Friday, April 16, 2010

Tox Tip #1: Personal care product database

I just got off the phone with someone at Washington Toxics Coalition who was interviewing me for a report on two studies I participated in. One study, Early Exposures, involved collecting my urine and blood during my second trimester of pregnancy and answering questions about products I use, foods I eat, my job, etc. My urine and blood then were analyzed for bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates (plasticizers), flame retardants, mercury, and more. The second study hasn't been published yet and involved donating cans of food to have them tested for BPA.

After the Early Exposures study was released, the hard-working people at WTC were able to work with our state Department of Health and other health advocates to pass the Safe Baby Bottle Act in our state that now bans BPA in bottles. Yeah!

I learned a lot from this study and one of the most surprising things was that phthalates (plasticizers, pronounced "thal-ates") are intentionally added to some (not all) of our personal care products and nutritional supplements and you can't find out which ones by reading the label. For example, some time-release supplements use the phthalates to slow down absorption in the gut. Hmmm. Maybe the levels in the supplements are low enough that they don't harm us but if I can avoid that exposure, I will.

So here is my first ever toxic tip from your running-working-mom'ing-blogging toxicologist. It's not much of a tip (it's a LINK) but I think it could be useful. The person I spoke with on the phone today recommended this website:


It's a list of cosmetics compiled by the Environmental Working Group. The cosmetics are ranked by potential hazard posed by using the cosmetic. I'm not sure how in-depth the product reviews are but it might be worth checking out if you are curious about chemicals in your products. Maybe they'll make a phone app for this?

Ok - I'm off for a run! Another sunny day in Seattle...

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Back! Another successful trip around the Golf Course Loop (walk/jog). 3.3 miles, 41:20. Avg HR = 144, 69% of my max. Looking forward to when I can run the whole thing without needing to walk - I'm sore from Wednesday's trip around the loop!

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting link - thanks for posting it. Funny how all the low risk products on there were ones I had never heard of... all the big brands seemed to be mid to high risk.

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