Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nasty stuff that sea salt...

From a (real... I kid thee not) MSDS (material safety data sheet) for sodium chloride, something I've always been kind of casual about... which just proves that everything is toxic if you are careless enough!

Routes of Entry: Inhalation. Ingestion.
Toxicity to Animals:
Acute oral toxicity (LD50): 3000 mg/kg [Rat.]. (okay, so that's 1g/kg of rat killed half of the rats in the study)
Acute dermal toxicity (LD50): >10000 mg/kg [Rabbit]. (... and bathing in 10g/kg killed half the rabbits but that's a pretty salty stew!)
Acute toxicity of the dust (LC50): >42000 mg/m3 1 hours [Rat].

Chronic Effects on Humans: MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells. Mutagenic for bacteria and/or yeast.

Other Toxic Effects on Humans: Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation.

Special Remarks on Toxicity to Animals: Lowest Published Lethal Dose (LDL) [Man] - Route: Oral; Dose: 1000 mg/kg (so someone once died from eating 1 g for every kg of body weight... so eating >60g of salt in one sitting might be a bad idea... I guess if you had really bad munchies and lots of potato crisps?)

Special Remarks on Chronic Effects on Humans:
Causes adverse reproductive effects in humans (fetotoxicity, abortion, ) by intraplacental route.
High intake of sodium chloride, whether from occupational exposure or in the diet, may increase risk of TOXEMIA OF PREGNANCY in susceptible women (Bishop, 1978). Hypertonic sodium chloride solutions have been used to induce abortion in late pregnancy by direct infusion into the uterus (Brown et al, 1972), but this route of administration is not relevant to occupational exposures. (I should hope not!)
May cause adverse reproductive effects and birth defects in animals, particularly rats and mice (fetotoxicity, abortion, musculoskeletal abnormalities, and maternal effects (effects on ovaries, fallopian tubes) by oral, intraperitoneal, intraplacental, intrauterine, parenteral, and subcutaneous routes. While sodium chloride has been used as a negative control n some reproductive studies, it has also been used as an example that almost any chemical can cause birth defects in experimental animals if studied under the right conditions (Nishimura & Miyamoto, 1969). In experimental animals, sodium chloride has caused delayed effects on newborns, has been fetotoxic, and has caused birth defects and abortions in rats and mice (RTECS, 1997).

May affect genetic material (mutagenic) (okay, that's kind of scary)
Special Remarks on other Toxic Effects on Humans:

Acute Potential Health Effects:
Skin: May cause skin irritation.
Eyes: Causes eye irritation.
Ingestion: Ingestion of large quantities can irritate the stomach (as in overuse of salt tablets) with nausea and vomiting. May affect behavior (muscle spasicity/contraction, somnolence), sense organs, metabolism, and cardiovascular system. Continued exposure may produce dehydration, internal organ congestion, and coma.
Inhalation: Material is irritating to mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

So righteous my teeth are shrinking...

Saturday is N's birthday, but I'm taking the kids to Wellington this weekend (okay, so I'm not so righteous that I'd stay in Palmy on a holiday weekend).

Today after Thomas's lunchtime feed I delivered a cake with lollies on (so another way my righeousness has slipped is that it was Pak'n'Save's not-quite-finest 'cos I couldn't bring myself to spend the time baking one with J, even though he was desperate to, and then I refused to buy the $25 super-special Eeyore gateau), birthday candles, a bag of chippies, wrapped presents from each child (okay, and so I also let J choose the presents, and took him to Toyworld, and said they should be things for them to play with with Daddy, so the wooden peg and hammer set and the playmobil pirates might not have been N's first choice), a card I organised for them to make at creche, 2 carrots (he asked for them) and 2 mandarins (J asked for them at the supermarket when we were buying the cake). I also did a bad job of explaining why I wasn't going to Daddy's party when I did last year (a disturbingly last-suppery affair the week before I forced him to leave)

On my birthday I discretely bought my own present and my folks wrapped it with J, and Mum and J made me a cake, but since N's parents are far away, it falls on me to be civil and civilised. I have done my tooth-gritty best.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How incredibly unlikely is your birth?

A mathematician has come up with a model for assessing the probability of the evolution of intelligent extraterrestrial life...

Professor Andrew Watson postulates that 4 critical developments are required for this to occur: single-celled bacteria, complex cells, specialized cells allowing complex life forms and intelligent life with an established language. He assesses this probability as 0.01 per cent over four billion years which is pretty darn unlikely, I guess... but I'd still like to believe that someone was out there:-) And after all, you know what they say about assumptions...

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Today at afternoon tea time I was called a middle-aged Manawatu woman. When I countered that I am a Wellingtonian, my tormenter replied, "You can't be, you're not cool enough."

Now, I embrace my uncoolness, I'm even prepared to admit I'm middle-aged (though I hope to live well past 74)... but please someone, anyone, manyones affirm my Wellingtoness...