Sunday, April 20, 2008

Plastics and Other Worries

Last week Canada officially labeled bisphenol A as dangerous. (Article here:

And a US federal health agency followed up by acknowledging the plastics concern for the first time. (Washington Post article here:

This is a very timely discussion for our family, as we are doing our best to make health and safety conscious decisions for our child(ren). We have limited the majority of Julian's toys to cloth and fabric items that are safe for him to chew on during his first few years, when nearly everything goes in his mouth. We use BPA-free bottles and sippy cups, as well as a Kleen Canteen for drinking water. He eats with bamboo utensils out of ceramic dishes, both found at affordable prices at our local green store and IKEA respectively. We know we can't prevent him from ever getting his hands on plastic, or putting it in his mouth, and are realistic that he will still receive exposure on some level, but we try to keep it to an absolute minimum. We also look at packaging and labels, and try to shop being conscious of what things are made of.

We also pay attention to the products we use on him. So far California Baby and Aubrey Organics are my favorite go to's for lotion, soap, and butt creams. Since we spend a lot of time in the sun during the summer months we have opted for Earths Best Sunscreen. All of these products come in low on the rating scale of this website for toxic ingredients:, where we check things before we buy them. We also are switching over to non-toxic cleaning supplies, detergent, and beauty products.

Trader Joes is where we go for the majority of our groceries, limiting the amount of transfats, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and other unneccessary extras in our food. All of the dairy we buy is RST free to avoid the exposure of hormones. As we start Jules on solids, we buy the organic fruits and vegetable that are least likely to be covered in pesticides and fertilizer. And when he starts drinking milk at 12 months it will be organic as well. Not only does it taste so much better, it's so much better for you! Too many health problems like cancers, infertility, early onset of puberty, etc are being linked to chemicals and toxins in our living environment. And I've found that making these choices and changes has actually led to smaller grocery bills, and a better awareness of how our consumerism affects the environment and our bodies.

In my attempts to be more eco-aware we've switched to cloth bags for all of our shopping, replacing old light bulbs with new CFLs, using biodegradable dog poop bags, extensive recycling to include batteries and #5 plastics. We also buy as much of our baby "gear" second hand at thrift stores or on Craigslist, hoping to add less to the landfills. I wanted to get Pete on board with cloth diapering, but we've not found a way to make it work for us both yet - maybe for #2.

Pete calls me a hippie, I like to think I'm just green:) But I have to say these changes work for us, and even if they are small changes I'm hoping they can put Jules on better footing for both his health and his future.

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