Archive for February, 2012

February 23, 2012

What’s Hiding in Your Cleaning Products?

Cleaning product companies tell you that to keep your home clean and smelling fresh, you need to rely on an army of cleaning and air care products. Sprays, wipes, powders, liquids and more are sold with the promise of improving your home and your health by removing dirt and germs. More often than not, these products are also infused with fragrance to add a pleasant sensory experience to your everyday chores and to give your home that “clean” and “fresh” smell of lemon or pine forests.

What companies are not telling you is that cleaning products can contain toxic chemicals that may harm your health. Manufacturers often recommend frequent and repeated use of their products, but this also translates to frequent and repeated exposures to potentially harmful chemicals. You may inhale these chemicals by breathing indoor air and some of them can be absorbed through the skin. Long-term exposures to certain chemicals found in household cleaners have been linked to serious health problems like pregnancy complications, breast cancer, birth defects, asthma and allergic reactions.

In this report, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) commissioned an independent laboratory to test twenty popular cleaning products for hidden toxic chemicals from five top companies: Clorox, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, SC Johnson and Son, and Sunshine Makers (Simple Green). Products tested included all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergents, dryer sheets, air fresheners, disinfectant sprays, and furniture polish. While previous reports by WVE (Household Hazards, 2007 and Disinfectant Overkill, 2009) examined the hazards of harmful chemicals whose presence had been disclosed by manufacturers, this report exposes toxic chemicals that companies are keeping secret from consumers.

What WVE Found

  • Some products contained reproductive toxins such as toluene and phthalates, carcinogens like 1,4-dioxane and chloroform, and a hormone disrupting synthetic musk.
  • Several known allergens were also detected in these products, the highest levels of which appeared in fragranced air fresheners.
  • Allergens were found in products marketed as fragrance-free.
  • None of these chemicals were listed on the product’s label.

This analysis represents a snapshot of the hidden chemicals found in popular cleaning products from five leading manufacturers. The results demonstrate that consumers do not have all of the ingredient information they need to select safe cleaning products. Consumers deserve to know what chemicals they are being exposed to, so that they can easily avoid products that may cause allergic reactions or serious long-term health impacts like cancer, birth defects, or infertility.

This report underscores the need for Congress to pass federal legislation that requires cleaning product manufacturers to disclose all the ingredients they use in their products directly on the product label.

Click here to see what’s hiding in brand-name cleaners.

Tell the Makers of Tide to Strip 1,4-Dioxane Out of Free & Gentle!

Reposted from WomensVoices.org

Make sure to stop in at Baum’s and check out our  all natural cleaning products free of 1,4-Dioxane and other harmful substances.

February 9, 2012

Why Would You Eat That?!

Because You Don’t Even Know it’s There…

You may have come across an article or heard the term “GMO” or “Genetically Modified Organism” mentioned on a news piece, but do you know what it is?  I think you should because genetically modified organisms have the potential to wipe out everything natural about our food supply!
A GMO is created when the DNA of different species is fused to form a type of plant or food that does not exist in nature or is not created by traditional cross-breeding. Foreign genes from one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal usually in a laboratory.
Why would someone do this? The major benefit of all commercial GMO’s is that they are bred to either tolerate direct application of herbicides and/or have the ability to produce their own pesticides. They have not been bred to  improve nutrition or to have any other benefit to the consumer. So at present they have no health benefit, their benefits are purely economic.

Are there fish genes in your tomatoes?

Traditional breeding makes it possible to mate a pig with a different pig to create a new variety of pig, the same goes with hybridizing different tomato seeds for example. But, can you fathom combining totally unrelated species such as plants and animals together? With genetic engineering scientists can now overcome the barriers established by nature and create traits that are almost impossible to achieve through natural processes such as cross-breeding or grafting. For example, they have spliced fish genes into tomatoes. Human genes into dairy cows so that they produce “human-like” milk!
It reminds me of the H.G. Wells novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau. The novel deals with a number of philosophical themes, including moral responsibility, and human interference with nature.

How Can You Tell if What You’re Buying is GMO?

It’s not easy, despite the fact that 80% of processed foods are believed to contain GMO’s. Political influence and money has prevented the passing of labeling laws even though 87% of Americans are in favor of labeling them and 53% would not eat GM foods.
This is in sharp contrast to most other developed nations around the world, where there are significant restrictions or outright bans on GMO’s.
By reading the PLU code (a set of numbers), you can tell if your produce was genetically modified, organically grown or produced with chemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides.

Here’s what to look for: Look for the labels (stickers) stuck on your fruits and veggies:

A four-digit number means it’s conventionally grown. (with chemicals)

A five-digit number beginning with 9 means it’s organic. (no chemicals)

A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it’s GM. (genetically modified & with chemicals)
The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board

How does this impact the environment?

Except for soy, which does not cross-pollinate, pollen from GM crops can contaminate nearby crops of the same kind. In Mexico for example, it has been found that almost all heritage varieties of corn have some contamination. In addition, studies are showing that pesticide producing crops (GMO crops) are contaminating nearby streams thereby affecting aquatic life too. Additionally, beneficial insects may be harmed too and super weeds are evolving as they develop resistance to herbicides. When that happens, more herbicide is used to try to control the weeds and any benefit of herbicide resistant crops is decreased or negated. There is little doubt that the long- term effects on the environment could be disastrous.
Many European and South American countries have outright banned Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds and crops. They don’t want the risk of having their heirloom crops being “infected” with the GMO species.  Meanwhile, millions of dollars are spent in this country by lobbyists, keeping GMO labeling off of American food packaging.  Would you eat it if you knew what it was?
Visit The Non-GMO Project at www.nongmoproject.org  for some advice on how to keep GMO’s out of your kitchen and how to get involved in getting labeling laws changed so people can know that they are buying something unnatural.
And, as always, call your senators and congressmen!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

February 2, 2012

How’s the Old Ticker Treating You?

Maybe I should ask, how are YOU treating your “old ticker?”  February is National Heart Month, so let’s take a look at some great heart-health tips for you and everyone who loves you!

“You’re getting older (25), it’s time to check your cholesterol. Oh, that’s too high, take this statin drug, it’ll bring it down and don’t forget to take it every day for the rest of your life.”  Cha-ching!

Statin drugs are sold primarily on the premise that they will save lives by lowering cholesterol levels, but in reality they have not convincingly demonstrated any ability to extend life in women, and they produce very little effect in men who show no clinical evidence of heart disease. Also, statins involve a significant risk of side effects.  So why are they prescribed so much? Great marketing! Annual sales of statin drugs alone exceeds 25 billion dollars. The statin “empire” is perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the modern drug industry.

Knowing that many of you who are reading this right now are taking a statin and/or a blood pressure pill, please be sure you are adding heart-healthy nutrients to your daily regimen. You heart needs extra nutritional support when drugs are involved.

CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) is A MUST for anyone who takes a statin!  CoQ10 supplies the spark that powers every cell in your body. Your heart muscle needs a lot of energy and when CoQ10 levels are low, so is energy and function in your cells. Statins block your body’s production of CoQ10 making supplementation essential.

Baum’s carries a variety of CoQ10 in different milligrams and sizes. One to Try: Solgar Nutri-Nano CoQ10 3.1x. It’s 3 times more absorbable!

Omega 3 Fatty Acids from either fish or flaxseed. Omega 3’s reduce inflammation and have been shown in studies to significantly reduce the risk of atherosclerosis in both men and women.

We love Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega!  No nasty fish burps! Super-clean natural triglyceride form fish oil!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.