Kinoki detox footpads: Better late than never...

I've written about the ridiculousness of the Kinoki Detox Footpads before. While on the way home from work today, I happened to be listening to NPR, and--wonder of wonders!--I came across a skeptical story about the Kinoki Footpads. In the story, the reporter, Sarah Varney, took used footpads to a laboratory to have them tested. Surprise, surprise! There was no significant difference between the used and unused pads in chemical content, nor was there any evidence of elevated heavy metal content of the "used" pads. She then interviewed a doctor who explained just how ridiculous the concept of "detoxing" through the skin of your feet is. Of course, I said virtually the same thing nearly two years ago for a different brand of detox footpads and then again in April of this year specifically about the Kinoki Detox quack--I mean foot--pads.

Finally, Varney then exposed unused Kinoki Detox Footpads to steam, and--surprise, surprise again!--the footpads turned black, no "toxins" from a wearer's feet needed (or even contact with a person's feet, for that matter).

I suppose NPR actually did do a public service here, and it is truly unusual to see actual skeptical reporting about devices like the Kinoki Detox Footpads, but in this case this is some really old news. The skeptical blogosphere did many thorough explanations of this silliness seemingly eons ago. Better late than never, I suppose.

More like this

There's a new woo in town. Unfortunately, it's the same as the old woo. I first noticed it around Christmas. Inexplicably, I started getting a greatly increased amount of traffic to an old Your Friday Dose of Woo post of mine. The post to which I'm referring is one that I did a year and a half…
...I find it rather amazing that after all these months I'm still getting a steady, constant stream of traffic, probably at least a couple of dozen visits a day, to this old post from Your Friday Dose of Woo, all coming from this discussion on the JREF forums. That forum must get a lot of traffic.…
One of the most reliable indicators of a quack clinic that I know of (besides its offering homeopathy and reiki) is the inclusion of “detox foot bath” treatments on its roster of services. Detox foot baths, whatever the brand, are of a piece with other “detoxification” pseudoscience involving the…
Via a comment to an earlier post, here's an example of a journalist doing science right: NPR's Sarah Varney looks at "cleansing" foot pads, and finds them wanting. She took a set of the pads, tried them out, and then brought used and new pads to a laboratory at Berkeley, where chemists studied the…

I was in the car earlier and heard the announcements about the show coming up, but could not listen to it at the time it aired. Nice to know it was as skeptical as I hoped.

Finally, Varney then exposed unused footpads to steam, and--surprise, surprise again!--the footpads turned black, no "toxins" needed.

OMG!!!!11!! Do you realize that this means you water is POISONOUS?!!

Kinoki a fraud? Damn! Well at least I still have Airborne to protect me. What? What did I say? What?

Do you realize that this means you water is POISONOUS?!!

Fight the spread of toxic waste! Ban dihydrogen monoxide!

By themadlolscien… (not verified) on 18 Aug 2008 #permalink

Maybe that reporter could take skeptical look colon cleanses. They work in a similar way - they contain an ingredient such as bentonite (a clay) that produces gross black stool that looks like "toxins" being eliminated from the body. Anybody know how to ontact her?

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 18 Aug 2008 #permalink

I thought everyone knew your kidneys excreted into your feet.

HE'S RIGHT!!!!1! I'VE BEEN LIVING A LIE!

Quick! We must create a 'Green Our Water' movement!!!!!!

I have found that I can "Green my water" quite effectively by leaving it on a sunny windowsill, having inoculated it with a small "starter culture" of pre-greened water (alias algae).

Within a few days the water is noticeably green, and also has a load of really natural phytonutrients (alias more algae) in it. Beautifully greened... just as nature intended. Truly a treat for anyone who rejects artificial "scientific" tampering with the Natural Balance.

My next step is to see if my local Health Food Shop would like to sell my "Naturally Green Water". They already sell "alkaline water" by the glass or bottle, so I have high hopes...

Dr Aust, I got an ad in the mail for a product which promised to purify my drinking water -- and also make it alkaline.

*yaggedayaggedayaggedayaggeda*

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 19 Aug 2008 #permalink

It is all well and good that NPR is trying to educate the masses. However, I was deeply saddened and annoyed to see that CVS Pharmacies now sells the Kinoki pads for $19.99 for 14 pads (1 weeks usage). And oh so conveniently this week's Sunday paper had a coupon for $2 off. *Deep sigh of defeat* (pun intended).

My Sea Monkeys are going to be pissed about this one!

So you're saying that it's DHMO that turns them black? You're full of it! Now I understand.

dan edal:

Remember, all the best alt-health products come from the Far East, where everyone is eternally healthy and lives in an episode of Sagwa: the Chinese Siamese Cat, but all the good consumer electronics products are from Europe, where everyone sweeps their floors with a little robot ball in a hat.

Billy Mays told me so.

When my dad got sick two years ago, he tried to go once a week to a place where he put his feet in some kind of bath that supposedly removed the toxins from his feet. At the time I thought it was silly, but he had terminal cancer, and whatever he wanted to do to feel better was fine with me.

Of course, I knew the foot pads were just as ridiculous, but every time I see the ad I think "gee - it is too bad dad missed out on those, because when he was really sick those would have been much, much easier for him to use than to try to sit up for a while with his feet in water!"

By Avonelle Lovhaug (not verified) on 19 Aug 2008 #permalink

There's no need for these footpads. Through years of careful experimentation, I've discovered that my socks turn black after use as well; obviously, then, they are performing exactly the same function as these pads. Furthermore, they are reusable!

You should try the Konichi Wa Kitty Detox Maxi Pads. They pull the Fe right out of your body and give you that little tingle that tells you that they're working.

Re: dan edal

Wow. I've seen salesmen pitching to the wrong audience before, but that's probably the biggest example I've ever come across. Spam, to be sure, but assuming it was an actual human being cutting and pasting, that's probably worse than someone hawking bibles over at PZ's. At least a lot of the people over there read religious texts.

My buddy says they also work really well on his bald-spot.

I saw these "Foot Detox" thingies in a catalog, and they're charging $16.99 for a pack of 10, or $39.99 for a 30 pack. Wow. What a bargain--almost $40 for 30 bags of herbs that don't do s---. Well, they have peppermint in them, so they may smell nice--at least until you put them on your feet overnight...

I've always wondered why people find credence in the "traditional [insert Asian culture reference here] treatment" claim. I am guessing that the Japanese never used foot-extractive traditional treatments, and there is no historical or ethnological evidence of such.

When I am in health-food stores, I find all kinds of quackery next to my fair-trade coffee. Oxygen-enhanced water in PETE-plastic bottles, anti-herpes sprays whose active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite (bleach), etc.

While a half-century ago one may have been excused for finding the Orient to be the source of new and mysterious practices, modern communications and travel should have done away with that image.

When I find people talking about the enlightened Japanese, I usually interject that they are ascribing too much to a people who have a "Whale meat eating day" on the 9th of every month.

[Notice: I will make a duplicate post to the excellent "Dispatches from the Culture Wars" blog that references this thread]

By Daniel Kim (not verified) on 23 Aug 2008 #permalink

Does anyone recall that "footpad" is an old word meaning "thief"?