Major progress in removing toxic chemicals from consumer products

Great news heard this morning on CBS.

Noting that Johnson & Johnson recognizes the toxic chemicals in their products and have stated they will remove them from all their products by 2015.

So relieved to see they have admitted it and will have toxic chemicals removed from Baby products by 2013 and the rest of their products by 2015.

We have tolerated (most likely without full knowledge or disclosure) these chemicals because of synthetics having a lower price tag.

In order for us to use non-toxic shampoo, soap, moisturizers etc, we have to up the ante and pay more for safety.

What is right with this picture?  What is wrong with this picture.

We call ourselves ‘mitigatetoxins’ on Twitter for a reason.

Joy to J&J now hoping the rest of the industry follows suit.

Sunscreen Danger – What’s In Your Sunscreen

Posted: 16 Jul 2010 09:00 AM PDT

You put on sunscreen because it is important for your skin’s health, right?  In this day and age of skin cancer, most of us have been taught to wear sunscreen daily, especially on our faces, in all weather and all seasons.  Lately, however, some concerns have been raised regarding the safety of […] Related posts:

  1. Sunscreen, The Real Effects on Your Body – Protection or Poison?
  2. Best Ways to Avoid Mercury
  3. 5 Best Ways to Lower Risk of Cancer

Always grateful and pleased to “pass it on” when it comes to Green Life ‘s invaluable education… CSea

POLLUTION IN PEOPLE

For years, I thought I could keep my body free of dangerous chemicals by taking just a couple of simple precautions — using natural cleansers and buying organic food. Wrong.

Body burden Biomonitoring tests to check for chemicals in people always find them. It doesn’t matter whether the people are old, young, newborn or even fetal, nor what their history is. Contamination is always found. It is therefore a virtual certainty that if I were to be tested, I would learn I was contaminated, too. Not to cause panic, but so would you.

This pollution of our bodies is thought by many scientists to be universal today. It goes by the name of body burden.

Where do the chemicals come from? They are used in a seemingly endless array of industrial applications and consumer products, including baby toys, air freshener, laundry detergent, shampoo, nail polish, food containers, rugs and furniture, to name a few.

And how do they get into our bodies? Through our food, tap and bottled water, indoor and outdoor air and many of the things we touch or put on our skin. Babies get them in the womb from their mothers. Hence, the phenomenon of infants starting life with chemicals already in their systems.

Given how ubiquitous chemicals are, the question is not really how they get into us, but whether there is any way to keep them out. I will get back to that.

Let’s first talk about whether and how the chemicals might harm us. The chemical industry predictably claims they are safe. In reality, next to nothing is known about the vast majority of them. That’s because our laws allow chemicals to go on the market without prior safety testing.

But we do know quite a bit about a few chemicals, and what we know is not reassuring. For instance:

  • Phthalates have been linked to problems with reproductive system development in baby boys and to insulin resistance and obesity in adult men. They are used in a wide variety of cosmetic products, such as moisturizers, nail polish and baby powder; cleaning products; plastic food wraps; and toys, especially those made with PVC plastic. Other uses include medical equipment and building supplies.
  • Bisphenol A (also known as BPA) has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, reproductive problems, diabetes and alteration of brain chemistry and behavioral changes. It is used in many household products, including plastic baby bottles, hard plastic sports bottles and metal food cans, which are often lined with plastic to prevent a metallic taste in food.
  • PCBs, which were formerly used as electrical insulators, among other things, have been found to affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems. They are also considered a probable carcinogen. Though their production in the U.S. was banned in 1979, these long-lasting chemicals continue to circulate in the environment and in the food chain. New releases also occur when old equipment made with PCBs is damaged or improperly disposed of.
  • Dioxins, a byproduct of the manufacture and burning of chlorine products, can affect the cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and cause cancer.

Other classes of chemicals shown to be toxic include PBDEs (used as flame retardants) and PFCs (used to repel water, stains and grease).

All the chemicals listed above are endocrine disruptors, meaning that they interfere with the workings of the endocrine — or hormone — system. Hormones are our bodies’ chemical messengers. They tell cells to start or stop carrying out key functions at the proper time. While key to basic body functioning throughout our lives, they are particularly important to fetal development. During the nine months in which a baby takes shape, an exquisitely timed orchestra of these chemical signals ensures that the baby’s body develops as it should. Any tampering with the type or timing of the signals can have tragic consequences, from cancers that emerge later in life to missing body parts. They can also affect the brain and behavior.

The years directly leading up to puberty, when hormones again play a major role in body development, may be another time when people are particularly sensitive to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

So, how can you protect yourself, your children and your children-to-be?

Unfortunately, moving somewhere remote is not, in itself, an answer. Many chemicals are highly mobile and resistant to breakdown. Over the last few decades, they have spread on wind and water currents to every corner of the globe, including the most pristine places.

However, your personal practices can make a difference in your LEVEL of exposure, not just to endocrine disruptors but to other toxins that humans are spewing out into the environment. These steps, in particular, can help:

At the same time as you take these steps in your own life, keep in mind that the real solutions to body burden, like other forms of pollution, are societal not individual. Without government regulation, safety from chemicals is a losing battle.

—Sheryl Eisenberg

Family photos
Sheryl Eisenberg, a long-time advisor to NRDC, posts a new This Green Life every month. Sheryl makes her home in Tribeca (NYC), where—along with her children, Sophie and Gabby, and husband, Peter—she tries to put her environmental principles into practice. No fooling. Read more about Sheryl.

FREE: This Green Life by email


ONLINE RESOURCES

CNN
Tests Reveal High Chemical Levels in Kids’ Bodies

COMMONWEAL
What Is Body Burden?

THE BREAST CANCER FUND
Myths and Facts about Biomonitoring

PBS
Trade Secrets

CHEJ
PVC: The Poison Plastic

EWG
Cosmetic Safety

NRDC
Neurotic Mothers or Inattentive Government?

OUR STOLEN FUTURE
Broad Trends in Scientific Findings about Endocrine Disruption

Lotion Look for personal care products without the word “fragrance” in the ingredient list to cut down on your exposure to chemicals. This catchall term can mask the presence of a slew of toxins. Don’t trust product claims of being unscented, warns the Environmental Working Group, as fragrances may be used to create the unscented effect. You actually have to scan the ingredients to confirm that the word “fragrance” does not appear.

Fetus in the womb by da Vinci
The old view was that the “placental barrier” protected the fetus from contaminants in the mother’s body. Recent research has shown this to be false. For instance, ten of ten newborns whose umbilical cord blood was tested on their day of birth as part of the Human Toxome Project were found to be contaminated with scores of chemicals, including many “linked to brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, and birth defects and developmental delays.”

(The drawing, by the way, is an “old view” by Leonardo da Vinci.)

Unsafe at any level. Toxicologists are fond of saying, “the dose makes the poison,” meaning that toxic substances are only toxic above a certain level. This explains their method of safety testing, which is to begin at the high end of the dose spectrum and work their way down until they find a dose that seems safe. But such thresholds may not exist with endocrine disruptors, which can have effects at unimaginably small doses, while sometimes having different or no effects at higher levels. Environmental health scientists are therefore looking for new testing methodologies that take these different patterns into account.


———————————
Sheryl Eisenberg is a web developer and writer. With her firm, Mixit Productions (http://www.mixitproductions.com), she brought NRDC online in 1996, designed NRDC’s first websites, and continues to develop special web features for NRDC. She created and, for several years, wrote the Union of Concerned Scientists’ green living column, Greentips, and has designed and contributed content to many nonprofit sites.

You + Oceans: What’s the Connection?

Posted By: Nature Conservancy, Inc.
To: Members in 98 Causes

(C) Sista Irie, Port Antonio

Did you know June 8th is World Oceans Day?

We encourage you to celebrate World Oceans Day today, not just because the need to protect our oceans and coasts came into sharp focus with the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but because you are affected by the ocean every day.

Compounds from coral reef plants and animals help treat cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, viruses and other diseases. This is just one example of the ways you are connected to the world’s oceans.

Our connection to the ocean plays a vital role in our survival, yet there is more to it than that.

Why are you drawn to the sea? Is it the beauty of a sunset reflecting on the water? Is it the immense power of waves crashing on the shore? Tell us! Share what inspires you about oceans.

Thank you for all you do to help with marine conservation each and every day.

Happy World Oceans Day,
The Nature Conservancy

p.s. In honor of this Father’s Day, June 20, when you Adopt an Acre® in Australia today, you’ll be able to give dad a paperless gift he’ll love and help protect the unpopulated Indian Ocean coastline.

SOURCE: http://www.nature.org/multimedia/features/art30988.html

Toxins for beauty; not!

Here is a summation of appropriate articles presented by TreeHugger.  Be you a woman or a man; be aware of the toxins and keep them away from your Children… CSea

More on Frightening Chemicals in Beauty Products
7 Frightening Signs Harmful Chemicals are Sneaking into Your Beauty Regime
Why Is There Still an Endocrine Disruptor In My Toothpaste?
There’s A Frog Disruptor In My Soap
Beyond Parabens: 7 Common Cosmetics Ingredients You Need to Avoid
Lipstick, Shampoo, Nail Polish – How Toxic is OK?
“The Toxic 12” Beauty Ingredients

How to Make Your Beauty Regime Less Frightening
10 Beauty Products You Must Ditch During Pregnancy
New Standard for Beauty, Personal Care Industry Launches
5 Greenwashed Myths of the Beauty Industry (And How Not to Fall For Them)
How to Go Green: Natural Skin Care
REACH for Greener Chemistry
How to Avoid Toxins in Your Sunscreen
Quiz: Are You a Green Beauty?

With All the Toxins Found in Breast Milk, Is Breastfeeding Still the Healthiest Option?

8 Ways To Ensure Safer Breast Milk

1. Quit smoking or never start, and keep others from smoking in your house or car?

2. Avoid alcoholic beverages?

3. Avoid use of pesticides in the home and garden or on pets?

4. Avoid exposure to solvents, such as paints, non-water-based glues, furniture strippers, gasoline fumes, perfume and nail polish?

5. Avoid dry cleaners and recently dry-cleaned clothes?

6. Eat a balanced diet low in animal fats and high-fat dairy products?

7. Avoid fish that may have high mercury or PCB levels, such as swordfish, shark, tuna and locally caught fish (NRDC’s guide to Mercury Contamination in Fish)?

8. Eat organically grown food, if available?

What more can be done?

Will it take a campaign of collective outrage that exposes babies to the contamination of insecticides, PCBs, PBDEs, flame retardants, fungicides, wood preservatives, termite poisons, mothproofing agents, toilet deodorizers, dry-cleaning fluids, gasoline vapors, and dioxins etc. be what is called for? Fahey ascertains that moms need to be enraged and rise up and assert that their babies have a right to untainted breast milk. She believes that “Until green chemistry gets here, the best thing we can do is pretty much what we’re already doing: trying to push for laws to restrain the worst industrial and agricultural sources, push industrial design towards non-toxic components, and build compact cities with more greenery and many fewer cars (since the auto industry’s one of the prime culprits).”

Or else?

“Breast milk could become too poisonous to feed to our babies.”

Read FULL ARTICLE here: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/toxins-breastmilk-healthy-option.html?campaign=th_weekly_nl

EWG Supporters Push Chemicals Act Reform

Posted by Nils Bruzelius in Featured Articles, Follow Kid-Safe Progress on April 15, 2010 | no responses


The campaign for Kid-Safe Chemicals shifted into high gear this week (April 14) on a glorious spring day in Washington D.C. as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) presented petitions signed by more than 85,000 Americans to key Senate backers of chemicals regulation reform.

On the day before Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced his much anticipated bill to make chemicals regulation reform a reality, EWG President and Co-Founder Ken Cook met with the veteran lawmaker in his Senate offices and rolled out a 188-foot long scroll containing the names of the signers of EWG’s petition.

“We can get this done,” Sen. Lautenberg told Mr. Cook as the two leaders in the movement to protect Americans from chemical hazards thanked each other for their efforts and promised to press the campaign to a successful end – enactment of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010.

Earlier in the afternoon, EWG Chief of Staff Heather White and Senior Vice President for Research Jane Houlihan presented a copy of the same names to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in the imposing hearing room of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which Sen. Boxer chairs. The committee will have jurisdiction over the legislation in the Senate.

On the House side, Ms. White and EWG Legislative Analyst Jason Rano delivered the same petition to Rep. Bobby L. Rush, chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Lautenberg introduced his bill in the Senate on the same day (April 15) that the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a “discussion draft” of its parallel legislation. Rep. Rush, along with Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif), chairman of the committee, and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass), chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, plan to hold a series of meetings with key interest groups in the coming weeks as they write the final language for a House version of the bill.

Sen. Lautenberg and his aides were visibly impressed as Mr. Cook unrolled just the first 12 feet of the scroll of petition signers, whose names were typed single-spaced across five columns on a continuous sheet 188 feet long. The senator read aloud the language of the petition calling for legislative action, which cited studies by EWG and government agencies showing that babies are being born “pre-polluted” with more than 400 chemicals, including a number known to have potentially serious effects on development.

“When you see these external influences that invade our opportunities to have healthy lives,” Sen. Lautenberg said, it highlights the need to pass legislation that will ensure that chemicals are tested for safety before they go into wide use. “I believe that, I believe that deeply,” the senator said.

Sen. Lautenberg, who is undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, described how a sister and two grandchildren had been afflicted with pediatric cancer, asthma and diabetes, all diseases that may be linked in varying degrees to chemical exposures in the environment.

Sen. Boxer, accepting a copy of the same list of petition signers, assured her EWG visitors that “I care about making sure that we keep this planet habitable for our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.” Standing beneath the seal of the United States and a high ceiling festooned with the signs of the zodiac, the California senator learned that the petition signers included 12,700 of her California constituents.

Boxer will be the key figure in scheduling committee action on the Safe Chemicals bill, whose broad outlines have thus far been endorsed by a broad array of environmentalist, academics and industry.

It’s not too late to sign EWG’s petition. If you want to let your senators and representatives know that you, too, support chemicals regulation reform, please go to the Kid-Safe Chemicals campaign page and add your name.

David de Rothschild on The True Cost of Plastic

He reminds us of the problem and then asks us to do something about it.

By Rachel Cernansky
Boulder, CO, USA | Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:56 PM ET

AP Photo/Jean-Pierre Belzit

david de rothschild plastic photo

READ MORE ABOUT:
Plastic | Pollution | Waste Disposal | Water

In case you’ve missed the ongoing coverage here of David de Rothschild and his Plastiki recycled plastic boat expedition, it’s a mission worth learning about. Plastic has not spared an inch of the planet from its toxic effects, including the depths of the most remote waters in the world’s deep blue oceans.

In “The True Cost of Plastic,” De Rothschild writes on the Huffington Post a reminder of the extent of the problem. He points out that, “except for a very small percentage that has been incinerated, every single molecule of plastic ever manufactured still exists somewhere in our environment.”

Yikes. He continues, explaining how once they’ve been dumped into the ocean, chemicals like pesticides and tiny bits of plastic work their way up the food chain:

The transference occurs as small amounts of these chemicals work their way up the food chain from the filter feeders all the way through to the fish fingers on the kitchen table. All over the world, children and adults alike are unwittingly exposing themselves to low levels of toxicity. Plastic is an odorless and tasteless parasite.

He also points out the irony: “the very durability that makes plastic so useful to humans also makes it incredibly harmful to all the natural life cycles in every ecosystem worldwide.”

But! He ends on a positive note: a challenge to stop this problem before it gets worse. It doesn’t have to be this way, he says, and he’s right. The day we change our attitude toward plastic and other waste is the day we change—improve—our treatment of the planet.

Related Posts:
The TH Interview: David de Rothschild – Part 1
David De Rothschild and Crew Unveil the Finished Plastiki

Regulate fruit juice intake, natures toxins

a part of nature to avoid

ToxFAQs™ for Antimony and Compounds (Antimonio)

CAS# 7440-36-0

This fact sheet answers the most frequently asked health questions about antimony. For more information, you may call the ATSDR Information Center at 1-888-422-8737              1-888-422-8737      This fact sheet is one in a series of summaries about hazardous substances and their health effects. This information is important because this substance may harm you. The effects of exposure to any hazardous substance depend on the dose, the duration, how you are exposed, personal traits and habits, and whether other chemicals are present.


SUMMARY: Exposure to antimony occurs in the workplace or from skin contact with soil at hazardous waste sites. Breathing high levels of antimony for a long time can irritate the eyes and lungs, and can cause problems with the lungs, heart, and stomach. This chemical has been found in at least 403 of 1,416 National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency.

What is antimony?

Antimony is a silvery-white metal that is found in the earth’s crust. Antimony ores are mined and then mixed with other metals to form antimony alloys or combined with oxygen to form antimony oxide.

Little antimony is currently mined in the United States. It is brought into this country from other countries for processing. However, there are companies in the United States that produce antimony as a by-product of smelting lead and other metals.

Antimony isn’t used alone because it breaks easily, but when mixed into alloys, it is used in lead storage batteries, solder, sheet and pipe metal, bearings, castings, and pewter. Antimony oxide is added to textiles and plastics to prevent them from catching fire. It is also used in paints, ceramics, and fireworks, and as enamels for plastics, metal, and glass.

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What happens to antimony when it enters the environment?

  • Antimony is released to the environment from natural sources and from industry.
  • In the air, antimony is attached to very small particles that may stay in the air for many days.
  • Most antimony ends up in soil, where it attaches strongly to particles that contain iron, manganese, or aluminum.
  • Antimony is found at low levels in some rivers, lakes, and streams.

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How might I be exposed to antimony?

  • Because antimony is found naturally in the environment, the general population is exposed to low levels of it every day, primarily in food, drinking water, and air.
  • It may be found in air near industries that process or release it, such as smelters, coal-fired plants, and refuse incinerators.
  • In polluted areas containing high levels of antimony, it may be found in the air, water, and soil.
  • Workers in industries that process it or use antimony ore may be exposed to higher levels.

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How can antimony affect my health?

Exposure to antimony at high levels can result in a variety of adverse health effects.

Breathing high levels for a long time can irritate your eyes and lungs and can cause heart and lung problems, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach ulcers.

In short-term studies, animals that breathed very high levels of antimony died. Animals that breathed high levels had lung, heart, liver, and kidney damage. In long-term studies, animals that breathed very low levels of antimony had eye irritation, hair loss, lung damage, and heart problems. Problems with fertility were also noted. In animal studies, problems with fertility have been seen when rats breathed very high levels of antimony for a few months.

Ingesting large doses of antimony can cause vomiting. We don’t know what other effects may be caused by ingesting it. Long-term animal studies have reported liver damage and blood changes when animals ingested antimony. Antimony can irritate the skin if it is left on it.

Antimony can have beneficial effects when used for medical reasons. It has been used as a medicine to treat people infected with parasites.

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How likely is antimony to cause cancer?

The Department of Health and Human Services, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have not classified antimony as to its human carcinogenicity.

Lung cancer has been observed in some studies of rats that breathed high levels of antimony. No human studies are available. We don’t know whether antimony will cause cancer in people.

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Is there a medical test to show whether I’ve been exposed to antimony?

Tests are available to measure antimony levels in the body. Antimony can be measured in the urine, feces, and blood for several days after exposure. However, these tests cannot tell you how much antimony you have been exposed to or whether you will experience any health effects. Some tests are not usually performed in most doctors’ offices and may require special equipment to conduct them.

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Has the federal government made recommendations to protect human health?

The EPA allows 0.006 parts of antimony per million parts of drinking water (0.006 ppm). The EPA requires that discharges or spills into the environment of 5,000 pounds or more of antimony be reported.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set an occupational exposure limit of 0.5 milligrams of antimony per cubic meter of air (0.5 mg/m³) for an 8-hour workday, 40-hour workweek.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) currently recommend the same guidelines for the workplace as OSHA.

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Glossary

Carcinogenicity: Ability to cause cancer.

CAS: Chemical Abstracts Service.

Ingestion: Taking food or drink into your body.

Long-term: Lasting one year or more.

Milligram (mg): One thousandth of a gram.

Parasite: An organism living in or on another organism.

ppm: Parts per million.

Short-term: Lasting 14 days or less.

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References

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1992. Toxicological Profile for antimony. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.

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Where can I get more information?

ATSDR can tell you where to find occupational and environmental health clinics. Their specialists can recognize, evaluate, and treat illnesses resulting from exposure to hazardous substances. You can also contact your community or state health or environmental quality department if you have any more questions or concerns.

For more information, contact:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Toxicology
1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop F-32
Atlanta, GA 30333
Phone: 1-888-42-ATSDR

-888-42-ATSDR       1-888-422-8737 1-888-422-8737
FAX:   (770)-488-4178
Email: ATSDRIC@cdc.gov

Alternate Reference, the USGS

http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/antimony/

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