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Is it a Good Time to Be a Girl in India? (NYT, 10/11/12) India’s “scuffled steps towards girls’ rights and gender equality.”

Iraq records huge rise in birth defects (The Independent, 10/14/12) Compelling evidence that US and NATO munitions used in the conflict in Fallujah are linked to a “staggering rise” in birth defects among Iraqi children conceived after the war. “High rates of miscarriage, toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination and spiraling numbers of birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to brain dysfunctions and malformed limbs have been recorded.” More than half of the babies surveyed were born with a birth defect between 2007 and 2010.

Pesticide Protest: Soccer Moms Play It Safe, Keep Kids Off Fields Over Chemical Concerns (Huffington Post, 10/12/12) An expert said, “There is essentially no data on the safety of pesticide mixtures. The use of three herbicides mixed in the same formulation is a bold move considering the unknown synergistic effects,” likening the application of the product to a doctor prescribing three pain killers to a patient.

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This Morning’s Breakfast

This is how I will remember the summer of 2012. I’m going to miss hosing off my children and the furniture after meals.

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Clean Air Action

Support clean air and children’s health: The EPA has proposed new Soot Standards, which could lower the allowable amount of soot in the air from 15 to 11 mcg per cubic meter. Click here to sign a MomsRising petition, telling the EPA you support the new standards and want to clean up our air.

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Air Quality App

The American Lung Association has a fantastic app for the iPhone or Android that tells you the quality of the air anywhere in the United States. It’s called State of the Air and you can download it here.

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Lead and Phthalates in Garden Hoses

The temperature will approach 100 degrees today in New York City. Whew! Sweet William and I filled the wading pool first thing after breakfast.

As I uncoiled the hose, I remembered HealthyStuff.org’s recent study of lead and phthalates in garden equipment. Researchers tested 179 common garden products, including hoses, gloves, and kneeling pads. More than two-thirds of the products contained high levels of one or more chemical hazards. [...]

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The Flap Happy Hat

Doesn’t Fergus look sweet in his sun hat? Flap Happy makes them in a variety of prints and fabrics, including organic cotton. The hats are rated UPF 50+ without the use of chemicals. The sun protection is achieved by using a double layer of 100% cotton poplin. Such a practical, effective and cute way to […]

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Do You Idle?

The Children’s Environmental Health Center released a list of the top ten chemicals found in consumer products that are suspected to contribute to autism and learning disabilities. As I sit at a sidewalk cafe in New Orleans, writing and watching traffic, I’m thinking about #7 on that list: automotive exhaust. Will you join me in […]

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Vetiver Absorbs Lead

I love the idea of treating toxic contamination with plants. Click here for a story about vetiver, a subtropical grass with long roots that absorb lead from the soil. Researchers are looking into planting it in New Jersey to reduce lead exposure for children.

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