The Green Queen Corner

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Some Children’s Bath Products Hazardous, Groups Say March 22, 2007

Reprinted. By Carlene Olsen, Cox News Service/New York Times News Service

Dallas Morning News
February 9, 2007

WASHINGTON – Some children’s bath products contain a suspected cancer-causing chemical in amounts that reach or exceed recommended limits, environmental groups charged Thursday.

Johnson and Johnson, Disney, Kimberly-Clark, and Gerber are among the makers of 15 children’s products that contain 1,4-dioxane, David Steinman, head of the environmental publishing company Freedom Press, said at a news conference.

The petroleum-derived chemical is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a probable human carcinogen, and the National Toxicology Program considers it a known animal carcinogen, according to the Environmental Working Group, which also took part in the news conference.

In 2000, the Food and Drug Administration recommended that cosmetic companies limit the concentration of 1,4-dioxane in products to 10 parts per million. But the FDA does not regulate cosmetics, leaving companies to monitor the safety of their products on a voluntary basis.

Steinman said a study he commissioned from the West Coast Analytical Service lab in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., showed that Hello Kitty Bubble Bath, made by Kid Care, contained 12.3 ppm of 1,4-dioxane. Johnson’s Kids Shampoo Watermelon Explosion, made by Johnson and Johnson, contained the maximum recommended level of 10 ppm, he said.

In addition, two adult shampoos tested by the lab found twice the recommended level of the chemical, he said.

The Environmental Working Group, meanwhile, said it had conducted a computerized assessment of ingredients in 15,000 cosmetics and other personal care products which shows that 1,4-dioxane may be present in 57 percent of all baby soaps.

Iris Grossman, director of communications at Johnson and Johnson, said, “It’s important to stress that all our products are within the FDA limits.”

The chemical is typically a manufacturing by-product, which companies are not required to list on labels along with ingredients, said Grossman. “And our suppliers guarantee that (levels) are within the FDA limit,” she said.

At the news conference, medical experts said that bath products could be linked to other children’s health problems.

Research suggests a link between ingredients in common bath products and early puberty development in children, said Devra(cq) Davis, director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Children’s fast-paced growth rate and porous skin increases their susceptibility to toxins that can enter the bloodstream through the skin’s surface, Davis said.

Jeanne Rizzo, executive director of the Breast Cancer Fund, said that “an increased risk of breast cancer is linked to toxic exposure that occurs in the most vulnerable period of our lives.”

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HEALTH: Organic Diets Keep Kids Pesticide Free March 14, 2007

If you have children this is a must read. It is reprinted from The Washington Times.9/03/2006 at http://washtimes.com/upi/20060222-044543-1356r.htm

 

 

By CHRISTINE DELL’AMORE, UPI Consumer Health Correspondent, 22 Feb 06

Children who switched their diets for only a few days to organic foods dramatically and immediately lowered the amount of toxic pesticides in their bodies, researchers report.
Lead author Chensheng Lu of Emory University found that when kids eat organic foods, pesticides in their body plummet to undetectable levels — even when following the diet for only five days.
“An organic diet does provide protective measures for pesticide exposure in kids,” said Lu, who presented his research at a panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in
St. Louis. His study appeared in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.


Lu designed a novel intervention study by substituting organic foods into the diets of 23 elementary school children in the
Seattle area. All the kids, who were aged 3 to 11, had metabolites — or evidence of pesticides — in their urine at the study’s start. But as soon as they began eating organic foods, the concentration of metabolites dropped to essentially
zero. Once they returned to their conventional diet, the pesticides levels bounced back up.


Lu said he is confident that the pesticide reductions can be attributed to the kids’ diet, because the particular class of pesticides studied, called organophosphorus pesticides, or OPs, are not found in households. The kids ingested these pesticides from eating conventional foods, and not from playing in grass treated with chemicals, for example.


Lu and Fenske claim the health risks to children are still uncertain, although Lu points out that there’s no getting around the fact a pesticide is a neurotoxin. Since the chemicals disrupt enzymes in the brain which govern communication, exposure to pesticides could damage a child’s brain. These chemicals are developed, after all, to kill bugs by paralyzing or over-exciting their neurological systems.
“In terms of the impact of these low levels of chemicals on a regular basis in a developing organism — and that’s what a child’s neurological system is — this is extremely important that we try to understand this,” Fenske said.
The Environmental Protection Agency warns children may be sensitive to pesticides because their excretory systems are not developed enough to excrete pesticides, and that in relation to their body weight, kids eat and drink more than adults.
Currently, researchers are studying whether conditions like attention deficit disorder, lowered IQs, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease can be linked to early exposure to pesticides. Children are most vulnerable to pesticides from formation of the fetus up to 2 years of age.


Charles Benbrook, the chief scientist of The Organic Center, a Rhode Island-based nonprofit encouraging the widespread adoption of organic foods and processes, says there’s enough consensus to act now to rid agriculture of pesticides. He mentioned the work of Robin Whyatt at
Columbia University with pregnant women in New York. Whyatt found that birth weight and birth length is lower in children whose mothers were exposed to pesticides.
Benbrook said he was amazed at how fast and how significantly the urinary metabolites fell in Lu’s study participants.

Full article at http://washtimes.com/upi/20060222-044543-1356r.htm

 

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