Safe Baby Mama Publishes the Paraben and Phthalate Free Bath Care Cheat Sheet

The bloggers over at Safe Mama have published a handy-dandy Paraben and Phthalate Free Bath Care Cheat Sheet. They write:

One of the things that we’ve been frustrated with, here at Safe Mama, was what seemed like a lack of safe baby skin care products. Hence, the first version of the safemama-safe-skincare-cheatsheet. As we were searching we realized that there actually are a lot of really great products out there, and so we compiled as many of them as we could find, and put them all in one central location for our readers to peruse. A few things to note:

They recognize that it’s a work in progress, but it’s already pretty awesome. Click safemama-safe-skincare-cheatsheet1 to check it out. Your kids will thank you!

Chemicals Inside and Out, Part 1

I was ordering replacement cartridges the other night for our mega-water filter at 4 AM, post feeding, and found my way onto the site’s page of water filters for the shower. I said to myself: “The shower?!” Yes, the shower. During the course of the average shower, our skin absorbs approximately 8 cups of chlorinated water. 8 cups!! That’s bigger than my enormous measuring cup. Chlorine is so nasty that it can be used forterrorism. I do not want that on my skin! I realize that the chlorine in our drinking water is far from that chlorine, but it is still really bad for you.

Chlorine in drinking water has been linked to many kinds of cancer, specifically of the bladder and colon, by epidemiologists. Even more concerning than the chlorine itself are the compounds created by the chlorine during its reaction with other things in our water. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as taking the chlorine out of our water. The chlorine is an effective disinfectant, so it stays for now.

However, there are chemicals we don’t have to expose ourselves to. Bisphenol A (BPA) – a compound believed to cause early onset puberty in boys and girls and myriad cancers in lab rats – is a great example. In the past couple of days, we’ve been hearing some rumbling from domestic agencies about the potential harm caused by BPA.

The draft report by the National Toxicology Program signaled a turning point in the government’s position on bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical so ubiquitous in the United States that it has been detected in the urine of 93 percent of the population over 6 years of age.

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Hopefully, this NIH-sponsored program’s report will get the ball rolling towards a ban on BPA. The report alone won’t be enough because its official stance is that there is “some concern,” but nothing more serious than that. Check out the L.A. Time’s article for more on the report and BPA’s detrimental health effects, click here. (thanks to Z Recommends for this one).

The Canadians feel differently, though. (Why don’t we live there? Gay marriage, social medicine, a potential BPA ban). As the Globe and Mail pointed out, Canada is the first country to label BPA as “dangerous.” If Canada goes on to ban the substance after the (somewhat lengthy) review process, those of us in the U.S. will reap the benefits due to our participation in NAFTA. We shall see… in the meantime, get yourself some BPA-free stuff. Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid BPA altogether because it is in the lining of formula cans… for now at least.

For a quick guide to safe and unsafe plastics, click here.

Natural Health: Seawater spray cures kids colds-Czech researchers

Long have I been a fan of the Neti pot. If gargling with salt water works for a sore throat, why wouldn’t pouring salt water through your nose help with a sore nose (AKA a cold)?

In late January, a European study was released showing that:

A nasal spray made from Atlantic Ocean seawater eased wintertime cold symptoms faster and slowed cough and cold symptoms from returning among children ages 6 to 10. Click here to read more about it.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics have been talking about the possible risks associated with giving cold medicines to children under 2, and the possibility that they might be ineffective altogether in children under 6.

So, why risk using cold medicine if it, a, might not work, or b, might do harm?

Ocean water (saline) sprays are totally safe and totally natural. When prepared correctly, they have a balanced combinations of minerals and micronutrients, some of which might help combat colds. At the very least, the saline washes away mucous, pollution residue, and pollen, so it will likely make breathing easier and more pleasant. These sprays, and Neti pots, flush the sinuses, too. Granted this is anecdotal, I know a number of people who have used Neti pots as part of a regimen that halted years of sinus infections.

It is really important not use the salt in your kitchen to make one of these solutions. It just doesn’t have the same “juice” as the natural stuff. Luckily, the good stuff comes powdered in individual use packetsand handy-dandy booster. Allergy season is upon us, give it a whirl, and don’t forget to try it next cold season, too.