Sweet William’s First School Lunch

Sweet William started preschool on Monday. It was a huge success. He didn’t want to leave when I arrived to pick him up. [...]

Read full story · Comments { 1 }

In the News: Lead Still a Threat

Scientific American has published a good article outlining why lead remains a danger years after it was banned from paint and gasoline: Lead Exposure on the Rise Despite Decline in Poisoning Cases.

Lead poisoning is caused by acute exposure at high concentrations, like when a child eats paint chips. But “even though the average concentration of lead in the American bloodstream has dropped by a factor of 10 since the late 1970s, the levels are still two orders of magnitude higher than natural human levels, which have been determined by studying skeletal remains of native Americans dating to before the industrial revolution.”

Recent data demonstrates that health complications from lead arise even at low exposures, prompting scientists to advise the EPA and health departments to lower the concentration deemed acceptable in the bloodstream. [...]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Clean Baby, Clean Bath

Darling Fergus is a water baby. He loves baths and likes to be splashed, and he doesn’t put up a fight when Sweet William pours water over his head. Fergus also loves to drink water out of the tub and stick his hands in the toilet — two more good reasons to clean the bathroom with non-toxic products.

TUB. Mix a scoop of baking soda with a few drops of unscented liquid castile soap in a jar or in the palm of your hand. Apply the paste to the dirt rings and scrub with a damp sponge. [...]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

My Little Valentines

Sweet William and Darling Fergus are getting ready for Valentine’s Day. This morning they made oat-corn muffins filled with berry jam, an allergen-free treat that Fergus can sample before we deliver them to our new neighbors. [...]

Read full story · Comments { 1 }

At Home in New Orleans

My Sweet William is back from a hiatus and coming to you from New Orleans! We moved here from New York City a few days before Christmas and are happily settling into a beautiful new house that my husband designed. We’re tremendously proud of him and grateful for his demanding standards in building a non-toxic home. I’ll feature some of his techniques here at MSW.

In the meantime, here’s an update on how we pass our time when we’re not unpacking boxes, organizing drawers, or supervising construction. Mardi Gras and warm weather offer a pleasant distraction. [...]

Read full story · Comments { 1 }

In the News

Do soaps with triclosan do more harm than good? (Chicago Tribune, 2/10/13) Laboratory studies show that triclosan, a common anti-bacterial ingredient in soap, disrupts hormones, interferes with muscle function, and promotes the growth of stronger bacteria. Plus, it’s “building up in the environment to the possible peril of wildlife.”

Related: How to properly wash your hands (with plain old soap).

California plans to alter rules on flame retardants
(Chicago Tribune, 2/9/13) The move could benefit consumers nationwide, lessening exposure to toxic flame retardant chemicals.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

What’s That Smell?

Stefano Gabbana announced via Instagram that Dolce & Gabbana will release a perfume “per i bambini” — for babies.

I think I just heard you say, “Ewwww! Seriously?”

Let’s skip past the discussion of why anyone would mask her baby’s delicious, natural smell. Instead, let’s review why perfumes and scented products are bad for babies.

Synthetic fragrances, identified on product labels as “parfum,” “perfume,” “natural fragrance,” or “fragrance,” contain phthalates. Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals that are used in the production of plastic, solvents, and cosmetics. They are endocrine disruptors, known to cause a broad range of birth defects…

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

In the News

Flame retardants now seen as health risk (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/3/13) Flame retardant chemicals aren’t only in your furniture. They’re in foam insulation and they may be leaching from your walls. California finally moves to revise its decades-old flammability standard to reduce the use of flame retardants.

Secondhand smoke significant source of lead exposure for children
(Syracuse YNN Radio, 2/2/13) Kids who live with one smoker had lead levels 14% higher than kids who live with non-smokers. [...]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }