Wednesday, April 30, 2008

BPA Updates

In the last several weeks there have been many things happening with bisphenol-A. Last week Canada declared BPA a toxic chemical; many retailers took action and removed products from their shelves and now Canada is proposing a ban on BPA. Babies R Us has announced that they will be BPA and Phthalate free by the end of 2008. Even Nalgene has recently announced that they are going to discountinue the use of Polycarbonate in their water bottles and according to a USA Today article, the FDA is reconsidering the safety of BPA.
  • "The FDA isn't recommending people stop using BPA, says Laura Tarantino, director of the FDA's Office of Food Additive Safety. But the agency will take another look at the safety of baby bottles, formula cans and other products made with BPA, which has been shown to leach into food. Depending on their findings, she says, the agency could require changes in the way these products are made or the amount of BPA that's allowed to be used."

Rep. John Dingell and Rep. Bart Stupak both democrats of Michigan and leaders of the energy and commerce committee are investigating the FDA's handling of BPA and are calling for a safety check as a result of recent reports expressing "some concern" about the effects of BPA .

  • "Scientists don't have much evidence about how BPA affects people. But environmental organizations such as the Environmental Working Group note that 100 studies have found harmful effects in animals at very low levels. Many researchers are concerned that BPA, which acts like the female hormone estrogen, causes profound effects on animals in low doses, especially during pregnancy and infancy. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found BPA in 95% of Americans tested."

Dingell and Stupak expressed concern that the FDA is basing the alleged safety of BPA on two industry funded studies. Both reports were done by the American Plastics Council and one of the reports has not even been released to the public.

  • "This raises serious concerns about whether the science FDA relied on to approve the use of bisphenol A was bought and paid for by industry." Dingell.

Further more, according to the USA Today article, the American Chemistry Council, which is also an industry group states that, the FDA should clear up the fear and confusion about BPA, which it says has been safely used for decades. A new FDA statement, the council says, will "help explain the extensive scientific review that has already been conducted." Seems like the American Chemistry Council thinks that they have this one in "the bag" or should be say in the bottle.

Senators Charles Schumer and Diane Feinstein introduced a bill yesterday that would ban bisphenol-A in all children's products. Seems like our government is finally catching up with our neighbors to the north.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Check out the newest Safe Mama Cheat Sheet

Safe Mama has done it again, you just have to check out their latest cheat sheet. This one is all about safe non-toxic baby skin care products. This cheat sheet is great, Safe Mama has done all the cross referencing and work for us. She has used the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Database and crossed referenced the list with a host of other potentially harmful chemicals. This cheat sheet is SUPER, because she didn't just give an over all positive or negative score; she has shown each aspect of the rating. This is great because it enables each of us to select a baby/child care line that we can individually live with and feel comfortable about. I hope that this list is as helpful for you as it has been for me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Celebrate Earth Day!

Celebrate Earth Day

April 22, 2008

5 Ways to "Be Green"

1. Recycle, everything from aluminium cans, plastic bottles to your clothing.

2. Switch to compact florescent bulbs. CFL's use up to 66% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last ten times longer. If every household changed just one bulb, it would be about the same as, Removing 85,000 cars from California's roads for one year. That's AMAZING!

3. Use a reusable water bottle instead of a single use bottle; preferably one that is either stainless steel or BPA-free and Phthalate free plastic bottle.

4. Do full loads of laundry and use the cold cycle as much as possible.

5. Use a reusable bag, instead of plastic or paper bags.

Find a way to share the day with your child.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bisphenol-A is in the news again

Bisphenol-A has made the news again. Last week on the NBC Nightly News and then again on the Today Show. The heart of their recommendation is to avoid plastic types #3, #6, and #7 was, "We won't have enough data for years, but if you have a choice, why take a risk?"

Nalgene one of the staunch supporters of BPA launched their new website Nalgene Choice last week amist the negative BPA press. The new site features BPA-free bottles both to showcase two new lines, one plastic and the other stainless steel, as well as a variety of other specialized drinkware products made of a laundry list of BPA-free plastics - polyethylenes (HDPE, LDPE, PET) and even some polypropylene food storage containers. They however have not removed their origional Nalgene sport bottle which does contain BPA.

Then again Monday the Department of Health and Human Services' National Toxicology Program released it's study on BPA and noted that there is "Some Concern that babies and fetuses exposed to BPA could have higher risk of prostate and breast cancer and early onset puberty later in life." The report went on to say that, "The possibility that bisphenol-A may alter human development cannot be dismissed. For more information on this report check out Good Morning America's segment that they rain on BPA and the report this morning. This report has left some members of congress calling on the FDA to reconsider the safety of bisphenol-A

Just this week Canada became the first government to say that it considers BPA unsafe and many Canadian retailers have removed products containing BPA from their shelves. For more information read the full article from Globe and Mail.
"We won't have enough data for years, but if you have a choice, why take a risk?" I know that I am not willing to wait 20 years to find out whether or not bisphenol-A is safe or unsafe. For more information on BPA-free products check out the Z Report on BPA in Childrens Feeding Product, Third Edition.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Adventures in Cloth Diapering

So we are off and running on our cloth diapering adventure. Like any other new endevor there are always hiccups along the way. When I was researching which cloth diapers to go with I bought three bumGenius diapers to test out with Jack in every situation that I could think of: tummy time, exersaucer/walker, in the car, in the Mei Tei carrier, and sleeping (both naptime and nighttime), etc. I used these three diapers as much as possible and only had one leak and it was the first time that I put Jack down for the night wearing the diapers and I didn't use the doubler.

Well, things went well and I decided to jump in with both feet. I ordered my diapers and all the supplies that I needed and I was on my way. Things went smoothly for the first few days and then they started leaking at naptime and nighttime. I suffered through for the first couple of days and then I started asking for help and that is exactly what I got. Holly at Papoose was great, she suggested Joey Bunz Hemp Inserts and Rachel at Euphoria Maternity suggest Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds. Are you seeing the reoccuring theme of hemp? Well, from what I have been told that is because hemp is very absorbant. So I put in an order with Papoose to get some Joey Bunz inserts to use with the bumGenius diapers and I washed them several times with Charlie Soap to get them prepped for their first use.

It took some experimenting, but I figured out which way they worked best for Jack. This is going to sound crazey, but at nap time I use one bumGenius insert, one bumGenius doubler and one Joey Bunz hemp insert and at bedtime I make what I have been calling a hemp sandwich. I use two Joey Bunz hemp inserts with one bumGenius insert inbetween. Doing these two things have worked for us.

When I was getting started I bought the diapers, the laundry wet bags (2) and a smaller wet beg for my diaper bag. I decided to forgo the diaper sprayer from bumGenius, which is used to spray off dirty diapers into the toilet. I figured I wouldn't need it, Jack is afterall eating solid foods now. Well, all it took was one "yucky" diaper to change my mind. All I have to say is definately splurge on the diaper sprayer! It was easy to install and definately makes the "yucky" diapers easier to clean up.

I typically do diaper washes every other day. I start with a cold rinse to help ensure no staining and then I do a hot wash. Then into the dryer they go, the diaper covers and the laundry bag go into the dryer for a drying cycle and then the inserts going in for an additional drying cycle.

Even through all the experimenting and the leaks, I am glad that I made the switch to cloth. I am saving $64 a month and lots of space in our land fills.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pregnant and Looking For a Great Pair of Maternity Jeans?

Lets face it, maternity jeans often leave something to be desired. They either don't look modern enough or they fit horrible. Well, I was looking around at some of the blogs that I check out and over at Euphoria Maternity's Blog for the Green Mama, they are giving away Mama Black maternity jeans and they look great. Their styles are sexy, with a great fit and a reasonable price tag. What mama to-be wouldn't want a great pair of jeans and free! If you are interested definitely check this out, because all you have to do is leave a post about which pair you would want and ladies when I checked it a few minutes ago there were only 3(!) comments. Don't worry about sizing because she has a great true sizing system, so you shouldn't have any problems with that. Make sure you click over and check out her store; she has lots of great stuff! Good luck and let me know if you win.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pack A Litter Free Lunch

Did you pack a litter free lunch? What a great idea; this is a great way to be green and save some money while doing it. I first started to think about this when I found Laptop Lunches, which are bento box inspired containers for your lunch and the best part is that they are made from toxic free plastic!

Well to pack a litter free lunch you don't have to have a Laptop Lunch Box; listed below are all the things that you need to pack a litter free lunch.

You will need:

  • a reusable, insulated lunch bag-try to find one that is PVC-free. (It shouldn't be too hard, I was able to get Allie's at Target)
  • the main dish (sandwich, soup, hummus, whatever) is packed in a plastic food storage container or a Pyrex bowl with a lid. (Just make sure that if you are sending it to your childs school that you check to be sure that they allow Pyrex.)
  • fruit (is packed in its own skin, or if it’s cut up it is packed in a small container,like the one above.)
  • yogurt/applesauce is not purchased in small lunch-sized containers. We buy the bigger containers and take some out and put them into smaller ones for kids.
  • no juice boxes. We pack water in a SIGG bottle, sometimes milk in a sippy cup (the Klean Kanteen is another great option).
  • smaller desserts, such as cookies or raisins or goldfish crackers are also poured into smaller plastic or Pyrex containers. Nothing comes individually packaged.

Packing a litter free lunch isn't as hard as you may think. Do you already or do you think you can, achieve a litter-free lunch for yourself and for your kids?

The Soft Landing Is Doing It Again!

Well the folks at The Soft Landing are doing it again; they are giving away 2 great feeding kits. One is for begginers who are starting solids and the other is an advanced eating kit. Both kits are great, I know that I would love either one for Jack.

Our Go BPA Free Beginning Solids Kit makes it so easy to get baby started with the right tools. We’ve gathered the best in BPA, PVC and phthalate free feeding gear for babies 6+ months:
*One Bibbity Rinse and Roll baby bib
*One set of three Sassy Feeding bowls with lids and suction cup base
*Two Sassy Extra Gentle Soft Tip Spoons
*Two Nuby Nibblers

Our Go BPA Free Advanced Eating Kit brings together the perfect combination of tools for successful eating without toxic plastic for babies 12+ months:
*One waterproof Bumkins Super Bib in a neutral color
*One Boon Catch Bowl with suction cup bottom
*One set of Boon Benders utensils
*Three Sassy Perfect Size Snacks Cups

If either of these kits sound like their for you make sure you get over to The Soft Landing Quickly because the contest ends April 8th. It's super easy to enter just leave a comment on their post. Don't miss out on this chance to win one of two great feeding kits.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Winner Is..

Thanks for all the responses to the The Ah Goo Baby® Plush Pad® contest sponsored by Papoose. The winner is Jen, we will contact the winner via email to arrange for delivery. Have a great Tuesday!