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Archive for May, 2008

Once upon a long time ago, my grandma had a dog named Tippy. Tippy was a little chihuahua and what she lacked in size she compensated for with “bark”. My dad wasn’t exactly fond of Tippy (I’m sure the feeling was mutual), but Grandma and I loved her to bits. She was a great little companion.

I haven’t thought of Tippy in years (she’s been gone for almost two decades), but we were at the movies today and this trailer came on…I think the girls and I will be going.

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This from GREENMOM:

Bye-bye Bisphenol-A
by Greenmom Monique Fabregas
Health Canada made it official yesterday, April 15th 2008 : Bisphenol-A or BPA is now formally designated as a dangerous substance and is well on its way (if not already) to being labeled a “dangerous and toxic chemical,” the use of which might very well be limited and monitored soon. The Globe and Mail reports that, “Although the government won’t announce specific bans or restrictions, the designation as dangerous could pave the way for the hormonally active chemical to be listed as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which would allow Health Minister Tony Clement to issue specific measures to curb its use.”
This is hopeful as it makes a future without bisphenol-A-laden products seem not
so distant anymore. Kudos to Environmental Defence for spearheading this
revolution! The Globe also reports that major retailers have announced that
they are taking off products that contain bisphenol-A off their shelves:

Hudson’s Bay Company & Zellers
Sport Check
Coast Mountain Sports
Athlete’s World

The first retailers in Canada to lead this “Bye-bye BPA” movement in their stores
are Mountain Equipment Co-op and Lululemon. “Bisphenol A, is a known hormone
disruptor and is associated with adverse health effects, including breast and
prostate cancer, early puberty in girls, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder,
and obesity.” (Environmental Defence). BPA is the key ingredient in polycarbonate
food and beverage containers – sometimes designated with the recycling
number #7 PC inside the triangle – a hard, clear or tinted plastic that is
essentially shatterproof. It is also used in the epoxy liners of food cans, and as
an antioxidant in plasticizers in #3 PVC plastics. The harmful chemical migrates
onto our food and drink smply through normal use – scratched and heated plastic
that contains bisphenol-A are particularly big leachers of the chemical.

Most at risk are young children, pregnant women and the babies they are
carrying, and puberty-age children. Until our government completely bans the
chemical and all products that contain BPA are completely off the market, we
can continue to take steps to protect ourselves and our families, and
to avoid the risk. As always, being armed with information continues to be
our strongest weapon.

  1. Know which products contain bisphenol-A and avoid them
    1. baby bottles – It is important to know too that when the bottles
      are heated, bispheol-A leaches faster into the milk that our babies and children
      would be drinking…up too 55x faster.

      1. Avent (HIGHEST level of leaching detected)
      2. Dr. Brown (HIGHEST level of leaching when heated)
      3. Playtex, Evenflo (clear & tinted)
      4. clear Gerber baby bottles
      5. Sassy MAM 3-step baby bottles
      6. The First Years baby bottles
      7. Tuppercare baby bottles
    2. sippy cups & drinking bottles
      1. Avent Soft Spout Training Cups
      2. Gerber’s Looney Tunes Spill-proof Cups
      3. Gerber Suzy’s Zoo Spill-proof Cups
      4. Playtex Cherub, Juice & Trainer Cups
      5. The First Years Peek-a-boo Cups
      6. Munchkin
      7. Nuby
      8. Nalgene drinking bottles & sippy cups
    3. infant liquid formula cans – The Environmental Working Group
      reports that makers of well-known formula brands all use bisphenol-A
      to line their formula cans.

      1. Nestle
      2. Similac
      3. Enfamil
      4. PBM
    4. 5-gallon water cooler bottles – another reason to forego bottled
      waters and choose filtered Toronto tap water. Always check the number
      of those giant bottles.
    5. juice containers & fruit cocktail containers – when food shopping
      for these items, always turn over the container and check the recycling number.
      If you see the telltale #7 PC, choose something else.
    6. food can liners – pretty much anything that comes in a can is
      suspect and unfortunately, the only way to find out is to buy the product,
      open the can, and to look inside it. When you see the coloured or white,
      slippery lining, you know it’s got BPA.
    7. disposable plastic cutlery & plastic food containers
      1. hard, clear plastic cutlery
      2. Intellivent plastic containers
      3. Tupperware Rock N Serve containers
    8. some #3 PVC plastic products – BPA might have been used in the manufacturing of these products
      1. PVC plastic juice bottles
      2. PVC plastic wraps and cling films
  2. Choose safer plastic alternatives
    1. baby bottles – bisphenol-A-free bottles are clearly labelled as
      such. Another alternative is glass bottles.

      1. Glass baby bottles
        1. Born-Free
        2. Evenflo
        3. Babylife
        4. Wee-go
        5. Nurture Pure
      2. bisphenol-A-free & phthalate-free baby bottles
        1. Born-Free
        2. Green to Grow
        3. Thinkbaby
        4. Medela
      3. Silicone nipples
        1. Born-Free
        2. Green to Grow
        3. Thinkbaby
        4. Playtex
        5. Gerber
    2. sippy cups and water bottles
      1. Klean Kanteen stainless steel bottles and sippy cups
      2. Born-Free
      3. Thinkbaby trainer cup
      4. The Safe Sippy
      5. Medela baby cups
      6. SIGG drinking bottles and sippy cups
      7. Thermos Foogoo
    3. infant formulas
      1. powdered formula are reduced-risk choices, reports
        The Environmental Working Group, because “only the metal tops and
        bottoms of their packages – not the cardboard sides – are metal and lined
        with BPA-based plastic.”

        1. Enfamil
        2. Similac
      2. be cautious of all kinds of formula that is sold in all-metal cans as
        their linings are likely BPA. Choose formula in safe plastic or cardboard containers.
    4. plastic food & beverage containers
      i. choose glass or stone food containers for your home
      ii. for packing food for yourself and your family, choose reusable
      plastic food containers with the #5 PP recycling symbol
      iii. same goes in the grocery store; always turn over products packaged in plastic
      and make sure they are in safe plastic containers #2, #4 or #5
      iv. #1 plastic is also safe but is for one-time use only and should never be re-used.
      A lot of plastic bottled water brands are in #1 plastic – best to bring your own reusable water bottles.
      v. never heat plastics in the microwave oven – even safe plastics. Avoid washing
      them in super hot water as well, and use only mild detergents.
  3. food wraps
    1. i. if you must use disposable food wrapping, it’s best to choose
      parchment paper
      ii. if food comes into contact with plastic wrap and you’re unsure about what
      kind of plastic it is, cut off all parts of the food that came into contact with the wrap.
      iii. Note that most deli cheeses, deli meats, sushi and other commercially-wrapped
      foods in the grocery store are most probably wrapped in PVC plastic wrap
  4. Help us urge the government to ban bisphenol-A altogether – Environmental Defence continues to lead consumer action against bisphenol-A. For more information about their Toxic Nation Campaign, visit www.toxicnationc.ca.
    1. sign the Toxic Nation petition – the goal is 7500 signatures. To date, there are 5791 signatures. Click on the link to add your name to this growing voice of concerned consumers! www.toxicnation.ca/go-toxic-free/petition
    2. support any rallies or campaigns – last November, Environmental Defence hosted a rally calling for our government to ban bisphenol-A. If you know of other such events in your neighbourhood, be a part of it!
  5. Tell your formula company to remove bisphenol-A from their cans – The Environmental Working Group lists the email addresses of formula companies that you can contact. Send them an email and urge your friends and family to do the same. Here is a list of the emails that EWG has compileD. Visit the Environmental Working Group website for more details.
    1. Earth’s Best consumerrelations@Hain-Celestial.com
    2. Enfamil EnfamilResourceCenter@Enfamil.com
    3. Isomil (online form only) http://rpdmail.com/?site=WAC_CU
    4. Nestle Good Start or Mam (online form only)
    5. www.verybestbaby.com/Public/ContactUs.aspx

    6. ProSobee EnfamilResourceCenter@Enfamil.com
    7. Similac http://rpdmail.com/?site=WAC_CU
    8. Bright Beginnings (produces many generic and store brands) info@brightbeginnings.com
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BE the change that we want to see in the world.

~ Monique Fabregas

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My backyardWhen we bought our house here in Yellowknife, we knew there were plans to develop the neighborhood and that we’d be losing our fabulous backyard. We’d hoped though, that the developers would see all that sloping rock as too cost prohibitive and that they’d scrap the plans and we’d forever be free to play in the wilderness that stretches back from our deck.

No such luck. 😦

Phase VII of the Niven Lake Development is underway and they are drilling and blasting and the dust is flying. It’s an interesting process to see them “sculpt” the land in this manner, but still it’s disconcerting. Not only because the blasting shakes the entire house, but because we know the landscape is being changed forever.

On a lighter note, though we’re dipping down into negative temperatures each night, spring has definitely arrived and we are REALLY enjoying the warmer weather. It’s so nice to be able to go out without having layers and layers of clothing on!

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Twin Otter… note the skis for landing on ice and snow.

BH with one of the Twin Otters in the background.

A glacier moving between the mountains.

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