental Working Groups Cosmetic Database and look up the products you use. The database shows what ingredients are present as well as which ingredients are likely to be contaminated with unwanted ingredients.

Consumers can also find natural products stores that strictly avoid toxic chemical ingredients. Just because a product is in a “natural” section does not mean it is the safest out there. A few boutiques, especially online, are offering only toxic-free products that do not contain questionable ingredients. Stores like Natural e GREEN offer a variety of personal care and cleaning products for the whole family and keep their customers informed with the latest information.

You may also wish to read books on these subjects and get familiar with ingredients you should avoid. “The Cosmetic Chemicals Guide: What You Need to Know Before You Buy”, is a great book that outlines the various common chemicals and alternate names it goes under. It is a thinner style handbook that can fit in your purse and serve as a great reference.

 

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Badger Baby Sunscreen SPF 30: Organic and Non-Toxic

Badger Baby Sunscreen SPF 30: Organic and Non-Toxic

The Safest Organic and Natural Baby Sunscreen: From Badger

May 13, 2011 – It’s that time of year again and the sun is HOT, HOT, HOT! Even on days the sun is behind clouds there is likely to be a high UV index, so take precautions and protect your babies skin. The best protection is clothing, but when it is 40 degrees outside, your poor babe will melt if she is covered head to toe in clothing. Badger sunscreen has just introduced a new baby sunscreen that is non-toxic and contains natural and organic ingredients. It is safe for the whole family AND the environment!

Badger Baby Organic Natural Sunscreen

Tested and approved by pediatricians, Badger Baby Sunscreen contains non-nano sized Zinc particles to provide full SPF 30 protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It has a mild scent of Chamomile and Calendula and will keep your baby safe from the sun’s harmful rays.

Badger Baby Sunscreen:

  • Protects from both UVA and UVB rays

    badger baby organic natural sunscreen

    Natural and organic baby sunscreen

  • Certified Natural by the NPA – Natural Products Association
  • Very moisturizing; containing organic oils and beeswax to hydrate and protect the skin
  • Water resistant for 40 mintues (min.)
  • Works immediately after application
  • Environmentally friendly and allowed at eco-friendly resorts
  • Packaged in recyclable packaging that is phthalate-free.

How to Use Badger Baby Sunscreen

Put a small amount in your hand and gently rub onto baby’s skin. The sunscreen will melt and allow you to easily rub the product onto babies skin for full sun protection. The sunscreen is designed to sit on top of babies skin and not allow UV rays to penetrate the layers of skin, so babies skin will look a little white – this is normal.

Other sunscreens that soak in the sunscreen do not look white but they allow the UV rays to penetrate the first couple layers of skin, which are most sensitive to sunburns and health hazards. Badger baby sunscreen ensure no UV rays get through ANY layers of the skin.

Difference in SPF Sun Protection Factors: What Does it Mean?

Nowadays there are a variety of sun protection lotions that range from SPF 15 to SPF 100. Be careful when choosing your lotion because a higher SPF doesn’t mean much – seriously!

Take a look at the percentage of UVB rays that are blocked with the following:

  • SPF 15 = 93%
  • SPF 30 = 97%
  • SPF 50 = 98%

There really isn’t a big difference in the protection you get and another interesting tidbit – the FDA does not allow any sunscreen to have a higher SPF rating than 30+! They are currently working on a plan to allow sunscreens to be labelled at SPF 50 in the future, but for now – the maximum is SPF 30+. So those “other” sunscreens you see out there saying they are SPF 100 – are misbranded and are attempting to mislead you.

SPF 50 and SPF 100

Many of the sunscreens that are labelled with high SPF’s protect only from UVB rays and not UVA rays. UVA rays are the harmful ones that can cause skin cancer. Dermatologists recommend SPF of 15 or 30. Some sunscreens that were tested shlowed to block 100% of UVB rays but blocked little, if any, UVA rays. In these cases, you are wasting your money on these high SPF lotions because they aren’t protecting your skin from the harmful rays. This misleading marketing ploy is one of the reasons why the FDA is stepping in to help consumers understand more about sunscreen safety.

Sun Safety Guidelines for Baby and Kids

Generally, the sun is at it’s most dangerous levels between 10 am and 4 pm, according to the FDA. You should

sunscreen lip protection

SPF 15 lip protection

always use a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen when outdoors; even when it is cloudy. Cover delicate areas like ears, nose, lips, eyelids and the back of the neck with sunscreen and use lip protection with SPF 15 or 30.

Remember that water, snow and sand will cause the sun’s rays to reflect and can cause sunburn. Babies and children should also wear sunglasses that provide 100% UVA protection. Look for sunglasses with the label on them- toy glasses do not offer any protection.

Take your baby or child out of the sun every half hour or so to see how their skin is. Re-apply sunscreen as needed and check often – if their skin is starting to change color keep them in the shade for a bit to ensure sunburn is not developing. Remember too that if you are traveling to hot destinations where the sun is stronger than you are used to, it is a good idea to limit sun exposure during the first couple of days at least. Sunburn does not show up right away and your child may “look fine” until it’s too late!

Dangers of Sunscreen for Baby and Kids

Many commercial sunscreens on the market contain toxic chemicals that either allow the sun’s rays to penetrate the skin and/or penetrate the skin themselves and leech into the body. Oxybenzone is one of those ingredients and it suspected at being an endocrine disruptor. It is not recommended to be applied over a large portion of your body and sunscreens containing this ingredient will have the following warnings (by law):

“apply liberally”     or   “use sparingly”.

book on chemicals and cosmetics

All you need to know about chemicals

As I wrote in my book, The Cosmetic Chemicals Guide, products that contain harmful ingredients will , by law, carry warnings such as:

  • Keep out of reach of children
  • Use under adult supervision
  • Keep away from children
  • If ingested, contact your local Poison Control Center
  • Keep away from eyes
  • Discontinue is rash occurs; consult doctor if symptoms persist of worsen

Now, the last two are more of a common sense thing really. Any product that gets into the eyes will most likely irritate and cause eyes to get red, but some products contain coal-tar dyes which can cause blindness, so read the ingredients. As for rashes developing, allergies are strange and can happen to anyone at any time. Babies especially can react to essential oils found in natural products, so if you notice any rash with any product, discontinue and re-introduce later.

You can buy Badger sunscreen products in many specialty stores and health stores as well as online boutiques and wellness stores.

 

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Hazelwood Necklaces and Bracelets: Naturally Balance Your pH Levels

Hazelwood Necklaces and Bracelets: Naturally Balance Your pH Levels

May 9, 2011 – Have you seen a baby or infant lately wearing a neat looking wood necklace or anklet? It’s not a fashion trend; they are hazelwood and amber necklaces and they help baby feel better! For centuries the aboriginal people put hazelwood chips on the backs of babies necks – to help ease the pain from teething. Hazelwood necklaces also help alleviate other health issues – naturally (and fashionably!)

How Hazelwood Necklaces and Bracelets Naturally Heal Your Body

Double hazelwood bracelet

Hazelwood acts to balance the body’s pH levels – turning acidic pH levels into alkaline levels. The way it works is the hazelwood actually absorbs the extra acid and while it does, the wood gradually turns a darker brown color. In order for the body to be at it’s best healing level, it should be slightly more alkaline. When your body is higher in acidic pH, you are susceptible to more illnesses and pains. By helping it be more alkaline, it is better able to filter out toxins and help the immune system combat any illnesses.

Hazelwood necklaces have been used by customers to relieve and soothe the following health conditions:

  • Heartburn
  • Gastric Reflux
  • Teething
  • Skin Problems (eczema, rashes, dermatitis, psoriasis, acne etc.)
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Constipation
  • Migraines
  • Cavities
  • and other health ailments that are caused by excess of acid in the body

How the Amber Necklace and Bracelets Help Natural Healing

The Amber puts succinic (suh-sin-ic) acid into your body, which is said to act as an anti-inflammatory agent. The Amber helps to reduce inflammation be it joint pain from arthritis or even from injuries. It occ

urs naturally in nature and is very important in your body’s metabolism process. High in anti-oxidants, it is said to stimulate neural system recovery and boost the immune system. Users say it boost energy levels, concentration and awareness.

hazelwood adult necklaces with amber

Hazelwood and Amber necklaces

Europeans have used Amber for natural healing for centuries. While they did not realize what succinic acid was and that Amber is very high in it, they did realize that it worked to heal them and used it to keep healthy. Tea was brewed in Amber pots, baby teethers were made of Amber and it was also burned to fumigate after the plague hit Europe in the middle ages.

Dr. Veniamin Khazanov of the RAS’ Institute of Pharmacology at the Tomsk Scientific Center says “For aged people, succinic acid has proved to be indispensable. It is capable of restoring the energy balance at the cellular level, which is often upset as the years go by, and helps the patient regain his youthful energy.” He says also that it has proven the equal or better of many commercial drugs and is significantly less expensive.

Are Hazelwood and Amber Necklaces Safe for Baby and Everyone

baby safe hazelwood necklaces amber teething

baby safe break away clasp

You must look carefully at the necklaces for baby and ensure they have a baby-safe latch on the back. The clasp should be designed to break open if it gets snagged on something; to prevent strangulation. Some parents choose to take the necklace off at sleeping time and you can also wrap the necklace around the ankle a few times and cover with a sock.

When it comes to babies and kids, you don’t want the necklaces or bracelets to get into their mouths. The beads and wood pieces can be a choking hazard. The necklaces can help with diaper rash, upset stomach and teething pains so if you aren’t comfortable with having the necklace on their neck while they sleep, wrap it around their ankle and cover with a sock to ensure they don’t pull at it! If they are wearing it as a necklaces, they should not be able to get it over their chin (to enable sucking on it!)

How Long Hazelwood and Amber Necklaces Will Last and Keep Working

hazelwood amber necklaces

Dark edges show necklace is ready to be replaced

It depends on how acidic your body is. The necklaces will generally last between 3 months and a year. Depending on use and wear and tear, you may need to replace your necklace every 4 months. (Baby safety clasp features only last 4 months, so if you are using the necklace for an infant, replace necklace after 4 months or move necklace to ankle instead.) Some customers have reported using double necklaces for severe whole-body eczema conditions, while others need only a single necklace to keep their body pH in balance.

It is also advisable to remove the necklace or bracelets before showing/bathing or swimming. While regular water won’t reduce the affect of the hazelwood, it can warp the wood and give it a “weathered” appearance. Chlorine, however, will destroy the wood and you should not wear these necklaces when swimming in chlorinated water.

Many customers feel relief within a day or two, but it can take 2-4 weeks to notice any difference; depending on your health ailments. Hazelwood and Amber necklaces will not cure the problem, they only absorb extra acid that your body is producing.

Deciding on a Necklace

You don’t necessarily need a combination Hazelwood and Amber necklace, their are many necklaces that are hazelwood only. The Amber addition helps to add some immune boosting to your system but it is the hazelwood the really helps in taking away the harmful acid build-up. So choose something that appeals to you and see how it works! Even if you aren’t buying them for health purposes – they are fashionable and fun too!

About the Author:

Tamara Laschinsky is the owner of Natural e GREEN (NaturaleGREEN.ca) and author of “The Cosmetic Chemicals Guide” and “Helping Your ADHD/ADD Child.” She lives with her family in Alberta, Canada.

 

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