Sustainable Works

Green Living Workshop update week 6 2009

Sustainable Works Green Living Workshop

There are 5 workshops currently running. This post is specific to the following workshops:

Mondays 7-8:30pm at The Green Life
Tuesday 6-7:30pm at Heal the Bay
Wednesday 7-8:30pm at Santa Monica Public Library

To view other Workshops' posts click on the 'Sustainable Works' header above.


In the News
Much High Fructose Corn Syrup Contaminated With Mercury, New Study Finds - Via the Organic Consumers Association.

>>California officials launch 'Green Chemistry' initiative - The plan would inform consumers how items sold in the state are manufactured and transported and how environmentally safe their ingredients are. Via LA Times.

Follow-Up Tests of Leading Personal Care and Household Cleaning Brands Reveal Improvements in Levels of Carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane - 3/6/2009 ANAHEIM, CA - a new follow-up study was released that assesses levels of the petrochemical carcinogen 1,4-dioxane in leading conventional as well as "natural" and "organic" brands of personal care and household cleaning products. The results indicate significant improvement for 23 products from sixteen major brands that had formerly been found to contain potentially dangerous levels of the contaminant 1,4-dioxane in a similar study held in March of 2008. Click here to download a PDF of the new results. Via Organic Consumers Association.

>>Carcinogenic 1,4-Dioxane Found in Leading "Organic" Brand Personal Care Products - Press release regarding a study commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) analyzes leading "natural" and "organic" brand shampoos, body washes, lotions and other personal care products for the presence of the undisclosed carcinogenic contaminant 1,4-Dioxane.

>>Toxic toys - PBS web video documenting the Phthalates issue as an example of the safer EU standards versus the more dangerous US standards.

>>Common Chemicals Are Linked to Breast Cancer - LA Times article. Researchers concluded that reducing exposure to the compounds could prevent many women from developing the disease.

Hygiene Products, Cosmetic Safety and Chemical Regulations
>>Skin Deep - Take a look at the best resource available for finding out the safety of your daily hygiene products. The Environmental Working Group, who put together the Skin Deep website, is a terrific resource for information regarding environmental health.

>>Chemicals In The Home - NPR's interactive guide highlighting some differences between EU and US chemical regulations. Via NPR.

Safer Cleaning Products & Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
>>Consumer Reports' lists several simple recipes for making cleaners at home using familiar household ingredients. See all the recipes.

>>Alternative Household Product Recipes (PDF)- from 888CleanLA

>>I Don't Want to Scrub - A test of eight green bathroom cleaning products from

>>Arm & Hammer Essentials - check out Arm & Hammers newest line of products. They used phosphate free, biodegradable ingredients and come in concentrated bottles which means less packaging and less transportation cost and pollution.

>>Bio-Integral Resource Center (BIRC) - They specialize in finding non-toxic and least-toxic, integrated pest management (IPM) solutions to urban and agricultural pest problems.

>>1,4-Dioxane Alert with full product testing results (PDF) - learn which brands and products were found to contain high levels of 1,4 Dioxane.

>>1,4-Dioxane Fact Sheet (PDF) - Learn the facts about the toxicity of 1,4-Dioxane.

>>PVC Poison Plastic - Learn about the dangers of PVC and it's hazardous life cycle, from manufacturing to disposal.

>>Company PVC Policies - List of Companies Phasing out PVC

Safety Regulation
>>Via Organic Consumers Association
*MYTH - Cosmetics are carefully regulated by the FDA
*FACTS -The FDA does not conduct or require independent pre-market safety testing of new products or chemicals. The cosmetics and personal care products industry must provide its own safety testing.
*Companies are allowed to provide data to the FDA regarding the safety of their own product ingredients by funding scientific review boards comprised of doctors and toxicologists which they select. In this way, companies seeking to profit from products may influence the selection of study results submitted to the FDA submits.
*Once a product is on the market, the burden of legal proof required for its removal is extremely high.
*Since cancer and birth defects are often latent occurrences, it is difficult if not impossible to prove causation in the judicial system. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to remove a potentially dangerous product.

Documentaries on CHEMICALS
>>Blue Vinyl - A Toxic Comedy Look at Vinyl, The World's Second Largest Selling Plastic.With humor, hope and a piece of vinyl siding firmly in hand, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand and co-director Daniel B. Gold travel from Helfand’s hometown to America’s vinyl manufacturing capital and beyond in search of answers about the nature of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Books about CHEMICAL issues
>>Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power by Mark Schapiro - about the book from Center for Investigative Reporting.

>>Not Just a Pretty Face by Stacy Malkan - Do your favorite products contain hazardous chemicals?

>>Silent Sprint by Rachel Carson - released in 1962, offered the first shattering look at widespread ecological degradation and touched off an environmental awareness that still exists. Rachel Carson's book focused on the poisons from insecticides, weed killers, and other common products as well as the use of sprays in agriculture, a practice that led to dangerous chemicals to the food source.


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