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Thursday, April 12, 2012

News Roundup: BPA, Flame Retardants, & Toxic Jewelry

By Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff


So many news stories that relate to children’s environmental health, it’s hard to keep up!

FDA Rejects BPA Ban in Packaging

Late in the day last Friday, FDA announced it would not place on ban on BPA in packaging because there wasn’t enough scientific evidence that it harmed humans. We wonder whether they’ve missed the volumes of studies finding BPA associated with some cancers, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive disorders. Manufacturers are moving away from the chemical even without FDA action. Campbell’s Soup recently started moving away from BPA in its cans, in part due to dropping consumer demand and public campaigns to eliminate BPA from foods targeted at kids.

Despite the FDA’s decision, concerned parents are vowing to reject BPA in products. Lori Popkewitz Alper, a blogger at Groovy Green Livin’ and a Healthy Child Healthy World Parent Ambassador told ABC Nightly News, “Moms are powerful. We’re not going to buy your products made with BPA. We’re not going to stand for it. It’s not fair. We’re talking about our children.”

Thanks to Lori for speaking for moms everywhere.

Toxic Flame Retardant Banned in New York

Last month, New York state banned TCEP, a toxic flame retardant chemical. The chemical joins TDCP or “Chlorinated Tris” which was banned from children’s pajamas after the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission found it carcinogenic in the 1970s. As we reported previously, these chemicals keep popping up in other children’s products like nursing pillows and car seats—where they’re still legal to include.

Strawberry Fields Forever—Pesticide Free?

In California, the news broke on March 20th that Arysta LifeScience had decided suspend sales of the pesticide methyl iodide—the equally toxic replacement to methyl bromide—which was primarily used on strawberry fields. The Monterey County Weekly reported that earlier that month, California Department of Pesticide Regulation Director Brian Leahy announced a $500,000 grant to the California Strawberry Commission toward research on farming with peat moss and rice hulls, rather than pesticides.

Cosmetics Industry Bill Would Make Things Worse

Our friends at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported the cosmetics industry dominated the first Congressional hearing in 30 years about personal care products and cosmetics safety. In essence, the industry is seeking to enshrine the status quo, which would make the current dangerous situation even worse by failing to protect the health of all of us who use personal care products and the workers who use products daily at nail and beauty salons. Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at the Breast Cancer Fund wrote, “Essential public health protections could be set back another 70 years if industry gets away with writing its own laws that put industry profits over public health and handcuff states from taking action to protect people.” Stay up to date on the latest by visiting the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Lead and Cadmium Found in Jewelry

A recent HealthyStuff report found that 59% of cheap jewelry sold at stores like Forever 21 and Target contained one or more chemicals—including lead, cadmium and arsenic—considered to be health hazards, Time reported.

Photo: iStockphoto

Posted by: Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff at 3:57 pm

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