Monday, June 01, 2009

Skin Deep

Skin Deep is a guide to cosmetic products compiled by the Environmental Working Group. It gives a score out of 10 for most body, cosmetic, baby, dental and perfume products on the market, so you can know the toxic burden of the stuff you use. It isn't the easiest site to navigate (long lists that you have to sift through a bit), but its rating system is good and easy to understand. When you click on a product, it gives you a run-down of all of its ingredients, how harmful they are, and what the potential effects are. I am not aware of a better, more complete database.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hair Dye Dangers

- Researchers at the US National Cancer Institute estimate that 20% of all non-Hodgkins lymphoma cases in women are due to their use of permanent and semi-permanent commercial hair dyes (NHL is the disease Jackie Onassis died of). Also, the Institute found that commercial dyes also cause Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma. All three diseases are types of cancer, and seem to be more common in those who use darker dyes (Sources: American Journal of Public Health and the American Journal of Epidemiology).

- Use of hair dye is associated with breast cancer (Sources: New York State Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and The Lancet).

- Use of and exposure to hair dyes leads to bladder cancers (Sources: International Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Epidemiology, and the National Institutes of Health International Conference on Women's Health).

- Women who use hair dye just prior to conception or during pregnancy will have children whose risk of childhood cancers is up to 10 times higher than if no dye was used. (Sources: Cancer Research and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Theo Colborn's Suggestions

This is a few months late (I blame my laziness on hormone disruptors!), but here are some suggestions Theo gave us when my class teleconferenced with her in November.

For women who are wanting to get pregnant, are pregnant, or just gave birth:
-Avoid packaged food as much as you can, eat whole foods instead.
-Do not use microwaves (especially, do not heat up plastic containers)
-Don't get pregnant while on the birth control pill (as there are obviously high levels of synthetic hormones in them)
-Go off of the pill for 6-9 months before getting pregnant, to allow the body's hormones to return to normal levels.
-Eat organic meats, wild fish.
-Don't renovate anything yourself (paint, refinish furniture), or be around renovations.
-A couple of months after the first child is born, pump breast milk and throw it away. This will greatly lessen the total amount of chemicals in the woman's body that the second child will be exposed to.
-Avoid soy products, since soy is a natural endocrine disruptor (babies exposed to soy in the womb have higher rates of thyroid problems than those not exposed).
-Be aware of any new products, since endocrine disruptors are present in paper, clothing, glass, etc.
-Don't use sunscreen; cover up instead.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Toxic Sperm

Some members of my Global Science and Tech class (Amy, Eve, and Eric) found this awesome Greenpeace commercial that spoofs on Woody Allen's classic film Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* *but were afraid to ask.

Go to:

It's a hilarious, and sadly accurate, depiction of the effects of endocrine disruptors on the human reproductive system. As mentioned in previous posts, EDs have been linked to decreasing sperm count in men all over the world, as well as the fact that the sperm men do produce have more incidents of mutations and are not as healthy as sperm studied 50 years ago.

Safer Cars

I found a great website that rates cars by their toxicity. Given that the entire interior of a car is all plastics and fabrics, it is no shock that this raises the level of human exposure to endocrine disruptors. Go to to find out the rating for your car, especially if you are thinking about buying a new one. This is a safety concern right up there with air bags and crash star ratings.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

How Polluted Are You???

An interesting little quiz to take. I scored 246/794, which is low. Here's hoping you do to.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Letter to Stephen Harper

There was an article in the Globe and Mail today about how a group of 700 scientists sent a letter to Prime Minister Harper to encourage him to update environmental laws to protect us from hormone disrupting chemicals.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


The October edition of National Geographic had an article entitled "The Chemicals Within Us", which talked about all of the unknown chemicals that enter and stay in our bodies for decades. While the actual magazine article is better (due to pictures), here is the article on the NG website.

Also, on November 8, I get to be part of a phone conference with Theo Colburn. She is like the Dalai Lama of hormone disruptors, since she was one of the pioneers of research on it, and is one of the most outspoken educators. Needless to say, I was elated when I learned my International Environmental Policy class was going to talk to her. She's the one who co-wrote Our Stolen Future, which i have as a link on this blog. Anyway, if you have ANY questions at all about xenoestrogens, I can ask her for you. There are already a few questions I have for her. Either email me or leave your question in the comments section. This lady is amazing, so now is the time to have any questions answered.