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Tag: Environmental Working Group

Non-toxic Body Lotion

I’ve been on a search for a good, moisturizing, non-toxic body lotion ever since the Environmental Working Group announced that my old stand-by lotion contained elements that react to make a toxic compounds.

For years I’ve counted on Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion as a safe and natural moisturizer. It’s so dry living in Colorado that I must use moisturizer all over my body every day and I’ve been very conscious about not putting things with petroleum products on my skin.

Now I learn that, when tested by the EWG, it was found that my favorite Alba lotion scores a 4 out of 10 on the hazard scale and contains things I don’t want. See for yourself:

Ingredients in this product are linked to:
yes Cancer
yes Developmental/reproductive toxicity
yes Violations, restrictions & warnings
yes Allergies/immunotoxicity
yes Other concerns for ingredients used in this product:
Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Enhanced skin absorption, Contamination concerns, Biochemical or cellular level changes

Eeeeeeuw. This is supposed to be a safe brand, too.

So I’ve switched to Pangea Organics Body Lotion – French Chamomile with Sweet Orange & Lavender, which has a score of 3. I’m still not happy about a 3, but it’s better than a 4. I LOVE the company, their philosophy, and their products and know that all of their ingredients are totally natural, so I’m a little perplexed as to why they would still score a 3 from the EWG.

Sigh. Why does it seem that every single thing in our world is bad for you somehow? It’s enough to turn even the most natural optimist into a cynic sometimes. It makes me just want to bury my head in the sand and continue using the products I love, risks be damned!

Until the hives come back to remind me how fragile is the balance I’ve carved out for myself.

Do you have a good natural lotion to recommend? Please let me know!

EWG exposes FDA plan to push mercury-laced seafood

Last Friday, December 12, the Environmental Working Group made public internal government documents disclosing the Food and Drug Administration’s secret plans to reverse federal warnings that pregnant women and children limit their fish intake to avoid mercury, a neurotoxin especially dangerous to the fetus and infants. EWG obtained both the FDA plan, stamped “CLOSE HOLD,” and memos by senior Environmental Protection Agency scientists attacking FDA’s rationale. The Washington Post broke the story, and other national stories followed.

Reaction from Capitol Hill was swift and sharp. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT., denounced the FDA: “Now, in the administration’s 11th hour, they are quietly trying to water down advisories for women and children about the dangers of mercury in fish, disregarding sound science on this issue. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin capable of impairing childhood development at very low levels.”

Once again, instead of addressing the cause of the mercury that’s contaminating our food we’re going to change the health guidelines to prop up the fishing industry and continue to sell tainted fish to unsuspecting consumers.

And you thought the current administration was done dismantling of policies ennacted to safeguard our food, water, air, and environmental health? No, we will be unraveling the adverse effects for decades to come. Let’s watch what else they try to do in the dusk of their power.

George W. speaks a lot about his legacy and the sale of the health of our nation and of the planet to the industries with the best lobbyists — when we knew better — will certainly be listed among his most wondrous accomplishments.

Plastic Free For the Holidays

Since we now know that BPA is found in baby bottles, water bottles, infant formula, and even our canned foods, one of my goals has been to change my plastic habits. If you have this goal, too, you should know about this free bag of enviro-friendly goodies the Environmental Working Group is offering for the holidays.

Weaning my family off of plastic has been harder than I would have thought.

I’m pretty good about bringing my own canvas bags to the grocery stores, and getting better about bringing them to places like Target. I tossed all the sippy cups… well, except for a few with retractable straws that I keep for those times when you just don’t want a spill on the couch. I figure, using glassware most of the time and plastic cups only occassionally, must be keeping us mostly safe from BPAs.

As I said, I’m having a hard time giving up all of my plasticware. Especially plastic food storage containers and zip-top baggies.

The thought of giving up my Tupperware drawer (now mostly Glad and Ziploc) is enough to make me hyperventilate. What are the alternatives? At any given moment, I might have 5 or more plastic storage containers of food in my fridge. And what am I supposed to use when I load my freezer with containers of homemade soups?

I remember when I used to clean out and use jars from pickles, marinara sauce, and salsa for storing and freezing soups. This was in my starving artist days after college when I worked in an art gallery in Santa Fe and waitressed at night. The problem with using glass jars for freezing is that they can shatter if you fill them too full. Which, of course, happened to me more than once. In those days, I would just remove the glass, rinse the frozen cylinder of soup with hot water to remove the outer layer, and heat up whatever was left to eat. As my husband and I remark to each other at times, “You probably won’t find this in the good parenting manual.”

Do you know the truth about your bottled water? Your cosmetics? Your infant formula? Your canned food?

The Environmental Working Group researches, exposes and informs you about toxic chemicals and hidden contaminants in everything from your shampoo to your kitchen cupboard. Then we offer “pollution solutions” to help you make healthier choices every day.

Take their fight against bisphenol A (BPA). EWG helped expose the risks of BPA – a potent hormone disrupter that’s been leaching toxic chemicals into countless everyday items. BPA is found in baby bottles, water bottles, infant formula and even our canned foods. They’ve been fighting non-stop to make sure BPA is banned from consumer products.

As consumers, it’s hard to know how to avoid BPA. That’s why they filled our 2008 Pollution Solutions Holiday Gift Bag with BPA-free goodies to keep you healthy and also reduce waste.

When you make your first-time donation to EWG of $135 or more, your contribution will be matched dollar for dollar by generous donors and they’ll send you a Pollution Solutions Holiday Gift Bag.

As a special incentive, the first 500 donors who order the gift bag will also receive a complimentary copy of the book Green Goes With Everything by Sloan Barnett.

Curious about what’s in the bag? Check out these great items:

– A 27 oz. Klean Kanteen stainless steel bottle — the perfect solution to using less plastic and avoiding contaminated bottled water
– Jumbo Enviro-Tote made from 100% recycled plastic, printed with EWG’s pollution solutions
– 6-piece Pyrex glass container set (no more Tupperware!)
– Crummy Brothers organic chocolate chip cookies
– $25 in free product coupons plus EWG’s most popular tools for healthy living

Donating to EWG is a great investment. They pride ourselves on staying lean and stretching your donations to the limit — so your money goes toward groundbreaking research and sweeping environmental change. And with a more environmentally friendly Congress and Presidential administration on the way in, EWG will have even more opportunities in 2009 to push for the kind of change we need to protect our health and our environment.

Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics – Denver, October 5, 2008

The Environmental Working Group, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Women’s Lobby of Colorado are proud to host a book reading and panel discussion on toxic chemicals in cosmetics, and what low dose exposures to chemicals means for Americans.

The FREE event will take place at Craig Hall at the University of Denver on October 8th at 6:30pm. It will feature Stacy Malkan, author of Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, Joshua Onysko, CEO of Pangea Organics, and Sonya Lunder, Senior Analyst at Environmental Working Group, who will give the exciting presentation “10 Americans,” the story of the 287 chemicals they found in the blood of 10 special people.

Light refreshments will be served, and Colorado companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics will be on hand with product samples.

RSVP to reserve your spot!

Directions to Craig Hall, Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver.