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Monday, 2 August 2010

Drying Tonight

Personal experience is not “scientific”. Science is only what scientists say it is and proofs are only on terms dictated by them and within a strictly limited almost dogmatic framework. In the real world often we have to make decisions according to experience and other knowledge.

For some time now when we go out to locations involving periods of time in and amongst numbers of other people we wear a particular set of clothing. We put this on just before going out and on return take it off immediately, bag it up securely and head for the shower. In our home we wear other uncontaminated clothing and rigorously avoid mixing the two. Even our banknotes are separately wrapped.

Moreover, in the shower and in the home we use no chemical personal products and the household ones are limited to the very basic minimum of soda’s and vinegar. So the reason is that the Out Gear on return has become contaminated with fragrances etc.

We do not want any of this on our furnishings, in our wardrobes or draws, or affecting other clothing or anything. It is washed separately from any other items. But how does it get so contaminated?

Also, we have been taking large plastic garden bags to sit on in the trains and on any occasional seating. During performances we stand. We try to arrange our journeys to avoid too many people. There is little or no possibility of contamination being by direct contact. It has to come from airborne particles emitted from people’s skin or more often fabrics. The typical reek on Out Gear is that of fabric conditioners.

We have been doing this for long enough now and with sufficient rigour to know that the stink that persists on the clothing has to come from this. Yet in our washing we never use any such product and the detergent is the most basic we can find and also without any fragrances. We have now washed this clothing around fifty times and it is still there.

We have tried vinegar, large doses of soda, sea salt and even triple distilled vodka and nothing stops it. You need to be aware that when I use the word “rigour” it implies full blown Drill Corporal disciplinary methodology. I earned my Drill Certificates on the barracks square and while it may not be science it is certainly controlled.

Also we do not put it in the dryer to avoid extra heat assisting the contamination. So it has been dried naturally for some time by only air and wind and that is controlled. But something strange is happening. It is taking longer and longer to dry. We have washed parallel items of uncontaminated clothing and now this is taking over less than half the time to dry than that of the persistently contaminated.

Clearly the fabric conditioner that has come virtually only from airborne pollution is doing something to fabric that retards its ability to dry. I now know why many of my neighbours complain about their dryers taking so long to deal with a load.

If this is happening long term with people who are taking such steps to avoid it, then there must be something very powerful going on. What is more intriguing is that the contamination is not restricted to the outer clothing it affects the underclothing as well.

If it can do that given my capacity to perspire then how might it affect those parts of the body reached by the particles when I breathe in? One of the odder features of the “safe” claims made by the scientists advising the marketing people is that they do not enter the blood stream or if they do; then there can be no effect on vital organs.

Funny thing science, I think I will continue to use my sense of smell, however deductive or empirical it might be.

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