Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Not in my cosmetics: The Series
By Leeann Brown with Travis Mitchell
If you love EWG's Skin Deep database, then this series is for you. If you've never even heard of our Skin Deep database, this series is also for you. And for pretty much anyone else on the planet who uses toothpaste, shampoo, diaper cream, lipstick, cologne, shaving cream, nail polish and basically any other "personal care product" you can think of.
We're kicking off the series with a True-False Quiz because, well, so few people know how bad it really is in the cosmetics aisles. How wildly unregulated. So if you get them all wrong, you're not alone. But you do need help. Ready?
QUESTION 1: Ingredients in personal care products are required to be proven safe for use before being sold in the US.
FALSE! "Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives." - Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Nearly 80 percent of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, the industry's own public research organization, the FDA or any publicly accountable institution.
QUESTION 2. If you use a product without having a noticeable adverse reaction, it's safe.
FALSE! As you can tell from the first question, we really don't know. What is known is that common ingredients in personal care products have been linked to various concerns, such as reproductive issues, cancers and allergies. We also know that some of these ingredients can accumulate in our bodies. For example, phthalates, a group of common plasticizer, have been found in breast cancer tissue.
QUESTION 3. Avoiding a few key toxic ingredients will allow you to reduce your toxic exposure.
TRUE! While you can't shop your way around chemical exposures completely, you can avoid key cosmetic ingredient offenders, like fragrance and triclosan. You'll be doing yourself and the environment a huge favor. Hint - sign off one ingredient at a time. It's a lot more manageable, and allows you to focus your attention on one area while shopping, instead of examining every 15-letter word on the label.
QUESTION 4. Products labeled as having "natural" and "organic" ingredients are always safer than conventional ones.
FALSE! Just as ingredients aren't required to be tested for safety, there is no recognized standard for organic personal care products, either. A "natural" ingredient is not automatically safe. These ingredients can still be biologically active, and thus, have a strong effect on the human body, e.g. poison ivy.
Your best bet is to go with companies that fully disclose formulations, many of which proudly advertise certain missing toxic ingredients.
QUESTION 5. Personal care products can make their way inside your body.
TRUE! Whether a chemical is soaked in through the skin, or an aerosol spray is inhaled or suds wash down the drain and back into the drinking water supply - they can easily end up in your body. The musk xylene, which is commonly found in fragrances (and paint thinners!) has been found in human fat (link: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/research/whythismatters.php).
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists the skin as the "most common path of toxic substance exposure." No wonder, as it is the body's largest organ and has impressive absorption abilities. Medicinal dermal patches are an example of how reliable of an exposure route it really is. No need to swallow, inhale or inject - just apply to a small area and the skin will do the rest.
Stay tuned for future installments of Not in my cosmetics: The Series. Got a question you hope we include? Stop hoping and tell us - in the comments, please!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Check these out for those who don't want to buy consumer goods for the holidays.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
|Online pictures are available for 30 days|
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Something is amiss with our children
Written by Alice Shabecoff, co-author with her husband Philip of Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on our Children
As we watched each of our five grandchildren and their friends enter this world and begin their life's journey, it became more and more clear that something is amiss with this generation. How are your children and your friends' children doing?
Most likely, one in three of the children you know in this generation suffers from a chronic illness. Perhaps it's cancer, or birth defects, perhaps asthma, or a problem that affects the child's mind and behavior, such as Downs Syndrome, learning disorders, ADHD or autism. Though one in three may sound exaggerated, unbelievable, the figures are there amidst various government files.
This generation is different.
Childhood cancer, once a medical rarity, has grown 67 percent since 1950. Asthma has increased 140 percent in the last twenty years and autism rates without a doubt have increased at least 200 percent. Miscarriages and premature births are also on the rise, while the ratio of male babies dwindles and teenage girls face endometriosis.
The generations born from 1970 on are the first to be raised in a truly toxified world. Even before conception and on into adulthood, the assault is everywhere: heavy metals and carcinogenic particles in air pollution; industrial solvents, household detergents, prozac and radioactive wastes in drinking water; pesticides in flea collars; artificial growth hormones in beef, arsenic in chicken; synthetic hormones in bottles, teething rings and medical devices; formaldehyde in cribs and nail polish, and even rocket fuel in lettuce. Pacifiers are now manufactured with nanoparticles from silver, to be sold as 'antibacterial.'
What's wrong with rinsing a pacifier in soapy water?
Despite naysayers (who pays them to say nay?--that's a whole story in itself), it's clear there is both an association and a causative connection between the vast explosion of poisons in our everyday lives and our childrens' "issues."
Over 80,000 industrial chemicals (tested only by the manufacturer) are in commerce in this country, produced or imported at 15 trillion pounds a year. Pesticide use has leaped from the troubling 400 million pounds Rachel Carson wrote about in the 1960s to the mind-boggling 4.4 billion pounds in use today. Nuclear power plants, aging and under-maintained, increasingly leak wastes, often without notifying their community.
What could be more elemental than our desire to protect our children? Children and fetuses, because of their undeveloped defense systems, are ten to sixty-five times more susceptible to specific toxics than adults. These toxics diminish the capacities of our children...the future of our families, our communities, our nation.
Illness does not necessarily show up in childhood. Environmental exposures, from conception to early life, can set a person´s cellular code for life and can cause disease at any time, through old age. This accounts for the rise in Parkinson´s and Alzheimer´s diseases, prostate and breast cancer.
A message of hope and optimism
Yet this is not the dispiriting 'Bad News' it might seem. It is, actually, a message of hope and optimism. We are fearful only when we are ignorant and powerless. Now that we know what is happening, we can determine not to let it happen further.
These poisons are manmade; manufacturers can take them out of our children´s lives and make profits from safe products. 'Green chemistry' can replace toxic molecules with harmless ones. We can connect global climate change actions to environmental health strategies. If we replace coal-fired power, in the process we reduce not only carbon but also emissions of the tons of lead, mercury, hydrochloric acid, chromium, arsenic, sulfur and nitrogen oxides that cause autism, Alzheimer's and other public health menaces.
In a riff on Pogo, let's say, "We have met the heroes and it is us." We cannot bury our heads and hope it will all go away. We cannot leave the job to someone else. Some may feel the problem is so massive, it's best to pretend it doesn't exist. But it isn't more massive than we allow it to be. It's totally within our reach.
We can make each other smarter and stronger. It is in our power to learn about what harms our children and to share our knowledge. It is in our power as a community of citizens and parents to demand action against the current harmful policies and practices and against the indiscriminate use of processes and practices that destroy and degrade all life on our planet.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Dub, think of the concept. Only have what you can keep in the house you already have.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
AJ thought you would enjoy this article: Retail Clinics Provide Low-Cost, Quality Care - AARP Bulletin Today. This is what they said about it: This sounds like the way to go once I have lost my health insurance.
I bought my first ever desktop computer, having only had laptops in the past. It has twice as much memory for half the cost of a comparable laptop, so this time it was a no-brainer. If I haven't been taking my laptop to school with me this semester, and I haven't, I don't need a laptop.
So I am setting everything up today. Gee, I wish I had kept a paper file somewhere of all my passwords, but I didn't. Grrrrrr!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
You are receiving this mail because someone read a page at
High Country News
and thought it might interest you.
"Arizona is actually in the good news."
Bright sunshiny day
Arizona's solar industry is finally picking up steam.
High Country News
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Anyway, I took the day off today; gave my 8.5 hours shift to another cashier who really needs the hours, a single mother whose laid off ex isn't sending child support anymore. It is my ONLY day off this week, as I went to school both of my originally scheduled days off.
Now why does my DH react to this with such meanness and resentment? Since he hasn't worked in nearly 2 years, did he forget that a person needs a day to regroup once in a while? Or does he just not care about that, because he thinks going to school IS avoiding work? Is he worried about money? HE could get a job, duh?
OK, I think that is probably it. He would never admit it, but I bet he is afraid that I will not earn enough to carry on and he will have to get some kind of part-time work himself. That would really cut into his time with his girlfriend, which he actually says is a job, but never seems to produce any income.
It has obviously not occurred to him that I am really incapable of working as a cashier ON MY FEET for more than 8 hours a day, physically I mean. Being so totally friendly and wonderful for that long is hard enough but to maintain it while your whole body is screaming in pain gets harder and harder as the hours slowly pass. Perhaps I should share that fact with him, but I doubt if it will make any difference in his attitude.