Please pass on the plastic

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BPA is everywhere October 20, 2010

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home — michelleodonoghue @ 5:31 pm

but you are not going to believe the latest place it is turning up…… in RECEIPTS!!! BPA is used as the compound to darken the text and make the paper readable when it is exposed to a heated print head. Where do these thermal heads exist:  retail shops, grocery stores, movie tickets, credit card print outs, airline tickets, and the list goes on. Basically it is everywhere.

BPA was a compound synthesized by scientists in the late 1800’s and a couple decades later, its estrogenic properties were discovered. At the same time, DES was developed and found to be more “effective” in its estrogenic role. (see note below about what the FDA deemed effective–it’s craziness!!)  BPA was shelved until scientists discovered other uses for it—mainly as polycarbonates—-plastic that can be molded, heated, softened, and thermoformed (a word I prefer not to be connected to plastic)

SO—–at this point BPA is embedded in nearly every element of society and receipts are just the latest discovery. So here’s what to do when it comes to receipts:

–DO NOT TAKE THE RECEIPT
–ASK the retailer if they are using thermal-free paper (the more people who ask the sooner they will switch over. It’s so not fair that store clerks have to deal with this toxic paper all day. And thermal free paper is widely and readily available.)

— WHATEVER YOU DO,  DO NOT CRUMPLE THE RECEIPT (the amount of BPA in receipts is way higher than many other goods, when you crumple, it gets all over your skin)

–WASH HANDS ANYTIME YOU DEAL WITH RECEIPTS

–AVOID AS MUCH PLASTIC AS POSSIBLE IN YOUR LIFE (this is possible. just say no to plastic. you’ll be amazed how many alternatives there are)

–KEEP BPA RECEIPTS OUT OF RECYCLING BINS SO THAT IT DOES NOT WIND UP IN RECYCLED GOODS (how disturbing is that??  just when you thought you were doing something good for the environment)

BPA is turning up in the umbilical cords of newborns. It is a very difficult chemical to avoid, but that should not stop us from trying to avoid it and speaking up. As a consumer we have so many choices and how we spend our money is  very direct way to show what we support.

Some other places that BPA exists in significant amounts:

canned goods

hard plastics like the 5gallon poland spring water jugs

shower curtains

baby bottles

infant formula

resins and epoxys

teeth sealants (used in children and adults, ask your dentist for the bpa-free version:)

And the reason we don’t want to be ingesting BPA–an estrogen mimic and hormone disruptor–is that all studies that are scientifically sound show that it is carcinogenic, causes insulin resistance, liver disease, erectile dysfunction (ha–got your attention!), and once again the list goes on.

if there’s one chemical worth fighting against–and fighting hard–it is BPA. Keep me posted on any success you have keeping BPA out of your life.

***DES  has estrogenic properties (mimics estrogen)and became  “popular” b/c of its supposed effectiveness in preventing miscarriages and slowing down puberty and preventing certain hormonal cancers. It took many years to discover that DES was actually quite harmful and caused tumours for the in utero baby and hindered natural puberty and was NOT effective in fighting any type of cancer. still it took  many more years for the FDA to remove it from the shelves.

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Get Rid of ALL Those Chemicals Now October 19, 2010

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,healthy office,healthy school — michelleodonoghue @ 2:00 am

Today the Wall Street Journal reported that governments around the world are calling for consumer product companies to reveal the lists of  chemicals that exist in their product. That’s huge—but, and its a big but—this is not mandatory yet and since it’s taken years for the people at the top to ask for this type of information–it’s going to take years for it to become public info.

What to do?  I started eliminating chemicals from our family’s everyday living 10 years ago, one product at a time. It is not only possible, but relatively easy at this point to dramatically reduce everyday exposures at home, the office, and possibly even the kids’ school.

AT HOME:  (these are not in any particular order and, at the risk of sounding repetitive, are ALL extremely important in reducing chemical exposure)

use green cleaning supplies–it is not an option to do otherwise, its a must-do for the health of your family’s lungs and brain cells. the green products out there are so capable. list to follow soon on my favorites.

–use no-VOC paint. 10 years ago there was only low-VOC, today there is no-VOC. Again, this is a must

NO Pesticides on your lawn. They do make their way into your home and the water supply.

Organic / natural skincare, shampoo/lotions/ make-up. Again–a must. Your skin absorbs everything you put onto it. it has been proven several times over that a women who is getting ready for her day, puts on more than 100 chemicals before breakfast. Eliminate parabens and sulfates and you are eliminating a huge intake of chemicals.

use house plants throughout the house–the bigger the better! they absorb the chemicals that may exist. plese check for poisonous plants as I am not familiar with these.

ONLY BUY ORGANIC MATTRESSES. that way you are not breathing in flame retardents all night long. especially important for babies and children.

organic fruit and vegetables are a must. (and hormone free meat and dairy)

no microwave popcorn and no teflon. they are both coated with chemicals that are terrible for us.

AT THE OFFICE:

–again, set up some plants

NO plastic water bottles, both the single use and the 5 gallon containers are laden with chemicals.

–choose organic meals whenever possible

–do NOT USE ANY STYROFOAM–ever!!!!!!

only use green dry cleaners–the perc that is used in conventional dry cleaners is toxic

AT SCHOOL:

no idling bus policy: many school districts are adopting a no-idle policy. If yours has not done so yet, encourage the supervisor to make this a priority. Diesel fumes get into the buses and the children ride to and from school surrounded by the cancerous fumes.

encourage school to use green products. it is NOT more expensive and makes a huge difference as children tend to have their hands in their mouth all day and easily absorb the residue from the cleaners.

a large entryway carpet encourages children to brush their shoes off when they enter the building, which eliminated a lot of dirt and pesticides and chemicals from entering the classroom, where young children lay on the floor and play with toys.

no pesticides on the fields. and NO TURF! standard turf is made from recycled tires, which are hazmat–every footstep sends up loads of toxic dust into children’s lungs. there are other green turf options. After children play gym/ sports they must, must, must wash hands before eating, so that most chemicals are off hands before ingesting food. also wash cuts well.

MY favorite organization in the world, paving the way for all of us in this chemical-free movement, is grassroots environmental education. They have kits you can order for minimal amt (i think $15) that coach parents and educators on how to go chemical free at school. Their site is filled with the most pressing, relevant, cutting edge research out there and makes this mission to go chemical-free very do-able.

During the last 3 years I have touched upon alternatives for all the things mentioned above, so peruse blog for more detail, or comment, or do a little research. the info is out there and its up to the consumer to make these changes happen NOW.

more to come……