Beware of Methyl Salicylate
If you live with back pain, you’ll most likely easily understand why it is the leading cause
of disability in Americans under 45 years old — and this isn’t only due to the physical toll it
takes. Living with chronic pain is a heavy emotional burden to bear, and as such those with low
back pain are nearly five times as likely to suffer from serious psychological distress compared
to those without it.
It goes without saying that pain relief is, therefore, literally a lifeline for those with chronic back
pain, and many opt for back pain cream to help soothe and relieve their discomfort.
BEWARE: One of the most common compounds found in these popular creams is Methyl
Salicylate which can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly in certain circumstances.
What is Methyl Salicylate
Methyl salicylate is a compound similar to aspirin that’s added to many deep-heating creams
used to relieve sore muscles and back pain. Also known as oil of wintergreen, the chemical can
be deadly if consumed orally, especially by small children, but can also be toxic when applied
topically to your skin.
When used in excess, methyl salicylate may lead to convulsions and can cause brain regions that
control breathing to become overstimulated, leading to hyperventilation and nervous-system
problems. If you have any of these products around your home, be sure to keep them out of the
reach of children. Just one teaspoon of 98% methyl salicylate contains as much salicylate as
nearly 90 baby aspirins; which is more than four times the toxic dose for a 22-pound child.
Incidentally, methyl salicylate was actually first registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) in 1972 — as a pesticide.
Is this really an ingredient you feel good about rubbing into your skin?