Tag Archives: BPA

Wellness Living That’s Good for the Planet

Child Tending Broken Baby Seedling free creative commons

We all know the health of our planet takes a daily beating from us. A few of today’s major environmental problems include water contamination, air pollution, soil depletion, overflowing landfills, and global warming – all influenced by conventional industrialized production and our daily routines. While none of us want to give up our modern conveniences, there are ways that you (yes, I’m talking to you!) can decrease the toxins that enter your body, support the wellness of the planet, and entice businesses to do the same – all without quitting your day job.

  • Check Wellness & Beauty Product Labels: Today, chemicals and additives are in practically everything, including common products you put on your body, face, and hair. Unfortunately, many of these products contain petroleum-based ingredients, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and pesticides – all ingredients linked to a host of health problems including skin issues, hormone problems, endocrine disturbances, allergies, liver/kidney damage, and cancer. These nasty chemicals and side effects not only affect you, but they contaminate the fresh water supply and contribute to environmental issues. One easy solution is to start incorporating natural health and beauty products such as shea butter, essential oils, herbs, and beauty supporting foods for your skin and hair into your routine. Also, the next time you plan to buy commercial beauty and wellness products (sunscreens, face creams, lotions, etc), be sure to check the ingredients for harmful chemicals and additives before you buy. If you don’t like what you find, consider switching to products with less or no chemicals or additives.
  • Opt for Organic: I know it’s practically impossible to choose organic food, beauty, and wellness products all the time (hopefully one day it won’t be!). For now, make an effort to buy the organic option as much as possible. You don’t want to expose yourself to the harmful effects of pesticides that include birth defects, nerve damage, hormone changes, headaches, and cancer. Luckily, one of our modern conveniences is the Internet, which is a great place to find organic products (often less expensive than brick and mortar stores) and get them delivered directly to your door. Not only is organic the way to go for your body’s health, it’s better for the environment too. Those same ingredients you and your family should be avoiding, the Earth’s soil and water don’t want either.
  • Choose BPA Free Water Bottles (and other products): Part of wellness living involves drinking plenty of quality water. However, if you’re still using plastic bottles, you could be exposed to a harmful chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is in most plastic bottles (including baby bottles) and the harmful toxin leaches into the water when the bottles are exposed to heat from the sun (a common occurrence). Exposure to BPA is linked to endocrine system disruptions, reproductive problems, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, plastic bottles are terrible for the environment as they take an average of 450 years to decompose (and some never do). The best way to limit your risk to BPA and decrease waste in our landfills is to use a reusable, BPA free water bottle. Many companies are also eliminating BPA from their packaging and products – choosing these companies’ products is a great way to avoid BPA’s harmful effects.
  • Support Conscious Companies that Focus on Sustainability: It’s vital that you support companies that consider the health of the planet in their business decisions. For example, in addition to understanding the health risks to consumers, a conscious company might choose to produce organic products out of concern for water contamination, destruction of wildlife, and the worldwide increase in soil erosion. We need more companies like these, and not only do you support them when you purchase their products, but you support them by sharing your experiences with others. It’s easy to do – if you love a product or company tell your family, friends, co-workers, and mention it on your social media sites. Word of mouth and personal experience is huge to creating conscious consumers who make purchasing decisions that are not only good for them, but also good for the environment. This leads to more companies creating organic, chemical free products that align with your personal health and environmental values.

These four wellness living tips give you tremendous power to enhance your health, share health with others, and help combat global environmental issues that we all contribute to. You may be one person, but your daily actions and choices do matter and make a difference in the world.

What ways do you practice wellness living that’s good for the planet? Share in the comments below. 

BPA – Nasty Chemical in Canned Food and Plastic Bottles

The toxic chemical BPA, or Bisphenol A is lurking in your hard plastic water bottles, baby sippy cups, dental sealants and in your canned food. BPA acts like estrogen and increases the risk of breast cancer and early puberty in women. It can cause reproductive damage and may lead to prostate and cancer and can cross into the placenta and get into your baby’s bloodstream.

The Environmental Working Group tested canned food bought across America and found BPA in more than half of them at levels they call "200 times the government’s traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals." EWG found that of all foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had BPA levels of highest concern. Just one to three servings of foods with these concentrations could expose a woman or child to BPA at levels that caused serious adverse effects in animal tests.

The December 2009 issue of Consumer Reports’ tested canned foods like soups, juice, tuna, and green beans, and found that almost all of the 19 name-brand foods tested contain some BPA. The canned organic foods tested did not always have lower BPA levels than nonorganic brands of similar foods analyzed. They even found the chemical in some products in cans that were labeled "BPA-free."

This chemical is everywhere! BPA is in newspaper ink and carbonless copy paper – the stuff of credit card receipts and many business and medical documents. It turns out that the average cash register receipt has anywhere from 60 to 100 milligrams of BPA that can then be transferred onto our fingers and eventually into our body if we’re not careful. What’s not known is how much BPA is getting into our blood stream from touching receipt paper.

Also, you can’t tell if the paper receipt you were just handed at the grocery store contains BPA. They look exactly the same as the paper receipts without the toxic chemical. But there are still things you can do to protect yourself and your family. Make sure you wash your hands after touching any receipts especially if you’re pregnant. Another tip is to take all of your left over receipts out of your purse or wallet and keep them in a zip-lock bag somewhere out of children’s reach.

For now, BPA is legal to use. In the meantime, here are more ways to reduce your family’s exposure:

  • Don’t use canned baby formula
  • Don’t eat canned food if you’re pregnant, choose food in glass jars.
  • Check your kids baby bottles and sippy cups. If you see the # 7 on the bottom replace it with BPA-free plastic, or better yet, glass. (Connecticut, Minnesota, the city of Chicago and Suffolk County, New York, have banned baby bottles and sippy cups made with BPA.)
  • Choose fresh or frozen food over food in cans. The lining of cans of soups, tomato sauce and infant formula can leach BPA from the can lining.
  • Don’t heat plastic in your microwave or leave water bottles in a hot car
  • Use glass or metal water bottles to drink from
  • Store left over food in glass containers
  • Ask your dentist if the sealant being used on your kids’ teeth contains BPA

Beth Greer, Super Natural Mom™, is the bestselling author of Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home and Planet…One Room at a Time as well as a radio talk show host and impassioned champion of toxin-free living who busts open the myth that our homes are safe havens. Beth is a contributing blogger for The Washington Times Communities and NaturallySavvy.com. Follow Beth on Twitter. Become a fan on Facebook.

(photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Are you paying twice for bottled tap water?

In the United States, we pay for our tap water (either through a direct bill or taxes), and then we pay again when we buy bottled water – forty percent of which comes from municipal sources, which means it’s still essentially tap water.

Why are we paying for it twice? We pay more for water than we do for milk or gasoline (somehow less cute than the common wisdom that wine is cheaper than water in France).

And Mother Earth pays, too. MSN money honey Anthony Mirhaydari sums up the eco-challenge nicely:

A recent report by the Swiss Gas and Water Association finds that bottled water has 100 times the environmental impact of tap water. The Sierra Club notes that bottled water produces 1.5 million tons of plastic waste each year – the vast majority of which ends up in our landfills and oceans. According to two oceanographers with the British Antarctic Survey, while strolling along the shores of Spitsbergen Island up in the Arctic ocean, where mankind’s doomsday Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located, one can find a piece of plastic detritus every 15 feet or so.

We use water to manufacture the petroleum-based plastic bottle the water comes in, and we use fossil fuels to ship water from Fiji or France to our tables.

Hello, people. We have the privilege of living in a country where we can drink our water. But we’ve been seduced by the beverage industry into believing only they can quench our thirst with colored, caffeinated, vitaminized, electrolyted water. We have become so parched that we can’t walk down the street without toting a single-use plastic bottle touting the magical effects of its water source.

Apparently, Kabbalah Water will heal us and Bling Water will define us. At the Bling H20 website, Bling Water "creator" Kevin Boyd describes noticing on Hollywood studio lots that "you could tell a lot about a person by the bottled water they carried." First of all, didn’t god create water? Secondly, the water is bottled in Dandridge, Tennessee – since when is Southern Tennessee a spring of L.A. status? Yes, Dandrige’s water ranks very highly on EPA’s water quality index, but why are we spending so much money ($40 for Bling’s "Go Green" 750ml bottle) on cross-continental water instead of cleaning up our local waterways? Tinseltown’s water is so polluted with run-off and industrial contamination that perhaps water by way of Tenessee does make sense.

Here’s what the less blingy among us do:

1) Work to identify problems at the source, pushing for the protection of Wetlands.
2) Reduce the amount of toxic junk we flush down and rinse away (including pharmaceuticals).
3) Lobby our local officials to protect our source water.
4) Use it sparingly: in the yard, in the house, everywhere.
5) Carry our own bottles (Coated aluminum is Siman’s preference, Sarah goes with BPA-free plastic) and proudly fill up at water fountains and taps.

We are not naïve. We know there’s so much work to do around water – who has it, how they use it, if it’s clean, how it gets carried, who pollutes it, who squanders it, how much of it we have left, and so on. On the one hand it makes our small changes seem, well, small. On the other, we know that even the micro-movements are crucial.

The marketers are right. We can’t live without water. But we can live without the overzealous way it’s being sold to us. Drink that in.

This post was written by Simran Sethi and Sarah Smarsh. Thanks to the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Lacey Johnston for research assistance. 

 

How to Protect Your Family from Bisphenol A (BPA) Now

A few months ago the FDA released a preliminary report stating that bisphenol A (BPA) is safe, then they retracted that claim stating they needed to conduct more research.

Meanwhile, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), the federal agency charged with advising the government of the toxicity of chemicals, said BPA is not safe. They claim that fetuses, infants, and children are at risk of brain damage and behavioral problems at current exposure levels. BPA is also known to be a hormone disruptor, which means hormonally-derived cancers, such as breast cancer or prostate cancer, are more likely to develop later in life.

While the agencies designed to protect us from such health hazards continue to waste time requesting more research and arguing over arbitrary safety levels, parents have stepped up to the plate with a new defensive strategy: Shopping.

Despite the absence of federal safety regulations, consumers have been successful in replacing harmful products with healthier alternatives by simply refusing to purchase the toxic varieties. Here are some tips for reducing your family’s BPA exposure:

BPA leaches out of polycarbonate plastic, which can be identified by a number 7 in the triangle recycling code on the bottom of the product. Some products with a nomber 7 are not polycarbonate so you may want to call the manufacturer to confirm its composition.

Polyvinyl chloride, represented by a number 3 in the recycling code, may also leach BPA.

Avoid eating fatty foods (like tunafish) or acidic foods (like tomato sauce) out of cans and rinse any food you eat out of a can. All cans are lined with BPA.

A study by the Environment California Research and Policy Center revealed that all 5 name-brand baby bottles taken off American shelves leached BPA into the fluid within. A selection of BPA and phthalate-free baby bottles are available at www.newbornfree.com. Kids ‘R Us has just begun carrying the Newborn Free bottles (they are cheaper there), but they are having trouble keeping them in stock. Also, Evenflo makes a glass bottle with a silicon nipple.

Sadly, BPA is only one of many toxic chemicals that we are bombarded with. Safety regulations are too lax and too late. Please join the crusade for safer products by educating yourself about the toxic chemicals that lurk in virtually every American product. Whenever you can afford to, choose a safer alternative. These safer alternatives already exist; you just have to know where to look. Unfortunately, many harmful chemicals are not listed on labels so you have to know how to find them. Check out my blog, book, and links at www.holler4health.com to get started.
 

How to Protect Your Family from Bisphenol A (BPA) Now

A few months ago the FDA released a preliminary report stating that bisphenol A (BPA) is safe, then they retracted that claim stating they needed to conduct more research.

Meanwhile, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), the federal agency charged with advising the government of the toxicity of chemicals, said BPA is not safe. They claim that fetuses, infants, and children are at risk of brain damage and behavioral problems at current exposure levels. BPA is also known to be a hormone disruptor, which means hormonally-derived cancers, such as breast cancer or prostate cancer, are more likely to develop later in life.

While the agencies designed to protect us from such health hazards continue to waste time requesting more research and arguing over arbitrary safety levels, parents have stepped up to the plate with a new defensive strategy: Shopping.

Despite the absence of federal safety regulations, consumers have been successful in replacing harmful products with healthier alternatives by simply refusing to purchase the toxic varieties. Here are some tips for reducing your family’s BPA exposure:

BPA leaches out of polycarbonate plastic, which can be identified by a number 7 in the triangle recycling code on the bottom of the product. Some products with a nomber 7 are not polycarbonate so you may want to call the manufacturer to confirm its composition.

Polyvinyl chloride, represented by a number 3 in the recycling code, may also leach BPA.

Avoid eating fatty foods (like tunafish) or acidic foods (like tomato sauce) out of cans and rinse any food you eat out of a can. All cans are lined with BPA.

A study by the Environment California Research and Policy Center revealed that all 5 name-brand baby bottles taken off American shelves leached BPA into the fluid within. A selection of BPA and phthalate-free baby bottles are available at www.newbornfree.com. Kids ‘R Us has just begun carrying the Newborn Free bottles (they are cheaper there), but they are having trouble keeping them in stock. Also, Evenflo makes a glass bottle with a silicon nipple.

Sadly, BPA is only one of many toxic chemicals that we are bombarded with. Safety regulations are too lax and too late. Please join the crusade for safer products by educating yourself about the toxic chemicals that lurk in virtually every American product. Whenever you can afford to, choose a safer alternative. These safer alternatives already exist; you just have to know where to look. Unfortunately, many harmful chemicals are not listed on labels so you have to know how to find them. Check out my blog, book, and links at www.holler4health.com to get started.
 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...