Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Label Check: Oxybenzone

This is the latest in my Label Check series, in which I examine a chemical ingredient in more depth. Oxybenzone, also known as benzophenone-3, is found in sunscreens and products containing spf.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found in 97% of Americans.

Image from http://beautifulwithbrains.com/

Oxybenzone is a known endocrine disruptor having both estrogenic and weak anti-androgenic (anti-male hormone) effects. Oxybenzone also damages the skin. Sunlight + oxybenzone creates free radicals that cause cell damage and are implicated in aging. A 2008 study linked oxybenzone exposure in pregnant women to low-birth weight babies. This chemical also causes allergic reactions, triggered by sun exposure. Children are particularly at risk.

What can you do? 

Avoid products with oxybenzone. Look for natural sunscreens with non-nanoparticle ingredients. 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Back from hiatus and thinking about "How green can you be?"

Hello again! I apologize for the hiatus. While I was away I continued to think about environmental justice issues and how overwhelming it can be processing all of the information on toxic chemicals in food, personal care products, household products and industrial products you come into contact with every day.

For instance, a recent University of Texas, at Austin study found that crib mattresses emit "high rates" of volatile organic compounds while infants sleep. That's enough to frighten any parent. So how do you balance all of this information? It can be very expensive to live a completely green life. Plus it can be very stressful to find all green products.

I've always believed that if you do what you can that you're ahead of the battle. Even if that means you can't afford to purchase an entirely off-the grid home built of recycled, non toxic materials. What do you think? How green can you be? How green should you be?