Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

No more BPA in food and beverage containers!

That’s what leaders from the House and Senate are proposing. The bill was introduced Friday and would establish a federal ban on the use of BPA in all food and beverage containers.

canned-foods

From the Washington Post:
The move came a day after Sunoco, the gas and chemical company, sent word to investors that it is now refusing to sell bisphenol A, known as BPA, to companies for use in food and water containers for children younger than 3. The company told investors that it cannot be certain of the chemical compound’s safety. Last week, six baby-bottle manufacturers, including Playtex and Gerber, announced that they will stop using BPA in bottles.

I am glad one of the big oil companies is taking a stand like this. Very impressive since the sale of BPA is a lucrative market for them.

From Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Scientists and environmentalists praised the move as an acknowledgment of the chemical’s danger, but some worried that more needs to be done to study how humans are exposed to the chemical.BPA is found lurking in many places including baby bottles, plastic containers (even some labeled microwave safe), food and beverage containers, eyeglasses, CDs, dental sealants and many other places.

“It may represent just the tip of a much larger iceberg,” said Pat Hunt, the professor from Washington State University whose work led to the discovery of the effects of BPA on animals more than 10 years ago.

“Recent work suggests that contaminated food and beverages alone aren’t sufficient to account for the levels reported in human blood. Thus, it’s clear that we need to know a lot more about how we are exposed to this chemical.”

 

BPA has been linked to behavioral problems, obesity, certain cancers, diabetes, miscarriage, low sperm counts, hyperactivity, heart disease, has been found to interfere with chemotherapy in breast cancer patients, and many other problems.

Why the FDA still considers BPA “safe” is beyond me. I mean other than they are in bed with the plastic industry folks. Hey, money talks. But its certainly infuriating as a parent knowing that hundreds of studies, another Federal Health agency and now even a BPA manufacturer all find there is enough evidence that this stuff does cause harm even in small amounts.

There are ways to avoid BPA in food and beverages. We do not use canned foods/beverages in our house, and I do not miss it or find it any harder to make dinner. I get fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. For soup, we make our own from scratch –it’s healthier and it tastes much better. If I really need canned something, which is usually just beans for taco night, I use Eden Organics whose cans are not lined with BPA (except tomatoes, which are too acidic). Even chicken and beef stock can be bought in a boxed form allowing you to avoid cans. Cream of whatever soups are the only other thing I use and I know there are recipes out there to make your own. For beverages, go for glass bottles (though the tops may be lined with BPA), or plastic (which is a whole other concern. We just gave up soft drinks all together a few years ago – there is no nutritional benefit to drinking it, it’s full of bad stuff and its not cheap.

See my lists of BPA free items for children and some for mom too.
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and food storage
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles
 
BPA free dishes, utensils, snack containers and food storage

Follow me on Twitter!

Sources:
JSOnline
Washington Post

BPA investigation: To read the Journal Sentinel’s ongoing investigation “Chemical Fallout,” go to www jsonline.com/chemicalfallout. JSOnAir Meg Kissinger on BPA To see Meg Kissinger talk about the national attention the Journal Sentinel is getting for its research into bisphenol A, go to jsonline.com/jsonair.

Related Articles
Harmful plastics with BPA
Lead and PVC-free lunch boxes
Non-Toxic Toys for Christmas 
The Real Story Behind BPA

Diapers on sale!

Diapers.com is having a sale on diapers. Check out their great sale. Save an additional $10 by using coupon code AMOMS10 at checkout! Code applies to new customers.

Diapers.com has expanded their offerings and now offers all kinds of gear, trinkets and whatnot for babies, including feeding supplies for breastfeeding, bottle feeding and solids; cloth diapering; strollers and other gear; toys including wood; formula and so much more!

Don’t forget to use coupon code AMOMS10 to save $10! Oh, and if you spend $49+ you will also get free 2 day shipping! 

Shop now because the sale ends at the end of February!

BPA mimics estrogen and phthalates block testosterone

This article sums up pretty much what we already know, but it does a good job of showing how BPA acts like estrogen and phthalates block testosterone. I did learn that BPA exposure to babies in the womb have a greater negative effect on girls than boys, causing more reproductive harm than I thought.

Mice that were exposed to BPA as fetuses developed abnormalities of the ovaries, uterus, and vagina, Dr. Taylor said. Other murine studies found genetic abnormalities in eggs, an increased risk of mammary cancers, and early puberty in females.

The list of problems was shorter for male mice exposed to the chemical, with reduced sperm production and increased prostate size at the top.

And for phthalates…

Studies in male animals have found reduced sperm production, undescended testes, hypospadias, decreased testosterone production, and reduced anogenital distance.

The chemical’s effects on female reproduction were far fewer, with murine studies linking it to delayed or premature puberty.

They touch on the FDA’s stance that BPA is safe, where the FDA states they did not have sufficient evidence. However, human studies would be difficult. For one, a human study on either substance would be difficult since the entire population is exposed to both chemicals. Also, subjecting humans to high levels of this stuff would be unethical.

“Sometimes you just have to make decisions based on ‘inadequate’ evidence,” Dr. Lustig said regarding the FDA’s investigation of BPA, and potentially phthalates. “You just [make them] based on the right thing to do.”

Amen to that.

Read the entire article here.

Follow me on Twitter!

See my lists of BPA free items for children and some for mom too.
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and food storage
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles
 
BPA free dishes, utensils, snack containers and food storage

Related Articles
Harmful plastics with BPA
Lead and PVC-free lunch boxes
Non-Toxic Toys for Christmas 
The Real Story Behind BPA

FDA finds melamine in popular US infant formulas

And looks like they have been trying to keep this quiet. Melamine has been detected in many popular infant formulas.

The FDA is contradicting themselves saying now that the melamine levels detected are “safe,” though last month the agency stated it was unable to identify any melamine exposure level as safe for infants.

Melamine is the chemical that was recently found in Chinese infant formula, which killed 4 infants and sickened over 50,000. The FDA is saying parents should not find alternatives to formula, however, some brands tested at lower levels than others, so I say parents should determine what is best for their child. And when changing diet, it’s best to contact your pediatrician before making changes.

Here is an excerpt from the article on some of the findings:

According to FDA data for tests of 77 infant formula samples, a trace concentration of melamine was detected in one product — Mead Johnson’s Infant Formula Powder, Enfamil LIPIL with Iron. An FDA spreadsheet shows two tests were conducted on the Enfamil, with readings of 0.137 and 0.14 parts per million.

Three tests of Nestle‘s Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron detected an average of 0.247 parts per million of cyanuric acid, a melamine byproduct.

The FDA said last month that the toxicity of cyanuric acid is under study, but that meanwhile it is “prudent” to assume that its potency is equal to that of melamine.

And while the FDA said tests of 18 samples of formula made by Abbott Laboratories, including its Similac brand, did not detect melamine, spokesman Colin McBean said some company tests did find the chemical. He did not identify the specific product or the number of positive tests.

Read the entire press release here.

Breastfeeding is the perferred way to feed a child and is increasingly becoming more popular thanks to better information on the advantages of breastfeeding reaching expecting parents. However in some cases, breastfeeding is just not possible, if if the desire to is there. In that situation, parents must consider donor milk or formula. And don’t babies deserve a safe formula free of chemicals and other toxins?

What you can do:

Contact your congressmen and let them know this is not acceptable.

Write the FDA.

Sign a petition, such as this one.

Related Articles
Chinese milk scandal widens
Is melamine safe?
Nursing is more than breastfeeding
Breastmilk cures

Using a fan may reduce the risk of SIDS

SIDS is probably what most new parents fear the most. Studies have been done, but the cause of SIDS remains unknown. The back-to-bed campaign has been successful at reducing the number of cases, but there are still about 2,500 SIDS cases in the US each year.

A new study shows that a fan used in the baby’s room while he sleeps reduced the chances of SIDS by 72%. It’s believed that the fan helps keep fresh air for the baby to breath, reducing carbon dioxide and other toxins that a baby could breath in that may lead to SIDS.  

Parents should still follow other advice such as breastfeeding, use a pacifier, avoid soft bedding, avoiding stuffed animals and bumper pads in the bed, and, of course, sleeping on their backs.

Read the entire article here.

Related Articles
Have we found the cause of SIDS?
Toxins founds in crib mattresses can cause health problems
BPA free bottles, sippies and food storage

Should you get the flu shot? Or just take Vitamin D?

Someone emailed me these 2 very interesting articles regarding the effectiveness of the flu shot (based on a study showing it is not effective) and another indicating Vitamin D deficiency may be what causes many to get the flu.

Certainly it is a personal decision, but I would encourage you to read these articles below. And DEFINITELY get a preservative/mercury free shot for your children if you decide to get the flu shot for them!!!!

Avoid Flu Shots With the One Vitamin that Will Stop Flu in Its Tracks   

Another influenza season is beginning, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will strongly urge Americans to get a flu shot. In fact, the CDC mounts a well-orchestrated campaign each season to generate interest and demand for flu shots.

But a recent study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu appeared to have no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons.

At first glance, the data did suggest that children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years derived some protection from vaccination in these years. But after adjusting for potentially relevant variables, the researchers concluded that “significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting” examined.

Additionally, a Group Health study found that flu shots do not protect elderly people against developing pneumonia — the primary cause of death resulting as a complication of the flu. Others have questioned whether there is any mortality benefit with influenza vaccination. Vaccination coverage among the elderly increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now, but there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza or pneumonia.

There is some evidence that flu shots cause Alzheimer’s disease, most likely as a result of combining mercury with aluminum and formaldehyde. Mercury in vaccines has also been implicated as a cause of autism.

Three other serious adverse reactions to the flu vaccine are joint inflammation and arthritis, anaphylactic shock (and other life-threatening allergic reactions), and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralytic autoimmune disease.

One credible hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease.

Vitamin D levels in your blood fall to their lowest point during flu seasons. Unable to be protected by the body’s own antibiotics (antimicrobial peptides) that are released by vitamin D, a person with a low vitamin D blood level is more vulnerable to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.

Studies show that children with rickets, a vitamin D-deficient skeletal disorder, suffer from frequent respiratory infections, and children exposed to sunlight are less likely to get a cold. The increased number of deaths that occur in winter, largely from pneumonia and cardiovascular diseases, are most likely due to vitamin D deficiency.

Unfortunately, now, for the first time, flu vaccination is also being pushed for virtually all children — not just those under 5.

This is a huge change. Previously, flu vaccine was recommended only for youngsters under 5, who can become dangerously ill from influenza. This year, the government is recommending that children from age 6 months to 18 years be vaccinated, expanding inoculations to 30 million more school-age children.

The government argues that while older children seldom get as sick as the younger ones, it’s a bigger population that catches flu at higher rates, so the change should cut missed school, and parents’ missed work when they catch the illness from their children.

Of course, this policy ignores the fact that a systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6 to 23 months found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo.

Sources:

 

Dr. Mercola’s Comments 

Back in 2005, The Federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that all children between 6 months and 5 years old receive flu shots each year. Now they have expanded their guidelines to include children up to 18 years, which means everyone except those between the ages of 19-49, who are in good health, are urged to get a flu shot.It should come as no surprise to find out that a majority of the ACIP members who came up with these guidelines have financial ties to the vaccine industry, and stand to gain personally for every additional person getting a yearly injection. It’s actually the only explanation that makes any sense for recommendations as insane as these.

Three Reasons to Reconsider Flu ShotsThere are three major reasons why this government push to vaccinate 84 percent of the U.S. population with a yearly flu vaccine is so incomprehensible: 

1. The majority of flu shots contain 25 micrograms of mercury; an amount considered unsafe for anyone weighing less than 550 pounds! And which groups are most sensitive to the neurological damage that has been associated with mercury? Infants, children, and the elderly.

2. No studies have conclusively proven that flu shots prevent flu-related deaths among the elderly, yet this is one of the key groups to which they’re pushed.

3. If you get a flu shot, you can still get the flu (or flu-like symptoms). This is because it only protects against certain strains, and it’s anyone’s guess which flu viruses will be in your area.  

So why would you take a flu shot – EVERY YEAR — that has NEVER been proven to be effective, that can give you the very illness you’re trying to prevent, and has potential long-term side effects that are far worse than the flu itself?

The powers that be have done an excellent job of instilling fear into the population so they believe that they must get a shot to stay healthy, but the simple reality is it’s doing you more harm than good.

And, even if the flu vaccine could effectively prevent the flu, there have been several examples in past years where government health officials have chosen the incorrect influenza strains for that year’s vaccine.  In 2004, the National Vaccine Information Center described how CDC officials told everyone to line up for a flu shot that didn’t even contain the influenza strain causing most of the flu that year.

Two-Thirds of This Year’s Flu Vaccines Contain a Full-Dose of Mercury

According to Dr. Donald Miller, MD, two-thirds of this year’s flu vaccines contain 25 micrograms of thimerosal. Thimerosal is 49 percent mercury by weight.

Each dose of these flu vaccines contains more than 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for mercury.

By now, most people are well aware that children and fetuses are most at risk of damage from this neurotoxin, as their brains are still developing. Yet the CDC still recommends that children over 6 months, and pregnant women, receive the flu vaccine each year.

In addition to mercury, flu vaccines also contain other toxic or hazardous ingredients like:

  • Formaldehyde — a known cancer-causing agent
  • Aluminum — a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease
  • Triton X-100 — a detergent
  • Phenol (carbolic acid)
  • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
  • Various antibiotics: neomycin, streptomycin, gentamicin – which can cause allergic reactions in some people

The Evidence Against Flu Vaccines

For those of you who are still unconvinced, know that there’s plenty of scientific evidence available to back up the recommendation to avoid flu vaccines – if nothing else, then for the simple reason that they don’t work, and don’t offer any real benefit to offset their inherent health risks. For example:

  • A brand new study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons. The researchers concluded that “significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting” examined.
  • A study published in the Lancet just two months ago found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. This supports a study done five years ago, published in The New England Journal of Medicine
  • Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine last month also confirms that there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia, despite the fact that vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now.
  • Last year, researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health published this conclusion in the Lancet Infectious Diseases: “We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits.” 
  • A large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in children. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.

Might Influenza be Little More Than a Symptom of Vitamin D Deficiency?

Vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,” may very well be one of the most beneficial vitamins there is for disease prevention. Unfortunately it’s also one of the vitamins that a vast majority of people across the world are deficient in due to lack of regular exposure to sunshine.

Published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006, the hypothesis presented by Dr. John Cannell and colleagues in the paper Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D actually makes a lot of sense.

They raise the possibility that influenza is a symptom of vitamin D deficiency!

The vitamin D formed when your skin is exposed to sunlight regulates the expression of more than 2,000 genes throughout your body, including ones that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. Hence, being overwhelmed by the “flu bug” could signal that your vitamin D levels are too low, allowing the flu virus to overtake your immune system.

How to Prepare For Flu Season Without Getting a Flu Shot

I often find that some of the simplest explanations are the truest, and this sounds about as simple as it gets. And, getting appropriate amounts of sunshine (or taking a vitamin D supplement when you can’t get healthy amounts of sun exposure) is one of my KEY preventive strategies against the cold and flu, as it has such a strengthening effect on your immune system.

Interestingly, last week the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled its recommended dose of vitamin D.  Unfortunately this is still a woefully inadequate recommendation as the dose should be TEN times larger. Rather than going from 200 to 400 units per day, it should have increased to about 2,000 units per day.

For most of you reading this it is “vitamin D winter,” which means there simply isn’t enough sunshine to make significant amounts of vitamin D, so you will need to use a tanning bed or take oral supplements.

Although supplements are clearly inferior to sunlight or safe tanning beds, I am becoming more convinced of the value of vitamin D supplements as they are less potentially toxic than my initial impression, and they are certainly more convenient and less expensive than a tanning bed.

For those in the winter with no or very limited exposure to sunshine, 4,000-5,000 units per day would seem appropriate for most adults. If you are very heavy you may need to double that dose, and for children the dose can be half that.

The key though is to make sure you monitor your vitamin D levels by blood testing, to make sure your levels are therapeutic and not toxic.

I advocate getting your vitamin D levels tested regularly, but as I reported recently, you now need to beware of where you’re getting your test done. For an in-depth explanation of what you MUST know before you get tested, please read my updated article Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency.

You can also use vitamin D therapeutically to TREAT the flu. But please understand that if you are taking the above doses of vitamin D the odds of you getting the flu are VERY remote.  The dose of vitamin D you can use would be 2,000 units per kilogram of body weight (one pound is 0.45 kg).  The dose would be taken once a day for three days. 

This could be a very large dose if you were very heavy (2-300,000 units per day)  This is the dose that Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, has been using very successfully for a number of years.

I have not received a flu shot nor had the flu in over 20 years. Here are the other “secrets” I use to keep the flu (and other illnesses) at bay:

Another useful supplement you could try, should you come down with a case of the flu, is olive leaf extract, which you can find in most any health food store.

Olive leaf extract has been found to be a potent broad-spectrum antiviral agent, active against all viruses tested, including numerous strains of influenza and para-influenza viruses.

Related Articles:

http://articles.mercola.com/themes/blogs/MercolaArticle/mercolaimages/bullet.gif Risks of FluMist Vaccine

 

Infant death prompts recall of 1.6 millions cribs

I am expecting in 5 weeks and all these crib and bassinet recalls are pretty unsettling. Please check the www.cpsc.gov website to make sure you do not have a crib of bassinet affected by any of these recalls.

From USA Today:

Federal regulators announced the recall today of 1.6 million drop-side cribs following the death of an infant.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says an 8-month-old baby “became entrapped and suffocated when the drop side of the crib detached in a reassembled crib where the safety pegs were not installed.”

Other children were trapped because of the defect, the agency says.

The recall includes 985,000 Delta Enterprise cribs that were manufactured in Taiwan or Indonesia and have the ‘“Crib Trigger Lock with Safety Peg” drop side hardware design.”

“The recalled cribs have date codes ranging from 1995 though December 2005 and one model (4624) was made in 2007,” the CPSC announcement says. “The model numbers are located on the top of the mattress support board.”

The recall also involves 600,000 Delta drop-side cribs that were made in China before 2006.

“We’re erring on the side of caution,” Jack Gutt, a spokesman for New York-based Delta Enterprise, tells the Associated Press. “Anyone who calls and has these cribs that were constructed in these time periods, we’re going to send anybody and everybody either additional safety pegs or the retrofit kit.”

Learn more at www.cribrecallcenter.com. You can also call (800) 816-5304.

Related articles:
BPA Free bottles, sippy cups and food storage
BPA and Phthalate free pacifiers 
Lead and Phthalate free toys for Christmas
Have we found the cause of SIDS?

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