Posts Tagged ‘toxins’

Can your cell phone give you cancer?

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The Samsung Impression a877 had the lowest radiation level

According to a new 10-month long research study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the answer is maybe. One thing is definite, cell phone do emit radiation, and at levels that concern scientists for possible cancer risks. Whether or not cell phone radiation poses a health risk remains uncertain, however, several studies have suggested increased risk of brain and mouth cancers, as well as an increase in children’s behavior problems, among frequent cell phone users.

The EWG studied over 1,000 cell phone sold in the US and rank the top 10 best (low radiation) and 10 worst (high radiation) cell phones. You can search the EWG’s cell phone radiation database to see how your phone rates.

What about the little chip that promised to diffuse radiation away from your head? According to the research, they do little if any good because it weakens the phone’s signal making it work harder, thus uses more radiation to do so.

What can you do to limit exposure?
There are ways to reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation. The EWG has a printable guide for reducing exposure to cell phone radiation.  

Send a message to manufacturers by purchasing phones with the lowest level of radiation.

You can also get involved by telling the FCC and the FDA to modernize cell phone radiation standards to the lowest level possible.

For more info: Read the entire Cell Phone Radiation Report.

Create an eco-nursery; County bans BPA baby bottles and Rubber mulch is toxic

Something new: Link Round up!

It’s difficult to post even weekly now with 2 kids and working full time, so I decided when I have several interesting topics at once, I will give a smaller summary and post the link to the article.

Eco-proof the nursery this is a great little article highlighting common concerns for today’s new parents (or new again). It shows how parents are concerned about the expense of raising a “green” baby and offers tips on how to go free for free or for very little money.

One NY County Bans BPA Baby bottles Hats off to them! I hope this catches on, though with manufacturers stopping the production of them and national retailers stopping the sale of them, bottles made with BPA will be hard to come by soon enough.

Rubber mulch is not non-toxic and contains metal fragments. And Obama just used it on his girl’s White House playground. Hopefully he will replace it. While it seems like a great idea to turn used tires into mulch for playgrounds and landscapes, it really is not non-toxic or safe for kids or the environment. Plus, rubber is highly flammable and difficult to extinguish once on fire.

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

Canada says BPA is toxic; bans baby bottles with BPA

Canada is the first country in the world to declare BPA a toxic substance. What does the FDA say? They claim it’s safe, of course! Though last week, several articles alluded to the fact the FDA may have been bribed in coming to the conclusion BPA is safe. I have to still post that article, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, read more about the ban here.

Related articles:
BPA Free bottles, sippy cups and food storage
BPA and Phthalate free pacifiers 
Lead and Phthalate free toys for Christmas 
Cloth baby wipes showdown 
US Government says BPA is harmful 
Pregnant women told to avoid BPA 
Canned foods and BPA 
BPA is found in infant formula 
Gerber baby food containers 
BPA and other plastic safety 
Breastmilk contains stem cells

Government says no more lead in toys — but not until after the holiday season

All children’s products must be compliant with the new govermental standards for lead content by Feb 10, 2009, so a little late for safe and confident Christmas shopping.

This means companies can still seel their lead-containing toys until Feb 10, but they must be removed from the shelves in the US after that. Now, I wonder who will monitor that? Honor system? We know how well that worked…

Anyway, what many may not know about the law is this:

The new lead limit is part of a sweeping product safety measure that became law Aug. 14. The law stipulates that by Feb. 10, children’s products can not have a total lead content above 600 parts per million. Six months later, that limit drops to 300 ppm and then to 100 ppm in three years if feasible.

So this year, buy with caution. Read the entire article here from the Washington Post.

Please check back for more on this topic and where to find safe toys this Christmas season.

Related Articles
Lead and phthalate free toys for Christmas
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and more
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles

Lead and PVC free lunch boxes
Toxins found in crib mattresses may cause health problems

Bisphenol A Linked to Metabolic Syndrome in Humans

The University of Cincinnati has used human tissue for their study on “average” BPA exposure. Their findings, though not surprising, supports other independent research that BPA does affect human health.

Excerpt:
In a laboratory study, using fresh human fat tissues, the UC team found that BPA suppresses a key hormone, adiponectin, which is responsible for regulating insulin sensitivity in the body and puts people at a substantially higher risk for metabolic syndrome.
 
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors that include lower responsiveness to insulin and higher blood levels of sugar and lipids. According to the American Heart Association, about 25 percent of Americans have metabolic syndrome.  Left untreated, the disorder can lead to life-threatening health problems such as coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
 
Nira Ben-Jonathan, PhD, and her team are the first to report scientific evidence on the health effects of BPA at environmentally relevant doses equal to “average” human exposure. Previous studies have primarily focused on animal studies and high doses of BPA.

How was the study conducted?

…the UC team collected fresh fat tissue from Cincinnati patients undergoing several types of breast or abdominal surgery. These samples included three types of fat tissue: breast, subcutaneous and visceral (around the organs).
 
Tissue was immediately taken to the laboratory and incubated with different concentrations of BPA or estrogen for six hours to observe how the varied amounts of BPA affected adiponectin levels. The effects of BPA were then compared to those of estradiol, a natural form of human estrogen.

What were the results?

They found that exposing human tissues to BPA levels within the range of common human exposure resulted in suppression of a hormone that protects people from metabolic syndrome.
 
“These results are especially powerful because we didn’t use a single patient, a single tissue source or a single occurrence,” she adds. “We used different fat tissues from multiple patients and got the same negative response to BPA.”

Again, very interesting findings. This does support other independent research, yet the FDA still claims the safety of BPA. I am really not all that surprised, yet I am in shock. I cannot believe with all this mounting evidence, they can stand by that claim.

Related Articles
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and more
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles

Lead and PVC free lunch boxes
Avent introduces BPA free bottle
BPA in canned food
How to avoid BPA
BPA in infant formula

BPA impairs brain function in monkeys

Well, well, well… yet another independent study comes out that shows BPA is harmful at low-levels. This particular study, conducted at Yale, used monkeys, not rodents. Because primates are human’s closest relative, you can draw the conclusion that results in humans would be quite similar.

Excerpt:

“They also used lower levels of the chemical than in past studies. ‘Our goal was to more closely mimic the slow and continuous conditions under which humans would normally be exposed to BPA,’ said study author Csaba Leranth, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and in Neurobiology at Yale. ‘As a result, this study is more indicative than past research of how BPA may actually affect humans.’”

How was the study conducted:

Over a 28-day period, Leranth and his team gave each primate 50 micrograms/kg of BPA per day, adjusted for body weight, the amount considered safe for human consumption by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The team also administered estradiol, the major form of hormonal estrogen that modulates nerve cell connections in the brain. Best known as one of the principal hormone products of the ovary, estrogen has also been shown in past studies to be synthesized in the brain, where it aids the development and function of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

And the results?

The team then used an electron microscope to count nerve cell connections in the brain. They found that BPA inhibits creation of the synaptic connections in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, areas of the brain involved with regulation of mood and formation of memory.

 “Our primate model indicates that BPA could negatively affect brain function in humans,” said study co-author Tibor Hajszan, M.D., associate research scientist in Yale Ob/Gyn. “Based on these new findings, we think the EPA may wish to consider lowering its ‘safe daily limit’ for human BPA consumption.”

Hajszan said that although daily exposure of an average person to BPA usually does not reach the level that was applied in this study, human exposure to BPA is not limited to a single month, but rather is continuous over a lifetime. “The negative effect of BPA may also be amplified when estradiol levels are naturally lower than in healthy adults. That is why exposure to BPA may particularly be risky in the case of babies and the elderly.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but the more studies such as this that are released, I am losing more and more confidence in the FDA, who are STILL claiming BPA is safe for human consumption. Obviously, they are still siding with the plastics industry and relying on biased research to draw their conclusion. Thanks to manufacturers taking things into their own hands, at least us parents who want BPA-free alternatives can get them readily. Hopefully thought the FDA will wake up, ban BPA, making our purchasing decisions much easier.
Related Articles
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and more
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles

Lead and PVC free lunch boxes
Avent introduces BPA free bottle
BPA in canned food
How to avoid BPA
BPA in infant formula

Have we found the cause of SIDS?

I recently bought the book Raising Baby Green by Dr. Alan Greene. I found his brief information on infant crib mattresses to be very interesting and a little disturbing. I researched more online and then found the number of chemicals used in crib mattresses to be alarming. Then I found a study that actually LINKED these toxins in crib mattresses to infants who died of SIDS. This is alarming.

I found this article summarizing a study done on crib mattresses and SIDS. In short, Dr. Spoutt believed that crib death was caused by toxic gases released from the crib mattress. If a baby breathed or absorbed a lethal does of these gasses, the central nervous system would shut down, stop breathing and stop heart function. All this without struggle or waking the baby. A normal autopsy would not reveal signs of poisoning.

New Zealand for the past 11 years has had a 100% success rate in preventing crib deaths with an ongoing campaign by advising parents to wrap the mattress in a special cover that prevents leaching of toxic gasses. Over 100,000 infants slept on protected crib mattresses and not a single SIDS case has been reported by this group using the special mattress cover. Prior to the wrapping campaign, New Zeland had the highest SIDS rate in the world at 2.1 deaths per 1000 live births. Since the campaign, SIDS rates have dropped 70%.

I highly recommend reading the entire article. It’s very fascinating and educational. Certainly makes me feel better about wanting to spend 2-3 times as much on an organic mattress for our new baby, due in November.

It’s terrible that more parents do not know about this. The cover is inexpensive, at about $35. Who would not spend at least that to protect an existing mattress? So it’s not about parents not wanting safer alternatives, it’s that our government is keeping this information from us.

The best solution is to purchase a new 100% organic crib mattress. HealthyChild.com seems to be gung-ho about the NaturePedic line of organic crib mattresses.

Organic Crib Mattresses

Naturepedic: all have 100% organic cotton filing
No-Compromise Organic Cotton Classic $259
No-Compromise Organic Cotton Ultra $359
2 in 1 Organic Cotton Ultra $399
Quilted Organic Cotton Deluxe (note, does not have a waterproof cover) $339 
Port a crib pad $149 

Natural Mat
Latex Mat $385 Made of organic latex, organic lambswool and double organic cotton cover 
Mohair Mat $625 (mohair is from horsetail, which naturally springs back to its original shape). Also made of coir (from coconuts), organic lambswool and organic cotton. 
Coco Mat $375 Made of coir (from coconuts), organic lambswool and organic cotton.

Pure Rest
Organic Crib Mattress Innerspring with Edge Supports
Organic Innerspring Crib Mattress (Cotton & Wool) $299 242 coils, organic cotton filling, organic wool batting.

Eco Baby has a variety of mattresses ranging from $299 – $399

Pixel Organics
REFILL mattress is an interesting product in that it recycles food grade plastic bottles into filling for this crib mattress. Also uses organic cotton and wool. $170
Natural Rubber and Organic Wool $150
100% Organic 510 Coil Inner Spring Crib Mattress $342
100% Organic Natural Rubber Crib Mattress $490. Also uses organic cotton and wool.

Related Articles
Toxic chemicals found in infant crib mattresses can cause health problems
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and more
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BPA and phthalare free teethers and rattles
Toxins in cosmetics and beauty products
President Bush Signs Product Safety Bill to protect children

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