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BPA & Retail Receipts

submitted by lawilcox

Back in September, I wrote about banning BPA in infant food packaging here, but while organizing some paperwork in my home recently, I felt compelled to share another way BPA is making its way into our lives: receipts!
Even at very low levels, BPA has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, cardiac disease, obesity, diabetes, altered development of the brain and immune systems, lowered sperm counts and early puberty. So, even though the thermal paper receipts are more likely to have first hand affects on me (as the adult handling the receipts) or the clerks (working around them and touching them every day), it certainly isn’t something I want around my son. It is also something I feel all parents should know about; especially parents raising young children who might play with receipts and then put their hands in their mouths before washing.

It is up to us! Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the Environment and Our Children…

submitted by lawilcox

In a post last week on the CNNHealth site, Dr. Sanjay Gupta – CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent - wrote about his emotions as he prepared to speak to the U. S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works.
Dr. Gupta’s post cuts right to the heart of many of my concerns regarding our kids, our increasingly toxic environment and our global future. I often question the hundreds of thousands of chemicals routinely used in our society that have been untested and are therefore unproven to be “safe” for our precious loved ones; I now know that Dr. Gupta has the same questions.

Make Your Own Soft Scrub

submitted by lawilcox

Are you aware that the companies making our cleaning products are not required by law to list ingredients on the product labels? New York State is the only state with a law on the books requiring companies to list cleaning product ingredients. As a result, chemicals that might be dangerous to your health, the health of your child, other loved ones or even your pets may be lurking in the cleaning products. You might not even realize that those “mystery” chemicals could be to blame for various health impairments in your home like asthma, birth defects, breast cancer or reproductive harm.
Since we have discovered that my son’s system (like many children with developmental disabilities) is unable to process out some toxins efficiently, I’m very careful with what is used in our home.
One of my favorite “go-to” organizations for up-to-date information about dangerous chemicals in everyday household products is Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE.) With WVE’s help, I hosted a Green Cleaning party last spring. I wrote about the party here but wanted to share my favorite “recipe” for all-natural Creamy Soft Scrub below.

Dangerous Chemicals in Dry Cleaning?

submitted by lawilcox

Since my focus for this blog is sharing good information regarding our kids, our environment and toxins, I want to share information about a common part of most families' weekly routines that many parents may not realize could be potentially dangerous – dry cleaning.
Did you know that most dry cleaners use dangerous chemicals to “clean” your garments?
Perchloroethylene (PERC) or Tetrachloroethylene are volatile organic solvents (a.k.a. dangerous chemicals) used by most dry cleaners even though overexposure can cause impaired memory, confusion, drowsiness, vertigo, irritability, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. With continued exposure, the side effects become more alarming: tremors, numbness, coma and death due to respiratory paralysis. Certain institutes and health agencies are even listing PERC as a suspected carcinogen. (I’m thinking those dry-cleaned items may not be quite so “clean” after all; how about you?)

Should You Buy Organic or Conventional Produce?

submitted by lawilcox

I didn’t always see the value of buying organic produce. Back in the day, before Autism touched our lives, I was happy to eat the cheapest fruits and veggies I could find. I shopped for the ones that looked shiny, colorful and flawless. But now that I’m raising a son who simply can’t process toxins out of his body as well as his typical peers – which is actually quite common among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders - I am very careful about what kind of produce we use in our kitchen. Now the fruits and veggies I buy may not look flawless at the market, but I buy them because of things I cannot necessarily see.
Did you know that 7 out of 10 fruits and vegetables tested are positive for pesticide residue? While I understand that we don’t want our produce to be demolished by insects before it can ever be harvested and marketed, it is deeply concerning to me that most of the pesticides used on our food supply have never been tested for human safety!

Back-to-School Tips with a Focus on Toxins

submitted by lawilcox

With so many of us sending our kids back off to school this time of year (some of us actually THIS morning), I thought I’d share a few ideas and tips for making your child’s school experience less toxic and more environmentally friendly. Plus, I’d love for you to share a few tips in the comments section below, too.
First, let’s talk lunches.
Since my son, like countless other children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), is on a Gluten-Free and Casein-Free (GFCF) diet, he takes a homemade lunch with “safe” food every day to school. At some point last year I realized that though his foods were GFCF compliant and in my mind “safe,” I was putting them into plastic containers and baggies which are filled with quite questionable chemicals.
Some such chemicals found frequently in the spotlight the past several months are BPA (Bisphenol A), Phthalates and PVC. Phthalates are used to make plastics more soft and pliable; they have been found to disrupt hormones (and I imagine when studied further will be linked to many other debilitating diseases and disorders). BPA is a chemical often used in water bottles which is tied to breast and testicular cancer, hyperactivity and obesity. PVC has been studied in association with mothers who had PVC flooring in their bedrooms while pregnant. These mothers had higher rates of children with ASD diagnoses than mothers who had different flooring in their bedrooms.
All three of these frightening and scary chemicals were enough to give me pause and force me to reconsider what I was sending to school in my son’s lunchbox every day!

Our Kids, Toxins & the Environment: Take a Closer Look!

submitted by lawilcox

As the old adage goes, ignorance is bliss, right? Frankly, in my experience, it isn’t.
Before my son was born and through his early life, and even a few years later when he was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, I was a happy, fulfilled young woman enjoying all that life—and modern conveniences—had to offer. Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t frivolous or ignorant. I was thoughtful about taking care of myself and of our planet…eating a primarily healthy diet…exercising…taking vitamins…conserving water…recycling…arranging to carpool when I could. Let’s just say that I did what I knew was important because it doesn’t take a genius to know that our lives and our Earthly resources are limited and, well - precious. There’s a lot about our current environment, and the ever-present toxins in our lives, that I wish I had known about before conceiving, birthing and raising my son in his early years.

New York Times: Do Toxins Cause Autism?

Could toxin exposures that occur prenatally be the reason that autism rates have skyrocketed in leading industrial countries? Some believe so, including many toxicologists, endocrinologists and leading pediatricians such as Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, professor of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Having recently authored an article for medical journal Current Opinion, Dr. Landrigan cites specific studies that support this theory.

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 09:24

Flu Vaccine May Contain Thimerosal Preservative

Thimerosal will be an ingredient included in batches of the flu vaccine available later this fall. There will also be a thimerosal free version of the vaccination as well.

Thu, 07/30/2009 - 14:58

Autism risk higher near toxic waste sites

Live close to a toxic waste site? Many think that the proximity to toxic waste may play a role in childhood health issues, including a rise in autism cases near such sites.

Mon, 04/13/2009 - 07:37
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