Archive | March, 2012

Minnesota Investigates Contaminants in Water Supply

The Minnesota Department of Health has created a program to investigate what it calls “contaminants of emerging concern.”  The study will look at a variety of chemicals that end up in tap water, including pharmaceuticals, synthetic fragrances, insect repellants, and flame retardants. Listen to the report and read more at Minnesota Public Radio.

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Better Screening, More Cases, or Both?

I’ve noticed that when people speculate about the causes of autism, behavior disorders, or learning disabilities, the conversation often leads to the question of whether there are more cases these days or just more diagnoses. Today’s Associated Press report — “Better diagnosis, screening behind rise in autism” — doesn’t clear things up. Autism cases are […]

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The Power of Online Consumer Activism

From the Chicago Tribune: “Social media turn up heat on food industry; Battle against ‘pink slime’ demonstrates growing power of online consumer activism.” “Pink slime” is inexpensive, ammonia-treated beef. Change.org hosted a petition urging the USDA to stop buying the substance for school-lunches. Within days, the National School Lunch Program, McDonald’s, Kroger, Safeway, and others […]

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Dish Soaps and Good Guide

Years back, when I switched to milder household cleaners, Seventh Generation was one of the few “green” brands available. I used a number of their products, and though I later eliminated several in favor of vinegar, soap, and baking soda, I continued to use Seventh Generation dish soap and dishwasher detergent. A few weeks ago, […]

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Toothpaste Additive Declared Toxic to Environment

The Canadian government will declare triclosan, an anti-bacterial, toxic to the environment. Triclosan is found in many toothpastes, mouthwashes, and anti-bacterial soaps. Animal studies demonstrate that it alters hormone regulation. It is also suspected of causing antibiotic resistance. Read the ingredient list on your tube of toothpaste. If you find triclosan, switch brands. Commonly available […]

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Baby Kisses and Edible Skincare

Fergus is a morning baby. He grins and shows me his dimples when I lift him out of his crib. He raises his little fists above his head, arches his back, and sticks out his bottom. Then he gets a big hug from Mama. This morning, as I cuddled my baby, he tried to suck […]

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Time to Wash the Curtains?

I was diagnosed with asthma when I was a toddler. I wish that made me unique, but 20 million Americans have asthma. Asthma has a genetic component and an environmental component. Like other children with one asthmatic parent, Sweet William and Darling Fergus have 1 in 3 chance of developing it. An environmental exposure might […]

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A Victory for Strawberry Eaters and Farm Workers

Arysta Life Sciences announced on Tuesday that it will immediately suspend sales of MIDAS in the United States. MIDAS is the brand name of methyl iodide, a dangerous pesticide used on California strawberry fields. Scientists believe the chemical causes cancer, brain damage, and miscarriages among the workers who handle it.  A letter from more than […]

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