Monday, June 28, 2010

For Parents-to-Be: Part 3 (Toxins Alert)

I got started with all the nontoxic and organic stuff because my firstborn had some respiratory issues—probably a mild case of asthma. It raised my awareness of chemical triggers that—no surprise—are really not good for anyone, least of all a little kid.
My research yielded some great sites for seeing how safe the products you use really are. It's quite eye-opening. And I admit, it's a little overwhelming to take it all in and make the changes necessary. However, I think the better educated you are, the better decisions you can make each time you go to the store to buy stuff for your family.
This site lets you look up products and see if they are good choices or not, based on tests for known toxins in the product. The product list is good but not exhaustive, however you can look at the ingredient list and compare by ingredients. For instance, I was shocked to see that some Mustela products (a favorite of ours) are among the worst choices for baby. I was equally surprised to see that a few other products I use are better than I would've expected. Anyway, it's a great resource to know about. A NOTE: You will see a percentage with each product with respect to the "data gap." This means that testing may be inconclusive on some ingredients and that their confidence level with the score is less than 100%. It makes it harder to evaluate the true health costs, but in my book, better safe than sorry. If there's any indication something is harmful, why not find an alternative?

Chemical of the Day blog by Stephanie Greenwood of Bubble & Bee Organic
Stephanie provides in-depth looks at individual chemicals and explains why she is or is not comfortable with each. Her opinions do not always jive with the Skin Deep Database, but that's a good thing. She is helpful in making sense of the data gap issues you encounter there. She's also totally accessible, so tweet at her or email her with any questions. (Bubble & Bee products are also great.)
If you are suspicious of how toxic basic everyday things really are, check out these statistics. Then go to the site and validate. It will blow your mind. There are products like Teflon that are proven carcinogens but do not have to be removed from consumer products until 2015. The lobbies are so strong that the government can't do the right thing and just pull these off the shelves. Very sad. (all about good stuff for moms, kids and moms-to-be) (daily tips but getting more and more commercial) (worth subscribing to)

What sites do you rely on that I've missed? Do tell!

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