WYSKW- Para-Dichlorobenzene

This post might be a bit technical. My inner-nerd is dying to get out. So I will apologize in advance- sorry about that! I hope you stick with it and if not, no worries, skip down to the 2nd paragraph past the last picture.


Let’s break it down:

Para, meaning combining form. In chemistry it basically means a substitution was made.

Di, meaning two.

Chloro, meaning chlorine.

Benzene, meaning in chemistry terms C6H6 (ahh I remember those chem days fondly…). But let’s go with Wikipedia’s definition:

Benzene is an organic chemical compound with the molecular formula C6H6. It is sometimes abbreviated Ph–H. Benzene is a colorless and highly flammable liquid with a sweet smell. Because it is a KNOWN carcinogen, its use as an additive in gasoline is now limited. (caps were all from me, but wait it gets better-not).

This beauty looks like this:

I love when my chemicals are all equal and spherical like that! #nerdalert

Now let’s put it all back together into the compound someone, somewhere created: Para-Dichlorobenzene. This is what this baby looks like:

What happened to that beautiful shape?

Why is this WYSKW? Why should you care about p-DCB? Well because you are probably using it. More than you think you are. And, it’s kinda bad. No wait, it IS bad.

This stuff is extremely insoluble in water. So it lasts a long, long time. When it does dissolve, that doesn’t mean it goes away. Now it’s in the water. Even your septic water feeds something, eventually. p-DCB is also very difficult for soil organisms to break down. That means even the bacteria that is supposed to be breaking stuff down won’t touch this stuff till it has to.

So we know that a major ingredient is a KNOWN carcinogen. Everyone knows what a carcinogen is by now. Cancer is everywhere. It’s been confirmed that p-DCB causes liver and kidney cancer, in animals. Of course they’ve only done studies on animals.


Oh wait, WE are mammals too.

They are saying p-DCB is thought to be a possible carcinogen in humans. But they KNOW it’s one in mammal, ‘animal’ testing.

The National Toxicology Program released this statement: “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen”.

Hmmm, I’m thinking this is basically saying yes, you will get cancer from this stuff, but our tests are being funded by so and so, so we can’t really say what we should really be telling you. That is my opinion on their ‘results’.

They’re not the only research group singing the same song. Also saying that p-DCB is ‘a potential carcinogen’ are: Department of Health and Human Services and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Funny thing about statistics, depending on who’s side you’re on, you can make the same data say two different things. It’s easy. I’ve done it. For companies. And I got paid too. I’m no longer in that field. It felt…wrong…dishonest…un-Holy. But I digress…

p-DCB is lipophilic. That means it loves fatty tissue. That is where it hangs out and begins to break down. In our fat cells. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got my fair share and then some of those guys hanging around. my middle, my butt and my thighs.

Here is the flip side. It smells good. Really good. Yummy good even. It didn’t begin that way. p-DCB is the main ingredient in moth balls and I’ve never smelt a cologne in moth ball scent. But now we’ve got better technology. We can substitute chemicals so much easier now. We can make it smell great! You will find p-DCB in air fresheners, (like Febreeze, Glade, those things that hang from your car’s rear-view mirror), in our toilet bowl cleaners, urinal cakes (ok that one so doesn’t smell good at all). It’s in pesticides and- oh this one is scary!- deodorant! We are rubbing this stuff in our pits and it is passing right through our skin into our fatty tissues! Lurking. Waiting. Entering our systems. Daily. Sometimes multiple times a day! In our deodorant!



What to do now? Stop buying products with para-dichlorbenzene in them. It’s listed on the ingredients. Just take that extra second to read the list. It doesn’t take long, really.

I know how little time we have. Gotta make our lists, get to the store and get home to cook dinner or help the kids or wash the dog. I know. Beelieeve me, I. Know.

But when do we stop and ask ourselves, what matters? What counts?

How long do you want to live? Ever been asked that before? Prolly we all have. We all want to live long enough to see our children grow, become who they are. See their children and maybe get out to see the world somewhere along they way. But I think it’s the wrong question.

The question should be: What kind of life do you want to HAVE when you’re older? When the children are grown and out on their own. What do you want to DO in your old age? Travel? Cruise? Dance? We are not defined by our children as much as it feels that way sometimes. We are defined by who we become.

I want to be healthy, active, moving, shaking, laughing and most definitely dancing when I’m 110!

I don’t want cancer.

Of any kind.

I think I’ll get it anyway. There is so much wrong with how things are done, what is allowed to be added to our products. It’s scary. And they are not honest enough when it comes to the test ‘results’. But I can try to stop it now. Or at least delay it- I hope.

There are options still left open to us. Read the ingredients and look for a healthier option. One that is without para-dichlorbenzene.

Use essential oils to spiffy up the room. Better yet set out fresh flowers or boil cinnamon on the stove top like Grandma used to do. Open your windows in summer and let the wind clean the air for you. I’m all about letting Mother Nature pitch in when it comes to cleaning, I’m lazy like that!

For cleaners Seventh Generation has an entire line for every bathroom, kitchen, carpets and more. They are awesome! Used to be hard to find but now they are everywhere. There are other cleaning  options too. Google ‘baking soda as a cleaner’ and just see how much you can save by not buying a different product for each room.

For deodorant have you seen Central Market’s choices? Many to choose from. Many.

Pesticides. I know you think nothing works as good as them. Here is a challenge for ya this summer. Use vinegar on those pesky weeds. They die in about a day! Vinegar is completely 100% biodegradable, easy to use and cheap! Think Costco gallon jugs! Just pour into a spray bottle and have at ’em. It’s easier than pulling up those dandelions too!

Options. They are out there. Find them. Use them. For yourself, for your children, for those yet to come.

When you are old, and as much as our society hates to admit it, we’re getting older. I’m willing to bet you will be happier if you are kidney/liver cancer free.

Besides, I want you to come dance with me at my 110th birthday party. It is going to be a smashing good time!


About Sheila's Thinkerings

Happily married wife, happily mommied mom. I am far from perfect but I don't mind. Also I am a wee bit crazy, it's true. Just ask anyone who's ever met me...
This entry was posted in Blog 365, What You Should Know Wednesday. Bookmark the permalink.

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