Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – No More Toxic Tub Report

Since its founding in 2002, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has advocated the elimination of hazardous chemicals from personal care products.These products can legally contain ingredients linked to cancer, reproductive harm, learning disabilities and other serious health problems. Shockingly, the CSC points out that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned or restricted only 11 chemicals in cosmetics out of the more than 12,500 ingredients currently used. In contrast, the European Union has banned more than 1,100 chemicals from cosmetics.

We’ve clearly established that bath and other products labeled ‘safe,’ ‘gentle’ and/or ‘natural’ frequently are anything but. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics conducted lab tests and found that many such products are contaminated with formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane – and often times, both. These two chemicals, linked to cancer and skin allergies, are completely unregulated in children’s bath products.

The CSC highlights something that is shocking or even unbelievable to most people – that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the safety of personal care products in the U.S., but lacks basic authority needed to either verify the safety of products or enforce existing regulations.  ”The FDA cannot require companies to test products for safety before they are sold, does not systematically review the safety of ingredients and does not set limits for common, harmful contaminants in products.The FDA also does not require contaminants to be listed on product ingredient labels. As a result, consumers have no way of knowing if their products contain toxic contaminants.”

Read this important report, No More Toxic Tub HERE, the first to document the widespread contamination of children’s products with formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.

Remember, the terms “natural,” “herbal,” “gentle” or “safe” have NO LEGAL DEFINITION.  This report charts the commonly used chemical names and phrases, such as “fragrance” used to describe what are toxic ingredients. More posts to follow in reference to this important resource. See also Baby’s Tub Is Still Toxic HERE.

More to come … holiday weekend + newborn = busy

posh & green(ish) Pajar

My girls over at Cardigans and Couture posted on the new Eddie Bauer winter collection and featured these chic Pajar Greenland boots. These boots feature an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) liner, which is safer than PVC. It doesn’t require the addition of chlorine, which produces dioxin (a carcinogen), or plasticizers (like BPA or phthalates). Hopefully that makes you feel better when dropping $185 for a pair.

Helpful article and useful page sorting out the ‘vinyls’ from Healthy Child.

a little jingle

Happy Monday campers. Similar to adults, babies like a little jingle. Especially the jingle jangle of your keys, which are probably filthy from rattling around the bottom of your purse or European man-satchel. Here is a great, nontoxic stainless steel teether and holiday gift idea for $24 made by Kleynimals (engraving available) – nice and shiny and new!

Since we’re on the topic, also check out Jingle Punks, where my brother-in-law composes amazing tunes. Jingle Punks creates little ditties for film, television, advertising or high end bachelorette parties. Ask for Will.

That reminds me of my favorite Alabama song, Dixieland Delight, which your baby will also love.


Happy Feet (nontoxic art)

We painted our 4 week old’s feet blue the other day and made an awesome series of three prints for his nursery. Wish we had had this nontoxic Clementine Art Paint – check it out at this cool store My Little Green Shop, offering affordable eco-friendly stuff. The site also has nontoxic glue, crayons and other fun craft projects

This Artterro Storybook Kit looks awesome. Not only is it made from wool, vegetable-based inks and recycled materials, but the company has also donated to Project Kids in Cambodia, an art program serving orphanages in Cambodia. This would make a great gift!

So order, muster and plan a fun, nontoxic afternoon for the kiddies. You know they’ll be sniffing the hard stuff at school.


web site white party

Many thanks to Beth for sharing Abe’s Market. You can get everything from gluten-free Thanksgiving stuff to this cool Benz Bench (nontoxic, 60% recycled materials) for storage and your kid’s bum.

They also have this chic white ‘paci-sitter’ which we never

thought we’d use/need but are finding invaluable.

Since we’re on a white theme, this is also a great gift for a bike lover – it comes in a t-shirt and a onesie.

Pair it with this white organic hat.

And for good measure, this polar bear, which we have and love from Dandelion (fantastic organic toys). Now you’re ready for P Diddy’s summer party in the Hamptons.


Used is the new black

Gwen Stefani’s kids Kingston and Zuma always look pretty badass. They even have their own fashion blogStefani is now launching a new kids clothing line, Harajuki Mini, that Target will carry as a featured designer, which promises to crash the web site again. Before you name your kid Hara (or Juki)  and rush out to buy a bunch of new, chemically treated clothes, consider your local thrift shop or parent swap web site. It’s more unique, green and less expensive.

We spied a posh little Kingston Rossdale look-a-like in Boston Common the other week and asked his mom where he got his cool ripped jeans. Turns out, they were just vintage baby gap that the little bugga wore in himself. Can’t get more authentic than that.

I happened to be in Maine (aka Heaven) this weekend and passed by a thift shop in Ellsworth called 2nd to None. It was a gold mine. Vintage LL Bean flannels, mini Carhartt pants, baby jeans, all worn to soft perfection. Those of you real greenies out there are laughing at me now since I’m just discovering this vast treasure trove of used clothes, carriers and gear. (Frugality has never been my strong suit.) However, everyone can relate to cool vintage stuff that has been washed so many times, most of the really bad chemicals it was made with have dissipated. And don’t look now, but you’re recycling. As my friend reminded me last night, antiques are green. Happy shopping!

Upcycled Onesies

Cool idea to ‘upcycle’ those old college tees – Tumblewee on Etsy will take them and make a hip little onesie out of it.

This idea thanks to my friend Charlie whose husband’s “Chemathon” tee shirt went from geek to chic on their baby boy Eric. She actually made it herself though, which is just out of my league.

Those of you thinking that you’ve finally found a justification for getting rid of your husband’s favorite tee shirt, shame on you. He may look like a homeless person wearing it but he’s your homeless person. Some things you just don’t mess with.


Halloween Hangover

Don’t throw that Halloween costume out just yet kids. You may have resigned yourself to buying your little one a PVC-laiden plastic super-suit but that doesn’t mean it must all be for not. Safemama had a great idea I’m passing on – next year, try a Costume Swap Party. This is not to be confused with an adult swap party. I went to one at Favela Chic in London a couple of years ago. Good clean fun.

It turns out there is even a national ‘green’ holiday dedicated to swapping costumes, October 8th. Who knew. This way, your child’s next alter ego has a chance to off-gas before he/she wears it and you are recycling. It’s also a great excuse for adults to get together with cocktails. So for you Martha Stewarts out there, calendar for next year!

Baby laundry solved

On the heals of the Bubble, bubble toil and trouble post, I’m happy to confidently recommend the following for baby laundry (and for your laundry for that matter). BabyGanics makes a fantastic safe and gentle laundry detergent with by far the shortest, simplest ingredient list I’ve found. No synthetics, chemicals or toxins – well done BabyGanics.


I’ve also just fallen deeply in love with Method Baby Squeaky Clean Dryer Cloths. They are essentially made from coconut oil and I can’t seem to find anything wrong with them (yet!). My little munchkin’s clothes came out softer and smelling ever so faintly of coconut. His swaddle blanket smelled good enough to eat (must try and eat lunch more often so I don’t develop Pica). Given that most dryer sheets are made from animal fat and contain toxins, I don’t see why adults can’t luxuriate in these coconut gems too so I’m getting more for our laundry .


Must have moisturizer

Hello Winter? If you live the in northeast, you’re probably starting to contemplate months of dry, cracked skin right now. Finding a decent moisturizer (or face wash for that matter) that isn’t loaded with chemicals has been a challenge, but I’m covering new territory now that I have a baby. There’s no reason big babies can’t use little baby products.

Up until now, I’ve been a Burt’s Bees Radiance Cream user but it just isn’t cutting it and it’s only November 1. We’ve also been using Burt’s Baby Bee Fragrance Free Lotion which is okay but it doesn’t seem to do anything for the little one.

Happily, we were given this fabulous Mustela Newborn Set as a gift and have loved the products so far. They are paraben and phthalate free, which is a great start. The No-Rinse Cleansing Fluid as come in handy when my pumpkin drenches himself in his breakfast, lunch and dinner and we just can’t manage a bath.

Part of what we love, however, is that wonderful scent, which is regretfully in that vague and ominous category of “fragrance” and “parfum.” I have noticed my three week old’s skin getting a bit dry and irritated (the winter before Halloween didn’t help) and haven’t wanted to put parfumed products on him (shouldn’t really be putting any on him actually). Most of these things clear up on their own but if your looking for a safe(er), fragrance free, colorant free skin care line (that is also free of parabens and preservatives), try the Mustela Dermo Pediatrics Stelaprotect line for sensitive skin. Actually they call it the line for “intolerant and reactive skin” but that sounds sort of hostile. They also make paraben, phthalate, fragrance and colorant-free lines to treat Eczema, cradle cap, severe diaper rash, etc.

We just discovered the StelaProtect body milk and face cream (which I highly recommend buying for yourself as well). The regular body cream does have petroleum in it so read the ingredients for each product before you buy. So far, we’re fans.