Tag Archives | The Disappearing Male

Little Inkers – Growing PVC & Phthalate Free Kids

I’ve recently discovered a company that seemed to connect lots of little dots similar to my own journey of trying to reduce the amount of PVC and Phthalates that surround my family.  That unique company is called Little Inkers Alternative Naturals and they are so much more than a company that makes t-shirts ~ although they have managed to produce some of the most adorable t-shirts ever (!).  Little Inkers concept is so much deeper and the founder Airiane has shared similar light bulb moments that have launched her to produce amazing and sustainable clothing.

Little Inkers 
founder Airiane was a mom doing everything right; proud supporter of breast feeding, making organic baby food, avoiding painted toys because of lead, plastics, so when her son was born with vanishing testicle syndrome she began to research what could have caused this.  After watching the CBC documentary The Disappearing Male, she was dismayed to think his exposure to PVC and Phthalates could have attributed to this syndrome. What could have caused her son to have exposure to these chemicals/types of plastic that is known to cause testicular problems?  Inks.  Airiane’s partner had been working in production print shops using a type of ink called Plastisol ink for years.  After watching The Disappearing Male and spending countless hours researching male genital birth defects, the founder of Little Inkers was led to believe there’s a link between her partner printing with the Plastisol inks containing PVC/Phthalates and her son’s birth defects.  Read more of Airiane’s story via her blog.

Have you ever thought about PVC and Phthalates existing in our clothing?  In your children’s clothing?  I certainly hadn’t so I find the Little Inkers concept, mission, and final product very inspiring. They make their garments from sustainable fibers (bamboo, organic cotton, and soon to arrive ~ hemp) and each piece is hand printed using inks free from PVC and Phthalates.  This conception and story of this company is inspiring – but the  finished product can only be described as cool!  Check out a few of my favorite designs. The tree lungs print is awesome and a cool way to make a statement for kids of any age – adults included!

tree lungs

mama milk  booby

Little Inkers has recently moved to manufacturing their own garments in Canada and hand prints them in their own custom screen-printing company called Greenprint Studio.  Their Greenprint company only prints with inks that are free from PVC and Phthalates as well as soy and orange oil processing products.  The evolution of the children’s line Little Inkers Alternative Naturals fills a niche in the infant and children’s market by offering natural clothing printed with cute slogans promoting breastfeeding, attachment parenting, homeschooling, gay parenting, and political awareness. 

I really appreciate the time Airiane spent with back and forth emails sharing how you can find out if the clothes your purchase for your children contain PVC or phthalates.  First you can ask questions and although it’s a very frustrating undertaking to ask the clerk at Zellers, Walmart, GAP, Old Navy, etc. if their clothing (or any merchandise) is free of PVC and phthalates ~ it is important.  From my experience of never having a clerk able to answer my questions about stainless steel quality with water bottles in these stores ~ I can tell you that employees are simply not given this level of information. I’m sure the president of these stores cannot answer these questions! So what are some other clues to look for?  Price is a big one because safer dyes and inks cost more for printing and we know that bamboo and organic textiles are more expensive. Plastic patches or appliques, sparkle decals, and team numbers, etc. can often contain PVC and phthalates.  Where is the clothing made?  If it’s produced in Europe their laws about PVC and phthalates are much more strict than other countries so this is a good sign. I know I’ve given more than one employee a very large headache when leaving their store, but the more customers asking these questions, more will filter to store managers and owners.  If the public starts demanding safer products for our children that is PVC and Phthalate free, supply and demand will increase, inevitably driving every-one’s cost down.

I am very excited to have found Little Inkers and am inspired by their personal journey that has evolved into this special company. Finding their store has given me more knowledge and forced me to think (again!) about things that are touching my children. Since first looking at their site a few months ago, I’ve stopped dressing my kids in clothes and shoes that have plastic appliques, thinking about what is on their clothes and touching their skin.  I will start asking more questions and demanding more from the stores I frequent. I will also continue to feel good about my choices to not buy cheaply made clothing and think more about how and where it’s being manufactured and produced. Purchasing special items that have been so thoroughly researched and created deserves my business and I appreciate the research and emotion behind the Little Inkers brand. If you are interested in purchasing a onsie in the Little Inkers designs you can visit Grass Roots online or for t-shirts, yoga pant inquires of any size or design, simply contact the Little Inkers site and find out how to order.

Related Articles: Phthalates & BPA Chemicals ~ The Disappearing Male Documentary

Part II ~ The Disappearing Male Documentary

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Toxic Lipsticks & EWG Kid-Safe Video

Back in February, the Environmental Working Group wrote about lead showing up in popular lipstick brands.  The article ‘The Kiss Of Lead’ stated that 61% of the lipsticks tested, contained lead.   And don’t try looking on the lipstick packaging for lead listed as an ingredient because it wasn’t there.  To put the amount of lead found in perspective, the FDA allows 0.1 ppm (parts per million) limit for lead in candy.  The lipstick with the highest level of lead “L’Oreal Colour Riche – True Red” tested 0.65 ppm of lead.  

Then Canada helped put another toxic spin on lipstick last month by banning 2 chemicals used in lipstick and other personal care products: D4 and D5 siloxanes.  They are found in household items such as lotions, hair care, soaps, baby bottle nipples, cookware and cleaning products.  Their effects on animals include the usual damage to the female reproduction system and uterine tumors.  Solution for lipstick lovers?  Checking the Skin Deep database on the EWG site to research earth-friendly, non-toxic lipstick alternatives.  I did note with interest that many of the MAC products rated 3 for hazard score – that’s not a bad score considering I wouldn’t know where to find most of the products rating a 0 or 1.

Canada’s actions with this current ban of D4 & D5 and taking a stand on banning BPA in baby products last year, shows the Government has real concerns about chemicals and where they are being used. As quoted by the EWGThis action paves the way for possible mandates requiring that companies phase these chemicals out of use, is the first environmental or health-based determination concerning the chemicals issued by any nation”.  I feel reassured by Canada emerging as one of the world’s leaders for protecting it’s consumers from synthetic chemicals.  One of the most chilling messages that has stuck in my head after watching the documentary The Disappearing Male is that we’ve spent the last 100 years creating man-made (untested for effects on human health) synthetic chemicals and we’ll spend the next 100 years finding ways to combat the damage they’ve done to human health and the environment.   We have built our material world using synthetic chemicals with 80,000 of them in use.  85% of these chemicals have not been tested for their effect on human beings ~ very scary statistic.  We need to continue to encourage our governments to lobby for change with targeting and testing synthetic chemicals and their side-effects with human health. 

For my many US readers, I understand you’re not able to view the Disappearing Male documentary (restrictions from the Canadian site).  But, here is another eye-opeing video from the EWG site called Kid-Safe Chemicals Act: 10 Americans Video.  The speaker in the video is Ken Cook (co-founder and president of EWG) in July 2008 speaking about a research project the Environmental Working Group funded that involved checking the blood of 10 random Americans.  They checked each blood sample for 413 toxic chemicals.  Each subject tested positive for an average of 200 chemicals and some pesticides found in their blood were banned more than 30+ years ago.  It is fascinating when Ken reveals who the 10 Americans actually are and how they were selected.  This video is very entertaining and packed with awesome information!

Related articles:

Phthalates & BPA Chemicals ~ The Disappearing Male Documentary

Part II ~ The Disappearing Male Documentary

Quick Reference Guide When Shopping For Personal Care Products

Are Cosmetics Killing Us?

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Part II ~ The Disappearing Male Documentary

Part II of my summary on the Canadian documentary The Disappearing Male has been particularly interesting because of the focus on two chemicals that we’ve talked about a lot over the last year at Mommy Footprint, BPA & Phthalates. For those that think BPA is only a concern for people with babies (ie baby bottles) ~ this will help you see this isn’t the case. Also, that the chemical Phthalate is just as scary and needs equal attention that BPA gets from the media with educating parents on hidden toxins. The following is a summary from the documentary The Disappearing Male, click here to view Part 1…I’ve used many quotes from the clip, so the source for this article is from CBC Documentaries. Here we go…it’s a long one, and not meant to freak parents out, but to help us gain understanding that the plastic and disposable world we live in needs to be evaluated by our government and changes needs to come swiftly.

The Disappearing Male: Part II <US readers can click here to access the documentary on YouTube>

Children live in state of constant exposure from being surrounded by more than 1000 synthetic chemicals in your home. Chemicals are found in bedding, clothing, toys, furniture, our air, and water. Pollution has become a background chemistry in our bodies and it’s accumulating quickly. A common class of petrol chemicals is Phthalates and is widely used in everything from soft toys, to IV tubing, to food packaging, to 3/4 of all personal care products. Dr. Swan, who is interviewed and quoted throughout this documentary, first started studying Phthalates when she realized, according to the Center of Disease Control, that almost every person in the US, contains this chemical in their body. Also that the chemical seemed more prevalent in woman of reproductive age, along with new data showing they caused significant differences in male offspring. She refers to term called the ‘Phthalates Syndrome’ and these changes in boy babies include testes not descending properly, smaller genitals, and interruptions in sexual development. Along with the well documented fact that Phthalates leech from soft toys, this chemical is used in almost all traditional cosmetics because they cling to the skin and hold fragrance.

There is one Phthalate in particular that is used in PVC plastic causing extreme alarm because of where it is used and who it is used on. Continue Reading →

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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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