Tag Archives | BPA

Phthalates & BPA Chemicals ~ The Disappearing Male Documentary

Have you heard about the CBC documentary called The Disappearing Male? A completely fascinating study with experts contributing to the idea that the thousands of man-made chemicals produced in the last 100 years are contributing to boys suffering from a decrease in sperm production, sperm abnormalities, cancer, and genital deformities.  As a mother of two boys, I was totally glued to this 45 minute documentary.  I took notes throughout the film and would like to share the many things I learned.  This topic is so interesting because the 2 chemicals the documentary focused on are BPA and Phthalates – two chemicals I too believe need more attention than only being banned from baby bottles.  There are some scary statistics and harsh realities with watching this video, that I really believe all parents should watch.  Your awareness of how much plastic affects your health will be heightened.  To watch the two minute trailer click here.  Canadians, to watch the 45 min film click here.  Canadians and Americans, to watch the film in 5 chopped up clips, here is the link on YouTube.  I learned so much information, I’m spreading this topic over two Mommy Footprint articles ~ I feel so strongly about this topic and don’t want to overload with too much information within one article.

Part 1: What Is Happening To Boy’s Reproduction and The Human Experiment At Aamjiwnaang

According to the documentary The Disappearing Male, there is a growing body of evidence that something is wrong with the sexual health of human males worldwide.  In the last 50 years, sperm counts have been cut in half ~ scientists believe that boys today, produce 1/2 the sperm their fathers did.  Accompanied with increased rates of male infertility and testicular cancer more than doubled in recent years and why?  Scientists believe that man-made synthetic chemicals are to blame.  In the last 60 years, thousands of man-made compounds have been produced and most have not been tested for how they affect humans.  Examples of these chemicals are BPA, produced to make plastic hard and phthalates to make plastic soft.  It’s not only human scientists noticing these scary trends, but environmental scientists studying animals are finding the same thing…vastly reduced amounts of all male species when living in polluted habitats.  Continue Reading →

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Stainless Steel Alternative For Your Plastic Water Cooler

What a find!  Here is a stainless steel, plastic-free alternative for anyone missing their traditional plastic water cooler or dispenser. We’ve all used the plastic water coolers either located in a workplace office kitchen or as the drinking water system in our home.  These water coolers are top to bottom built with plastic and I’ve always wondered about the ‘filter’ within the system, not to mention the bottle containing the water might be made from polycarbonate plastic.  This is the type of number 7 plastic that leeches chemicals when used for liquids, gets broken down with use, or is heated.

It’s strange thinking back about paying to drink this ‘purified’ and ‘safe’ water.  My previous family doctor even told me not to drink tap water while pregnant.  Now in post-BPA world and reading about what water is actually the best to drink, tap water filter systems or just plain old tap water are proving to be the best bet.  Over the last year I know many friends after checking the recycling codes on their bottles and discovering they were coded 7, contacted the suppliers and found out the bottles did contain BPA.  For anyone with these traditional systems in your office or home, check what code is on top of the plastic bottle.  If it’s coded a number 7 (with the recycling arrows in a triangle around the number), you should call the company and check if it’s made from a polycarbonate plastic. If it is, this plastic is leeching BPA into your water.

Check out this practical and beautiful (!!) stainless steel system as a replacement.  Doesn’t it make you think cottage at the lake, Martha’s Vineyard?  Picture from Life Without Plastic site

The Life Without Plastic site lists this product as a liquid storage container for not only water but wine (hello!), honey, milk, oil, any type of liquid. What a wonderful piece to incorporate into entertaining company or a summer BBQ.  You can even fill it with tap water and let your family help themselves throughout the day.   This product called The Superfustinox is made and imported from Italy.  The European standards are the highest in the world for safety – nice to see a stainless steel product that isn’t being made in China.   A wonderful investment for summer time entertaining – I can speak from personal experience that wine tastes lovely from stainless steel.  <smile>

Available in fridge size (3 litre), medium (10 litre), and large (20 litre).  These stainless steel water storage systems sound and are functional but look romantic as images of the cottage (you may or may not own) come to mind.   Great find over at Life Without Plastic!

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Are Cosmetics Killing Us?

It’s such a harsh title for an article, but the Environmental Working Group posted a similar title ‘Beauty Secret: Your Make-Up Can Kill You’ and not only did I sit up and read it, I agree.  I’ve long wondered why so many young people seem afflicted with disease and problems that used to happen later in life, and weren’t so common.  Why are 30 year old woman getting breast cancer, why are so many couples struggling with fertility problems, and why the high rate of immune problems?  The list goes on and even to a lesser degree…why have most children you know at one point been diagnosed with either eczema or asthma and why do girls in Grade 6 look so overdeveloped?  Most will agree it’s environmental.  Well what if it’s the chemicals that leech from our plastics, the body care and household products we use to ‘clean’ with, the air freshener we spray around children and pets, or the make-up we apply to make ourselves beautiful?  Even people’s pets these days seem to have higher rates of cancer. 

I’m not a scientist or at all educated on environmental issues, but I do believe much of what watchdog groups like EWG have to say.  After all, they’ve been bang on about bpa and phthalates.  We spend so much time checking labels and ingredients for our children, take a few minutes and review what scores your own body care products receive using the skin deep cosmetic safety database.  If the rating isn’t low, make it a New Year’s resolution to take a trip to Whole Foods, Planet Organic and surround yourself with some natural products.  My Noxzema scored a 4 on the cosmetic database and it’s really the only beauty product I use.  That score doesn’t impress me, so I’ll need to replace with one of the many solutions out there that scored 0-2 which is low level of concern for hidden chemicals, etc.

What are a few easy things you can do today that will remove many chemicals from your home/self immediately?

Use only natural personal care products on yourself and family.  Either that or use nothing at all (when I run out of natural soap and shampoo for my kids, I just use water).  Products purchased with the rest of your groceries (Johnson & Johnson, etc.) contain phthalates and this is not good news if you have boys.  Phthalates attack their reproductive systems and you can’t search for this in an ingredient list…it’s a chemical that manufacturers sneak into products masked with the word ‘fragrance’ on the bottle.  So steer clear of anything with fragrance for your entire family….yes even Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo contains phthalates! Read more here: Protect Your Family From Phthalates In Your Home

Get rid of fabric softener or dryer sheets.  One of the most toxic things in your home…they release chemicals two ways:  through the skin and in the air.  Just stop using them and find out natural ways to help with static cling. Read more: Dryer Sheets & Fabric Softener – A Household Toxin

Don’t spray febreeze, air freshener, or plug-in room deodorizers… they are only masking odor with chemicals released through fragrance for your family to ingest.

Replace your cleaning supplies.  Ever wondered why your head is pounding after cleaning the bathroom or glass windows?  If you are spraying traditional cleaning agents, your headache is from inhaling toxins. Your children, family, and pets are also inhaling and touching those products. Eco-friendly cleaning products are sold everywhere these days and not only are they much better for the environment, but it’s much easier to clean thanks to companies like Norwex! Read more: Norwex – Cleaning Without Chemicals

I still find my children bathing or mouthing soft plastic toys.  PVC plastic is dangerous to human health…it’s proven that it releases the most potent synthetic chemicals ever tested, which can cause cancer and harm immune and reproductive systems.  Remove any soft plastic toys that might contain PVC from your home.  Something that still makes me sick is the Vancouver Aquarium gift shop sells isles of soft plastic toys, dolphins, whales, snakes, etc.  Every time I would take my boys there as toddlers, I would buy one of these figures so they could play in the tub with them.  I even bought an octopus for my girl’s to teeth on because the tentacles on the toy felt good against their gums when they were cutting a new tooth.  Last time I was at the aquarium, I noticed a sign under each bucket of these toys that read “PVC”.  It upset me for two reasons.  I had purchased these toxic toys for my kids to mouth, bath, and play with.  I also wondered how many parents know exactly what PVC means and why would they continue to sell them?  If you want to warn people about a product, write the word TOXIC underneath, not an acronym that most people don’t understand.  Sorry to start a rant, but I really suffer from guilt about the world of plastics and how much exposure my family had before the chemicals came to light for parents.

I look forward to highlighting companies in 2009 that are offering natural alternatives to traditional products that we grew up with.  I think we can look around and see that the cleaning agents, cosmetics, fragrances, and world of cooking with plastic, just isn’t working for us anymore.  If you don’t know where to start, check out the wonderfully natural site Nayla Natural Care.  A great place to start to find replacement products for your home.

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Home-Made Baby Food & BPA Free Ice Cube Trays

I received a great question from Melissa regarding what to use when freezing home-made baby food. I know the ice cube trays I used many years back probably contained BPA (because they were old and didn’t have resin codes) and I’ve always felt badly my boys had to eat chemicals along with food that was supposed to be nutritional.

So back in August when I wrote Organic, Non-Toxic Gift Ideas For Baby, number 5 on the list was Baby Cubes by Petite Creations, which are ice-cube trays designed to store and freeze baby food. For only $6.49, I wanted to mention them again because I can’t think of a better stocking stuffer or shower gift add-on for an expecting mama or gift for baby. The wonderful estore Nayla Natural Care sells these trays which are actually very hard to find. Nayla is an on-line Canadian store and are dedicated to providing natural, non-toxic products for parents. Also available at this site are Food Trays by Fresh Baby, which are great to store expressed breast milk and baby food freezing. They have covers that completely seal the tray so there are no spills or mess. These trays are made from food safe plastic and are phalate-free, plasticizer-free and BPA free.

While you’re checking out Nayla, load up on stocking stuffers for older kids with their Trukid products. I discovered Trukid when trying to source non-toxic products to help with my daughter’s last eczema outbreak.  I’ve tried most of their product line and I’m a big fan. Give your children the gift of phalate and BPA-free products this Christmas – practical gift ideas they’ll love to receive.

Related articles:

Organic, Non-Toxic Gift Ideas For Baby

Protect Your Family From Phthalates In Your Home

Plastic Food Storage Alternatives – Glass, Stainless Steel, or Bamboo anyone?

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Halloween Magic Potion Fun

Every year my kids look forward to creating magic potions at Halloween.  I’m usually against giving kids carbonated drinks, but using fizzy pop makes this magical potion come alive!  Try it out with your little one and enter the fun world of Halloween magic and make believe.

Ingredients for Magic Potion:

Witches Brew – Sprite
Moon Rocks – Pop Rocks candy
Rat Bones – q-tip or plastic bone
Alligator Eyes – green grapes
A Wart from A Bat or Witches behind – dark grapes
Frozen Body Parts – gummy worms frozen in water using ice cube trays
Ghost Noses – mini marshmallows

How To Create Your Potion:

Gather round a table and inform your children you have a special treat today….creating a magic potion.  First you add the sprite to a plastic goblet that you can find at most Halloween decorating stores (yes, it will probably contain BPA).  I discovered this year with my heightened awareness of phalates and BPA that most Halloween costumes, decorations, and fun food related plastics are loaded with these chemicals.  Good thing it’s only once a year!  <smile>  Next, add a spoonful of pop rocks candy.  Beware of the pop rocks exploding up to young children’s eyes, but if you make it past this step the affect is a wonderful fizzing and popping noise.  Next add the grapes, marshmallows, gummy worms and stir with your pretend bone while chanting “Hocus Pocus Ala Kazoom, help my tummy, not to go Boom!”  You or your child can drink the potion…it’s very sweet, but nothing harmful goes in.

Enjoy the magic of the Halloween season!!

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