Fisking the "Green Goddess"

Wendyl Nisen is full of turds when it comes to her claims of green-ness. I have already established that with her Toyota advertising campaign about her “very green” Toyota Prius.

But a quick look through her website finds even more glaring hypocrisy from the “Green Goddess”

Wendyl was on the radio just the other day blabbing on about her organic sunscreen solution. She said something along the lines of: “I know water and salt are chemicals but I don’t like using chemicals made in labs”.
Then she mentioned her recipe for sunscreen, which conveniently is on her “Green Goddess” website:

Sunscreen

One of the most chemically loaded substances we put on our bodies is sunscreen. A simple natural alternative is zinc oxide cream which you can get at your chemist and I advise using that on children under six months old. This recipe works well for me and I usually wear about a factor 20 sunscreen. I reapply after a couple of hours or after swimming and at the end of the day you are left with wonderfully moist skin and not that gunky feel you get from commercial sunscreens. Do be cautious with this and test it yourself as everyone’s skin differs:

75ml sesame oil

15gm beeswax

45gm coconut oil or cocoa butter

120ml water

2Tbsn zinc oxide (from chemist)

1 Tbsn wheat germ oil

1 tsp citric acid (from supermarket baking aisle)

20 drops lavender oil

That’s quite a nice little recipe, except for one thing. Zinc Oxide.

Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound with the formula ZnO. It usually appears as a white powder, nearly insoluble in water. The powder is widely used as an additive into numerous materials and products including plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, rubber (e.g., car tires), lubricants, paints, ointments, adhesives, sealants, pigments, foods (source of Zn nutrient), batteries, ferrites, fire retardants, first aid tapes, etc. ZnO is present in the Earth’s crust as the mineral zincite; however, most ZnO used commercially is produced synthetically.

I’ve bolded the pertinent parts, issues that make her claims of being organic and not a chemical produced in a lab seem rather hollow. Then again as is usul her statements just about her green-ness really are just hollow marketing gimmicks. Now let’s look at how Zinc Oxide is produced.

Again from Wikipedia, ther are three main processes that Zinc Oxide is produced. you know the Zinc Oxide that Wendyl Nissen likes to think isn’t made in a laboratory like other evil “nasty chemicals”.

For industrial use, ZnO is produced at levels of 105 tons per year[3] by three main processes:
Indirect (French) process
Metallic zinc is melted in a graphite crucible and vaporized at temperatures above 907 °C (typically around 1000 °C). Zinc vapor instantaneously reacts with the oxygen in the air to give ZnO, accompanied by a drop in its temperature and bright luminescence. Zinc oxide particles are transported into a cooling duct and collected in a bag house. This indirect method was popularized by LeClaire (France) in 1844 and therefore is commonly known as the French process. Its product normally consists of agglomerated zinc oxide particles with an average size of 0.1 to a few micrometers. By weight, most of the world’s zinc oxide is manufactured via French process. Major applications involve industries related to rubber, varistors, sunscreens, paints, healthcare, and poultry nutrients. Recent developments involve acicular nanostructures (rods, wires, tripods, tetrapods, plates) synthesized using a modified French process known as catalyst-free combust-oxidized mesh (CFCOM) process. Acicular nanostructures usually have micrometre-length nanorods with nanometric diameters (below 100 nm).

It would appear from that process that Zinc Oxide is a “chemical produced in a lab”. But wait it gets worse for Wendyl, who is looking more like a Green liar than a “Green Goddess”.

Direct (American) process

In the direct process, the starting material is various contaminated zinc composites, such as zinc ores or smelter by-products. It is reduced by heating with a carbon additive (e.g. anthracite) to produce zinc vapor, which is then oxidized as in the indirect process. Because of the lower purity of the source material, the final product is also of lower quality in the direct process as compared to the indirect one.

Oh dear, more laboratories….and smelters…and anthracite…you know coal, like what we dig out of the ground in vast mining operations. But wait…there is a third process…maybe that will be green?

Wet chemical process

Wet chemical processes start with purified zinc solutions, from which zinc carbonate or zinc hydroxide is precipitated. It is then filtered, washed, dried and calcined at temperatures ~800 °C.

Nope, in a laboratory again, using temperatures of ~800 °C. There isn’t really any green way to produce temperatures that high. there is a nother method for the production of Zinc Oxide but fromt he title you would have to assume that someone who abhors “chemicals made in labs” this would be an inappropriate source for her organic, chemical free sunscreen, but int he interests of complete-ness of the destruction of her green credentials I’ll still post the details. Again I will bold the non-green aspects of her preferred products.

Laboratory synthesis

A large number of ZnO production methods exist for producing ZnO for scientific studies and electronic applications. These methods can be classified by the resulting ZnO form (bulk, thin film, nanowire), temperature (“low”, that is close to room temperature or “high”, that is T ~ 1000 °C), process type (vapor deposition or growth from solution) and other parameters.

Large single crystals (many cubic centimeters) are usually grown by the gas transport (vapor-phase deposition), hydrothermal synthesis, or melt growth. However, because of high vapor pressure of ZnO, growth from the melt is problematic. Growth by gas transport is difficult to control, leaving the hydrothermal method as a preference. Thin films can be produced by chemical vapor deposition, metalorganic vapour phase epitaxy, electrodeposition, pulsed laser deposition, sputtering, sol-gel synthesis, spray pyrolysis, etc.

Ordinary white powdered zinc oxide may be produced in the laboratory by electrolyzing a solution of sodium bicarbonate with a zinc anode. Zinc hydroxide and hydrogen gas are produced. The zinc hydroxide upon heating decomposes to zinc oxide.

Two of the best applications Zinc Oxide that I discovered that really shoots down Wendyl’s claims of being a “Green Goddess” is how it is used in cigarette filters and in nuclear reactors. Once again the “Green Goddess” is actually promoting the use of a chemical that is used in industries that cause death and environmental devastation.

Being “Green”, Wendyl dear, is much, much more than having photos of yourself hugging chickens or touting un-green cars and just saying they are. You need to start living as you preach otherwise you are nothing but a cheap shyster hwking an image you don’t actually have. That make you a liar.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I have no problems with Zinc Oxide, how it is used or how it is produced, I just don’t care. What I care about is liberal elite tossers who are simply pretending to be green so they can write columns and get on radio and all at the same time they are hoodwinking people into thinking the products they tout are “green”.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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