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Green Parenting News Roundup

05.17.11 Green Parenting News Roundup

Here's another compelling argument for the need for TSCA (the Toxic Substances Control Act) reform, and that we should be weary of the chemicals that are replacing BPA in many plastics.  From the New York Times, Domininque Browning reviews how industry uses the next chemical, without running any safety tests.  Manufacturers know they have a few years before the studies start coming back with concerns, so they ride it out.  

According to the article:

"The problem is that our regulatory system allows manufacturers to introduce or continue to use chemicals that have not been adequately tested for safety. A manufacturer can replace BPA with another untested compound and get a few years’ use out of it before it, too, becomes the subject of health alerts or news media attention. By the time we know what those new chemicals do to us, entire generations are affected. We are the guinea pigs."

She ends the op-ed calling for support for the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. "We will have to make as much noise as newborns to get Congress to pay attention to Senator Lautenberg’s proposal and, more broadly, to chemical regulation."  I couldn't agree more.  Bring on the tantrums!

Next up is a book review from the Sunday Book Review in the New York Times.  It's about a new book called What’s Gotten Into Us?: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World,” by McKay Jenkins.  This book adds to the growing reams of literature showcasing the harm chemicals are having on our bodies.  The author takes on the concept of consumer culpability in decision making:

"We’ve allowed ourselves to become alienated from the products we use: we don’t know where they come from or how they’re made (let alone where they go when we’re done with them). The more this physical and psychological distance between our stuff and ourselves grows — a breach filled by brands — the more confused we get. “The dumber we feel, the less confident we are in our decisions,” Jenkins riffs. “The less confident we are, the more susceptible we become to the suggestion that everything is as it should be.” When we reach unthinkingly for a familiar brand, “we implicitly grant authority — and trust — to what manufacturers have told us, that a product is ‘safe.’ ” 

I see this in the older generation-- a brand loyalty so devoted they can't imagine the Lysol, Chemlawn, or Nice and Easy hair dye could harm them.  I'm adding this book to my reading list.

And did you see this article about BPA in receipts? While we worry about BPA in plastics, we handle receipts coated with the stuff everyday.  Laurie David noticed that and worries about all the teenagers handling receipts everyday, then eating, chewing gum, or preparing food.  These exposures add up.  We need the Safe Chemicals Act to stop the use of BPA in all products, including receipts.  Do you have any receipts in your purse or wallet?  I do!

That's what I have been reading this week.  What about you?




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