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  • Petitioning Pink Ribbons

    by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

    Executive Director/CEO, Healthy Child Healthy World

    It's October and to many of us that means one thing: Pink ribbons. But how many of us stop to read the labels on the products those ribbons adorn? Apparently, no one at Susan G. Komen for the Cure did, or maybe they just didn't care that their new Promise Me perfume tested positive for the hormone disruptor Galaxolide and the neurotoxin Toluene, which is banned by the International Fragrance Association, according to Breast Cancer Action.

    Breast Cancer Action put together a petition urging Susan G. Komen to recall the fragrance and pledge to prevent pinkwashing, which they define as "a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are known or suspected to be linked to the disease."

    I agree with Breast Cancer Action that while it is undeniable

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  • Food As Medicine (Even For Your Fetus)

    by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

    Executive Director/CEO, Healthy Child Healthy World

    At Healthy Child Healthy World, [] we spend a lot of time talking about children's health. But recently, I became more aware of the connection between what we do before our kids are born, and their health as babies, children-even adults.

    Last week, more than 700 international physicians and scientists met in Portland at the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Conference to discuss the "Barker Hypotheses," an idea originated by Oregon Health & Science University professor Dr. David Barker more than 25 years ago.

    According to the Portland Tribune, Dr. Barker's theory that what passes through the placenta during pregnancy can predispose a person-even an adult-to conditions like asthma and heart disease is now being validated by the medical community.

    The conference takes up where Annie Murphy Paul leaves off with her book Origins: How

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  • Risks Associated With Artificial Turf Playing Fields

    by Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine, the Ethel H. Wise Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Children's Environmental Health Center, and Healthy Child Healthy World Scientific Advisory Board member

    Artificial turf fields have multiplied over the past decade. Many questions remain as to how
    these fields may affect children's health. Where installation of turf fields is still under consideration, I recommend delaying the decision until the questions about the safety of artificial turf have been studied more thoroughly.

    Not all turf fields are constructed the same way. First generation fields, or Astroturf, is the spongy carpet-style surface, while second generation turf fields are layered synthetic surfaces with plastics blades of grass infilled with a mixture of rubber pellets and sand or just rubber. Note that each company has its own installation method and source for rubber, so there will be variation from field to field.


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  • The Sad Truth About Kids and Cancer

    by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

    Executive Director/CEO, Healthy Child Healthy World

    "Kiwi had only been sick once; never on any sort of medication, not even Tylenol. All of that changed on Friday, July 31st, 2010 when we found ourselves in the Emergency Room because Kiwi's left hand had begun to spasm periodically all that day. Our lives went from Kiwi never being in the hospital and only at the doctors once (but never on any medications), to being poked and prodded for hours in the ER. I had a very difficult time comprehending the next few days of my life. It started in the ER on a Friday night and moved slowly through the weekend, to an MRI on Sunday showing that my darling 22 month old daughter had a large tumor on the right side of her brain." (Read the rest of Kiwi's story.)

    Your daughter has cancer.

    They are words no parent ever wants to hear, yet the sad fact is that every sixty minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer and every six hours,

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  • The Low-Down on Lice

    by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

    Executive Director/CEO

    Healthy Child Healthy World

    It's back to school month and as any experienced parent will tell you that means one thing. I don't know if it's the hot weather, or the fact that everyone's showing off their summer highlights by wearing their hair long and loose, but during four out of the last five Septembers, at least one of my three kids has come down with-click away if you're squeamish-lice.

    (It has to be psychosomatic, but just say the word "lice" and your head itches. Go ahead, try it. See?)

    The first time my daughter was infected, I turned-in desperation-to an over-the-counter chemical treatment chock full of piperonyl butoxide, designated a "low hazard" for cancer and reproductive toxicity on the Skin Deep database, which also shows a 70% data gap in testing-I suspect it's more toxic than that.

    This year, in honor of National Head Lice Prevention Month [] (yes,

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  • Which Water Filter System Is Right For Your Home?

    by Janelle Sorensen, Chief Communications Officer, Healthy Child Healthy World

    Healthy Child Healthy World receives a lot of questions from people wondering which water filter they should buy. But, it's a tough question to answer because drinking water quality varies from place to place, depending on the condition of the source water from which it is drawn and the treatment it receives. It also matters what types of pipes lead up to your home, what kind of pipes and solder are used inside your home, and even what kind of faucets and fixtures you have installed.

    Talk about confusing. Every individual faucet releases a distinct glass of water.

    Here are 5 steps to help you navigate these muddy waters and find a clear solution for a filtering system.

    Step 1: Assess.

    If you don't know what's in your water, you don't know what needs filtering out.

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  • Product Labeling Secrets & Lies

    by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Executive Director/CEO

    Healthy Child Healthy World

    Is the oil you're sautéing with "all-natural" or is it tainted by GMOs? Is that sea bass you're eating sustainable or has it been over-fished nearly to extinction?

    Even if you read the labels, you might not know. One California consumer recently sued ConAgra for deceptive marketing by claiming Wesson oils are "100% natural" when, in fact, the products are made from genetically modified organisms, as Food Safety News reports.

    The misleading "all-natural" label should surprise us, considering the Center for Food Safety estimates that 70% of processed foods on supermarket shelves contain genetically modified ingredients, defined by the World Health Organization as "organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally."

    So what's the big deal-the food still comes from natural sources, right? Yes, it does. But GMO foods

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  • Something In The Water (Does Not Compute)

    by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Executive Director/CEO, Healthy Child Healthy World

    A recent study in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine got me thinking about perceptions-and misconceptions-when it comes to water.

    According to the study, black and Latino parents are three times more likely than whites to give their children bottled water rather than tap; these buyers also spend 1% of their income on bottled water, versus white buyer's 0.4%.

    This, in light of an Environmental Working Group report, which found only three of the nation's 170 brands of bottled water sold in the United States disclosed where the water came from, how it was purified and what contaminants remained in the water. An earlier study by The Natural Resources Defense Council found that 17% of bottled waters contained unsafe bacteria, and 22% were contaminated with chemicals-including arsenic.

    With scary statistics like these, why would anyone drink from a

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  • Elisabeth Rohm On When It’s Hard Getting Pregnant

    by Janelle Sorensen, Chief Communications Officer, Healthy Child Healthy World

    Like a lot of other women, I went many years doing everything I could to NOT get pregnant. Ironically, when my husband and I decided it was time, we couldn't - at least not right away like we had expected. And not even after months of charting my cycle and strategically waiting for peak ovulation. Luckily, it only took 8 months of effort before we successfully conceived, a time frame much shorter than many couples these days.

    In fact, today, one out of every six couples experience difficulties conceiving. An estimated five million couples are classified as infertile which means not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (or six months if a woman is 35 or older).

    Elisabeth Röhm, best known for her role as Serena Southerlyn on Law & Order, is one of these millions and on her blog on she opens up about her personal struggle to conceive her little girl.

    There are certain

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  • All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe

    You know how with some songs you can't get the lyrics out of your head? That's what I'm doing right now. Every time I read another breaking news story on clean air I hear, "All that I need is the air that I breathe/And to love you." (Sorry if now you're doing it, too.)

    But it's true, right? There's not a lot more important to parents than loving their children and making sure they have clean air to breathe. Which is why this week's virtual deluge of clean air information is so important-and scary.

    First up? The positive. Americans submitted more than 800,000 comments in support of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, a new Environmental Protection Agency ruling that would be the first-ever national policy to regulate mercury emissions from coal-fired plants.

    Mercury is a problem because it can affect the human nervous system-especially in babies and young children-potentially damaging vision, coordination and speech, among other things.

    Coal-fired power plants are the

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