February 18th, 2012 - Jill Ettinger
The FDA has named 400 popular lipstick shades as containing trace amounts of lead in a recent report issued in December 2011, with five of the top worst offenders being L’Oreal products.
Read More:Lethal Kisses: Major Lipstick Brands Found to Contain Lead
April 30th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Buy tickets for Disney’s Oceans, and you’ll see sobering footage of a shopping cart on the ocean floor—a sure sign of consumerism run amok.
This simple image conveys an incredibly important message: We’re destroying our environment. Climate change may garner more headlines, but ocean pollution remains a considerable concern.
What can you do to reduce your impact?
- Don’t Litter. Litter is a huge contributor to ocean pollution because it ends up in storm drains that eventually empty into rivers and streams. Even if you live miles away from the ocean, your litter will likely contribute to water pollution.
- Follow the Three R’s. How committed are you to the environmental mantra reduce, reuse, recycle? Your answer has a direct effect on the health of our oceans. Failure to embrace the three R’s leads to ocean pollution and mile-high landfills.
- Increase Your Sewage Awareness. Anything that goes down your dishwasher, washing machine, toilet and sink drains will eventually make its way into the ocean. This often leads to oxygen depletion that harms marine life, as well as nutrient loading, which occurs when excessive nitrogen and phosphorous are deposited into the ocean’s ecosystem. Sewage also increases ocean bacteria and parasites, creating a ripple effect that endangers the fishing and tourism industries.
- Understand the Dangers of Toxic Pollutants. Arguably, nothing is more detrimental to the world’s oceans than toxic pollutants, which have been linked to birth defects in wildlife and may contribute to cancer in humans. Lead and mercury collect in marine animals’ tissues, causing reproductive problems and nerve damage. World Wildlife Federation researchers have found that other wildlife, including polar bears and frogs, have experienced decreased fertility, thyroid dysfunction and demasculinization (in males)—a result of exposure to pesticides and industrial chemicals. Other toxic ocean pollutants include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are typically used to manufacture electrical equipment and have been known to cause reproduction problems in marine life. Genetic abnormalities have also been seen in marine animals exposed to polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are caused by burning wood and coal, as well as oil pollution.
- Participate in Community Cleanup Programs. Many seaside communities offer volunteer beach clean-up programs to keep their beaches clean and safe. By volunteering for such programs, you’re not only doing your part, but you’re also giving yourself an excuse to spend a day at the beach.
For Your Organic Bookshelf: The Culture of Flushing: A Social and Legal History of Sewage
Read More:5 Ways to Help Save Our Oceans
May 29th, 2009 - Leslie Billera
Relax! Lipstick makes you feel great – not sick.
Beware! Traces of lead, a neurotoxin found in some lipstick, accumulates over long periods of time in your body and can create adverse health effects.
What to believe?
Thanks to A Simple Smooch or a Toxic Smack, a recent New York Times article on the subject…that’s still unclear (with all due respect to the old gray lady and crack reporter Abby Ellin).
The piece quotes doctors like Dr. David Bellinger, who say simply “no level of lead exposure appears to be ‘safe;’” and still other doctors like Dr. Therese Bevers, who says “lead hasn’t been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer or other cancers.”
Need to know highlights from the piece include…
- One-third of 33 lipsticks had lead in excess of 0.1 parts per million, the federal limit for candy (according to research done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics)
- Worst offender #1: L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” lipstick (with a lead content of 0.65 parts per million)
- Worst offender #2: Cover Girl’s Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” (0.56 parts per million)
- Lead is typically found in the pigment of the reddest lipsticks
Price is not the Point
Wet and Wild Mega Colors “Cherry Blossom” contained no lead, whereas a $24 tube of Dior Addict “Postive Red” contained 0.21 parts per million.
How do you know?
The Times writes:
There are no F.D.A. standards limiting lead and other toxins in lipstick. The agency leaves it up to manufacturers to decide which safety and efficacy tests to perform on products. Cosmetics companies are required to list their “intended” ingredients on labels. But lead would be considered an “unintended” byproduct of the manufacturing process.
That sounds like a very convenient excuse for makeup manufacturers to me.
Be your own advocate – read up on the top personal care ingredients to avoid, and tap into www.cosmeticdatabase.com where ingredients of over 42,000 products are clearly listed. Only then can you pucker up with peace of mind.
Via: A Simple Smooch or a Toxic Smack
Read More:Lead in Lipstick?
January 12th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Last month, a 40-acre pond of coal ash from a local coal plant, containing dangerous heavy metals, like arsenic, lead, mercury and selenium, flooded a valley in eastern Tennessee. A retention wall broke.
And now, environmental experts worry drinking water around the area is unsafe. Test samples have revealed higher than acceptable levels of toxins, specifically arsenic.
But here’s the kicker. A new report claims hundreds of coal ash dumps in the United States, which can reach up 1,500 acres in size, lack federal regulation and proper monitoring.
Officials claim this could have prevented the spill in Tennessee.
Some believe the absence of regulation is due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s inaction on the issue, almost doing something in 2000, but buckling after the coal industry complained tighter controls would cost $5 billion a year.
Right now, each state handles the overseeing of coal waste, but environmental experts urge this is not enough. The EPA reported 63 sites in 26 states have water contaminated by coal dumps.
The ecological and health impacts of coal ash toxins are severe. In wildlife, it can cause tadpoles to be born without teeth and fish with spinal deformities and heightens the risk of cancer, birth defects and other health problems in humans.
Via The New York Times.
Read More:U.S. Coal Ash Dumps, Unregulated and Unmonitored