Canada Is First to Declare BPA Dangerous

Health Canada is first in the world to declare BPA dangerous – making environmental and health history.  What a great move for Canada, as this is the first step towards a ban and this classification could pave the way for BPA to be listed as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. This would allow our health minister to issue measures for its use. Other countries have been buying into the industry defending that BPA is harmless.  By Canada being the first country to issue such a warning, it will pressure other major regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its counterpart in the European Union to study again their approval on the use of BPA.

Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defense, explained to Globe and Mail that, “Bisphenol A is in every Canadian home. It threatens the health of every Canadian. Moving against it would be a hugely significant victory for public health and the environment.”

Bisphenol A is a “hormonally active chemical” found in almost all plastics and in metal can liners, where it can leach into foods and beverages. Industry maintains that BPA is safe at small concentrations, but concerns about its impact on human health continue to grow. Some experts say it mimics naturally occuring estrogen and according to the 2006 National Geographic Green Guide, animal studies indicate that BPA may cause infertility, cancers, and hyperactivity.

Health Canada’s decision on bisphenol A is slated to be released tomorrow.

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What is BPA?

Can I just start off by saying I feel so bad for first time parents?  I’ve been researching and reading about the chemical BPA in plastics for months and I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the terms and codes.  Between this, toy recalls, vaccination controversy…my heart just goes out to you.  If you are hearing the term ‘BPA’ for the first time, please read on and hopefully this article will help you.

BPA (Bisphenol A) is a component of epoxy resins that are used to line food cans and to make hard plastic polycarbonate bottles and containers.  Why is this substance in the news?  Many reports and studies are proving that BPA is leaching through plastic and this can lead to health concerns for your family.  BPA is linked to breast and prostate cancer and neurobehavioral changes in offspring exposed in the womb.  The Today Show describes the affects as being primarily reproductive and fertility in both male and female organisms.  

The chances of this chemical leaching are higher if you are heating or storing food/liquid in the plastic for long periods of time.    BPA raises special concerns because numerous studies have found it to be toxic at exposure levels equivalent to or even below the amounts detected in people.

Plastics to avoid:

#3 PVC – phthalates (hormone disruptor)
#7 polycarbonate – bisphenol-A (hormone disruptor)
#6 polystyrene – styrene – possible human carcinogen

The better plastics are:
polypropylene (#5)
polyethylene (#1,#2,#4).
The containers need to be discarded if they get worn down, degraded, overused etc.

What items contain BPA?
Continue Reading →

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Kid Friendly Eco Project

My son Angelo loves wild fish and gets so excited when we drive by a sign marking the road of a fish route. For years he yells “fish sign!!” when we drive near a creek or local fish hatchery. So when I saw a blurb on our local Ecology Centre’s web site regarding a project with storm drain marking, my ears perked up.

Why is this important? The yellow fish are there to remind us that storm drains on our roadways empty directly into local streams. Storm Drain Marking is a conservation and education project developed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

I had no idea this project was available to the public and I LOVE the idea of my family being able to assist with placing the fish stencils we’ve enjoyed seeing in the community for so long. With the fingerling festivals approaching in our local hatcheries it’s a great marriage of two very kid friendly projects.

The kits and procedure for storm drain marking has recently changed. The kits previously contained a fish stencil with a spray can of yellow paint. Now the kits contain a brush to clean the road, VERY powerful glue to spread in the cleaned area, gloves to handle the glue, and a fish sticker that actually gets glued to the road. There is also a huge mallet that you get to bang the fish so that it sticks to the road forever (smile). In a child’s eyes, what is there not to like about this project? They love glue, stickers, fish, and banging something with a hammer. I love it! Also included are door knob hangers that educate the neighborhood on the importance of caring for neighborhood streams and tips for protecting our fish. What a wonderful, educational project for young children. I have reserved my family’s kit and will post pictures and a description of the project when we complete. Oh yes, the kit comes with reflective vests….this is all just too fun. (Did I mention it’s free of cost??) I’m noticing a theme with ECO kids projects…most don’t involve money and everybody (including mommy and daddies) are learning!

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What Will Your Eco Footprint Look Like?

Don’t get me wrong…until very recently, the shade of my eco footprint would be gray and the size of an NBA basketball player! I’m ashamed to admit that my previous lifestyle was nothing close to the color green. There wasn’t much conversation regarding the 3 r’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle) when I was living alone in my 20s. I would ‘reuse’ my store bought water bottle at work (one bottle would last me months… think of the BPA chemicals leaching through that thing!), ‘reduce’ my food intake because I was always too busy to eat (I miss those skinny days)….oh, but wait! I did always ‘recycle’ my empty wine bottles (I’ll have to check the resin code of a wine bottle before I brag about this). But as I’m approaching my mid-30s, everything has changed!

Thinking about the kind of world and the lessons I want to teach my children is a big thing in my life. It’s so cliche to say, but once you have kids, you want everything to be better, including the environment and your lifestyle. That is the magic of children. You stop and realize that the world you leave them is very important and as a parent, it’s your responsibility to educate yourself and raise your kids with a ‘green’ mentality. So lookout Ray (the hubby)….ready or not I’m going to make you one of the colors of your native Italian flag….and it ain’t the red one!

Check out this quiz and see what your ecological footprint looks like! It humbles you to learn how many earth planets would need to exist to sustain your current lifestyle.

http://www.ecofoot.org/

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My Footprint

My name is Suzanne and I’m a mommy of 4 beautiful children. Thanks to my very talented and supportive husband Ray, I’ve been able to stay home with my kids since my 2nd son was born. When my boys were ages 1 and 2 we had an oopsie pregnancy (although Ray still isn’t buying it) and at my 6 month ultrasound we found out it was TWINS! What a shock, but I’m so happy we got to experience double trouble.

I love to seek new information and relay it to other moms. These days parents have so many issues to tackle with their kids health and well being with BPA leaching from plastics, lead paint and toy recalls, it’s really tough to keep abreast of these new age parenting challenges.

This blog is a personal journey from a mom that finds all aspects of parenting fascinating, but knows she is far from having all the answers. The name ‘mommy footprint’ has a double meaning for me. I am striving to enter the ‘green’ movement and change what my footprint will look like on our planet. The more Eco friendly products and projects I research, the more addicting and fun the ‘green’ process becomes. I will document my journey and hope my discoveries help inspire others.

The other meaning for mommy footprint is to relay the places my feet have travelled (I always want to quote Franny’s Feet “where will my feet take me today?”) and what kid friendly discoveries I’ve made along the way. I love uncovering new things to keep my energetic clan busy and happy.

This is how this blog came alive..I hope it reaches and helps many parents in our quest to get through the day and keep our kids safe and happy.

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