The dangers that hid in our children’s bath products.

Yes, will the worries ever cease… it seems not, because after researching new bath products for our kids I not only discovered some potential candidates, but also reasons to worry.

tub bubbIt seems there are some serious, and harmful, chemical “monsters” lurking in far too many children’s bath products.  This includes the most common products we all used on our babies (and often continue to use) – Johnson & Johnson, Gerber, Baby Magic and L’Oreal – all are major offenders.

And the two scariest ingredients, you ask? They are 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde (doesn’t THAT one conjure up some horrible images?).  Both are known carcinogens and unbelievably harsh on the skin, especially for young children.

1,4-dioxane is common in personal care products as a foaming agent.  Of course the ingredients won’t actually list it under this name, so avoid ingredients called sodium laureth sulfate, PEG-100 stearate, polyethylene, myreth, oleth and ceteareth-20.

Formaldehyde comes into play when common preservatives (like parabens) used in the bath products release formaldehyde but, of course, this won’t be on the ingredients list either!  Instead, look for and avoid names like quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea.

It’s absolutely mind boggling.  Sometimes I truly don’t know what to look for and what to avoid, because it seems we need a chemistry degree to have the ability to read between the lines (and I think manufacturers count on that)!
I have heard good things about both Gaia and Weleda, as well as the line of Burt’s Bees Baby (often much easier to find at a local retailer) but we’re currently giving Organix South TheraNeem a try!  The kid’s Shampoo & Bodywash and Conditioner are in use and (as far as my “non-chemistry-degreed-self” can decipher!) they don’t contain any of these scary ingredients!  I also find it fairly interesting that they seems to work wonderfully (and make our kids smell fabulously citrus-y) but they don’t foam-up as much as the common brands and aren’t nearly as thick… hmmm?  A likely side effect of what happens when you remove some of the bad stuff!

I know it will take extra effort, but there are plenty of products out there that are safer options.  If you have something you recommend, please share!

But whatever you do, don’t settle for the old stand-bys just because they’re easy to find and an ad campaign and some slick marketer appealed to your emotional side to sell a product.  Believe me, I used to be one of “them” and things aren’t always as they seem.

The FULL story of pesticides and produce.

The other day I wrote a post about pesticides and using sea salt and water to wash fruits and vegetables before we consume them to remove those dangerous pesticides.

pesticidesWell, a close, personal friend, Will, was bold enough to call a foul.  He is very passionate about the topic and went so far as to call the post “lame”… (ouch!).

I’ll first say that the post was written in response to a few readers’ prior comments that they didn’t feel the added expense of organics was in their budget and had limited access to affordable and available organics because of where they lived geographically.  While I wasn’t attempting to mislead anyone or act irresponsibly, and this sea salt and water wash can remove the pesticides from the surface of produce, this is (admittedly) only part of the story.

The reality is that you absolutely cannot prevent consuming pesticides unless you are willing to invest in organics… period.

The fact of the matter is also that pesticides aren’t sprayed on the produce just prior to harvesting; they are applied constantly, being spraying and absorbed all throughout the growing process.  No amount of soaking and scrubbing can eliminate that.  This “solution” isn’t the solution!organic sl

And while we continue to buy conventionally-grown produce, we are actually (financially) supporting this farming practice, therefore lessening the demand for organics, slowing widespread distribution AND keeping their cost high.  All the while these pesticides are harmful to us as consumers, extremely dangerous to farm workers and contaminate our ground and surface water, as well as wildlife and the environment… a cycle that goes on and on unless practices change… dramatically. Pesticides (and herbicides) are simply bad news all around.

So, I’ve said all along that this “greening my life” would be a journey, mistakes included.  But now you know the FULL story… supporting organic farming is the only true option for an abundance of reasons.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program… hopefully with any further lame posts excluded! 🙂

Remove pesticides from produce… the cheap, easy way!

fruits_and_vegetablesI’ve talked a lot about the pesticides and chemicals sprayed on conventionally-grown, non-organic produce.   It always seemed crazy to me that our most healthy foods often come with a load of non-healthy “additives”.   And it’s especially alarming where our children are concerned.

You can stick with the “Clean 15” list and buy non-organic, but if you’re on a budget and run across that “Dirty Dozen”, what do you do?  Well, some solutions can be especially expensive to make.  And Fit can also get quite costly.

At a Health and Nutrition session I recently attended (where I learned about all of the grossness of fast food!) I also learned about a quick, easy and cheap way to clean our produce and remove those harmful pesticides… a recipe I had never heard before.

All you need is fine-grain sea salt and water!sea slt

  • First, wash the fruit or vegetable with water.
  • Prepare the solution in a large bowl by mixing one teaspoon of sea salt to each cup of water and stir it to dissolve the salt.
  • Soak your produce for all of TWO minutes.  (For sturdier produce, you can give it an extra scrub with a vegetable brush if it makes you feel better!)
  • Rinse the produce under fresh water, pat to dry or dry on a clean towel and voila!… clean produce!

It’s best to do this right before you plan to use or eat the fruits or vegetables, to help maintain freshness and because it’s quick and easy, it won’t add a bunch of extra time.

There you have it.  Now walk away and be sure to add sea salt to your grocery list!  Healthy produce, HAPPY MOM!!!

(The issue doesn’t end here… please read the FULL story.)

More toxic mattress “lies” that boil my blood!

I had a completely different post planned for today, but in light of a recent conversation, I just had to write this instead.

You might recall a post last spring when we were in the market for a mattress for our son.  We wantedbed savvy rest an organic, chemical-free mattress so we could have peace of mind while he was getting a peaceful night’s rest.  The issue is the excessive chemicals sprayed on traditional mattresses to make them meet government standards for fire retardants.  They are so, so dangerous for everyone, since we inhale these toxic chemicals each and every night, but especially for children with developing bodies and systems.

Well, a friend of ours recently contacted us and wanted to know about the mattress we ended up buying.  When I sent him the information he told me that the mattress store he just visited told him that he was “unable to buy that type of mattress without a prescription” (presumably because they are also hypo-allergenic) and “they have to use chemical fire retardants to meet standards”.

This is where my blood started to boil.

The reality is that they were lying to our friend simply because they didn’t HAVE what he was looking for and, obviously, would go to any length to make a sale.

mattress fillThe truth of the matter is this:   Mattresses do NOT need to be sprayed with chemicals to make them fire retardant! They do, however, need to meet standards for BEING fire retardant.  There are other ways to meet this standard but unfortunately, for consumers, the cheapest way to do this is simply to spray on a load of dangerous chemicals.

The mattress we chose was from Savvy Rest (via Natural Bed Co.).  Since organic wool is quilted to the inside of the organic cotton fabric cover, THIS is the non-flammable layer that inhibits burning and makes it pass these tests.

I absolutely hate the fact that a mattress retailer would tell such lies just for the sake of a sale.  But on top of that, they are completely misleading consumers about the truth.

Of course, there are honest retailers out there, but if you are in the market for a new mattress, don’t be misled.  You CAN buy a safe, non-toxic mattress… no prescription needed.

Kiss My Face FREE Giveaway! “Shimmer & Shine”, girl!

(This giveaway is now closed for entries.  Winner posted in comments.)

Lately, I’ve been on some serious topics… BPA in my Sigg, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the psychology of organic food… well I’m bringing it down a notch.  How about some nice girlie goodies?

First of all, I love Kiss My Face products.  They’re packed full of healthy, natural, organic ingredients that even consider the environment in their kmf shimmersmanufacture and packaging.  Pure botanicals and minerals are so important when you consider that the skin absorbs 60% of what we put on ourselves directly into the bloodstream.

And the founders are two great guys with a great story.  It’s one of vision, dreams and ultimate success.

Here is what I have for you… their new line of lip “Shimmers & Shines”! These fabulous lips tints contain natural mineral color, vitamins A&E to repair and protect lips and have a luscious organic flavor – mint with a hint of vanilla. All are earth friendly products containing no parabens, SLS, phthalates, synthetic colors or flavors, nor do they use animal ingredients or testing.kmf shines

So, how would you like the ENTIRE LINE… every color, and all 12 products?!? Yes, yes, yes, you say? Well then leave a comment here saying you’d like to win and who you’d like to win these for (go ahead… say “yourself!”), or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. The winner will be selected one week from today’s post. (US entries only… sorry!)

This giveaway is valued at over $75, so “pucker up”, post a comment and soon you, too, can “Shimmer & Shine”, girl!