Posts Tagged ‘plastic industry’

BPA linked to chemotherapy resistance

New research show BPA can reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments. Not surprising since previous research shows BPA can cause cancer.

“In tests on breast cancer cells, researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that Bisphenol A (BPA) may protect cancer cells from dying off when they are exposed to anti-cancer drugs.”

UC researchers used the same low-dose amounts of BPA that are found in the normal adult.

“They found that BPA acts on cancer cells in a similar manner to estrogen. Estrogen stimulates the creation of proteins that protect cancer cells from chemotherapy drugs.
Researchers have long known about this estrogen-induced effect on chemotherapy. However, they have been puzzled by the fact that some women who have less estrogen in their system, such as post-menopausal women, can still be resistant to anti-cancer medications.

The researchers said the findings will help scientists determine why these and other cancer patients, such as those with advanced stages of the disease, are resistant to chemotherapy.”

Very interesting findings. Wonder what the FDA and their cronies in the plastics industry will say to dismiss this?

This is yet another study, in a long and growing list, that shows BPA is indeed harmful at even low doses considered “safe” by the FDA.

Banning BPA will certainly send a message to manufacturers (who are already feeling the pinch in the baby product industry) and the government, that we will not stand for this. BPA is commonly found in the lining of canned foods and soda cans, dental fillings, polycarbonate water bottles, polycarbonate baby bottles and likely lurks in other areas we do not even think about – medical equipment for one.

How do you avoid BPA? Typically, BPA is found in polycarbonate plastic containers – look at the bottom of the container, if a recycle #7 symbol is there, it very likely contains BPA. However, it does not ALWAYS mean BPA is present – i.e. some of those single serve fruit contains are layered plastic and must be labeled as #7. But if the plastic is translucent and hard like glass, it’s more than likely made of BPA. Avoid canned foods (except the Eden Organics line which use another technology and their cans are BPA-free) and canned sodas. If you formula feed—watch out, many formula cans are lined with BPA, so at minimum use a powdered formula and not a liquid.

Sources: CTV.ca, Science Daily and the Daily Green

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Similac SimplePac – Is it BPA-free or not?

This the the question SafeMama posed to the formula maker Similac.

Here is what SafeMama found out, or rather what they didn’t find out since Similac really didn’t fully answer their question:

Here is what we know and what Similac is allowing us to know.  The new SimplePac™ container and lid is made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which indicated to me that the plastic container itself is BPA Free.  That much I know.  Here is where it gets tricky.  The representatives I spoke to, and I spoke to at least 3 because they kept transferring me when I pressed them for more information, will say this and only this:

“No portion of the container that comes in contact with the formula contains BPA.”

See the part I underlined?  That’s what concerns me.  They will not deviate from this scripted statement that I am sure their very expensive legal team created for them.  After the second rep transferred me to Pam, the Customer Relations representative specialist or whatever, I pressed further because I am not satisfied unless they say “Yes Ma’am, rest assured the whole thing is BPA Free.”

I asked Pam about the foil seal that typically is present in formula containers to preserve the product on the shelf.  I had no idea if this product even had one, but she confirmed it does.  She would not however provide me with any information regarding the foil seal, what it was made of and whether or not the foil is coated with an epoxy resin.  Many times those coatings do contain BPA.  She told me:

“We don’t have any information about that, I’m sorry.” And refused to delve any further claiming ignorance and denying she had any information to give me on the matter.  No information?  That sounds weird considering the company most CERTAINLY knows what its made of and whats on or not on it.   They don’t have any information they want parents to know is what it really means to me.

The main problem I have with their statement is that I don’t know what “comes in contact with the formula” means if they are being so strict in what they tell consumers.  Does it mean “only if you don’t turn it upside down so the formula doesn’t rest on the foil seal” count too?  Their resistance to disclose the materials on the foil seal makes me wonder.

Pam informed me that I should encourage our readers to call Similac if they have any questions.  Do go ahead and do that SafeParents.   Similac has a toll free number 1-800-232-7677 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., CST/CDT.  They would rather tell you, the ignorant consumer who doesn’t understand what HDPE is, themselves and bank on the fact that no one will ask the questions we really want answers to.

Bottom Line: To answer the original question “Is the new Similac SimplePac packaging BPA free?”  The answer for now is “Maybe.”  Or in Similac’s words “the part that comes in contact with the formula” is.

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Why has the FDA not banned BPA?

Because it is a lucrative industry. Plain and simple as this article portrays and I agree with. Canada has labeled BPA as toxic and banned it from baby bottles early this year. SO far no other country has follow suit. Why?

This excerpt sheds some light:
According to Dr. Wade Welshons, a professor in the endocrine disruptors group at the University of Missouri, the lack of regulation in other countries is a result of industry’s efforts to keep the ten-billion-dollar per year industry going.

“BPA [constitutes] such a large and lucrative market that it just carries itself along. In 1999, the chemical industry hired a tobacco industry lobbyist – the Wienberg group – to protect the product. They did a very thorough job of creating doubt that second-hand smoke was dangerous, and the same kind of techniques are just being applied more broadly to BPA,” Welshons said.

Of course the industry folks claim the paper released in September 2008 showing BPA may cause diabetes, liver and heart disease cannot prove BPA causes these diseases, just that there is a correlation. Honestly, a correlation is enough for me to want to stay away.

Animals must be used in such studies because it would be illegal to inject a human with BPA. And most adults have higher levels of BPA in their bodies than the levels used in these animals studies. And while scientists would like to do a study on humans, it would require years of research to follow humans around who have regular exposure to BPA and track the effects on their health. So until then, we need to continue to be exposed to this very likely toxic chemical.

Excerpt:
But while scientists spend years building an unassailable fortress of evidence that BPA causes disease, the chemical continues to tamper with fetal development and potentially harm adult health. ….. According to Maricel Maffini, a professor at Tufts University, regulatory agencies shouldn’t wait on studies that may take many years.

“Because these studies are so long- term, research on laboratory animals needs to be taken more seriously. In any science you do, animals are considered a gold standard – except in the field of endocrine disruptors like BPA,” Maffini said.

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Lead and Phthalate-free Toys for Christmas

View update here.

Last updated: September 29, 2008

Because Christmas is right around the corner and the new bill protecting children from lead and phthalates will not go into effect until February 20, 2009, I am taking it upon myself to search for safe toys for Christmas 2008.

Here is the list I have come up with and will continue to add to it as I find new toys that meet the standards of being lead and phthalate free. If a toy has any of these toxins, I will not list them. I also did my best to steer clear of anything that contains BPA. Please note there are millions and millions of toys out there, so this is in no way a comprehensive list. If you are aware of another toy that is free of ALL lead, phthalates and BPA, please comment (along with a website or other evidence you may have if available) and I will add it to the list. Also, I will not list the obvious, like stuffed animals or books, but will do my best to include the obvious categories.

Also, some companies do have toys made with phthalate-free PVC. I have listed these and made a note by those toys. Although it would be great to avoid PVC altogether, as PVC can contain lead. 

Most of the products are linked so you can read reviews, get more information and even purchase online.

Brands who are promising that all their toys are lead and phthalate free:
Edushape
Haba
Kids Give
Lamaze Baby Toys
Lego Systems 
Little Tykes 
Lisa LeLeu 
Melissa & Doug (wood and plush toys) 
Mudpuppy 
Plan Toys 
Publications International 
Sckoon 
Step 2 
Tiny Love 
Under the Nile  

Art supplies/Crafts
(note: many art supplies, including Play Doh, contain trace amounts of arsenic. I did not list these products in the list. Unfortunately, it makes for a shorter list)
Melissa and Doug Deluxe Easel
Melissa and Doug Paints
KidKraft Deluxe Easel

Blocks
Mega Blocks
Legos   (all systems including Duplo)
Edushape (They had these at my daughter’s daycare and they are great! They are flexible so perfect for toddlers just learning to play with connecting type blocks.)
Kapla Wood Building Set

Dolls
Babipouce Grenadine – 12″ Cloth Doll by Corolle 
Tidoo Bright Doll, bath doll that really floats! by Corolle (my daughter is getting this for C-mas — this doll is BEAUTIFUL)
All Dolls by Corolle, including Tidoo, Calin, Chouquette Eva, and Poupette Lili  These dolls are all just BEAUTIFUL
Sandwich Striped Cat Doll by Blabla

Games
Hasbro Bamboo Matching game (I saw at Wal-Mart, but cannot find online anywhere. It’s cute though.)

Kitchen Sets
Guidecraft Deluxe Kitchen 
Guidecraft Wooden Kitchen
Plan Toys Kitchen Center
Plan Toys Kitchen Set
Pink stove top by Plan Toys and Red stove top
Dishwasher
by Plan Toys
Refrigerator
by Plan Toys
Melissa and Doug Classic Deluxe Kitchen


Musical Instruments
Pine wood train whistle, maple and Marks
Hohner harmonica, Rosie’s Hippo
Melissa and Doug Band in a Box

Push/Pull Toys
Bird Family Pull Toy, Rosie’s Hippo
Trotto Wooden Push Toy by Selecta
Mini Pull along Giraffe by Sevi

Play Food/Cookware
Alex Toys Deluxe Cooking Set
Bambu Kids Cooking Utensils
Erzi play food: Erzi Assorted Vegetables Box; Erzi Assorted Fruit Box; Erzi Assorted VegetablesErzi Assorted Fruit; Erzi Assorted Fruit Box Tropical FruitsErzi Assorted Tropical Fruits 
Learning Resources – Made of PVC and polyethylene, but is lead and phthalate free
Lunch With Friends” wood tea party set by Djeco
Melissa and Doug: Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Play Food – 10 Piece Set; Melissa & Doug Sandwich making set; Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden Spice Rack Set; Melissa and Doug Cutting Food Box
Melissa and Doug Food Groups; Melissa and Doug Pizza Party; Melissa and Doug Birthday Cake; Sushi 
Plan Toys: Fruit and Vegetables, Breakfast Menu (with tray), Birthday Cake with candles, Vegetable pairs 
Plan Toys Toaster
Plan Toys Microwave
Shopping cart by Plan Toys
Cookware set by Plan Toys
Tableware set by Plan Toys
Tupperware Childs Kids Mini Baking Set
Tupperware Kids Cake Taker, Plates, & Spatula
Tupperware Kids Mini Party Set with Mini Cake Taker

Playmat (Infant Activity Mat)
Tiny Love Gymini Super Deluxe – Lights & Music  

Pretend Play (castles, playhouses, dollhouses, etc.)
Dragonstone Castle With Inhabitants  by Haba
Neat & Tidy Cottage by Step2 (my daughter LOVES this house)
Plan Toys Country Barn
Plan Toys Wood barn
Plan Toys Chalet Dollhouse with furniture
Plan Toys My First Dollhouse
Plan City Parking Garage
Plan Terrace Dollhouse
Plan Toys Contemporary Dollhouse
Plan Toys Victorian Dollhouse (I want this one!)
Plan Toys Modern Dollhouse
Colonial Dollhouse by Plan Toys
Dollhouse furniture by Plan Toys
Princess Castle by Melissa and Doug
Folding Midevil Castle by Melissa and Doug 
Dolls for Melissa and Doug Play Castles

Puzzles
Clutching Puzzle Sunny Land by haba 
Melissa & Doug wood sound puzzles

Riding Toys
Arabian Rocking Horse by Plan Toys 
Pony rocking horse by Plan Toys
Sports Car by Plan Toys (this is super cute!)
Trike Rider by Brio

Sports/Interactive
Wooden Bowling Set by Sevi 
Ball Track Roll ‘N Roll ‘N Roll by Haba  

Stacking Toys
Witty Worm Stacker, Rosie’s Hippo
Wooden Rainbow Stacking Tower, Nunoorganic
Rocky Color Cone, Holgate Toys 

Teethers for Baby
Please see my post here: BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles

Trains, Vehicles and other accessories
Alex Activity Mat
Brio
Maple and Marks
Melissa and Doug 
Plan Toys
Super City Wooden Railways from Heros! 

Companies with no phthalates (PVC) – Note: I have not yet determined if they are making the same claim for being lead-free. Also note that not all Evenflo, Gerber or Sassy products are BPA free.
Brio 
Chicco 
Evenflo 
Gerber 
International Playthings
Sassy 

Watch for these companies:
Leap Frog (Phthalate-free; some toys contain PVC; most packaging in boxes) 
Manhattan Toy (Use phthalate-free PVC)
Vtech (Use phthalate-free PVC) 
Sassy (Use phthalate-free PVC (since 2000), working to eliminate BPA and eventually, PVC) 
Fisher Price (Frequently use PVC (including teething rings), only toys for kids under age 3 are phthalate-free)
Mattel (Frequently use PVC) 
Playskool (Frequently use PVC)
Baby Einstein /Disney /Kids II (Frequently use PVC)
KidKraft (Claims all painted toys will have some amount of lead, anything wood is fine)
Especially for Baby @ Babies R Us (Geoffrey Inc.) (Frequently use PVC, including teething rings)

Gaming Consoles
XBox and Playstation 3 contain high levels of phthalates, though they are NOT considered toys so will not be affected by the new law banning phthalates in children’s products. Read more about it here.

Another cool site with eco-friendly toys is http://www.euphoriababy.com/

Please check back as I will be updating this post until Christmas is here! Happy shopping!

For more information or to research specific toys not listed, visit these sites:
http://www.healthytoys.org/product.searchtype.php
http://toyportfolio.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/update-complying-companies/
 
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Fit & Fresh introduces LivPure filtered water bottle, BPA Free

What a cool idea. This little portable water filter allows you to fill up a reusable water bottle with tap water anywhere and the water is filtered as you drink. The filter removes up to 50% of chlorine and inhibits bacteria, mold and mildew growth. Also, by using this reusable bottle, you are reducing the amount of plastic water bottles that would otherwise end up in a landfill, plus you’ll save money from not buying bottled water.

The LivPure Filtered Water Bottle is made of low density polyethylene so is safe and is BPA-free. It holds 20 oz of water and the filter lasts to 75 gallons. The bottle is easy to clean, just remove the filter and pop in the dishwasher. Rinse the filter in water. Pretty easy.

This water bottle would be ideal for traveling, the gym, office, construction or other outdoor work, running errands, or anywhere you may be thirsty!

The filter is not intended for salt water, rivers, lakes or flavored drinks.

This neat little water bottle is $12.99 and can be purchased here.  Filter replacements are $7.99 and can be purchased here.

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Silicone bottles: the latest in BPA-free bottles

I had heard about a silicone baby bottle and thought, what in the world is that? So I Googled it (like I do everything!) and it sounds very interesting! The Innobaby Silicone bottle is derived from safe, natural ingredients like pebbles and sand and grow with your baby. This bottle will be available January 2009.

In poking around, I saw on The Soft Landing blog that Momo is also coming out with a silicone baby bottle in October, so just a few short weeks. And Nuby is coming out with a silicone bottle in January 2009 as well.

Check back and I will post when these are available and where to buy.

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Which Sassy products are BPA-free?

Sassy recently cleared up which of their products were BPA-free and which were not. Previously they had claimed certain products did not contain BPA and turns out some of them did. So which ones really are safe?

Unfortunately, Sassy does not have a great list on their website like other companies do. Hopefully they will step it up and add this soon. However, The Soft Landing has created a list of safe, BPA-free Sassy products and posted it here.

Sassy products can be found at most discount retail stores or shop online for the best selection.

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