Tag Archive for 'BPA'

Weekly Highlights (4/3/2012) – FDA Says No to BPA Ban and GMO Labeling

Welcome to this week’s highlights, our weekly post that recaps important health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great finds we’ve come across in our internet travels.  If you see anything you think we should feature, please send it to jasmine@purebebe.com. Thanks, and we hope your week is off to a great start!   - Jasmine

In the News:

Ban on BPA? FDA Says No - In a truly disappointing but not surprising decision, the FDA will not place a ban on BPA in food packaging, citing a lack of sufficient scientific evidence to support the ban.

Despite the FDA decision, the FDA has not changed its position that it holds “some concern” over the effects of BPA in children, and the government is currently funding $30 million to conduct additional studies.

FDA Responds to GMO Label Petition - In yet another truly disappointing and, again, not surprising decision, the FDA has decided it needs more time to consider labeling of genetically-modified foods.

While no one should be surprised by the decision, much controversy has arisen over the petition as the FDA has severely discounted the number of responses it received. While the Just Label It organizers say the petition garnered over a million signatures, more than any petition submitted to the FDA in history, the FDA says it has officially received a measly 394.

Some say the FDA has deleted signatures, however I suspect that is not the case. The FDA’s official rules require signatures to be submitted individually via their regulations.gov website in order to be counted. Because the website is difficult to navigate, Just Label It organizers collected and accumulated signatures on their website before submitting them to the FDA.

While each submission may have contained over thousands of signatures, each submission counts as just 1. Ultimately, it is just semantics. The FDA has to understand that there is overwhelming support for labeling GMOs. The question is just if and when they will act.

Alicia Silverstone Premasticates Her Child’s Food - Not long after celebrity Alicia Silverstone posted the video below to her blog, intense criticism ensued for her method of feeding her child.

While I admit I was a bit puzzled when I saw the video myself, I was more intrigued when I discovered that the idea of premastication is actually used in some cultures to promote infant health as it gives baby access to nutrients from foods they cannot chew and promotes immunity through antibodies received in the mother’s saliva.

While some experts express concern over the possibility of spreading disease such as HIV and tooth decay, it depends in large part on the health of the mother and child. And other experts have expressed more concern that the practice is dwindling in some poorer societies where it may be critical to the child’s health.

Hmm, you learn something new every day.

New Research:

CDC: New High in Autism Rates
The CDC’s latest analysis reports that about 1 in 88 children in the U.S. experience autism or a related disorder, nearly double the rate 10 years ago with cases in boys outnumbering girls 5 to 1.

The report analyzed data from 2008 in 14 states, and found rates much higher in some states like Utah; however, increased awareness and access to services are cited as likely factors in those states.

In fact, increased awareness and better diagnoses are cited as major factors in general for the rise, but recent research also points to environmental factors as a possible contributor.

Pinpointing the environmental culprit, however, seems next to impossible when we’re exposed to a veritable soup of chemicals daily. Two large studies funded by the National Institutes of Health are hoping to do just that, though, by examining everything from what mother eats during pregnancy to toxins in the home.

Ultimately, earlier diagnosis is needed. The earlier a child is diagnosed and gets help, the better their chances are for reaching their full potential.

Babies Take Longer to Come Out Than They Did in Grandma’s Day
A comparison of nearly 140,000 births found that first-time mothers today labor longer than they did fifty years ago, about 2 1/2 hours on average. The reason for longer labor is not entirely clear, but today’s mothers are older, delivering larger babies,  and more likely to use epidural anesthesia. Epidurals can prolong labor anywhere from 40 to 90 minutes.

The more striking implication is that OB’s today may be rushing to C-sections based on an out-of-date expectation as to how long a “normal” labor should take. OB’s today still rely on a definition of normal labor that was defined back in the 50′s.

Good Reads:

Weekend Detox For Your Home from Houzz - Some easy steps you can take to green your home and improve your health. Now that spring is in the air, I love the idea of completely unplugging on a Friday night after a long week at work and getting outside, and then waking up Saturday to open the windows and freshen the air.

Pinterest-Worthy Finds:

I came across this image this week as I am working to rearrange and redecorate my family’s home office/playroom. I love this arrangement that creates a fantastic workspace for the entire family. These stools are a little high for young ones, but the concept still applies. As our family grows, I want us to have a place where we can all be together as we do homework, pay bills, blog, etc.

I’m sure something like this could be a reasonable DIY project - cube bookshelves could be used to form the bases. I’d probably choose to use planks of wood for the surface and sand them down as opposed to plywood or other large particle board which often uses formaldehyde-based adhesives to bind.

If you’d like to follow us on Pinterest, find us here.

Recalls, March 27 – April 3:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

 

Weekly Highlights (3/26/12) – Health & Safety News, Research, & Recalls

Welcome to this week’s highlights, our weekly post that recaps important health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great finds we’ve come across in our internet travels.  If you see anything you think we should feature, please send it to jasmine@purebebe.com. Thanks, and we hope your week is off to a great start!   - Jasmine

In the News:

Help for Postpartum DepressionThe nation’s first inpatient unit for moms who suffer from postpartum depression at UNC Chapel Hill allows hospitalized moms to be with their babies, offers weekly therapy for mom and baby, as well as partner-assisted therapy for dad to learn how to be most helpful. The center has been open since August and sounds as if it has been a resounding success. If only more women could have access to this kind of therapy and support.

FDA to Decide on BPA by Week’s EndBy the end of this week, the FDA is set to take a position on BPA in food packaging in response to a court order after ignoring a petition by the National Resources Defense Council. We’ve seen more research emerging as of late showing effects at even low doses. I’m with the NRDC – we need to get BPA out of our food, but we also need to ensure a safe replacement.

Sugar Takes Corn Syrup to Court - Sugar producers are taking on corn refiners as they accuse the corn industry of false advertising in its latest campaign that argues corn syrup is “nutritionally the same as table sugar.” In fact, corn industry reps are hoping to change the name from “high fructose corn syrup” to “corn sugar” in an attempt to improve its image. Call it what you want, but ultimately our society needs to reduce its overall consumption of sugars and sweeteners if we’re going to have much impact on the obesity epidemic.

Maryland Senate Proposes Ban on Smoking in Cars with Young Children - After a lively debate on the Senate floor, the Maryland Senate voted to send a bill to the House that would ban smoking in cars with children under the age of 8. While many opponents argue the intrusion of privacy, the dangers of smoking are well-established and in this case, I think the pendulum swings in favor of protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

New Research:

Early Exposure to Germs Does a Body GoodSome scientists think they’ve figured out the key to the “hygiene hypothesis”, the hypothesis that exposure to germs at an early age helps build immunity whereas a super clean environment increases susceptibility to allergic and autoimmune diseases.

In a recent study, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital compared the immune systems of mice living in “germ-free” and normal environments and found that immune cells (invariant natural killer T cells) accumulated in the lungs and colon of the mice in germ-free environments and caused symptoms resembling asthma and colitis. When young mice were exposed to microbes during the first weeks of life (but not later as adults), on the other hand, they grew up with stronger immune systems protected from immune cell accumulation and disease.

The researchers caution that additional research in humans is needed, but the findings fall in line with years of research showing that exposure to microbes and parasites in childhood reduces the risk of autoimmune disease.

Good Reads:

Spring Cleaning: 11 Germ Traps to Clean Today – Some surprising recommendations you might not think about.

The 4 Questions Anyone Struggling with Work-Life Balance Should Ask – A refreshing point-of-view on the idea of work-life balance. Her dialogue sure helps me feel better about my inability to keep up with life sometimes.

Pinterest-Worthy Finds:

This week, we’re featuring pocket-size activities for your little ones – small enough to tuck away in your purse or diaper bag for a little entertainment on the go. The first feature comes from Made by Joel, an ingenious site that is full of DIY activities to do with your children. LOVE this site! I came across the second feature on Pinterest, and it comes to us from Etsy. I think I need to invest in some altoid tins. FYI – do a search for altoid tin crafts on google, and you’ll be amazed what else you might find.

Travel Size Paper City Paris! from Made by Joel

Wee Mouse Tin House PDF Pattern from mmmcrafts on Etsy

If you’d like to follow us on Pinterest, find us here.

Recalls, March 20 – March 26:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

 

Weekly Highlights (3/13/2012)

We hope you had a wonderful weekend. Welcome to this week’s highlights, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great finds we’ve come across in our internet travels.  Enjoy!

- Jasmine

In the News:

Campbells Eliminating BPA in Soup CansCampbells has announced intentions to remove BPA from its soup cans, though no clear plan or timeline yet exists.

Arsenic Testing Proves Organic Baby Formula Safe - The test results are in on Nature’s One Baby Formulas independent testing, with results showing levels of arsenic below global standards for rice-based foods for infants. The company’s press release cites flawed methodologies in the Dartmouth study, but leaves more questions than answers about the reliability of testing for arsenic in food.

Rise in Preschool Cavities Prompts Anesthesia Use - Dentists nationwide are seeing more preschoolers at all income levels with 6 to 10 cavities or more, often resulting in the need for general anesthesia in order to undergo extensive procedures. Yikes!

Pink Slime for School Lunch: Govt Buying 7M Pounds Ammonia-Treated Meat - McDonalds and other fast food joints have halted use of ammonia-treated meat made from beef scraps and connective tissue, otherwise known as pink slime, yet the government continues to use it in school lunches as a cost-saving measure. While the ammonia treatment is supposed to curb e coli and salmonella contamination, it doesn’t appear to be all that effective. Why is this acceptable? Read more about pink slime here.

70% of Ground Beef at Supermarkets Contains Pink Slime – Guess what? It may be in your grocery store meat as well.

Britax, Orbit Baby Commit to Phase Out Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Car Seats - Both manufacturers commit to remove hazardous flame retardants and PVC from children’s car seats.

New Research:

Study Highlights Dangers in Everyday Products – Even the “Green” Ones
A first-of-its-kind peer reviewed study published last week reveals that both conventional and green products from household cleaners to personal care products contained a number of chemicals of concern that were not disclosed on the label. Over 200 products in 50 categories were tested for 66 chemicals associated with either endocrine disruption or asthma, and 55 of the 66 were found – even in so-called “green” products. Sunscreens and fragrance products had the most target chemicals and some of the highest concentrations. The study has been criticized for its methodologies, and the researchers admit that this is just a start but hope that it will provide a stimulus for conversation around toxic chemical sources and exposure.

Mom’s Weight Before Pregnancy Can Affect Baby’s Brain
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that preemies whose mothers were obese (with a BMI over 30) before pregnancy had double the risk of developing cognitive issues. The study involved 921 infants born before 28 weeks – the mothers gave placental biopsies immediately after birth and the babies’ neurological development was evaluated around age 2. It’s not entirely clear how obesity impacts baby’s development, but the leading theory is that the mother’s excessive weight can result in a heightened inflammatory response during pregnancy that adversely affects the baby’s brain.

Fantastic Finds:

Storing and Organizing Children’s Artwork from The Complete Guide to Imperfect HomemakingAbsolutely love these ideas for preserving the memories of your child’s artwork.  Definitely pinterest-worthy!

Pinterest-Worthy:

Since we’re on the subject of children’s artwork, here are some fantastic ideas for displaying your child’s masterpieces at home:

Look What I Did! Art Display from The Creative Crate

Kids’ Gallery Wall from Less -Than-Perfect Life of Bliss

Large Scale Art Wall from HGTV

Recalls, March 6 – March 13:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it to jasmine@purebebe.com.

Weekly Highlights (2/22/2012)

We hope you had a fantastic long weekend! This week’s highlights was delayed a bit so I could devote some time to the arsenic and rice news that came out late last week. Here’s a little more of what I’ve been reading this past week. - Jasmine

In the News:

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Infant’s Tylenol - In case you missed it on our Facebook page, Johnson & Johnson has issued a nationwide recall of all infant tylenol on the market due to reported difficulties using the new dosing syringe.

You may recall that manufacturers of infant’s tylenol were in the process of changing the concentrations and dosing systems to make administering easier and safer. Unfortunately, back to the drawing board for J&J.

No adverse events have been reported, but if you’d like a refund you can visit their website or call for a refund. Consumers can still use the product if the flow restrictor remains in place. The instructional video below issued by McNeil demonstrates how to use the syringe.

Maine Groups Press for BPA Ban After Chemical Found in Baby and Toddler Food - 11 out of 12 major brands of jarred baby food tested positive for BPA in the lids, and tests also showed that the BPA had been found in the baby food. Levels were 1 to 3 parts per billion, but the physiology professor cited in the article says that’s enough to be concerned. Levels in toddler canned foods were found up to 134 parts per billion. Just one of the many reasons I chose to make my own baby food. If you’re interested, you can find tips here: Homemade Baby Food - As Easy as 1-2-3.

EPA Issues Long-Awaited Dioxins Report - After working on the report for decades, the EPA has released the first half of its assessment on the toxicity of dioxins, the most toxic of all man-made chemicals. The first release addresses the noncancerous effects, while the second half of the report is expected to address evidence of the chemical’s cancerous effects.

While the report concludes that dioxins are seriously toxic at low levels, it says that exposures have declined so much over the past few decades that most people should not be concerned. As one scientist put it, though, that statement is “very odd” as it ignores people who are exposed to higher levels or more sensitive to the effects, like fetuses and young children.

FDA Will Not Allow More Fungicide in Orange Juice - Back in January, the FDA halted imports of orange juice and began inspecting them after they received notification that Brazilian growers had been using a U.S.-banned fungicide. Now Brazil has requested an exception for the fungicide until they can phase it out, but the FDA has denied the exception. As a result, Brazil will have to stop exports of concentrated OJ until they can meet EPA limits for the fungicide.

New Research:

BPA’s Obesity And Diabetes Link Strengthened By New Study 
To date, studies have suggested a link between BPA and metabolic problems, but no one was really sure why until now. A new study released last week has determined that BPA fools a specific receptor into thinking that it is estrogen, an insulin regulator, and triggers the release of almost double the insulin actually needed to break down food. When that specific receptor was removed from the subject mice, the effect disappeared.

According to the author of the study, Angel Nadal, “When you eat something with BPA, it’s like telling your organs that you are eating more than you are really eating.” And surprisingly, the effects were seen at very low levels of exposure - a quarter of a billionth of a gram was enough to do the trick. What is most concerning is the impact on pregnant women and developing fetuses, who are particularly sensitive - ”The fetus is not only exposed to BPA but also to higher levels of insulin from the mother, making the environment for the fetus even more disruptive,” says Nadal. “This is a very delicate period.”

Children at Risk for Ingestion of PAHs from Pavement Sealant
Coal tar sealants, commonly used in the Central, Southern, and Eastern U.S. to refresh driveways and parking lots, are a source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, some of which can cause cancer. Researchers from Baylor University and the U.S. Geological Survey have found that children living next to driveways or parking lots coated with coal tar are exposed to 14 times the amount of the chemicals than those living near untreated asphalt. Exposure is primarily through contaminated dust tracked into the home, rather than food as once thought. Coal-tar-based pavement sealant has PAH concentrations 100 to 1,000 times greater than most other sources.

A History of Kids and Sleep: Why They Never Get Enough
I wouldn’t say that the article explains why children never get enough, but a recent review of about 300 studies on sleep duration in children found some interesting results:

  • Over the 112 years the study covered, age-specific recommendations for sleep and actual sleep duration of children has declined at similar rates.
  • Over that same period, children have lost about 75 minutes of shut-eye with overstimulation and modern technology to blame.
  • There’s not much evidence behind sleep recommendations; they’re pretty subjective. Kids consistently get at least 30 minutes less than the recommendations.
  • Different countries have different standards, but American children sleep less than nearly all other children.

Fantastic Finds:

How to Get Rid of Facebook Timeline, Bring Back a Simpler View - Anyone else struggling to get used to the new timeline view? It seems cluttered and messy to me. LifeHacker just published an article with a plugin that can be used to adjust your browser’s Facebook view for a cleaner look. I’m definitely going to try this out.

Clean Protein & Organic Foods, Does it Matter? - An absolutely fascinating read on why it’s important to look beyond the organic label and really understand where your food came from and how it was raised.

4 Health Reasons to Eat Chocolate (and Cons to Consider) - With Valentine’s Day behind us and chocolate floating around the house, this article is timely and informative.

From Playdate to Parliament: Mom Takes Tot to Work - Adorable. Little Victoria Ronzulli conducts important business at the European Parliament alongside mother and Italian politician, Licia Ronzulli.

Recalls, February 14 – February 21:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it to jasmine@purebebe.com.

Weekly Highlights (12/19/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great finds we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

FDA Approves First Heart Pump for Kids - While heart failure is rare in children, this device will help prolong the lives of children waiting for transplants. It’s one of very few devices designed specifically for children.

Disney Unveils Newest Princess, Sophia the First, for Toddlers - Disney’s newest princess will be a toddler with lots of pretty dresses and sparkly shoes and an emphasis on inner beauty. It’d be nice to see a Disney character with a traditional family, too.

Maine Report Lists Products Containing Toxic Chemicals BPA and NPE25 manufacturers of children’s toys, infant formulas, baby food, paints, and cleaners reported in under Maine’s chemical reporting regulation. 280 toys containing BPA made the list with nearly all made by Playmobil. View the report here.

Two Dead in Louisiana After Unclean Water Used in Neti Pots - Yikes! Bacteria in the sinuses can easily get to the brain. Be sure to use distilled water, not tap water, with this at home sinus treatment.

This Week in History: Boston Schools Mandated Vaccination – Dec 15, 1827 – “no child left unvaccinated” became law in Boston. A little history lesson on the smallpox vaccine.

New Research:

How Abuse Changes a Child’s Brain
In the first study to use MRI imaging to study the brains of children in violent homes, researchers found brain patterns similar to soldiers exposed to combat. Children adapt and become primed to perceive threats and pain but also more susceptible to long-term stress and anxiety. Heartbreaking.

Fantastic Finds:

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself from Marc and Angel Hack Life - “Anyone can start today and make a new ending.” I absolutely loved this. Many great reminders of the best way to live and enjoy life.

Believe from Ryan and Kenz - This is just genius!! Children wary of Santa can get their photo taken with a more familiar face, and no one will be the wiser.

Recalls, December 13 – December 19:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start! XOXO, Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (12/12/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

FDA Agrees to Determine Safety of BPA - Well, sort of. In response to a lawsuit, they’ve agreed to decide by March 31, 2012 whether to ban BPA in food packaging. They may very well decide not to ban BPA, and nothing much will have changed.

NICVIEW Gives Parents a Virtual Window to Newborns in NICU - Webcams installed in NICUs allow family to keep watch. What a wonderful implementation of technology.

Some News Guests Paid to Promote Products on Air - The next time you see an “expert review” news segment touting the latest products in children’s safety, for example, keep in mind that you may just be watching a commercial in disguise. Despite being illegal, “Safety Mom” Alison Rhodes admits to being paid for her recommendations by the companies whose products she plugs.

New Research:

Scientific Panel Finds Few Clear Environmental Links to Breast Cancer
At the request of Susan G. Komen For the Cure, a panel of scientific experts reviewed research on environmental risks and possible links to breast cancer. Their report released this week, however, makes only a few firm recommendations, one of which includes minimizing radiation from medical tests during childhood. Two or three abdominal CT scans give as much radiation as atomic bomb survivors received. Yikes! The review was unable to draw conclusive links in other areas such as BPA, but the link above gives a good summary of the results of the study.

Children’s Cereal: More Sugar Than a Twinkie
The EWG has released a new report which analyzed the nutrition in 84 popular cereals and found that you might as well serve most of them for dessert. The worst offender, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, packs more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie, coming in at 56% sugar by weight. The same serving of 44 other popular cereals, including Honey Nut Cheerios, has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! Cookies. While sugar was the top problem, many also contain too much sodium or fat or not enough whole grain.

The Anatomy of a Temper Tantrum
Researchers at the University of Connecticut have deconstructed the toddler temper tantrum and determined that most tantrums follow a similar pattern and rhythm. Based on audio recordings of toddler tantrums, they found that sadness tends to occur throughout a tantrum with peaks of anger in the form of yelling and screaming. The researchers suggest that the trick to ending a tantrum is to get the child past the anger, where only sadness remains and children begin to look for comfort. The quickest way to do that, they say, is to do nothing. Easier said than done, of course.

Good Reads & Videos:

 

The Coat: A short animated video of one child who gives selflessly to another. A great illustration of charity for little ones.

Chemicals In Your Child’s Car Seat from The Car Seat Lady - An excellent read on the issues/limitations of HealthyStuff.org’s study on flame retardants and other chemicals in childrens’ car seats that was released earlier this summer.

Recalls, December 6 – December 12:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,

Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (11/30/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

Serious Head Injuries to Infants Continue Due to Falls from Bumbo Baby Seats Used on Elevated Surfaces - Infants aged 3-10 months old have fallen out of the Bumbo seat and suffered skull fractures and other injuries. At least 45 incidents from elevated surfaces have occurred since the recall of the seat in October 2007, when warnings were added to the seat. At least 50 other incidents have been reported in which children fell out of the chair on the floor or an unknown elevation onto hard flooring. Please use these chairs with caution.

The 8 Germiest Places in the Mall – Ewwww. Just ewwww. I must say a couple of these surprised me. While highlighting germy hot spots, the article does also provide some practical tips.

Consumer Interest Group Releases Annual Hazardous Toys Report - The U.S. Public Interest Group has released its 26th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, in which it highlights toys on store shelves that contain potentially toxic chemicals or contain choking, strangulation, or noise hazards. The group has created an interactive site, www.toysafety.mobi, where you can find information about the toys you are shopping for. The site can be accessed by smartphones, so you can have this information at your fingertips!

New Research:

C-section Delivery Linked to Higher Risk of Childhood Asthma
In the largest study yet on the topic, Norwegian researchers examined asthma risk in more than 37,000 children. The researchers found that, even after accounting for other risk factors and protective factors such as duration of breastfeeding, children born via C-section were more likely to have asthma during their first three years. While the results are consistent with earlier studies, the reasoning is still not clear. Researchers believe that children born via C-section may miss exposure to important immune challenges compared to children born via the birth canal.

Canned Soup Raises BPA Levels Significantly
While we all know that soup cans are lined with BPA, a new study published this week was the first to measure the amount of BPA ingested from canned food. The participants in the study consumed a single serving of canned soup daily for a week, and their blood levels at the end of the week showed a 1221% increase in BPA levels, from approx 2 micrograms per liter to over 20. While the increase is likely temporary and will go down after a few days, we don’t know the health effects of transient increases in BPA such as this.

Delay in Clamping the Umbilical Cord has Benefits Months Later
A study published this month found that waiting three minutes or more to clamp a newborn’s umbilical cord can reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency later on. Swedish researchers studied 334 infants, statistically identical, assigning half to be clamped at 10 seconds and the other half after 3 minutes. There was no significant difference at 2 days after birth, but at 4 months iron concentrations of infants in the delayed clamping group were 45 percent higher. The study is one of the largest randomized trials on delayed cord clamping and the first to assess iron status beyond the newborn stage.

Good Reads:

Letting the Green Guilt Go from Canada.com - It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with so much information at our fingertips and still so many more questions about what truly is safe. I agree with the author that it helps to be flexible. Do what you can, little by little. Be happy with the healthy choices you’ve made so far, and continue to drive change with your pocketbooks. Little by little, you are doing the best that you can.

Recalls, November 22 – November 30:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

No child product recall announcements this week.

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,
Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (10/25/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

Toddler Flees First Day of Preschool, Walks Home - After just a few hours of his first day of preschool, 3 year old Alfie Aldridge ditched his teachers, scaled a 3 foot wall, crossed a busy street, and walked home. Fortunately for Alfie, his mother was home, and when she confronted the school’s teachers, they had no idea he’d been missing. I’d be outraged. This is certainly an opportunity to teach Alfie a lesson about not leaving the sight of an adult, but the school is definitely at fault. There should be precautions in place (i.e. ratios, headcounts) to ensure such things don’t happen.

Childbirth as Performance Art - A performance artist is planning to give birth to her first child in front of a live audience in a Brooklyn gallery. With her due date just a month away, she has begun creating the environment of a birthing room for her display. Her natural birth will be an exhibition for 15 invited guests, selected from visitors to the gallery who have shown interest. In addition to “The Birth of Baby X”, she has previously done exhibitions re-enacting other aspects of her life including the loss of her virginity. Wow. For me, childbirth is a very personal experience and not something I want to share outside of my family. I wonder what is more important to her – the experience or the performance? What do you think of this woman’s “exhibition”?

Controversial Hormone Therapy Given to Pre-Teen Transgender Child - An 11 year old boy who has expressed interest in being a girl is being given hormone blockers by his parents in order to delay puberty and give the child more time to decide. I wholeheartedly disagree with the parents in disrupting the body’s natural course and subjecting their child to this procedure. There are options available to this child when he reaches a mature enough age to make the decision for himself.

Woman Born Without a Womb Will Receive a Transplant from Her Mother – After being born without a womb, two failed surrogacies, and years waiting for an adoption, an Australian woman will receive a womb transplant from her mother after which she will attempt a pregnancy through IVF. Absolutely amazing. This seems incredibly risky for both, but I’m sure they are aware of the risks and sincerely hope that it goes well for them both.

New Research:

Study Links BPA Exposure in the Womb with Behavior Problems in Toddler Girls
After tracking 244 Cincinnati-area mothers and their 3 year olds, the study concluded that mothers with high levels of BPA in their urine were more likely to report hyperactive, aggressive children. The results were found in girls but not boys. The study’s author suspects that the chemical leads to more testosterone in girls, affecting how their organs develop and their later behavior. This report is the first to link a young girl’s emotional behavior with BPA exposure in the womb, and while it is consistent with other finds that imply BPA affects brain development in animal research the authors caution that the results could have been skewed by the eating habits of the mothers. Those who ate more packaged foods were likely to have higher BPA exposure and eat a less nutrient-rich diet in general. 

Autism Diagnoses Growing by 10 to 17 Percent Per Year
The rate of occurrence of an autism spectrum disorder is now 1 in 110, based on the most recently published estimates of the CDC. Boys are 4 to 5 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed, and with a 10 to 17 percent increase each year, it is the country’s fastest growing developmental disability. Both genetics and the environment are suspected as factors, but isolating environmental causes is extremely difficult given the number of environmental toxins children are exposed to that were not a factor years ago. The main culprit in the increase, though, is suspected to be earlier and more diagnoses.

Good Reads:

You Really Need to Wash Your Food and Your Hands from The Huffington PostHow to properly wash your hands – Sing the ABCs twice and then wash a little more. My kids and I alternate ABCs and Happy Birthday – they like asking Mommy to sing while they wash their hands. P.S. We do the same while brushing our teeth.

Sibling and Family Halloween Costumes from The Huffington Post – Photos from around the web of theme-coordinated costumes for siblings and families. What will you and yours be doing for Halloween this year?

Nightmares Fear Factory’s Photostream from Flickr – This photostream from a haunted house in Canada captures the reactions of its guests during a seriously frightening moment providing pure entertainment for the rest of us. Here are  some of my favorites: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 I think that last one must have burst an ear drum.

Recalls, October 19 – October 25:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start! XOXO, Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (10/18/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

Outrage in China After Toddler Run Over & Ignored - I can’t even watch the video included with the news story after the description I received from my husband. A small child was run over not once, but twice, by two separate vehicles in hit-and-runs and meanwhile passersby walked around her body. Fortunately for the child, a homeless woman comes to her aid, yet the child now lies in critical condition in the hospital. It’s absolutely horrifying, infuriating, and unfathomable.

Record Number of Booster Seats Earn Highest Rating from IIHS - A record 31 seats have been designated Best Bets this year, meaning that they position a seat belt on a typical 4 to 8 year old in just about any car. Notable this year – All five seats made by one manufacturer, Canadian-based Harmony Juvenile Products, made the Best Bet list as did an inflatable seat, the BubbleBum, marketed for vacations, car pools, and taxis.

Target commits to 100% sustainable, traceable fish by 2015 - Target is partnering with a nonprofit marine conservation group to identify and sell only sustainable, traceable fish by 2015. This will be no easy feat. I’m really excited to see them taking this step and hope it encourages other grocers to do the same.

Flame Retardant Added to California’s List of Cancer Causing Chemicals – The flame retardant, Chlorinated Tris (TDCPP), recently found to be present in many baby products, was added last week to California’s Proposition 65 list of cancer-causing chemicals. The listing will not ban the chemical but could result in labeling of products containing the chemical.

FDA Petitioned by American Chemistry Council to Ban BPA in Baby Bottles and Sippy Cups - The American Chemistry Council has petitioned the FDA to ban BPA in bottles and sippy cups, noting that in many cases manufacturers have phased out BPA due to consumer demand and that a nationwide ban would ensure consistency and allow states to focus their legislative energies elsewhere. The FDA has not confirmed it will issue a regulation yet but it will issue a notice for comment. The EWG, on the other hand, is asking the FDA to extend the ban to baby formula and other canned goods. Not holding my breath on that one just yet.

New Research:

Have Penn State Researchers Found the Cure for Breast Cancer?!
Incredibly promising news came from Penn State this week as scientists there discovered a virus that kills breast cancer cells. The researchers applied the virus to three different breast cancer cell groups, representing three different stages of development, and the virus managed to kill 100% of the cells. In a particularly aggressive type of cancer cell, it took three weeks to kill 100% of the cells, but in the others it took only 7. The virus has also been successful against other types of cancer cells, including prostate and skin cancer. It currently works in a culture dish and in mice, but further animal trials and then human trials are needed before it can be considered for human treatment. Penn State is now stepping up its efforts to find the money to fund further research. 

Environmental Chemicals May be an Obstacle for Infertile Couples
New research has turned up evidence of a link between endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment and poor IVF outcomes. These chemicals disrupt a woman’s estrogen, making it more difficult to get pregnant. Higher blood levels of pollutants such as bisphenol A (BPA), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) have been found in mothers with failed IVF attempts, according to a handful of recent studies. In the studies, high levels of PCBs and HCB were associated with failed implantation, and high levels of BPA were associated with low levels of a particular form of estrogen instrumental in the development of eggs. More research is needed to determine if the results could be generalized beyond couples undergoing IVF.

Good Reads (or vids):

Notes from a Dragon Mom from The NY Times Sunday Review - Absolutely heartbreaking, yet inspirational.

Bully-Proofing Your Kids from CNN Living - Things we can start now with our young children to help them navigate the later years.

20 Tips for Using Baking Soda Around Your House from The Huffington Post - I’ve used baking soda for stain and odor elimination with good results but was surprised by some of the others on the list.

Recalls, October 11 – October 18:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start! XOXO, Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (10/11/11)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

Just Label It: We Have a Right to Know What’s In Our Food - A coalition of nearly 400 business and organizations has submitted a petition to the FDA calling for mandatory labeling of genetically-modified foods. Click here if you’d like to visit the coalition’s website and submit a comment on the petition to the FDA.

Woman Finishes Chicago Marathon, Gives Birth - Nearly 39 weeks pregnant with her second child, a woman completed the Chicago Marathon Sunday, grabbed a bite to eat, then headed for the hospital to deliver her baby. With the permission of her doctor, she ran half then walked half, finishing the marathon in 6 hours, 25 minutes and 50 seconds! Wow!

California Governor Signs The Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers ActGovernor Brown signed a bill into law banning BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups in California.

Fluoride Safety Debate Bubbles Up Again - While professionals say fluoride is safe in reasonable quantities, the EPA is reviewing its maximum allowable level in water supplies. Some communities are going ahead and removing fluoride from their water systems.

New Research:

Peanut Allergies – Have Scientists Finally Found a Cure?
In a promising study, scientists from Northwestern University in Chicago were able to trick the immune system into tolerating nut proteins by attaching the proteins to white blood cells, causing the immune system to recognize the protein and become tolerant to it. The researchers also found that they were able to increase the number of regulatory T cells, the cells that recognize the nut protein, introducing balance into the immune system, and they were able to attach more than one protein to the cells indicating that other food allergies might be targeted.

Moms’ Hormone Use Linked to Cancer & Reproductive Health Problems
A study performed by the National Cancer Institute followed the daughters of women who took DES, the first synthetic form of estrogen prescribed to up to 10 million women between 1940 and 1971 to stave off miscarriage and other pregnancy complications. The researchers linked DES exposure in the womb to increased risks of 12 health conditions, including cancer, infertility, miscarriage, and preterm delivery to name a few. The drug was pulled in 1971 when the FDA found that it didn’t work and was causing cancer. Now it appears to be causing the symptoms it was intended to prevent, and this study further highlights concerns over hormone exposure in utero.

Pregnant Women Who Are Obese Put Their Children at Higher Risk of Asthma
A study of over 129,000 mothers in Sweden and their 189,000 children found that mothers who were very obese had a 61 percent increased likelihood of their children developing asthma by the time they were between 8 and 10 years old. Maternal obesity increases a child’s risk of obesity, which influences the infant’s immune system and its response to allergies.

Good Reads (or vids):

Lily’s Disneyland Surprise from YouTube - I guarantee this will make you cry.

10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science from Lifehacker - I was surprised by a few items on this list. Perhaps you will be too.

Recalls, October 4 – October 10:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start! XOXO, Jasmine & Heather




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