Toxic Chemicals in Child Car Seats

On Wednesday, August 3, the nonprofit Ecology Center will be releasing it’s fourth report on toxic chemicals in children’s car seats at HealthyStuff.org. Research shows that many of these products are made with dangerous chemicals that can pose serious health risks for children.

Chemicals tested for include bromine (associated with brominated flame retardants), chlorine (indicating the presence of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC and plasticizers), lead, and heavy metal allergens. Such chemicals have been linked to major health problems such as liver, thyroid and developmental problems in children. Babies are the most vulnerable population in terms of exposure to chemical-laden dust and inhaling toxic fumes, since their systems are still developing.

The Ecology Center tested over 150 infant, convertible and booster car seats (including brands such as Graco, Fisher Price, Britax, Evenflo, Peg Perego and more) and found that while some are virtually free of the most dangerous chemicals, others are saturated. To sample the car seats they used a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, which identifies the elemental composition of any material in less than 60 seconds.

Be sure to check HealthyStuff.org on August 3rd for this critical safety information.

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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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Lower Your Family’s BPA Exposure by 60%

So, if you’re not familiar with BPA (bisphenol-A) by now, I’ll give you the condensed version…it’s a chemical. It’s found in lots of things like can linings, baby bottles, pacifiers, food containers, receipts, dental sealants and more and it does lots of bad things to your body—BPA has been linked to breast and prostate cancer as well as obesity, early puberty, cardiac disease and lowered sperm counts, even at the low levels. Research indicates it’s best to be avoided, as evidenced by most of the civilized world banning it from baby bottles.

Canada took it a step further and declared it a toxic substance. Yay Canada! Here in America, however, we have a huge chemical lobby that has convinced our government representatives (yes, the ones who are supposed to be representing citizens, not chemical companies) to not ban BPA from baby bottles or anything else.

So, what are we supposed to do?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Slow Death by Rubber Duck

slow-death-by-rubber-duck.jpgThere was a part of me that was afraid to read this book.

I totally wanted to read it, but I was nervous because I knew that I’d probably read things that would freak me out. I was right—much of the facts and statistics in it are disturbing—but Slow Death by Rubber Duck is a highly interesting and informative read. In it, Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, two of Canada’s top environmentalists, target a handful of common toxic substances and detail the effects on both their own health and the environment. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Wake-Up Story

Please take 3 minutes to watch A Wake-Up Story. It’s a must-see for parents, parents-to-be and anyone who cares about the health and well-being of future generations.

Find it Here: Healthy Child, Healthy World

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Lead in Kids Products at Walmart & Target

Target and Walmart have been recently caught selling products that expose your children to lead. AGAIN.

Tests conducted by the Center for Environmental Health found lead-contaminated Walmart and Target store brand shoes, belts and raingear for kids. One Target product contained more than FOURTEEN times the legal limit for lead. This post at Z-Recs details how very high amounts of lead were found in the snaps of Target brand onesies

These stores need to hear from you. They are powerful companies who have the resources to ensure the products they manufacture and sell are safe for you and your children. It’s time they committed to doing just that.

Please join thousands of children’s health advocates and send a message to Target and Walmart by sending them a letter and telling them you will shop elsewhere until they provide absolute assurance that they are taking the necessary steps to keep lead-containing products off of their shelves AND make public their independent test results on all store-brand products.

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Lunch Container Love

lunchboxcombo.jpgIf you’re a regular reader, you’re probably well familiar with our preference for non-toxic lunchboxes and BPA-free food containers because, well, we just don’t like mixing hazardous chemicals and endocrine disruptors with our food. That’s why we’re huge fans of Healthy Kitchenware, a site that specializes in non-toxic food and drink containers. One of their latest offerings is a stainless steel lunch carrier that comes with a smaller container that is perfect for salad/dressing or anything else that you would normally pack in a standard plastic container or baggie. Because it’s safe stainless steel, no chemicals will leach into your food and the polypropylene lid is a food-safe plastic. Of course, I think it’s awesome but even my tween daughter thinks it’s cool enough to bring to school in her lunchbox and that’s saying a lot!

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Kids Healthwatch: Pesticide Exposure

Spending for organic food is worth it when it comes to our children. Their developing bodies are especially vulnerable to toxins found in our food and environment and switching to organic food has an immediate effect on the body. Within 36 hours, pesticides may no longer be detected in a child’s urine. On my website Project Green Girl, I have an article titled “Go Organic” which lists the produce with the highest levels of pesticides. This is a great list to start with and the cost is minimal.

Recent Studies:

  • A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition tested 815 2-year olds, and found those with an organic dairy diet experienced less eczema and wheezing than those consuming non-organic dairy.
  • The BBC reported in 2006 that pesticide exposure from food can cause depression and memory problems.
  • An organic plant-based nutrition program is believed to help ADD sufferers.
  • Pesticide levels in children raise in the winter when more food is imported.
  • Amniotic fluid and breast milk can pass pesticides to the fetus and infant, so the mother should also follow an organic diet.

For more information:

Author Patricia Wooster is the founder of the Project Organic Eating blog, where healthy eating meets affordability! 

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Baby Purity Conference

untitled.jpgCalling all Canadian mamas who love their babies and don’t want them exposed to toxins in our environment—Baby Purity is hosting an exciting conference on October 25, 2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Tickets are still available but they’re going fast. Don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity to hear from experts such as Christopher Gavigan, Executive Director of Healthy Child Healthy World; Dr. Chantelle Mitchell, naturopathic physician; and Lisa Frack, parent activist with the Environmental Working Group. Learn about first foods for your baby, safe household products and good nutrition. Plus, have lunch, meet other like-minded mamas, learn about new products and get some cool (and green, of course) swag to take home. This isn’t the first time I’ve wished I lived in Canada. Heh! Joking. Kinda.

Find It Here: Baby Purity Mother’s Conference

Win It! We’re giving away two tickets to the Baby Purity Mother’s Conference! Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “BP60” as the giveaway name and tell us why you want to go! Enter by 10/22/08.

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Not Just A Pretty Face

51kthrtqeil_sl500_aa240_.jpgIf you read only one book this year, make it Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry. Get it, share it, blog about it — tell everyone you can! Written by Stacy Malkan, Communications Director of Health Care Without Harm and media strategist for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Not Just a Pretty Face provides a behind-the-scenes look into the cosmetics industry. You’ve no doubt heard by now that our cosmetics, lotions and shampoos are full of carcinogens, phthalates, parabens, chemicals and other toxic ingredients. After reading this book, you’ll discover how this has happened and why little has been done to make our products safer or require safety testing. Malkan’s investigative writing style will have you riveted and her insights into the cosmetics industry will likely have you steaming mad and I can guarantee you will never look at your make-up bag the same way again.

Find It Here: Amazon.com

Win It! We’re giving away a copy of Not Just A Pretty Face. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “NP65” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: Do you think cosmetics should be more regulated than they are presently? U.S. residents eligible. Enter by 8/27/08. Contest closed. Congrats to Christine S.!

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Safely Smelling Great

perfume.jpgSome time ago I’d heard that it was common for fragrances to contain petrochemicals and other toxins but in my ignorance, I didn’t allow this bad news to tear me away from my beloved Angel by Thierry Mugler. It smelled so completely unique and delicious that you could instantly zero in on another Angel wearer in a crowd, inevitably leading to this total perfume bonding moment in which we would gush over our mutual love of the scent.

So…imagine my shock and dismay upon learning that my most favorite perfume ever is allegedly made with the same ingredients found in pesticides & chemicals that attack the eyes, skin, central and peripheral nervous systems, respiratory, hepatic, hematological & reproductive systems along with damage to the DNA of sperm in adult males.

In fact , a class action suit is being considered for Nordstrom employees who were unknowingly and continuously exposed to the aformentioned toxic chemicals while selling Angel. Oy. I guess it’s a good thing I could never afford to wear my most beloved scent every day (and now, of course, I don’t wear it at all). But what about your favorite fragrances — just how safe or dangerous are they?

Our hardworking friends over at the Environmental Working Group have made it easy peasy for you to find out by consulting the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. In fact, there’s a section just for fragrances for both women and men and a number of very popular ones received the highest ranking possible for toxicity. Lucky for all of us, there are a number of very safely rated scents also listed because seriously, we shouldn’t have to make ourselves sick just so we can smell nice.

Find It Here: EWG Fragrance Safety Ratings for Women and Men

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Oh Baby, Babyganics

babyganics.pngDid you know that many conventional household cleaners contain chemicals that are more dangerous and toxic than the germs we are trying to avoid by using them? According to the EPA, some of these toxins have been found to cause cancer in animals and are suspected, or are known, to cause cancer in humans. But before you get too freaked out, I want you to know that you DO have options; there ARE products made by companies who actually care about you, your family and the earth, one of them being Babyganics, which makes cleaning products that are plant based, organic, VOC free, non-caustic, free of harsh chemicals, fillers or dyes and are completely safe for you, your children, pets and the environment. You need it? They got it — all purpose cleaner, glass & surface cleaner, tub & tile cleaner, floor cleaner, dish soap, laundry detergent and even an odor eliminator/air freshener, which is one of the things I miss most since quitting conventional cleaning products. But one thing I won’t ever miss are those nasty chemical odors that we’ve come to think of as “clean smelling.” Now clean smells like…clean.

Find it Here: Babyganics

Congratulations to Kathie R., winner of a Babyganics Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit, courtesy of Go Natural Baby!

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