Posts Tagged ‘
toxic chemicals ’
Monday, April 2nd, 2012
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Friday that it will not ban the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from food packaging–including infant formula packages–even though the agency agrees the substance needs to be studied more carefully for potential health risks.
The FDA’s BPA policy statement was updated to say that in response to a 2008 petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the agency is taking “reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply,” but that it will stop short of banning its use altogether. “FDA is not recommending that families change the use of infant formula or foods, as the benefit of a stable source of good nutrition outweighs the potential risk from BPA exposure,” the policy states.
Health risks associated with BPA include negative effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.
Health policy experts are disappointed, if not dismayed, at the decision. Jeanne Rizzo, president and CEO of the Breast Cancer Fund, responded in a strongly-worded statement, “Scientists, consumers, retailers, manufacturers and the states are sending clear signals that BPA doesn’t belong in our food packaging and that investment in safe alternatives is an investment in the health of the American public. Now the FDA needs to catch up. Inaction is not acceptable.”
Two weeks ago, Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey submitted his own petition for a BPA ban, arguing that it is a obsolete material that is not necessary, especially given the health risks.
Image: Canned foods, via Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
More than half of all low-cost jewelry on the market in the U.S.–including jewelry intended for children–contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals, a new study by the Michigan-based Ecology Center has found. The study found lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, bromine, and chlorine (PVC) in the jewelry they analyzed. These substances have been linked in animal and some human studies to acute allergies as well as long-term health impacts such as birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, and cancer.
“Toxic jewelry is a symptom of the complete failure of our federal chemical regulatory system,” said Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org, in a statement. ”Our children will never be safe until we reform our chemical laws to ensure products are safe before they arrive on store shelves.”
Visit HealthyStuff.org for a more detailed report on which chemicals were most often found in low-cost jewelry.
Image: Child’s bracelet, via Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
More than half of the 2011 models of popular car seats contain toxic flame retardants and chemical additives, a study conducted by the non-profit Ecology Center and released on HealthyStuff.org has found. The study examined more than 150 examples of car seats purchased at a retail store in Michigan. Around 60 percent of the seats tested positive for brominated flame retardant chemicals, PVC, arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals. HealthyStuff.org says those chemicals have either not been sufficiently tested, or are associated with health issues including reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, hormone imbalances, and cancer.
Similar studies had been performed in 2008 and 2009, and though the new findings sound alarming, they are actually improvements–an average of 64 percent less chemical toxicity–over the past 3 years.
“There’s been a not-so-quiet consumer revolution around chemical hazards in consumer products. The smart and strategic companies are quickly moving to make healthier products, and I think are going to have competitive advantage doing that,” Jeff Gearheart, research director for Healthystuff.org, told CNN.com.
For a list of the models that were labeled “best” and “worst” by the study, click here.
(image via: http://www.babiestoday.com/)
*UPDATED: The image that was originally published in this post has been replaced after several PNN readers correctly pointed out that it depicted a young baby riding in a forward-facing car seat, which is not recommended.
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