Don't toy with your child's health. The site HealthyToys.org has tested more than 1,500 toys and children’s products for lead, cadmium, arsenic, PVC, and other harmful chemicals and posted the results. While lilsugar reader's voted the new lead testing laws for 2009 to be too extreme, the site found that one in three toys tested were found to contain "medium" or "high" levels of chemicals of concern. To see where your tot's toys fall, you can search items individually or just check out the site's best and worst toys for a more general list.
A lot of you have been concerned about the claim that many lipsticks contain lead, a harmful neurotoxin. The more I researched the issue, the more torn I became. On the one hand, cosmetics would ideally be completely lead-free. On the other, we're all exposed to larger quantities of harmful chemicals in our day-to-day lives; and since people don't generally ingest lipstick except in trace amounts, I decided that the risk was reasonably small.
Now, the New York Times has weighed in, and the results will relieve those of you who have been worried: "Studies have found that lead in lipstick is not a cause for concern, but research is continuing." For now, I think it's safe to keep using lipstick—but if you really want to be on the safe side, try an all-natural brand such as Josie Maran or Sukicolor.
In case you haven't heard yet, your lipstick could contain high levels of lead. Why is lead so bad, you might ask? Small amounts of
daily lead exposure can add up, and no amount or lead, no matter how small, is considered safe. Lead can affect your nervous system, increase your blood pressure, and can cause anemia. It can also cause damage to the kidneys and the brain. Pregnant women may suffer a miscarriage from lead exposure, and men may experience damage to their sexual organs.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics wanted to test lipsticks for lead levels, since small amounts get ingested when you wear them. They collected 33 brand-name lipsticks from four random cities including Boston, Hartford (Connecticut), San Francisco and Minneapolis. So what did they discover? To find out read more
A few of you have written me today, concerned about the claim that lipsticks are laced with lead. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested many lipsticks to detect the presence of lead, which can cause learning, language and behavioral problems as well as infertility. The story's findings:
- More than half of 33 brand-name lipsticks tested (61 percent) contained detectable levels of lead, with levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm). None of these lipsticks listed lead as an ingredient.
- One-third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy – a standard established to protect children from directly ingesting lead.
Lipsticks with the highest amounts of detectable lead included L’Oreal Colour Riche in True Red and Classic Wine; Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor in Maximum Red; and Christian Dior Addict in Positive Red. For more on the story, and what you can do about lead in lipstick, read more
Wal-mart voluntarily recalled baby bibs from its stores in Illinois after the products tested positive for high levels of lead. I'm sorry - isn't lead poisonous to people, especially little babes?
The bibs, made by Hamco Inc., are labeled under the Baby Connection brand name, in packs of 2-7, with embroidered prints or images of Sesame Street characters. The Illinois attorney general’s office identified the bibs as being sold from June 2004 to the end of March this year in Wal-Mart stores throughout the state.
The vinyl material on some of these bibs may contain lead in excess of the limit for Illinois for products intended to be used by children. Of the 60,000 bibs sold, fortunately no injuries have been reported. Check this website for specific types of bibs that are involved in the recall.
Those who purchased the bibs in Illinois can return them to their local Wal-Mart for a full refund or can receive a free replacement by calling (877) 373-3812 between 9 am and 5 pm Central time.
Fit's Tips: Vinyl bibs are great for babies, for easy clean-up, but they add lead to them to make the vinyl softer. I had no idea. I guess we should stick to cloth bibs.
All these years I have been cooking with cold water because I was under the impression (damn you, 5th grade science teacher) that cold water boiled faster than hot water. I have no idea why I was told that, or why I believed it for that matter but I did. The truth is, cold water does not boil faster than warm water, but that is beside the point.
So should we all be cooking with warm water to speed up the process? Think again. Never cook with or consume water from the hot-water tap. This is because hot water dissolves more lead more quickly than cold water, which means you may be consuming more lead than you should be. Houses built before 1986 are the most likely to have lead parts, however even plumbing legally considered lead-free today may contain up to 8 percent lead. While copper pipes replaced lead ones decades ago, fusing pipes with lead was legal until 1991.
Why does it matter? Well, too much lead in the body can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system and red blood cells (it's especially bad for pregnant women and children). So the EPA recommends that you do not use water taken from the hot tap for cooking or drinking, and especially not for making baby formula. If you need hot water, draw water from the cold tap and heat it on the stove. Anytime a faucet hasn't been used for at least six hours, "flush" all the water that has been sitting in the pipes. This could take anywhere from 5 seconds to 2 minutes. When the water stops getting colder, it is "flushed."