Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chemicals detected in Cord Blood

BPA Invades the Womb

December 2, 2009

By Elaine Shannon

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the outcry over Rachel Carson's path-breaking Silent Spring and global mobilization around the first Earth Day spurred scientists to attempt to quantify how much pollution was getting into people. Early methods -- measuring contaminants in water, air and soil, constructing mathematical models, analyzing lifestyles -- were roundabout and ultimately unsatisfying.

Well, no more guesswork and no more denials. Biomonitoring techniques -- testing blood, urine and human tissue -- are producing irrefutable evidence that human bodies are awash in toxic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

This week, a newly published laboratory analysis of 10 umbilical cord blood samples, commissioned by Environmental Working Group and Rachel's (as in Carson) Network, an organization of grassroots advocates, offers sobering new insights on the extent to which environmental pollutants are inescapable, even in the womb.

The 10 samples, from children born between December 2007 and June 2008, in Michigan, Florida, Massachusetts, California and Wisconsin, were randomly selected from a cord blood bank. The only stipulation: all 10 are of racial or ethnic minority descent, because EWG and Rachel's Network want to make sure that minorities are considered as various biomonitoring studies construct a mosaic of the "human toxome," the pollution in people.

EWG asked five laboratories with international standing to look for 383 chemicals. They found up to 232 of them. That's a big number. It's troubling that many substances detected, like lead and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), have been banned or heavily restricted for decades.

But other chemicals are dangerous, ubiquitous and mostly unregulated, except for huge spills and on-the-job exposures. These are the targets of current debates over U.S. toxic chemicals policy:

Bisphenol A (BPA), an integral ingredient of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, also a synthetic estrogen, found in 9 of 10 samples. First reported U.S. finding of BPA in cord blood. The federal Food and Drug Administration is contemplating banning BPA in food containers. A few states have already barred BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups and a few other children's items. Many others are considering legislation, as is the U.S. Congress.

Perchlorate, a rocket fuel component and widespread water pollutant that disrupts thyroid function key to brain development, found in 9 of 10 samples. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is weighing proposals to regulate the chemical in drinking water, effectively forcing an expensive clean-up at Cold War-era missile and rocket test sites and chemical storage facilities. Defense and aerospace contractors are lobbying against such a move.

Tonalide and Galaoxolide, synthetic musk fragrances in cosmetics, detergents, soap and other scented household items, found in 7 of 10 samples. Health risks are unknown, but because the chemicals are widely detected in people and aquatic environments, health advocates such as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are urging disclosure, rigorous testing and regulation of ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products.

In all, EWG's 11 biomonitoring investigations have detected 414 industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in 186 people of all ages. These findings help answer the "what's out there" question. They may also guide scientists and government officials as they decide where to focus research and regulatory efforts. Clearly, contaminants found in utero warrant urgent assessment.

Want to know more about biomonitoring? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) biomonitoring program site offers a wealth of information. Especially interesting: an article entitled Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals, by CDC and academic scientists, that describes biomonitoring as the "gold standard for assessing people's exposure to pollution." You can download it at this link.

And so my question is why do they continue to try to make us believe that all of these things are okay, have no effect, the problems have been created in our heads. There is no global warming, what we do has no effect on the planet. How do these people sleep at night? Probably with chemical laden sleeping pills.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

What needs to be better?

Well let's start with just a few things I want to be better.
I want to be healthier for Little Miss and Chief.
I want to have more energy through better eating and I want to be an excellent example for my little girl.
I want to garden (successfully) and continue to expand a nice organic garden for my family over the years.
I want to make wonderful healthy recipes for my entire family.

Speaking of family, I want to have an open and welcoming home where family is always running in and out (tough for me because I love my private time). I want to host a family game night every month. I want to be thisclose to my sis-in-laws and enjoy all kinds of fun activities together. I want to be sexy and fun for my husband so that we can laugh our way into old age. I want to teach my daughter to respect the earth and all living things. I want to pirate a giant ship (you still with me?). I want to bring back what the world is missing; generous, caring, loving, accepting people who truly want to have everyone around them be happy and have a good (safe) time. I want to keep my home nice and tidy (as much as you can with a child. I want to make lovely gifts for people and be super thoughtful. I want to re-learn to crochet and learn to quilt. I want to start making things I used to make like jewelry, soap, bath goods, clothing and more. I want to do all of this...and still kick ass with or without taking names.

Friday, December 4, 2009


It is one heck of a chilly day around here, probably made worse by the fact that the furnace stopped working...AGAIN! It seems to go out on the first cold day of every winter, something about a sensor. I worked on it for 3 hours this morning while Little Miss attempted to help and then finally sat on the step with her dolly and completely gave up on having any fun with mommy (i.e. stealing the flashlight and trying to pull the wires out of the furnace). She is my little helper. Yesterday she helped me put screws into her new ride on pony, I mean really helped. What a good girl. She'll be working on furnaces in no time.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So, the Chief decided tonight that we should check out an old video of Little Miss. I was sort of indifferent to the idea until the video started. I don't even remember her being so little anymore, she was adorable and tiny and very round. My beautiful girl is growing up so fast. She's more gorgeous than ever and smart as a whip but I can't believe how the time has flown.
One of my girlfriends is pregnant now and we would love to have kids the same age but, I am enjoying my time with LM and I don't know if she's quite ready to welcome a brother or sister. Soon though, definitely soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I have changed the name of my blog from "Crafting a Natural Life" (still part of my goal) to "Be Better" because being better is what I'm all about right now. I'm resolving to be better. How many more years of must I spend wishing my life away. My wish to be better should change and be my life, not just a wish. So that is my resolve. I will be posting resolutions soon. I know resolutions are sort of crap but I will update here and maybe that will help.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night!
Little Miss was asleep after just a few bites of dinner. Guess that turkey really worked, maybe I'll serve it more often. ;-)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thoughts on the death of a friend & co-worker

I find it odd that I’m having such a strong reaction to his death. It was unexpected sure, but I guess I didn’t realize how much I liked him. Having worked with him I always knew that if the two of us were just hanging out in the bar we’d be great friends. Nice guy, salt of the earth and all of that. I’m sad for him, sad that he got treated like shit by our employer, forced into retirement and abandoned after 25 years (let that be a lesson about loyalty). I’m glad he had tons of friends, his restaurant and a nice family. He just realized how great the move from the employer was. Trying to get in better health, he had a massive heart attack at the gym. Wow. I’m not sure what to think. He worked all of his life and enjoyed retirement for almost two months. He probably hadn’t even kicked it into high gear yet, just thinking in a couple of months…or next year….

Lessons to be learned for sure:

Take care of your health, not later…NOW

Don’t slave away for any company but your own because they really don’t give a shit about you.

Be kind to people and tell everyone you love that you love them…always.

Don’t count on anything, tomorrow is not promised. Enjoy today.

Stuff doesn’t matter because you can’t take it with you.

Don’t spend your time with people you don’t like. Don’t spend your life doing something you hate.
Why work your life away to get more when you can have enough and spend time with those you love.
Devote yourself to leaving a legacy. Spend your time pursuing interests and really enjoying your life. Make the world a better place.
Do what you love. Life is VERY short, fleeting, a blip in time…make it count.

I think more and more that I shouldn’t keep spending all of my time in school searching for something that may not be there. I always thought that the only way to get ahead was school, but where am I getting ahead to? I don’t even have a final goal. I fear that I’m wasting time that I should be spending with my husband and daughter and could be used to pursue interests that would really develop into something I love.

And now I will indulge my love of quotes:

Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think. ~Chinese Proverb

Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you. ~Annie Dillard

Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways. ~Stephen Vincent Benét

To always be intending to live a new life, but never find time to set about it - this is as if a man should put off eating and drinking from one day to another till he be starved and destroyed. ~Walter Scott

To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions. ~William James

Why must conversions always come so late? Why do people always apologize to corpses? ~David Brin

Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live. ~Margaret Fuller

You live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted. ~Ruth E. Renkl

Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. ~Jean de La Bruyère

The question for each man is not what he would do if he had the means, time, influence, and educational advantages, but what he will do with the things he has. ~Hamilton

R.I.P. Ed, you were a good guy and you leave behind many people who love you.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quotes to Inspire

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return. Maya Angelou

On the eve of my 33rd birthday I am melancholy. As I've gotten older, my birthday eve has become a time for deep reflection. I am almost always a little disappointed that I have not accomplished the things in my life that I would like to have accomplished.

Quotes to Inspire

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return. Maya Angelou

On the eve of my 33rd birthday I am melancholy. As I've gotten older, my birthday eve has become a time for deep reflection. I am almost always a little disappointed that I have not accomplished the things in my life that I would like to have accomplished. It seems that I do a much better job of focusing on the things I have not accomplished than the things that I have. I think of my birthday as a sort of New Years Eve, a time for resolution, a time to move forward, set goals and become better.
This year I want to be a better and more patient mother, keep plugging away at my degree, eat healthier (this one is for the whole family) and work out harder. I want to sew more, read more, laugh more and spend more time playing in nature. I want to LIVE LIVE LIVE. I want my daughter to learn from me that life is fun and worth living to the fullest.
We are here for such a short time. You can't take it with you. I mean REALLY, I know we would like to be comfortable while we're here but you c-a-n-n-o-t take it with you. When you die there is no more fancy car, fancy clothes, fancy house. So does it pay to toil away your short wonderful life to obtain those things? I no longer think so. Is it worth a big fancy house for me to stick my daughter in daycare somewhere (that answer is no). Would I sacrifice my values for money? (again no)
So what is it that I want to do? I want to leave a mark, make this place better than when I got here. Save an animal, save a plant, save a life...or at least teach someone else to do it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Where to begin...

Where does one begin when they want to be a kick ass mommy, rock-star, yoga teacher, massage therapist, aerobics teacher, green consultant, crafter and blogger? Well, I'm not sure but I guess we're going to find out. I went to MT school and graduated in '01. I need to take the boards (I never did...sneaky me). I've been an aerobics instructor and I need to update that (not really a big deal except I'm REALLY out of shape right now).
I am so over being a secretary and I want to have a job that allows me to spend the maximum amount of time with my family.
It's rough because you know that you need to work and help the family but I see how my daughter is when I work too many hours (which is frequently requested of me) and it's not good. She's lonely and whiny and moody when I work too much, it makes me sad. I don't know how our society can possibly believe that it's okay for both parent's to work. I can see it in my daughter and I'm sure if other parents would slow down for a minute they could see it in their child too. Everyone says, "well, that's just the way it is" and "things aren't like they used to be". But why? I want to scream "WHY?" from the rooftops.
When did we decide it was okay to pull children from their family unit and place them in the care of strangers at 6 weeks old? If that is your plan, I'm not sure why you would bother to have a child. I know this is a strong statement but I feel strongly about it. You have a baby and place him or her in the care of someone else, work full-time, argue with the hubby about who will pick the kid up, rush home, make dinner and put the tot to bed, wake up and repeat. How much time do you even spend with your child? 2 hours a night? Is it quality? I've found that the answer to that is "no".
I'm not here just to whip folks about their lifestyle. I am here looking for solutions. We can do better. We should be with our children. It's against nature to leave your young. It's insanity and it's time to stop!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Men and Gift Bags

So yesterday I had a discussion with my lovely sister-in-law about her fiance attempting to get rid of her gift bag/tissue paper collection. I understood the horror completely as my husband has attempted the same to be met with cries of "we HAVE to recycle", "I keep them in the basement" and the one that appeals to him most "Do you know how much money I've saved in the last year because of these bags?" I should have kept a running total because I have saved a ton. See we have bags from our wedding, showers, bachelorette party, baby girl bags, baby shower bags, birthday bags and Christmas bags. I throw out no bag. It was only last year that I started carefully folding and storing tissue paper. At every party involving our family someone (a little too soon after a gift being opened) yells "you gonna keep the bag?" We don't care what was in it. We want gold...gift bag gold. So sister bag keepers unite, for we are the savers of the money and the planet!
I will be posting bag photos, honestly my collection is not that bad but it sure comes in handy.

New Bloggeritis

So I think I have new bloggeritis, self-diagnosed. Filled with anxiety (am I good enough), fear (will they like me) and excitement (I have so much to say, every thought turns into a blog).
One thing I was thinking about is the fact that I am attempting to blog about an area that I am still developing, my natural, crafty and organic self. I'm not totally new to these things, just an eternal work in progress.
My latest read (from the library of course) is "Gorgeously Green" by Sophie Uliano. I'm so excited to start, I'll let you know how it goes. With a toddler in the house it's rough to find reading time. All of these wonderful women blog about reading, making jam, crocheting and doing yoga while raising 5 kids...I have no clue how they do it. If you do it, please write a blog for me to read (then write a book and make a movie) and shout it from the mountain tops.

Begin at the beginning...

I am so excited to begin this blogging journey. I am a lifelong learner, always interested in learning more about everything. I can't fixate on any one thing. I love my family, sewing, crafting, cooking, relaxing and researching everything!
I have not really found my career "path" because too many things interest me. I have done everything from work on a barge (my first job) to massage therapy.
My daughter has brought insane joy to my life. My lifelong pessimism is gone. I want the very best for her in everything.
I am interested in homeschooling and I have been researching Waldorf and Montessori educational systems. I hope to make this a regular blog and a fun journey.