Friday, May 18, 2018

Banned in Hawaii: Is this Common Sunscreen Ingredient in Your Favorite Sunscreen?

Every year parents stop and ask me what sunblock I use- for myself and for my kids.   We all know we have to protect our families from the sun's dangerous rays... daily and year round if possible, however as more information is known about different popular chemicals used in sunscreens today- it can (and is ) confusing to know if your family's top choice is really just protecting you from the sun's rays and not also exposing you to harmful chemcicals.   Even my top choices have varied slightly through the years (although I have been pretty faithful to 2-3 of them for the last 3 years or so... more on that later) 


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Are The Water Fountains in Your Local School and Parks Tested for Lead?

This summer, Chicago is shutting off half of its outdoor drinking fountains amid lead concerns.  After the Flynt water crisis, the city of Chicago decided to test their park’s water fountains- their findings?  About a quarter of their public water fountains had lead levels exceeding 15 ppm.  

What is considered a high level of lead in water?
Believe it or not,  there is no federal standard for the amount of lead found in tap water at individual homes.  The federal government does have a 15 ppm 'action level' it loosely uses, but studies  have reported harmful effects when concentrations exceed the FDA’s standard for bottled water of no more than 5 parts per billion. 

Adding to the confusion, according to the EPA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Lead is unsafe to consume at any level" Ingesting tiny concentrations can permanently damage the developing brains of children.

What about my local park's water fountains?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Don't Gift Hormone Disrupting Chemicals for Mothers Day nor Teacher Appreciation Week!

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week AND Mothers Day (also- the end of the school year is also approaching! ).   Many of us look to gift our moms and teachers something that let's them know we love them, appreciate them and are thankful.  Some of the most popular gifts for these special women in our lives (yes, I know men make wonderful teachers too!   but generally speaking these are better matches for women!)  on both special days are candles, luxurious body/face lotions and fragrant body washes.

If going this route- remember to avoid buying items that contain the words "fragrance" or "perfum" or that smell artificial.   Seek out products that specify in the ingredients that they use pure organic essential oils.  Otherwise?   We are gifting these special women items filled with hormone mimicking chemicals called phthalates !!

Scroll down to the end of this story for some of my favorites!

......And, because I know how popular candles are, here is a blog post from last year with my candle buying guide.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Low Dose Effect

The dose makes the poison and, basically, anything can kill you in high enough doses.   That is the thought behind most US based federal chemical regulations and general thinking with regards to chemicals.  Even too much water can be lethal- which is why many chemical companies and federal regulators tell you that you should not worry about small amounts of chemicals in every day items because they are "such small amounts that they can do no harm". The status quo for chemical regulation, thus, is to find 'safe' levels of chemicals ...assume that - because it is under a certain level- you will be safe.   

Research, however, has found two major flaws with this line of thought.