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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Air Quality in Cars: Ventilate your Car – Roll down the Windows!

July 9, 2013 3 comments

Love the smell of a new car?  Before you take another deep breath, before you buckle in your newborn baby, or before you tell your kids to get in the car, think about the chemicals they will be breathing in and absorbing into their bodies.  The air quality in a car that has been “baking” in the sun (especially during the hot summer) will always be far worse than the air you breathe outside.

Air Quality in Cars

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Does BPA free or Phthalates free mean it’s Safe?

December 20, 2012 2 comments

BPA Free does not mean Safe

We have seen numerous ads ranging from plastic baby bottles to plastic containers claiming that they are BPA free and phthalates free.  Although this may be a good sign, it is definitely misleading to the consumer.  The real question that should be in the minds of consumers is this: Do plastic products advertising that they are BPA free or phthalates free mean that they are also “safe” from hormonal activity? Read more…

My Bottled Water Tastes Like Plastic

December 10, 2012 11 comments

Have you ever opened a brand of bottled water that you normally drink and found on a particular occasion that it tasted like plastic?

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Are Optical Brighteners in Baby’s Clothing Safe?

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Cloth diaper, hand mitts and handkerchiefs glowing due to FWAs under black light.

There has been an increasing boom for the use of cloth diapers for our babies.  The main reasons behind this movement is due to environmental reasons, for the health of our babies and for some economic reasons.  The average baby may use up to 3000 to 4000 disposable diapers in their first two years of life.   Converting this to money at a price of 25 cents per diaper leads to about 750~ 1000 dollars.  There are some arguments on both sides whether cloth diapering is truly economical considering that cloth diapering requires a little more dedication in washing the cloth diapers which in turn require the mother’s/father’s time; expenses for detergents, water, electricity/gas for the washing machine etc.  A few also have arguments in the carbon footprints section but we will leave that up to the other pundits and focus on safety. Read more…

FWAs – a Gateway to other Clothing Chemicals

May 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Fluorescent Whitening Agents (FWAs) also known as “optical brighteners” are gateways to other clothing chemicals as cigarette smoking a gateway to illegal drug use.  FWAs are not biodegradable and relatively non-toxic compared to other more harmful chemicals that are used prior to the processing of fabrics and clothes.

This post will be dedicated to help consumers identify clothes which contain flourescent whitening agents (FWAs).  Identifying FWAs are the easiest method for consumers to determine whether the clothes you buy are truly organic or not.  Secondly, there is high probability that if FWAs are used, then other chemicals have been used in making your clothes.  Consumers cannot determine from just the outside appearance whether clothes have been treated with other chemicals such as formaldehyde, perfluorooctace sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), bromines, other chemical processes and finishes.  Determination of those chemicals require a much more expensive and sophisticated machinery. Read more…

Organic Clothing vs. Optical Brighteners and other Chemicals

May 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Advances in the textile industry ranges from the types of fibers used, types of weave, all the way to the advances in color dyes and chemicals used to enhance the product.  Thanks to the consumers, many large manufacturers have pursued the “buy the book by its cover” mentality and continued to put forth great products on the market.  But are you aware of the “wolf in sheep’s clothing”? Read more…

Not all detergents are created equal!

May 4, 2011 1 comment

There are many laundry detergents on the market.  Some brands we are all familiar with are Tide, Cheer, All, Arm & Hammer and so on.  But do they all clean cleanly?  Definition of clean from Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “clean” (used as an adjective) as free from dirt or pollution.  “Clean” (used as a verb) means to rid of dirt, impurities, or extraneous matter.

Basically there are 4 main areas of concern where the definition of  “clean” is in conflict with detergents:

  1. Fragrances  – are chemicals added to the clothe fibers to emit a scent.
  2. Dyes – adds a slight color to clothes enhancing the brightness.  According to the EPA, “Studies indicate that certain colorants may cause cancer or other adverse health effects in humans.”
  3. Enzymes – aids in the digestion of organic matter thus speeding up the cleaning process. However it may cause irritation of the skin, especially in the baby, when the enzyme have not completely washed off the clothes.
  4. Brighteners – FWAs acts almost as a “permanent” dye on the clothes.  It works by binding to the fibers of the cloths and reflects the blue portion of the light spectrum.  It is evident with the use of a UV lamp (black light) thus the flourescent blue glow.  This reflection of the blue light creates a masking effect ultimately making whites whiter and colors brighter. Read more…