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Thread: Lifting the "Body Burden": How to Fight Toxic Exposure and Keep Chemicals Out of Your

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    Veteran Member Aaltrude's Avatar
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    Default Lifting the "Body Burden"

    Lifting the "Body Burden": How to Fight Toxic Exposure and Keep Chemicals Out of Your Home
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simran-sethi/lifting-the-body-burden-h_b_141779.html

    From Seventh Generation's discussion on "Children and Chemicals," featuring Jane Houlihan of the Environmental Working Group, pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene, Courtney Loveman of Seventh Generation and moderated by Simran Sethi.

    We can thank WWII for inventions like SPAM, plastic wrap, and modern-day chemical cleaning products. When hostilities ended, the same companies that had been manufacturing chemicals for nerve gas and other weapons began to bottle their concoctions for the general public, who used them to disinfect their homes. Sixty years later, Mr. Clean may seem well intentioned, but a toxic chemical is still a toxic chemical, no matter how diluted or how many "Danger! Do not swallow" warnings a bottle is branded with. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that household chemicals label info on poison control and toxicity, but doesn't mandate ingredient disclosure. We each have our own allergies and sensitivities, so what may be deemed "safe" for one person may be harmful for another.

    Kids are among the most vulnerable peeps. Children under the age of six are more likely to die from ingesting dish soap than any other product in the home. Luckily, most of us ingest or inhale dish soap residue in doses much too small to be lethal, but the chemicals are still having an effect. Women who work at home are 54% more likely to die from cancer, because of a higher exposure to household cleaning products. And the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that indoor air quality may be twice as polluted as outdoor air.

    Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that everyday products like dish soap and laundry detergent are polluting our air and our bloodstreams with toxic chemicals linked to cancer, infertility, and stunted development. You're probably thinking sure, you're fill-in-the-blank age, you've been exposed to a lot in your short/long life. But here's the kicker: we're toxic from womb to tomb. A recent EWG study tested the umbilical chord blood of 10 unborn babies, and found a total of 287 toxic chemicals, an average of 200 per fetus. (You can find out more in the accompanying video.) The chems in babies included 28 waste by-products, 47 consumer products like Teflon and Scotch Guard, and 212 industrial chemicals and pesticides (such as PCBs and DDT) that were already banned more than 30 years ago. Our newborns are coming into the world with a heavy "body burden" of toxins that will impact their health and development.

    Theoretically, our government should be protecting children from exposure to toxic chemicals that may lead to major health concerns. But our outdated Toxic Substances Control Act assumes all chemicals to be safe until proven otherwise, and doesn't require studies for new chemicals introduced to the market. When Bisphenol-A, a common component in plastic baby bottles and water bottles, was found to have strong links to cancer earlier this year, the Canadian government publicly declared the substance "dangerous," the first step in a countrywide ban. Due to consumer pressure, Nalgene has since phased out bisphenol-A bottles and Target pulled baby bottles containing the substance from their shelves. But the U.S. government has taken no action to officially ban bisphenol-A or warn Americans of the danger. The Food and Drug Administration actually said, "we believe there is a large body of evidence that indicates that FDA-regulated products containing BPA currently on the market are safe and that exposure levels to BPA from food contact materials, including for infants and children, are below those that may cause health effects." As far as we know, American citizenship doesn't automatically immunize us to the effects of toxic chemicals, so why is our government so much more careless than our neighbors up north?

    Don't despair. The bad news is also good news--if these carcinogenic and damaging chemicals come from the products we buy, we also have the power to keep our homes and schools toxin-free. Buying sustainable furniture, eating organic foods and steering clear of high-mercury fish like tuna, filtering tap water, and improving home air quality with toxin-filtering plants are all easy steps we can take to cleanse our immediate environments. But we can't control everything (as much as we try). Everyone is at risk of exposure unless our government takes proactive measures to regulate chemicals and require companies to disclose full ingredient lists on their bottles.

    Seventh Generation, the largest natural cleaning and home care product company in the world, has stepped up without a government stick. They're leading a "Show the World What's Inside" campaign for full ingredient disclosure on all household cleaners. (Watch their webcast on "Toxic Chemicals and Children," that Simran moderated, for more info.) Taking the power of knowledge a step further, Seventh Gen's website includes a database where consumers can search hard-to-pronounce chemicals to find out exactly what they're used for and how they affect the human body. In addition to accessing it from your desktop, the application can be downloaded onto your iPhone or BlackBerry so you can search ingredients at the store.

    Seventh Generation and EWG have also teamed up in support of Senator Frank Lautenberg's (D-NJ) proposed Kid Safe Chemical Act. The bill would require basic data on all industrial chemicals and establish a national program to assess human exposure, assuming new chemicals to be toxic until proved otherwise instead of the other way around. We've signed a petition supporting the bill here.

    Clean can be green, when you know what to do. Heather swears by the boiling water, vinegar and baking soda combo. Simran's lazier and uses Seventh Gen, Ecover and Mrs. Meyer's products. Sign the petition...and tell us your favorite household fix.

    This post was written by Simran Sethi and Heather Mueller.

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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lifting the "Body Burden"

    Anyone know what the boiling water, vinegar and baking soda combo Heather swears by in the article?
    I have heard you use that to unplug drains.

    Woof-that is a lot of chemicals in unborn babies.
    No wonder we are sick as a nation, and getting sicker.

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    Veteran Member Aaltrude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lifting the "Body Burden"

    Does she mean actually combining them or is she talking about them as a group of alternative cleaning agents. These three are the mainstay of the cleaning in our house but used individually, not together.

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    Veteran Member DizzyIzzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lifting the "Body Burden"

    Reminds of the little girl Kyah, who died from cancer (more likely the cancer drugs...) just yesterday. Her parents blogged her entire journey through the disease, it's such a heart-wrenching, awful, sad read. It seems she had the cancer since she was in the womb, but the symptoms didn't crop up for after a year since she was born, which I found absolutely astounding - it's got so bad now that we're getting children being BORN with cancer?!

    (URL is http://kyahsjourney.livejournal.com)

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lifting the "Body Burden"

    Cilantro is said to be effective in binding to heavy metals (like mercury) and removing them from the body. Sadly, I can't tolerate the taste of cilantro...

    Spokesmen for the FDA coveniently ignore the concept of toxic synergy. That is, one ppm of, say, fluoride does no real harm...nor does one ppm of Bisphelol A...nor does one ppm of chlordane...or perchlorate...or, name your poison... but combine any two or more of these toxins and the whole instantly becomes far, far greater than the sum of its parts.

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lifting the "Body Burden"

    I use baking soda and vinegar almost exclusively, sometimes together, sometimes separately. I have found that spraying vinegar on my ceramic top stove, then sprinkling baking soda over the vinegar (then using some elbow grease) does an excellent job of cleaning. I also pour a few cups of vinegar down a slow drain, followed by baking soda...I haven't used boiling water...hmmm. With MCS you do get creative.

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    Veteran Member Aaltrude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lifting the "Body Burden"

    Thumbs up, Mellowsong. LOL.

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    Veteran Member Samurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lifting the "Body Burden"

    I sure wish I had this type of information 8 years ago. I used to regularly put the heavily perfumed body lotion from Bath & Body Works all over my baby's body. I don't have many chemical sensitivites, (mostly from adrenal fatigue) but I regret so many things that I just simply did not know about:
    perfumed lotion
    major vaccines
    had tons of Starbucks and Cokes while pregnant
    Buying Seventh Generation is something I started just 2 years ago.....

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