The Green Queen Corner

It is the soul’s duty to be loyal to it’s own desires. It must abandon itself to it’s master… passion! by Rebecca West

Make Up Danger for Pregnant Women December 19, 2008

Filed under: Green,organic — greenqueen @ 11:13 pm
Tags: , , , , ,
This article talks about France intending to label cosmetics according to their safety for pregnant women. 
This is in response to a study published by Imperial College London. The study revealed that pregnant women who experienced higher than normal hairspray exposure had double the likelihood of giving birth to babies with hypospadias, which is a reproductive development condition.

For more on this topic check out the link:

http://greenqueen.mionegroup.com/en/news;jsessionid=130039796241399C33B3D227339E3004

 

Why are there toxic chemicals in your skin care, personal care products and cosmetics? November 19, 2006

I was inspired to write this entry by http://beaut.ie/blog/?p=577.

Cosmetic companies are minimally regulated which means they can put almost anything they want into your cosmetics, skin care and personal care products. All of your conventional personal care and beauty care products are filled with toxic chemicals.

Just think in the morning you shower and apply chemical shampoos, conditioners, shower gel. You get out of the shower dry off and put lotion all over your body then your face. You put on chemical filled make-up and even worse perfume. Layer after layer of chemicals are slathered onto your body. And if your products have fragrance the danger is increased.

Everyday you leave your home as a toxic chemical time bomb. On the outside you look hot in your Lucky Jeans, your high heal pumps, cool Ralph Lauren blouse and blazer. While underneath all day long your body is absorbing and storing the toxic chemicals that you applied as part of your daily regimen. Metabolizing them through your body, organs and blood. It isn’t your fault though. How could you know that you were applying a toxic cocktail of chemicals to your body daily when there aren’t warnings, or labels to tell you the truth about your products. You have been in the dark.

Why do cosmetic companies and personal body care companies use these chemicals? They say because it is cheaper and easier. How much cheaper is it when you need radiation to kill the cancer in your body. Furthermore, there are many companies that have great pure, natural products that are affordable like Dr. Haushka, and Aubrey Organics. If you use Mac, Bobby Brown, Lancome, Prescriptives and Clairins, to name a few, like I did then you know that they are not cheap! Where is the savings?!

Go to your bathroom cabinet right now, where you keep your skin care and personal care products and pull out products you use everyday, input the name of the product into the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep data base at http://ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/index.php to rate the toxicity of your products.

You can go to the same website and input the chemicals that are on the labels of your products into the data base to learn if they have health affects. After you have rated your products and learned about the health affects, notice how many layers of chemicals that you are slathering onto your body daily and what health affects have been linked to these products. Count the layers of chemicals how many do you wear underneath your Lucky Jeans everyday?

What you will find is that many ingredients in your products are cancerous. These ingredients are listed among the first 5 ingredients on the ingredient label which means they have the largest quantity in the product.

And what the cosmetic industry doesn’t tell you is that mixing one chemical with another can be carcinogenic. The chemical alone may be safe but when it is mixed with another chemical from another product the combination becomes lethal. You have to be a scientist to get ready in the morning

Furthermore, the EPA says that some chemicals like phthalates are safe in cosmetics because they are at safe levels for humans. However, what the EPA doesn’t consider or evaluate is that chemicals like phthalates are used in many cosmetics and personal care products like, fragrance-containing soaps, shampoos and perfumes. They are also used in plastics like your shower curtain, flooring, baby bottles and nipples, toys to name a few. Thus you are exposed daily to many layers of phthalates found in many products not just one product. This increases the level of exposure pushing it over the safe level and making the levels unsafe for humans.

Furthermore, not only are you absorbing these chemicals into your largest organ, your skin, but you breath them in, they may get into your mouth and nose which means you ingest them. Everyday you layer then onto your body. That means that the layers of chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis increase with every layer. Thus the levels that you are exposed are at unsafe levels. Phthalates have been linked to reduced sperm count in men, genital abnormalities in boys, premature birth, sperm damage to name a few.

To illistrate my point, in September 2000, the US Centers for Disease Control released it’s assessment of the levels of phthalates in the bodies of the American public. After studying urine samples they found the levels of phthalates to be high. One demographic of concern was women of child-bearing age where they found the levels to be especially high in a disproportionately large number of women. This is of concern because the fetus is extremely vulnerable to the adverse affects of phthalates. Furthermore, this demographic is the one that should avoid exposer to phthalates. Phthalates are banned in the EU.

Another common dangerous chemical found in skin care, personal care products and cosmetics is parabens. It is used as a preservative and is found in breast cancer patients. You will find parabens in your shampoo, conditioner, lotions, body washes and make-ups to list a few. That means that they are also layered onto your body. Go to Skin Deep for more information, http://ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/index.php.

To add insult to injury, there is controversy surrounding nano chemicals in our beauty products, ingredients engineered at the molecular scale. They aren’t listed on the ingredient lists and they aren’t regulated. They are harmful to your health and environment. For more information check out this link, http://action.foe.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=5475&msource=foe11006&tr=y&auid=2072979

I am very passionate about this and bewildered that our country and government would allow chemicals to be in our everyday personal care products. The increase in disease in our country is continuously on the rise. At this time in history 1 out of 2 women will have cancer. Think about it, that means that your friend, sister or mother or you will contract this terrible disease. The EU is banning one chemical after another to protect their citizens why isn’t the US? Why is the EPA constantly avoiding chemical matters when it comes to our skin care, cosmetics and personal care products? Isn’t it their job to protect us?

I strongly recommend that you visit http://ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/index.php, to learn more about the toxic chemicals that are in your everyday skin care and personal care products and evaluate the products that you use.

There are safe solutions to skin care, cosmetics and personal cae products many are listed at Skin Deep. A couple of my favorite products are Dr. Hauschka and Aubrey Organics. A great way to try Aubrey Organics or Dr. Hauschka is their kits: Dr.Hauschka Daily Face Care Kit and Aubrey Organics – Silken Earth Makeup Kit, 1 kit

However don’t take my word for it or Skin Deeps anyones for that matter. Take your health care into your own hands and do your research, read the labels of all products before you buy and know what you are putting onto your skin, hair, body…

Look for my upcoming post on how to choose safe skin care products and personal care products and more product suggestions so that you can take matters into your own hands and protect your health. I will give tips on how to read through the hype and how to read between the lines on labels.

Thanks again for reading. Another toxic problem revealed.

Subscribe to The Green Queen Corner at WordPress by Email

 

The Complete Organic Baby on the Today Show November 3, 2006

Check it out. On the Today Show 2 women, Deirdre Dolan, Alexandra Zissu, talk about their new book, “The Complete Organic Pregnancy.” The book talks about organic non-toxic living and your baby, here is the link to NBC Today Show, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032633/. Find the book at Amazon.com.

The book discusses remodeling, beauty products, organic food, toxic cleaning products in your home, furniture, carpet and more. Sounds like it is comprehensive and it offers simple solutions that you can implement in your home. Here is a link to a chapter in their book. http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/TVNews/Today%20show/PDF/OrganicPregnancy.pdf

When you read it let me know what you think. I will also put my review here. I watched their interview on the Today Show and it seems like they really know what they are talking about. They offer simple inexpensive solutions to common toxic problems like new furniture. They also agree that when having a new baby it is wise not to remodel unless you absolutely have to. Check it out I can’t wait to read it and hear what you have to say.

 

Certified Organic Skin Care vs. Natural Skin Care November 2, 2006

As you walk through today’s health and natural food grocery stores you will find an extensive selection of “natural” skin and body care products. These products will range from toothpaste and deodorant to cosmetics, lotion, and hair care. It seems that many of the companies providing these products are striving to promote their products as “natural” since today’s consumers seem to have a preference towards any product labeled “natural”. This definitely makes sense because really who would walk up and purchase a bottle that says “loaded with silicone derivatives” or “extra carcinogens”.

 

Now you’re thinking no one in there right mind would do this right. I mean who goes to the store and actually tries to buy a skin care product that will cause their body damage. Actually most people these days do exactly that, unknowingly of course as they aren’t aware of the toxic ingredients in the product of their choice. What people need to start realizing is that not every company that throws the word natural on their product really cares about the ingredients being truly natural. If you do a little research on the ingredients in skin care the information is alarming as you find that many skin care products contain carcinogens and other toxic ingredients. Check out a website called skin deep for more information on what is in your skin care.

Tip! Apple juice: Non-organic apple juice ranks second highest for organophosphate residues.

Aren’t skin care products supposed to be helping your body not hurting it? Yes, they are but unfortunately that isn’t the case with all of the products available. This is where certified organic skin and body care products come in. When they are certified organic they have to meet strict requirements by the certifying body and are very safe for the consumer. Certified organic skin care products are made up of ingredients you can actually read and understand such as avocado oil and safflower oil not six syllable words that don’t mean a thing to you. This way you actually know what you are feeding your skin rather than just hoping it works because the company that made it claims it will.

Tip! Join a food cooperative. A food co-op is kind of a buyers club for affordable, fresh, local organic and natural products.

When you go to purchase a “natural” product be sure to research the company producing it. Find out what their stand is on ingredients such as silicone derivatives and the like are. See if there focus is on a toxin free line of skin care or just one that smells good etc. There are wonderful certified organic skin care products available so don’t settle for some supposedly natural junk when you can have the best available for your skin.

Erika Juhas is the owner of Kalista Organics. She offers extensive information regarding the organic lifestyle on her website. Primarily she represents an organic line of skin and body care products that will contribute to eliminating toxic chemicals from your body.

Tip! Cost savings, because you do not need to buy costly chemical fertilizers and pesticides with organic gardening. Many organic recipes for the control of pest and disease come straight from the kitchen cupboard, and sometimes other plants can even be grown as companions to the main crop.

 

Toxic Mistakes Expectant Mothers Make When Redecorating Babies Nursery October 19, 2006

At no other time in history have there been more toxic chemicals in our environment. The most toxic environments are indoors. Of the indoor environments our homes are the most toxic and pose the most danger to humans because we spend 65% of their time indoors. New mom’s and babies are at greater risk of long term exposed to toxic chemicals in the home because they spend 95% of their time at home. That is why it is important to start now protecting yourself and you newborn baby. The best place to start is now and in the nursery.

 

If you are like most expectant mothers you want to create, design, and decorate a special place for your baby, a place that speaks from your heart that it is safe, comfortable, it is just for baby from you.

 

However, your good intentions could be endangering your new born. What most new mom’s don’t know is that redecorating means brand new paint, new carpet, washable vinyl, wallpaper, new crib with synthetic mattress, new no iron sheets, new easy care synthetic clothing, disinfectants, scented baby lotions, powders, synthetic fiber stuffed animals, plastic rattles all of which are potential health risks to your new baby.

 

Children and babies are more susceptible than adults to the adverse health affects of toxins because pound for pound since they are growing their little bodies are metabolizing faster than adults, they breath faster, their blood brain barrier that protects adults from toxins, is not yet fully developed, their detox system, the liver and kidneys are still developing which means that their bodies have a difficult time eliminating toxins so they are stored in the fatty tissue.

 

Furthermore, babies and small children play and crawl on the floor and ground where many toxins are found. They put their hands and toys into their mouths which increases their exposure to toxic elements in the home. They don’t know what is toxic and what is safe.

 

By planning now for your child’s safety and health you will be protecting them from dangerous house hold toxins. To get started follow the easy suggestions below, I have also included some shopping resources at the end to get you started. Many of the resources have more information about toxins and safe products.

I’m going to start with the crib because in the beginning your baby spends most of it’s time in the crib thus being exposed to toxic chemicals for prolonged periods. Chemicals like phthalates and PBDE – flame retardants, polyurethane, foam, polyester, plastic, formaldehyde all emit dangerous toxins that your baby breathes in or absorbs through the skin.

Some examples of the dangerous chemicals mentioned above and the adverse health risks:

  • Phthalates. Studies show they have been linked to damage of the liver, kidney and lungs, harmful to the reproductive system, and developing testicles.
  • PBDE, fire retardant, has been linked to brain development and thyroid problems in lab rats. PBDE is found in most furniture fabrics and woods, cabinets, beds and on children’s pajamas.
  • According to the EPA the health effects of formaldehyde include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing, fatigue, skin rash, severe allergic reactions and may cause cancer. In asthma suffers formaldehyde has been known to cause asthma attacks.

However, don’t worry there are many solutions for a safe crib. Look for mattresses made of natural cotton or wool. Find blankets, sheets, clothing, and toys that are made of natural or organic cottons and wools. A good rule of thumb to follow is to find out if they are using natural materials or synthetic materials to make the bed, linens, clothing etc. Synthetic materials are manufactured with chemicals. When buying natural buy organic, when possible.

 

Furthermore, when buying the crib be sure to buy something with a safe non-toxic finish. Maple is said to be the least toxic wood. See if you can find a crib made of maple with a non-toxic finish. See below for some resources, they are a great way to learn more about safe alternatives.

 

Do not ever paint the room yourself. Breathing in the toxic fumes from the paint can harm your unborn child even if the paint is no or low VOC (volatile organic compounds).

 

Sanding the walls and scraping may expose you to lead dust which can be extremely dangerous to your unborn child as their brains and central nervous system aren’t yet fully developed. Furthermore, your child may store the lead in fatty tissue in their body because their liver and kidney’s aren’t yet fully developed and able to eliminate it. Even children under the age of 6 are vulnerable to lead poisoning because their organs aren’t yet fully developed. Exposure to low levels of lead have produced adverse health affects like low IQ, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, stunted growth, attention deficit disorder (ADD), impaired hearing, and kidney damage. High levels of lead exposure have contributed to mental retardation, a coma and even death.

 

Get someone else to paint and sand the room for you. Make sure they use water based or low or no VOC (volatile organic compound) paint. See resources below. I thought that you might like to know that due to increased environmental regulations by the EPA (http://www.epa.gov/ttn/uatw/183e/aim/aimpg.html) paint and stain companies have been forced to reduce the VOC’s in their products. However, the VOC levels are still dangerous in conventional paints so make sure that you ask for low or no VOC paint or stain. Most paint companies carry this kind of paint. See below for some resources.

 

What are VOC’s? For years conventional paints needed VOC’s to perform. These VOC’s are toxic and have contributed to indoor air pollution. Paints with high VOC’s emit low levels of VOC’s into the air for many years to come. Moreover, VOC’s have been linked to nausea, cancer, damage to liver and kidney, headaches, nose and throat irritation to name a few. For more information go to http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html#Health%20Effects

 

Be sure that you finish painting at least one month before baby is born. To dry paint use a room space heater. By drying the paint you will help the paint to harden so it doesn’t release toxins into the air.

 

Absolutely stay away from new carpet and flooring, keep what is already in your home. New carpet is among the most toxic material in your home, it is treated with many different chemicals. If you absolutely have to put down new flooring use pre-finished hardwood or natural linoleum. The best finish is water based as it is less toxic than oil based finishes. When you are shopping ask the manufacture if the finish is water or oil based. Below are resources for safe flooring and finishes.

 

Toys are difficult because you want to give your child everything. However, most toys are made with plastics which can be toxic. The best bet is to do what Toucan Sam says, “Follow your nose.” If the toy smells weird or toxic don’t buy it. The best toys are wood or made of natural fibers like cotton or wool. See below for some resources.

 

Diapers. Beware of disposable diapers. They are made of plastics and synthetic fibers. Some companies add unknown deodorizing chemicals that can be irritating to your baby’s skin.

 

Common health problems linked to disposable diapers are diaper rash; chemical burns, noxious chemical and insecticide odors, and babies pull diapers apart and put them into their mouths and noses. The synthetic, plastic materials don’t allow babies skin to breath and thus contribute to diaper rash. Furthermore, because disposable diapers feel dryer than cloth to parents and many parents postpone changing the diaper longer which means the bacteria from the urine remains in contact with babies delicate skin longer. This also contributes to increased cases of diaper rash.

 

Because disposable diapers don’t breathe and provide proper circulation of air, ammonia from the bacterial breakdown of urine is unable to escape causing further irritation to your baby’s delicate skin. In addition, disposable diapers that have been bleached are known to have dioxins, which studies show can cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and immune system suppression. Moreover, once dioxins enter the body they are stored in the fatty tissue and they are there to stay because they aren’t able to breakdown and dissolve in fats and they are a “rock solid” stable chemical. Quote from World Health Organization at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/index.html.

 

On the other hand diapers made from natural materials breathe and give proper circulation to baby’s skin and parents change them more often so they contribute to your baby’s health and comfort. Furthermore, the natural fabric is soft and comfortable against baby’s fragile skin. There are many companies that sell natural diapers and have diaper services, see resource list below.

 

Avoid toxic nail polish, perfumes, hair spray and deodorant while pregnant. I would avoid them altogether even after your pregnant, but particularly while you are pregnant. Conventional nail polishs and perfumes contain phthalates that can be absorbed by inhaling, through the skin, and ingested when they contaminate food. Phthalates are banned from nail polish in Europe. Phthalates have been linked to liver and kidney damage, damage of the lungs and the reproductive system, especially the developing testes.

 

Stay away from conventional hair sprays, hair gels and deodorants they contain toxic chemicals that can harm your baby. I full discussion of personal care products and make-up are subjects in themselves and are another installment, stay tuned. In the mean time for information on safe cosmetics go to http://www.ewg.org/. There are safe alternatives see resource list below. Again if it smells toxic it is so avoid it.

 

Avoid conventional cleaning and laundry products all have toxic chemicals. There are so many toxins in cleaning and laundry products that I will have to save that for another installment too. The most toxic products are air fresheners, stain removers for clothes, anything that says anti bacterial as it contains a pesticide which is intended to be toxic and kill, chlorine bleach, ammonia and anything that smells toxic and strong. Again “follow your nose” and if it smells toxic, it is.

 

You know many people say to me, ya, ya but families have been doing it this way for generations and they are fine. I say to them that it might seem like it but that doesn’t explain why asthma in children has increased 40% since the 80’s and it is being linked to environmental toxins and dioxins in disposable diapers. There has been a rise in non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (a type of cancer that is unpredictable), and it can be linked to toxins in the environment among other causes. Moreover, there has been a measured increase in the presence of pesticides in human blood. Remember this is dangerous because pesticides are created to kill. Every 2 to 5 years levels of PBDE’s, fire retardants have been doubling. In North America the levels are 40 times higher than on other continents. As mentioned above PBDE’s are linked to brain and thyroid problems in lab rats and are stored in fatty tissue.

 

 

Let me ask you something, do you know someone who has asthma or cancer? Maybe you know someone with a thyroid condition. If you don’t know someone go to a hospital you will meet plenty of people there that can talk to you about their illness, disease and what it is like to be a prisoner of the health care system. Believe me you do not want get sucked into the health care system.

 

Your health is all you have and protecting yourself and your new born from toxic chemicals in your home is an added layer of health insurance and added peace of mind. As a new mom you have enough to worry about, it is your job to protect and keep your child safe. If your home is toxic free that is one less thing to worry about.

As I said when I opened, never before in history has the environment been polluted with more toxic chemicals then it is now. According to wikipedia.com toxic = poison. The good news it that you can do something about it and protect your family with the easy steps outlined above.

 

I hope that this helps you to ease your mind and make safe non-toxic decisions while creating a wonderful space for your newborn.

 

Thank you for reading and see below for some helpful resources. Please feel free to comment or ask questions, I would love to help in anyway that I can. I will answer your questions promptly.

 

I always love to know what your thinking, what your most burning questions or frustrations are when it comes to health, green living, organic, and eco-living. When I know what you are thinking I can answer your questions or concerns. Also if you use the resources below let me know what you think.

 

Until next time

 

 

“Think and go green”

 

 

 

Resource center:

For new born organic Moses basket

http://www.organic-gift-shop.com/s.nl/it.A/id.811/.f?sc=14&category=116

 

 

Beds, sheets, blankets –

http://www.allergybuyersclubshopping.com/baby.html

 

http://www.healthychild.com/natural-baby-crib-mattress.htm

 

http://www.nontoxic.com/beds/crib.html

 

http://www.lifekind.com/

 

http://www.tomorrowsworld.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=56

 

http://www.ourgreenhouse.com/foundations/store/shopcart.asp

 

 

Non-toxic furniture for baby:

 

http://www.allergybuyersclubshopping.com/ba-furn.html?psysVid=0aqzzr9y

 

http://www.thenewparentsguide.com/baby-cribs-canopy-1.htm

 

http://www.ourgreenhouse.com/foundations/store/shopcart.asp

 

 

 

For the expectant mother:

 

http://www.organicauthority.com/guide/guide.html – a buying guide for non-toxic living.

 

http://www.ecochoices.com/ – here there are many eco choices for clothes, household items, kitchen, candles etc. Although it isn’t focused on baby there are many great choices for mom.

 

 

Non-toxic paints and stains:

http://www.healthyhome.com/Site/ProductCategory.asp?ProductCategory_ID=6&gclid=CMilzrnQg4gCFSGRYAodcGywEg

 

http://www.ecosafetyproducts.com/Non-Toxic-Paint-s/1.htm?gclid=CPGYprvQg4gCFRBMGAodnBARGw

 

http://www.bioshieldpaint.com/

 

http://www.alerg.com/page/A/CTGY/MF-AFM?gclid=CN2Zyc_Sg4gCFR6UYAod-mHXEg

 

http://www.afmsafecoat.com/

 

http://www.safepaint.net/

 

 

Natural Diapers:

This is a link to amazon.com. If you don’t find the diapers there just type in natural diapers. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=blended&field-keywords=natural%20diapers&results-process=default&dispatch=search/ref=pd_sl_aw_tops-1_blended_11429821_2&results-process=default?tag2=amd-google-20

 

http://www.punkinbutt.com/index.asp

 

http://www.ecomall.com/biz/baby.htm

 

http://www.seventhgeneration.com/our_products/baby.php

 

 

Eco Mall is a great place to find eco friendly non-toxic items. They have everything from furniture to diapers.

http://www.ecomall.com/

 

 

For safe cleaning and laundry products:

http://www.seventhgeneration.com/index.php

 

http://www.ecomall.com/biz/cleaning.htm

 

http://www.begleysbest.com/

 

http://www.ecover.com/Default.aspx?nc=y

 

 

Toys etc for baby and young children

http://www.organic-gift-shop.com/s.nl/sc.14/category.40/.f

 

http://www.surprise.com/personality/responsible/environmentally_friendly_toys.cfm?srcLocal=GAWTA&gclid=CMXhlIb7g4gCFTaVFQod3zDv9A

 

http://www.ecotoytown.com/wooden/index.html

 

http://www.ecomall.com/biz/toys.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green, Organic, Sustainable, Eco-Living October 11, 2006

What My Blog is About

October 11th, 2006 by greenqueen

Hello everyone this is the Green Queen coming at you. I love everything green, organic, sustainable and clean. What is a Green Queen? I help others to transform their homes and life from a toxic chemical life to an organic, sustainable, green, clean, healthy life.

What does that mean? I’m glad that you asked.

I research, live, and test organic, sustainable, green products and write about them. I give tips and advice on transforming your life and home from a toxic, chemical life to a clean, green, organic, sustainable life and home. Why do I do this?

Because, there are many myths and the industry is clouded with them. I sift through the myths, so that you don’t have too. I tell it like it is so that you get the best information to make the best decisions about your health and life. I will interview experts in the field so that you can get other opinions.

I will also bring fun tips and recipes for you to try at home. As I find cool websites I will post their links here so that you can check them out. Everything from eco-shopping, where to buy biodiesel, to the daunting statistical data and news headlines, in case you decide you want to check them out.

I hope that you enjoy. Please feel free to give me feed back I love to hear all ideas, questions, comments. However let’s keep it clean, I will delete comments that aren’t appropriate or foul language.

I look forward to blogging with you.

Until next time,

” Think and go green”