.@EWG Finds Asbestos in @Disney @Nickelodeon Crayons?!? #BacktoSchool Essential Reading

When I learned that the Environmental Working Group had found asbestos in crayons and toys, I was terrified. Like most parents, I raised my kids on coloring books and crayons. Like most people, I thought asbestos was a thing of the past. But as I learned, asbestos is still legal–the carcinogen actually kills 15,000 Americans every year.

Sadly, the story on asbestos and kids is even scarier: Studies show that a child exposed to asbestos is 3.5 times more likely than an adult to develop mesothelioma, a lung disease caused only by asbestos. And with the new findings of asbestos in crayons and toys, this is a problem that affects all of us. Here are three things you can do about it: [Read more…]

What Are Phthalates? Nix Them in 3 Easy Steps

rubber duckCan a rubber ducky make your kids fat? A 2012 study found a connection between a chemical found in PVC and kids’ obesity: Children with the highest level of the common phthalate di-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in their blood were nearly five times as likely to be obese as children with the lowest levels.

But what are phthalates? These chemicals, also known as plasticizers, are used to soften plastic. (Want to know why that your old ball gets brittle? That’s because phthalates have leached out of it.) They also serve to help personal care products penetrate the skin, as well as preserve synthetic fragrances. [Read more…]