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  • Making Non-Toxic Lip Gloss is Easy, but We Need Your Help with the Rest!

    Susie Frank, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families:

    Most of the time, attempting to protect my child from chemicals that could alter her hormones, blunt her ability to learn, and make her susceptible to cancer is a big fat drag. And then, sometimes, it's pretty fun! My daughter Hazel has kindly agreed to demonstrate just how fun and simple it is to make lip gloss at home using easy-to-find natural ingredients. Turns out you don't need phthalates, lead, or any other toxic chemicals to produce a great tub of gloss.

    If only there was a way to use beeswax, almond oil, and a touch of lemon extract to make everything else Hazel comes into contact with. The reality is, my daughter lives in a world where jumpy castles and juice boxes are riddled with lead, friendship bracelets are crafted with cadmium, and the family couch is stuffed with formaldehyde. All of these chemicals have been linked to serious health problems; yet they continue to proliferate. No amount of DIY savvy can

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  • Act Now to Honor the Mothers

    The news may be filled with stories of crises and collapse, but through every downfall we are seeing greatness as mothers heed the call for change. As Amie Nelson says in "How Mothers Can Change the World,"

    "The positive light among us is the growing swell of activism from women formerly in the shadows. From heads of state to soccer moms, mothers around the world are doing incredible work to inspire, educate and engage their communities.

    Mothers are a force to be reckoned with, by their sheer numbers alone…The promising reality is that mothers are emerging as social advocates and political leaders. All over the world, female politicians are proud to emphasize their role as mothers--and even campaign as mothers.

    Mothers are a universal symbol of the unique power women have to get things done, to survive insurmountable odds, and to help others in need."

    Are you a part of this Mom Revolution? Do you know another mom who is? Please share your story and help

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  • How Real People on Real Budgets Can Afford Organic

    Robyn O'Brien:

    In a world in which we are constantly worried about the health of our families, the stability of our jobs, paying the mortgage and all of life's responsibilities, the simple act of trying to eat healthy often becomes a challenge.

    Not to mention that if your family is anything like mine, then you've most likely got some picky eaters, limited time and a limited budget with which to pull all of this off in a world of soaring food prices.

    So here are a few tips for those who want to start buying organic food but don't want to pay the high price:

    • Go Orgo-Generic. Major grocery store chains like Safeway and Kroger, and big box food retailers like Costco and even Wal-Mart, now carry their own organic foods. And all foods labeled "USDA organic" are created equal, no matter where you find them. No need to upscale your grocery store when Wal-Mart gets it done.
    • Buy Frozen. Frozen foods (like strawberries and fish) are cheaper than those that are
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  • Are YOU the Next Mom on a Mission?

    Last year we received many compelling stories from dynamic women working to make their communities healthier and safer for their children, but one in particular stood out.

    Our 2009 Mom on a Mission Winner, Shelby Rodriguez, captured us with her willpower and commitment to ending the pollution caused by a roof-tarring project in her community:

    After experiencing symptoms like burning throat, sores in the nose, and a persistent cough caused by the roof tarring project in her community, Shelby got active and distributed flyers, created an online petition, appealed to her local representatives, registered complaints with the Air Quality District, and organized an EPA meeting to demand an end to the pollution. Her endeavors were successful in eliminating the use of asphalt roofing tar in her community!

    What a story! We are still moved and inspired by her commitment and passion in creating a healthier environment for her community and children.

    Shelby was honored at our

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  • The Benefits of Breastmilk Outweigh Any Risks

    Sandra Steingraber:

    Stories in the media about the chemical contamination of human milk have made many mothers wonder if bottle-feeding might be an equally healthy alternative to breastfeeding. It is not.

    The choice is very clear: Your own breast milk is, hands down, the best food for your baby - far better than its inferior pretender infant formula. This is the conclusion I reached after more than two years of studying the data on the chemical contamination of breast milk. It's why I nursed Faith for more than two years.

    Let's first look at the benefits breast milk offers your baby. And then we'll examine the contamination issue.

    Breast milk is not just food. It is also medicine. It swarms with antibodies and white blood cells drawn from your own body. By drinking it, your infant comes to share your immune system.

    And benefits mightily from it. Breastfed infants:

    • have lower rates of hospitalization and death;
    • develop fewer respiratory infections,
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  • Don’t Let Toxic Plastics Bully Your Child.

    If your child was being bullied at school, you would take measures to prevent it, wouldn't you? What if your child was being bullied by her own school supplies?

    Your child's innocent-looking lunch box or binder could contain chemicals linked to learning disabilities, obesity, asthma, and even cancer.

    That's because many school supplies are manufactured using the poison plastic: polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
    . This plastic can contain a toxic stew of phthalates, lead, cadmium, and organotins-making it a recipe for disaster. To the developing body of a child, even a small exposure to these toxicants can be dangerous.

    What can you do to protect your child from this bully? Start by downloading CHEJ's 3rd annual Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies and learn about safer alternatives to PVC plastic. They are affordable, available, stylish, and best of all; they won't harm your child.

    Let's free our schools from the toxic grasp of the PVC bully. Check out the Back-to-School

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  • iPhone Apps for Eating Clean and Healthy

    I don't have an iPhone, but the world of apps fascinates me nonetheless. I'm slowly accruing a personal list of apps that I'll get someday when it makes sense for me to have an iPhone. As of now, since iPhone requires you to go through AT&T's service and there's no coverage where I live, no iPhone for me.

    Hear that Apple? Maybe you want to reconsider your monogamous relationship with AT&T? Or, maybe AT&T should improve their network? Either way, I digress.

    For those of you who do have iPhones, I offer you this list of apps that will help you eat healthier. Let me know how it works out for you - and what apps you'd recommend!

    Dirty Dozen

    Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen application gives you a handy guide to the fruits and vegetables with the most and least pesticide residue. When your budget is tight or organic's not available, you can use the "Clean 15" and "Dirty Dozen" lists to determine which conventionally-grown produce items have the highest and lowest

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  • Packing Checklist for Happy, Healthy Campers

    Aaaahhhh, the great outdoors. Sleeping under the stars. Relaxing beside a campfire. Hiking through nature's bounty. These activities make up some of the best family memories. Still, a calm camping adventure can quickly turn torturous if you find yourself without the necessary accoutrements. The best way to avert catastrophe is by creating a master checklist.

    Depending on what type of camping you do and where you go, you'll need different supplies. Here are tips regarding some items you should ALWAYS pack, as well as some resources for creating your own personalized packing checklist.

    Camping Essentials:

    Sun Protection

    Bring protective clothing, wide brimmed hats, and sunglasses as well as an effective and safe sunscreen. Use our pocket guide to help you choose the best product for your needs.

    Bug Repellent

    Make sure you weigh the risks of traditional bug repellents against the risks of the environment you'll be camping in and how long you'll be outdoors. You can

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  • Why the Beauty Industry Needs a Makeover: WATCH The Story of Cosmetics

    True or False: The government prohibits dangerous chemicals in personal care products, and the beauty industry wouldn't risk using them.


    The Story of Cosmetics,, reveals the truth by examining the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products, from lipstick to baby shampoo. Produced by Free Range Studios and hosted by Annie Leonard, the 7-minute film reveals the implications for consumers and workers health (in addition to the environment), and outlines ways we can move the industry away from hazardous chemicals and towards safer alternatives.

    Major loopholes in U.S. federal law allows the $50 billion beauty industry to put nearly any chemical into personal care products, even chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects. There is NO required safety assessment and inadequate labeling requirements-making cosmetics among the least-regulated consumer products on the market.

    • More than 500 products sold in the U.S.
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  • 9 Ways to Save $ on Safer Products

    Many people think you have to spend more money to get safer or eco-friendly products and in some cases that's true. But there are also ways you can get safer products at a comparable or even more affordable price than conventional goods. Here's how:

    1. Buy house brand organics (Target organics, Safeway organics, etc). I know all of you co-op die-hards cringe at this advice, but for a family on a budget, house brand organics are a boon. Sure, they're big business organics, but the USDA organic seal means the same thing no matter whom the manufacturer is.

    2. Visit the farmer's market just before it closes. Farmer's don't relish the idea of hauling goods back to the farm, so they'll generally accept much less money for those last piles of produce.

    3. Buy concentrated products. Don't pay for water and excess packaging. Look for concentrated products that you can add water to add home.

    4. Buy in bulk. Ounce to ounce, buying in bulk is often cheaper than buying conventional

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