Sustainable Works



In the News

>>Smart Choices About Pesticides - Pesticides are designed to repel or kill pests, but can have unwanted effects on other organisms and wash off into rivers, oceans, and our water supplies. Click here for fact sheets on ants, fleas, roaches, yellowjackets, healthy gardens, aphids, lawn care, snails & slugs, roses, and weeds.

>>Widely used pesticide atrazine found widespread in U.S. drinking waters -
Banned by the European Union, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in U.S. waters and is a known endocrine disruptor, which means that it affects human and animal hormones. It has been tied to poor sperm quality in humans and hermaphroditic amphibians. Via ENN.

>>2009 Environmental Working Group Sunscreen Guide - "3 of 5 brand-name sunscreens either don’t protect skin from sun damage or contain hazardous chemicals — or both. An Environmental Working Group investigation of 1,671 sunscreens rates the season’s best — and worst."

>>BPA linked to heart arrhythmia and female infertility - New animal study links Bisphenol A (aka BPA) to more health problems. BPA is the basic building block of polycarbonate plastics...Via Science News

>>Consumers instantly recognize them as household miracles of modern chemistry- Teflon, Scotchgard, Stainmaster, Gore-Tex - But PFC's are now found to be toxic and a risk to humans and
other living creatures.

>>Flame Retardant Chemicals Taint all U.S. Waters -
Chemicals used as flame retardants in consumer products since the 1970s now are found in all U.S. coastal waters and the Great Lakes. Via ENN

>>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.

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

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.

>> - Contains a database of more than 5,000 products to help you find out what chemicals are in everything from your car to your pet's chew toy.

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

EcoHome: Safer Home Cleaning & Repair Products, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

>>Getting rid of ants without chemicals: learn how to use vinegar and coffee grounds to control ants at

>>Plastic Albatross - Plastic Albatross is community-based campaign to educate the public about toxins in plastics and household products and their burden on the health and fertility of humans.

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.

>>Eco Painting Tips - Visit living expert Danny Seo's blog to learn about eco-friendly painting tips from biodegradable drop cloths to zero-VOC paints.

>>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.
Disposing Unused Meds or Medical Supplies?
Have you ever flushed old pharmaceuticals down the toilet or dumped them into the trash? Unfortunately, our waterways and landfills are becoming polluted with chemicals from disposed pharmaceuticals, negatively affecting humans and wildlife. So until our Federal government instates a program to properly dispose of old pharmaceuticals (pilot programs are currently underway), please take a minute to check the nonprofit Healthy Equity Project and see if and how you can donate your medicines or medical supplies to needy people in developing countries.


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