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.