Healthy Child Healthy World Necessary News Roundup: BPA, Flame Retardants & Toxic Jewelry
There are so many news stories that relate to children's environmental health, it's hard to keep up! Here's your go-to primer for all the big news of the last few weeks, from safe cosmetics and lead in jewelry to BPA in packaging and rising autism rates.
The FDA Rejects BPA Ban in Packaging
Late in the day last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would not place a ban on BPA in packaging because there wasn't enough scientific evidence that it harmed humans. We wonder whether they've missed the volumes of studies finding BPA associated with some cancers, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive disorders.
But manufacturers are moving away from the chemical even without FDA action: Last month, Healthy Child Healthy World and the Breast Cancer Fund announced that Campbell's Soup was moving away from BPA in its cans, in part due to dropping consumer demand and public campaigns to eliminate BPA from foods targeted at kids.
Despite the FDA's decision, concerned parents are vowing to reject BPA in products. Lori Popkewitz Alper, a blogger at Groovy Green Livin' and a Healthy Child Healthy World Parent Ambassador, told ABC Nightly News, "Moms are powerful. We're not going to buy your products made with BPA. We're not going to stand for it. It's not fair. We're talking about our children."
Toxic Flame Retardant Banned in New York
Last month, New York state banned TCEP, a toxic flame retardant chemical. The chemical joins TDCP, or "Chlorinated Tris", which was banned from children's pajamas after the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission found it carcinogenic in the 1970s. As we reported previously, these chemicals keep popping up in other children's products like nursing pillows and car seats -- where they're still legal to include.
Strawberry Fields Forever Free of Pesticide?
Also in California, on March 20th, the news broke that the Arysta LifeScience had decided to suspend sales of the pesticide methyl iodide -- the equally toxic replacement to methyl bromide -- which was primarily used on strawberry fields. The Monterey County Weekly reported that earlier that month, California Department of Pesticide Regulation Director Brian Leahy announced a $500,000 grant to the California Strawberry Commission toward research on farming with peat moss and rice hulls, rather than pesticides.
Victory Against Genetically Modified Food!
We are so proud to stand in partnership with the Just Label It campaign, which sponsored the petition telling the FDA to put a label on genetically modified foods. Passing the 1 million signature mark made history; never before have so many people petitioned the FDA on an issue. We are grateful to all of you in the Healthy Child Healthy World community for supporting the right to know what's in our food so we can protect our kids' health. Thank you.
Increasing Rates of Autism Reported by Centers for Disease Control
Last week it was reported that 1 in 88 children has some form of autism spectrum disorder, an increase of 78 percent in the last decade, according to CNN. The total number of US kids with autism numbers about one million. Boys outnumber girls with autism, with 1 in 54 boys on the spectrum. Environmental causes of autism are the subject of scientific inquiry, including two large studies by the National Institutes of Health.
Healthy Child Healthy World Scientific Advisor Dr. Philip Landrigan is conducting a study about the impact of chemicals in the environment on the developing brain, exploring the possible links between toxic chemicals and autism and other diseases. Dr. Landrigan told New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, "If babies are exposed in the womb or shortly after birth to chemicals that interfere with brain development, the consequences last a lifetime." We will continue to follow this story that affects so many children and families.
Cosmetics Industry Bill Would Make Things Worse
Our friends at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported the cosmetics industry dominated the first Congressional hearing in 30 years about personal care products and cosmetics safety. In essence, the industry is seeking to enshrine the status quo, which would make the current dangerous situation even worse by failing to protect the health of all of us who use personal care products and the workers who use products daily at nail and beauty salons.
Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at the Breast Cancer Fund, wrote, "Essential public health protections could be set back another 70 years if industry gets away with writing its own laws that put industry profits over public health and handcuff states from taking action to protect people." Stay up to date on the latest by visiting the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Lead and Cadmium Found in Jewelry
A recent HealthyStuff report found that 59% of cheap jewelry sold at stores like Forever 21 and Target contained one or more chemicals-including lead, cadmium and arsenic-considered to be health hazards, Time reported.
So this week, we launched a new necklace, crafted from reycled metals and bearing our motto, "no one can do everything; everyone can do something." All of the profits go to Healthy Child Healthy World.
Healthy Child Healthy World ignites the movement that empowers parents to protect children from harmful chemicals. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Together, we can change the world.
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