Berkeley Researchers Test Toxic Beauty Detox

There’s so much gloom and doom in the story about beauty products. From the “Stink!” documentary’s exploration of the “fragrance loophole” to tests that found lead in 60% of lipsticks (yes, really) getting ready is like walking through a haunted house: fear at every turn. My thought process tends to go something like… This sample mascara is amazing, but is the company that makes it is hiding mercury in the formula? I love my new deodorant, but am I dousing my lymph nodes with cancer-causing chemicals?  I’ve swapped out hair dye for henna and greened my makeup routine, but the fear of hidden chemicals means sometimes I feel like hiding my (unwashed) head under a rock, rather than further subjecting it to another toxic product stew. Which is why a new study has me pretty excited… [Read more…]

Mommy Greenest Guide to Natural Sex

natural sex guideIt’s probably the most hush-hush subject on the planet, but when it comes to natural sex, we should all be talking about it more. Because although natural sex is the goal for so many of us, the… ahem… tools that we use to get it couldn’t be more unnatural: Hormone-disrupting phthalates and off-gassing VOCs abound! Use this guide to get some more natural sex. [Read more…]

@Lowes Follows @HomeDepot #Phthalates Phaseout

Another one bites the toxic dust: Lowe’s, America’s second-largest home improvement retailer, today announced that the chain will phase out hormone-disrupting phthalates in flooring by the end of 2015, following the lead set by Home Depot last month. Lowe’s is on a roll: Last month they announced stores would begin a four-year phase out of bee-killing neonicotinoids–aka “neonic”–pesticides, which have been linked to colony collapse disorder. My takeaway from all this? Consumer activism works! [Read more…]

Safety Watchdog Wants #Phthalates Banned 4 Kids

Phthalates may be on their way out. Home Depot recently announced it will phase phthalates out of flooring, and now the Consumer Safety Product Commission has proposed a ban on some of the most toxic phthalates in children’s toys and products. While you wait for the final bell to toll on these toxic chemicals–which soften plastics and stabilize artificial fragrances–here’s what you need to know. [Read more…]

Hey @HomeDepot, No More #Phthalates!

Well this is good news: Home Depot is nixing phthalates in vinyl flooring. Why is this important? Banned in kids’ products since 2008, phthalates are endocrine disruptors that have been linked to birth defects, learning disabilities and obesity, among other problems. Home Depot company is the world’s largest buyer of building products; when they say no to phthalates, you can be sure other chains will follow. [Read more…]

Mommy Greenest Eco Rules

teenaged boy wearing jeans with bare feet up on couchRemember that house, back in high school? It wasn’t your house, but you felt comfortable enough to put your feet up on the furniture. It wasn’t your mom, but you talked to her sometimes about what was going on in your life. Sometimes an afternoon turned into dinner turned into movie night with the family. You knew where they kept the cereal, and got your own bowl.

That’s my house.

It could be because my kids are well-liked and well-adjusted—or it could be that we’re a three-block walk from the mall. But most afternoons, the doorbell rings and a gaggle of teenagers troops in. By evening, there are boys playing guitar in my son’s room, and girls practicing dance routines in my daughter’s. My little one runs between, pestering both.

It does get loud, but I love having a full house. What I don’t love, however, is how with other kids around my own forget the eco rules I’ve taught them. I try to keep my reminders light, but at the end of the day I’m nagging—both my own and somebody else’s kids. These are my eco rule pet peeves! [Read more…]

Early Puberty? 6 Steps to Protect Your Kids

Molly Ringwald in "Pretty in Pink" movieRemember all those John Hughes movies filled with drama and teenaged angst? Beginning at about age nine, my daughter became Molly Ringwald four days out of the month. Sobbing frenzies predicated by a far-flung brush and “I hate my hair!” A room full of clothes and nothing to wear. Crying jags over misunderstandings.

But studies have me wondering if this monthly moodiness might have something to do with hormones.

Is this early puberty? [Read more…]

Does Natural Hair Color Really Work?

brunette girl dying her hair with rubber glovesAfter a flirtation with auburn hair color in high school and some serious bleach in college, I went au naturale. But recently, the few-and-far-between white hairs that I began to pluck in my mid-30s are now threatening to become a bald spot if I keep up the practice.

It’s time for natural hair color.

Natural hair colors typically eschew coal tar, peroxide, benzene, ammonia, toluene, paraphenylenediamine and other toxic chemicals omnipresent in conventional hair dyes—things that I most definitely want to avoid.

Even the FDA warns that conventional hair dyes can cause respiratory problems, hair loss and skin irritation—among other problems. [Read more…]