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Take Action: Demand Chemical Safety Reform

Most Americans assume that chemicals used to make ordinary products are tested for safety…but guess what? They’re not. Since 1950, over 70,000 new chemical compounds have been introduced into our environment—less than TWO PERCENT have ever been tested for human safety.

Over 150 chemicals commonly found in homes have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological/neurological abnormalities and the EPA has reported that nearly 30 cancer-causing chemicals were detectable in the fat tissues of literally every American today. Even more shocking (and morally unacceptable), innocent babies are now born with as many as 200 different chemicals and industrial pollutants IN THEIR CORD BLOOD.

From baby bottles made with bisphenol-A (BPA) to carpets containing formaldehyde, these dangerous chemicals are everywhere—in our homes, places of work, and the products we use every day. With each new scientific report linking toxic chemical exposure to a serious health problem, it becomes more apparent that the law intended to keep harmful chemicals in check—the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 is outdated and simply NOT working.

Right now, we have the chance to fix this problem—and to protect future generations from serious harm. By updating TSCA, Congress can create the foundation for a sound chemicals policy that protects public health and the environment. To be effective, TSCA reform should:

  • Take immediate action on the most dangerous chemicals
  • Hold industry responsible for the safety of their chemicals and products
  • Use the best science to protect all people and vulnerable groups

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 can be the change we need, but without your support; without making YOUR voice heard, industry influence will very likely weaken these regulations and put us right back where we started, if not further behind and further endangering ALL citizens.

Senator Frank Lautenberg has introduced the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, which would be the first major overhaul of America’s dangerously weak toxic chemicals law.

We need YOUR help to make this happen. Please take a moment to let your voice be heard by following the link below.

Take Action: Urge your Senators to cosponsor the Safe Chemicals Act

If you need more convincing, this video by The Environmental Working Group is extremely informative.

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Sun Chips Compostable Bags Scrapped

According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, Frito-Lay is pulling the biodegradable, compostable Sun Chips bag  they recently debuted because people complained that it’s “too noisy”.

Yes—people took the time to make viral videos “poking fun” at the new bags and lodged “fierce complaints” on social-networking sites about the noisier packaging and in response to the complaints and a drop in sales, Frito-Lay decided to scrap, (for all but one flavor), the groundbreaking bag  that used a polymer made from renewable plants rather than petroleum.

What does it say about Americans’ priorities that we are more concerned about the crinkly sound of a Sun Chips bag than keeping bags that will be here for hundreds of years out of the waste stream?

To be fair, the bags ARE noisy but not so much that it deters me from buying the product. In any case, there’s hope for noisy compostable snack bags, as evidenced by the quieter, more paper-like bag used by Boulder Canyon products which is made from wood pulp instead of corn starch.

In related news, I watched Trash Inc: The Secret Life of Garbage last night on CNBC. I recommend everyone watch it and see what happens to your trash after it leaves your curb.

Find It Here: The Wall Street Journal

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A Ray of Hope!

bpa-free-beans.jpg

I’ve bought Eden Organics canned goods on many occasions in the past, mainly because I’d heard their can liners were BPA-free. But when I actually saw it on the side of the can, my heart leapt. No, really. I was THAT excited. Someday I hope we’ll see “BPA Free” on ALL canned foods.

High fives to Eden Organics for making my weekend just a little bit better—and to Canada for officially declaring BPA (bisphenol-A) toxic!!!

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Join a Public Library!

libraryicon.pngThese days, so many people I know go to the bookstore when they want to read something new. Going to the library doesn’t even occur to them.

How has this happened? I really don’t know. But it’s just another branch of consumerism, and all those books that we read just once become clutter in our lives, collecting dust on shelves in our homes. And then we need bigger and bigger homes to store all those books that we hardly read anyway, because we’re all too busy earning the money to pay for the books that we hardly even bothered to read more than once.

The logic is twisted.

So go get a public library card—when a new book comes out that you want to read, check the online library catalogs before rushing to the bookstore for your own personal copy. You’ll save a huge amount of money over the years.

And while you’re at it, why not take along those books you don’t plan to read again and donate them to the library or a thrift shop so others can read them as well!

Author Leanne Veitch is a mother of two living on an organic farm in New Zealand. She writes about activism, simple living know-how and her experiences on the farm at her blog, Hazeltree Farm

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