Tag - phthalates

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Naturepedic Says “Get Out Of My Bed!”
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3 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Healthiest Home Yet
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Making Better Decisions: Choosing Safer Toys as Gifts
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Making Better Decisions: Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Plastic Toys
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Study Connects Phthalate Exposure in Moms, Asthma in Children
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Regrettable Substitutions In Consumer Products
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Naturepedic Founder Discusses Chemicals in Crib Mattresses
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Are You Getting the Whole Truth About Your Personal Body Care Products?
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Want to Do Something About It? Get Into Grass Roots Chemical Reform
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Over One Third of Children’s Toys and Products Contain Chemicals that are Linked to Learning and Developmental Disabilities

Naturepedic Says “Get Out Of My Bed!”

Natural foods store chain Whole Foods publicly published a list of Unacceptable Ingredients for Food. This list alphabetically spells out ingredients like disodium dihydrogen EDTA the retailer finds inappropriate for food or packaging, ingredients not in line with healthy living. Panera Bread did something similar, publishing a No No list of ingredients the restaurant/bakery chain has committed to removing from its offerings by the end of 2016 to make its food even healthier for consumers. Panera, in fact, was one of the first to move toward transparency, becoming the first national restaurant chain to disclose caloric content on its menu. When you think about it, while you can read a food label on a can of soup in a store and get the ingredients and information on calories, fat, sodium, and more, that level of transparency has largely been missing from restaurants. And consumer products. As you read this, you’re probably looking at some form of screen — on a[…]

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3 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Healthiest Home Yet

The daunting chore of spring cleaning marks an opportunity to make your home less toxic. There are many hidden hazardous chemicals in common cleaning products and household items—from glass cleaner to hand soap to your living room sofa—so we’ve compiled a short to-do list to help make your home safer. This list is not extensive, but it’s a start. And, by completing these three simple tasks you can start removing many questionable chemicals from your family’s abode. Alright, let’s detoxify: Ditch antibacterial & toxic cleaning products: Did you know that products labelled “antibacterial’ or ”antimicrobial” contain pesticides? Or that many common cleaning products contain ingredients like ammonia and coal tar dyes? Unfortunately, American manufacturers are not required to warn consumers about the health and environmental hazards associated with long-term exposure to chemical ingredients in cleaning products. Preventative measures: forgo cleaners with a laundry list of chemical ingredients. Try ones with simple, non-toxic ingredients. Some reputable brands to consider are Method,[…]

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Making Better Decisions: Choosing Safer Toys as Gifts

When beginning your research for safer toys, start here to learn more about wood toys, and don’t forget my key questions to ask yourself before purchasing a plastic toy. While we can’t replace everything in our house immediately (it’s too expensive for me, even if I could get my kids to give up many of the toys they love at once!), we can strive to make better choices going forward, and holidays and birthdays make a great opportunity to do so. 1) Tell your friends and family that you are looking to make more conscious decisions about the toys you’re bringing into your home. Recommend some brands you’re interested in (here and here are some suggestions), and offer key terms they should look for on packaging and websites. Key terms: Organic, BPA-free, Phthalate-free or nonphthalate, type of plastic (food grade preferred) Terms to avoid if they are unsubstantiated: Eco-friendly, Green, Natural, Non-Toxic. Ask yourself why they are Eco-friendly, Green, Natural[…]

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Making Better Decisions: Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Plastic Toys

Thanks for joining me on our hunt for safer toys! Last week, we talked about wood toys for toddlers and preschoolers, like my own 19 month old daughter and nearly 4 year old son. I was on a mission to find safer action figures and dinosaur toys my son might still be interested in playing with. The wood toys I found didn’t meet that criteria, though there are some available. We all need to find our own level of comfort with what we provide to our children, so I began to look for some safer plastic toy options. PLASTIC TOYS Here are the questions I ask myself when looking at plastic toys, in order of what I personally consider to be the most important factors regarding safety. 1) Is it BPA free or non-detectable? Generally, I only thought of Bisphenol A as it relates to baby cups and bottles, food storage containers, etc. However, BPA is a phthalate, and a[…]

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Study Connects Phthalate Exposure in Moms, Asthma in Children

A study released by Columbia University has found a connection between mothers exposed during pregnancy to high levels of two commonly used phthalates, BBP and DBP (also referenced as BBzP and DnBP), and asthma in their children. While these two phthalates were banned in children’s products in 2009 by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), they are still used in many, many household products, automobile interiors, and fragrances. Asthma in the U.S. – children at risk The number of cases of asthma has increased globally, but there is no consensus as to why. Earlier theories suspected increases in improved sanitation (the “hygiene hypothesis”) as a possibility, but although this might explain increases in allergies, it appears to not work in explaining asthma, according to a 2011 article in Scientific American. Whatever the case, rates of asthma have increased, particularly in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of people diagnosed with asthma grew[…]

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Regrettable Substitutions In Consumer Products

Questionable chemicals associated with health and developmental issues such as cancer, thyroid disruption and learning disabilities can show up in the most innocuous of consumer products. These chemicals sometimes, although infrequently, garner enough bad press to get them removed, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Unfortunately, removal may not be what it seems. Why? Because an offending chemical can be removed simply to be replaced with a similar, possibly worse chemical. Called “regrettable substitution” by the Environmental Defense Fund and other organizations, this strategy may temporarily solve a company’s marketing or PR problem but does little to get an actual safer product to the consumer. And there are virtually no regulations to prevent this. BPA Take for example Bisphenol-A, or BPA. Following an outcry from the private and academic sectors on BPA’s links to hormonal disruption and connections to cancer and diabetes, the FDA banned it from baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012 (although according to the FDA it was not[…]

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Naturepedic Founder Discusses Chemicals in Crib Mattresses

A recent study published February of this year by a team of environmental engineers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has found that infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses. Below, Naturepedic founder Barry A. Cik explores aspects related to this report to provide a greater understanding of the overall topic of chemicals in crib mattresses. Friends and Colleagues, I’ve been asked by several people to comment on the University of Texas study regarding chemicals in crib mattresses.  In particular, people want to understand the practical implications of chemicals in crib mattresses.  I’ll use a Q & A format. Are Chemicals Really a Problem? The chemical problem is quite well established.  For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics says the following: “Over the past several decades, tens of thousands of chemicals have entered commerce and the environment, often in extremely large quantities…A growing body of research indicates potential harm to[…]

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Are You Getting the Whole Truth About Your Personal Body Care Products?

  Toxic chemicals in mom’s body pass through to the baby Creating a healthy environment for our kids doesn’t start with the food we feed them, the personal products we use to keep them clean, the air they breathe or the materials we use to clothe them.  It starts with their very first home – mom. So many things in mom’s body pass through to the baby during development in the womb, it’s extremely important for mom to make the right decisions about her own food, her personal care products, the air she breathes and the materials she uses for clothes. For the uninitiated, it might seem difficult to figure all that out. Especially with the rampant ‘green-washing’ – labels that make a product look safe for us and for the environment when, in fact, it’s not. Let’s take personal body care products – soaps, lotions, shampoos, body lotions, cosmetics, and so on – as an example. Are Body Care[…]

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Want to Do Something About It? Get Into Grass Roots Chemical Reform

Let’s face it, not too many corporations are socially conscious enough to make changes in the products they manufacture or sell just because they contain chemicals suspected of causing health problems. Changes can be expensive, so they’re not likely to happen, unless the government steps in with new laws and regulations that even the playing field for everyone. But even without that official pressure, big corporations can be moved in the right direction. How? There is one person who can exert enough pressure on a company to force them to do something – and that person is you. On April 16, 2014, for example, the public – you – descended on 50 different Walgreens stores and returned products that contained toxic chemicals. They also delivered postcards to the managers. The move to get Walgreens to do more to get rid of these products has been ongoing for some time. In the last year, consumers and health professionals have sent Walgreens[…]

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Over One Third of Children’s Toys and Products Contain Chemicals that are Linked to Learning and Developmental Disabilities

We all like buying toys for our kids. We usually have several in the toy chest even before the baby is born. Shortly after birth little boys are often presented with footballs and miniature hockey sticks; little girls with what we hope will be their favorite dolls; and both get the teddy bears and rubber duckies. But before you go out on a shopping spree, you should have more information on which toys are actually safe. We’re not talking about the usual safety concerns – small parts in a baby’s mouth, we’re talking about chemicals. We already know that rubber duckies, or any toy made of vinyl, may well contain phthalates or other chemicals you really don’t want your baby to ingest. But phthalates aren’t the only toxic chemicals you have to worry about. In fact, according to the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health, over one third of children’s toys and products contain chemicals that are linked to learning[…]

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