May 24, 2010
May 22, 2010
May 21st, 2010
Do you believe that toxic chemicals in our products are killing us? If so read on. If you are a non-believer please read, do some research, ask some questions and then lets discuss your opinions. I love a healthy debate. One statistic; 40% rise in breast cancer from 1973 to 1998. What could be causing that? Are we just that much more unhealthy today?
We have been talking about Toxic Chemicals, cleaning products, and various other home issues for several months now. Most of the time I'm getting questions about how to start, what's the first step to going green, or how do I get rid of toxic chemicals in my home.
The truth of the matter is you will have difficulty eliminating toxins from the home if you try to do it all at once. The primary reason is you don't know what you are looking for, how to read it, what's dangerous and what's not. So the first step really is awareness; what should you be aware of:
- Become aware of the chemicals that you are using to clean your home and the harm these cause
- Become aware of the toxins in and on your food
- Become aware of the toxins in your personal care products
- Lastly become aware of the toxins you come into contact with everyday outside your home.
Click here. Join the folks at Safer Chemicals Healthy Families on Facebook, Twitter, online, and others.
Getting started with awareness is step number 1 in cleaning your house and your body of toxic chemicals.
Step 2 we will focus on looking at an easy thing to get rid of in your home; toxic cleaners.
May 20, 2010
There is growing agreement across the political spectrum that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 does not adequately protect Americans from toxic chemicals. In the 34 years since TSCA was enacted, the EPA has been able to require testing on just 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals produced and used in the U.S., and just five chemicals have been regulated under this law. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson has asked Congress to provide her agency with better chemical management tools for safeguarding our nation’s health.
Much has changed since TSCA became law more than 30 years ago. Scientists have developed a more refined understanding of how some chemicals can cause and contribute to serious illness, including cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, neurologic diseases, and asthma.
The Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition believes that, by reforming TSCA, we can reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals, improve our nation’s health, and lower the cost of health care. This report documents some of the scientific findings and economic analysis underlying our position.
Chronic disease is on the riseMore than 30 years of environmental health studies have led to a growing consensus that chemicals are playing a role in the incidence and prevalence of many diseases and disorders in our country, including:
- Leukemia, brain cancer, and other childhood cancers, which have increased by more than 20% since 1975.
- Breast cancer, which went up by 40% between 1973 and 1998. While breast cancer rates have declined since 2003, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is now one in eight, up from one in ten in 1973.
- Asthma, which approximately doubled in prevalence between 1980 and 1995 and has stayed at the elevated rate.
- Difficulty in conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy affected 40% more women in 2002 than in 1982. The incidence of reported difficulty has almost doubled in younger women, ages 18–25.
- The birth defect resulting in undescended testes, which has increased 200% between 1970 and 1993.
- Autism, the diagnosis of which has increased more than 10 times in the last 15 years.
The health and economic benefits of reforming TSCAAccording to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 133 million people in the U.S.—almost half of all Americans—are now living with these and other chronic diseases and conditions, which now account for 70% of deaths and 75% of U.S. health care costs.
Estimates of the proportion of the disease burden that can be attributed to chemicals vary widely, ranging from 1% of all disease to 5% of childhood cancer to 10% of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and neurodevelopmental deficits to 30% of childhood asthma. Whatever the actual contribution, effective chemical policy reform will incorporate the last 30 years of science to reduce the chemical exposures that contribute to the rising incidence of chronic disease. And any decline in the incidence of chronic diseases can also be expected to bring health care cost savings. Even if chemical policy reform leads to reductions in toxic chemical exposures that translate into just a tenth of one percent reduction of health care costs, it would save the U.S. health care system an estimated $5 billion every year.
The U.S. now spends over $7,000 per person per year directly on health care. This sum does not include the many other kinds of costs, such as the costs of raising a child with a severe learning disability or coping with a young mother’s breast cancer diagnosis. Chemical policy reform holds the promise of reducing the economic, social and personal costs of chronic disease by creating a more healthy future for all Americans.
May 19, 2010
Nine out of ten. According to a study released today, those are your chances of having some bisphenol A (BPA) with tonight’s dinner, if canned food is on your menu. New testing for BPA sampled 50 cans of food and drinks, and found that the hormone-disrupting chemical is a near ubiquitous presence in canned food.
The study, titled No Silver Lining and published by the National Work Group for Safe Markets, found what appears to be the highest level of BPA ever detected in canned food. A can of Del Monte green beans from a Wisconsin pantry clocked in at 1140 parts per billion BPA, several times greater than the highest levels reported by other recent studies.
Dr. Laura Vandenberg, a leading BPA researcher at Tufts University, reviewed the results.
Some Bisphenol A With Your Green Beans?
May 17, 2010
May 12, 2010
The cleaning aisle at just about any grocery store is stocked with a dizzying array of options—and when it comes down to it, there are a lot of expensive, toxic, superfluous products crowding the market. Chances are, you already have one of the best, all-purpose cleaning agents in your pantry: white vinegar. As noted earlier, vinegar actually works as a great laundry booster, stripping away the chemical build-up that detergent leaves behind (and gets rid of clingy odors in the process). And beyond that, there are tons of other applications for the stuff around your home. Here, from vinegartips.com and frugalfun.com, 25 ideas for making the most of vinegar:
1. Deodorize the sink: Pour 1 cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup hot vinegar, down the drain. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
2. Deodorize the garbage disposal: Make ice cubes out of vinegar. Run the disposal with a few vinegar ice cubes and cold water.
3. Clean countertops: Wipe down surfaces with a rag dipped in vinegar.
4. Clean the fridge: Use a mixture of half water, half vinegar to wipe down the interior shelves and walls.
5. Remove soap build-up and odors from the dishwasher: Once a month, pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run the machine through its entire cycle.
6. Bust oven grease: If you’ve got grease spots on the oven door, pour some vinegar directly on the stains, let it sit for 15 minutes, and wipe away with a sponge.
7. To make old glassware sparkle: To get rid of the cloudy effect, wrap a vinegar-soaked towel around the glass and let it sit. Remove and rinse with hot water.
8. Get rid of lime deposits on your tea kettle: Fill the kettle with vinegar and let it boil. Allow it to cool, and rinse with water.
9. Remove stains in coffee cups: Create a paste using of equal parts vinegar and salt (or in lieu of salt, baking soda) and scrub gently before rinsing.
10. Treat Tupperware stains (and stinkiness): Wipe the containers with a vinegar-saturated cloth.
11. Remove stains on aluminum pots: Boil 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water.
12. Deter ant infestations: Spray outside doorways and windowsills, and anywhere you see a trail of critters.
13. Clean can openers: Scrub the wheel of your can opener with vinegar using an old toothbrush.
14. Remove stickers or labels: Cover the sticker with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Let it sit overnight—it should slide right off by morning.
15. Shine porcelain sinks: A bit of vinegar and a good scrub should leave them sparkling.
16. Clean grout: Pour on some vinegar, let it hang out for a few minutes, and buff with an old toothbrush.
17. Clean the shower door: Spray them down with vinegar pre-shower, or post (after you’ve squeegeed the glass) to remove hard water deposits.
18. Clean a grimy showerhead: To get rid of scum, fill a Ziploc with ½ a cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Let it sit for an hour, until the bubbling has stopped. Remove the bag and run the shower.
19. Make a toilet sparkle: Pour in a cup or two of vinegar and let it sit there overnight before scrubbing with a toilet brush.
20. Polish linoleum floors: Add 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water you use to wash the floor.
21. Clean paintbrushes: Soak paintbrushes for an hour before simmering them on the stove to remove hardened paint. Drain and rinse.
22. Clean grills: Spray vinegar on a ball of tin foil, then use it to give the grate a firm scrub.
23. Disinfect wood cutting boards: Wipe down wood boards with a wash of vinegar.
24. Clean the microwave: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water and ½ cup vinegar. Heat it on full power for 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Keep the door closed for a few minutes longer to let the steam fill the microwave, loosening the grime. Remove the bowl (carefully!) and wipe down interior walls with a sponge.
25. Polish patent leather accessories: Give them a rub with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Buff with a dry cloth.
May 11, 2010
May 11th, 2010
I was pleased to read that Sen Lautenberg had introduced legislation that would create more strict laws on product manufactures. This legislation intends to make it more difficult for companies to put 80,000 chemicals in our products without having tested them for human safety and consumption or better said would require companies to prove their products are safe for human use.
Yes that's right currently the EPA is responsible for testing chemicals to determine if they are dangerous for human consumption. Can you imagine that shampoo can be manufactured with any of a number of toxic chemicals and the manufacturer has no responsibility to test the chemicals for safety for human consumption. This isn't to say that they are blatantly putting out dangerous products but since they aren't responsible for proving the safety of their products they are certainly cutting corners. BPA is a prime example; its now going to be regulated by the EPA after being in use for decades. Having the EPA responsible for "proving" the health concerns of the chemicals manufacturers put in consumer products seems a bit backwards.
I was intrigued by this legislation so I sent Sen. Reid (my Senator) an email via his website. Here is the response in its entirety - pay special attention to the bold print;
Dear Mr. Rickman:
Thank you for contacting me about the regulation of hazardous chemicals. I appreciate hearing from you. As you may know, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) provides the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with authority to require reporting, record-keeping, and testing requirements, as well as restrictions relating to certain chemical substances. In September, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced that EPA will analyze and regulate six high-profile, widely used chemicals that have raised health concerns. Included in this list are: bisphenol A (or BPA), phthalates, brominated flame retardants, and perflourinated compounds. TSCA has been criticized as inadequate in providing for the effective testing and regulation of industrial chemicals, and for this reason some groups are calling for legislation to reform it.
On April 15, 2010, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced S. 3209, which would require manufacturers to provide a minimum set of data set for each chemical they produce, and would give EPA the authority to request any additional data it deems necessary to make a safety determination. This would significantly change the current method of chemicals regulation, as manufacturers would have to provide information about chemicals in consumer products instead of presuming substances are safe until proven dangerous, as is currently the case. This bill is currently in the Committee on Environment and Public Works. Please know that I will keep your support for reforming TSCA in mind should this or similar legislation come to the full Senate for consideration.
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. For more information about my work for Nevada, my role in the United States Senate Leadership, or to subscribe to regular e-mail updates on the issues that interest you, please visit my Web site at http://reid.senate.gov. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
My best wishes to you.
United States Senator
So the bottom line is that "some groups" feel the 1976 law needs to be revised...it doesn't appear that Sen Reid is very excited about this legislation and perhaps doesn't see the merit in making companies responsible for ensuring the safety of their products. The bill is currently in "committee".
So I pose the question; is anyone out there concerned about the untested chemicals in your products? Are we going to continue to sit on the sidelines and allow corporations to sell us toxic products that may well be responsible for the prevalence of cancer in our society, certainly impact our immune systems, and impact our well being and that of our children daily?
Am I the only one "UPSET" that our government has done this poor a job at protecting its citizens? Regulate ALL chemicals and do it now Sen Reid. Push the legislation forward Mr. Reid...you are the Majority Leader in the Senate and you have the power to make this an issue. If the health of your constituents is what drove the Health-care legislation enacted earlier this year as you have stated, then this should be attached to it and passed quickly. Make corporations responsible for the toxic products they sell; not the EPA, and not the government.
Protect our Children Sen. Reid.
May 08, 2010
EPA now has to demonstrate the chemicals are unsafe. According to a summary of the bill Lautenberg’s office released, EPA has only required testing for about 200 chemicals of the 80,000 in the agency’s inventory. EPA has regulated only limited uses of five chemicals.
Industry lobbyists say they are willing to accept tougher federal enforcement in exchange for the growing number of state restrictions on chemicals. “We hope it can get done sooner rather than later,” said Keith Belton, a lobbyist with Dow Chemical Co.Dooley said in the statement, however, that the bill “undermines business certainty by allowing states to adopt their own regulations and create a lack of regulatory uniformity for chemicals and the products that use them.”
A Lautenberg aide said tougher federal chemical laws will negate the need for states to act. “Sen. Lautenberg is a strong defender of the states’ ability to protect their citizens from environmental hazards, and the Safe Chemicals Act does that,” the aide said. “But the bill would also provide certainty and consistency for industry by establishing a strong federal program that will ease the political pressure on state legislatures to pass their own laws.”
Environmental groups offered more support for the legislation but said they would work to strengthen it further by forcing the most hazardous chemicals off the market sooner.
“Changing the existing law would make a significant difference in people’s lives by reducing daily exposure to toxic chemicals,” said Daniel Rosenberg,an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a statement.
The BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of labor and environmental groups, commended Lautenberg for introducing the legislation.
“Requiring the chemical industry to prove the safety of chemicals, and ensuring that workers are notified if a safety determination is not issued by EPA, are important to ensuring the health and safety of the public and workers,” the group said.
Hazardous chemical law overhaul would increase power of federal regulators - The Hill's E2-Wire
"It is suggested that 5% of cancers, 10% of Neuro Behavior Disorders, and 30% of Asthma cases in children are caused by toxic chemicals..."
May 05, 2010
So I ask the question; if cleaning products had warnings like: "This cleaner can suppress the immune system" or "this cleaner has a suspected carcinogen as a main ingredient" would you still buy it? The problem is cleaning chemicals are KNOWN health hazards yet so few people truly are paying attention. So I ask; how can we change this? What are your thoughts on educating the masses on what bleach does to the body? Write your comments below.
In today's world you don't need cleaning products that are poisonous to get the job done. How about this as a means of understanding the dangers; If you have to put childproof locks on your cabinets because you are "Afraid" your child will get into the cabinet and consume poison you need to go green. Toxic cleaning chemicals are not any better than the green products that can be purchased or made for that matter. What they are is a danger to your health and that of your loved ones. While they clean the surface of dirt they leave VOC's behind on the surface and in the air to be absorbed by the body at a later date.
What chemicals should you be on the look out for? Here is a short list that isn't complete but will give you some idea. If all else fails don't buy it if it says danger, warning, poison, or anything along those lines. Here is the list:
1) Chlorinated phenols found in toilet bowl cleaners are toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems.
2) Diethylene glycol found in window cleaners depresses the nervous system.
3) Phenols found in disinfectants are toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems.
4) Nonylphenol ethoxylate, a common surfactant (detergent) found in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners, is banned in Europe; it has been shown to biodegradeslowly into even more toxic compounds.
5) Formaldehyde found in spray and wick deodorizers is a respiratory irritant and suspected carcinogen.
6) Petroleum solvents in floor cleaners damage mucous membranes.
7) Perchloroethylene, a spot remover, causes liver and kidney damage.
8) Butyl cellosolve, common in all-purpose, window and other types of cleaners, damages bone marrow, the nervous system, kidneys and the liver.
We could literally write a book about the health affects of cleaning chemicals but suffice it to say that the warnings on the labels are enough. "Poison" is a clear indicator. Now the question is what are you going to change? If you'd like more info on green cleaning products that are safe for you and your family read these articles:
Life without laundry soap
Green cleaning products list
As always we would love to hear your thoughts and how we can help you or someone you know. It literally only takes a small change to make a huge difference. Have a great and green day!
May 02, 2010
Dream2clean serves the Reno/Tahoe area with Green cleaning services for Residential and Commercial clients. Check us out at Dream2clean.com.
Otarian, the first in a planned chain of vegetarian restaurants opened in New York this week, with two more locations planned for London later in the year.
Carbon reduction company Sustain measured the carbon footprints of each menu item for the company, which will appear alongside the footprint of a comparable meat dish.
The aim is to encourage customers to think about the impact of their food choices on the planet and understand the environmental benefits of reducing meat consumption.Items that represent the biggest carbon savings will be actively promoted to customers.
Working with food sustainability consultancy Eat England, Sustain has carried out comprehensive "cradle-to-grave" carbon footprinting, which calculates greenhouse gas emissions from each stage of the products' lifecycles.
This includes sourcing the raw materials for each ingredient, manufacturing, packing, transporting, cooking and disposal of the product.
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The calculations were performed according to PAS 2050 -- the U.K. Government's widely accepted carbon footprint specification.
Otarian founder Radhika Oswal, said: "With Otarian I hope to show that food can be delicious and good for the planet.
"If each vegetarian meal saves even one kilogram of carbon emissions or grain, or one litre of water or oil, the cumulative benefits of eating at Otarian can change the planet's current trajectory."
Jean-Yves Cherruault, environmental accounting manager at Sustain, said: "The work we have been doing for Otarian is very relevant given the ongoing debate about low carbon food choices.
"The carbon footprint assessment was instrumental in encouraging engagement with suppliers and identifying ways of reducing greenhouse gases from the menu.
"This hopefully marks the start of a new way of doing things for the restaurant industry."
Read more: http://www.greenbiz.com/news/