Replace That Old Carpet to Shield Your Kids From Toxins

Replace That Old Carpet to Shield Your Kids From Toxins

Yikes! –

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 – If you have kids and carpets, it might be time to redecorate. Older carpets are a major source of kids’ exposure to harmful chemicals known as PFAS, researchers say.

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are associated with serious health risks in kids and adults, including impaired neurodevelopment, immune system dysfunction, hormone disruption and cancer.

The chemicals were once used to make carpets stain- and soil-resistant, but most manufacturers recently stopped using them. That means families, schools and daycares can eliminate kids’ exposure to PFAS by replacing older carpets, according to the study authors.

“From circle time to nap time, young schoolchildren spend a lot of time on the floor,” said study lead author Marta Venier. She’s an associate scientist in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Source: Replace That Old Carpet to Shield Your Kids From Toxins | Health News | US News

Can Working Less Save the Planet? – EcoWatch

Can Working Less Save the Planet? – EcoWatch

Wow, an eye-opening perspective in more ways than one! –

Philipp Frey of the German Center for Emancipatory Technology Studies says there are lessons to be learned from all this, for the good of both people and planet. Last year, he authored a headline-grabbing study suggesting that to prevent climate collapse, Europeans should go down to a nine-hour working week.”There exists a strong positive correlation between carbon emissions and working hours,” Frey said. “Most of us produce less carbon emissions on the weekends than on a normal workday.”

This isn’t only true of workers in carbon-heavy sectors like manufacturing and energy production. Emissions from commuting and running offices are also a factor. And how we work impacts how we consume.

Research suggests longer working hours are linked to increased consumption, and that this effect isn’t just to do with income. Workers with less free time are more likely to use private vehicles instead of public transport, buy energy-intensive, time-saving products, choose convenience foods over sourcing local produce, and in the words of one study, “favor conspicuous expenditure and non-sustainable lifestyles.”

Source: Can Working Less Save the Planet? – EcoWatch

Toxic Flame Retardants Can Spread From Your Electronics To Your Hands, Study Warns

Toxic Flame Retardants Can Spread From Your Electronics To Your Hands, Study Warns

Yikes! –

TORONTO — Amid all the worry about the spread of viruses, a new study says there’s another dangerous substance you should want to keep off your hands. Researchers from the University of Toronto say toxic chemicals, which are commonly used as flame retardants, can move from your television to the air and dust in your home. From there, those particles can end up on a person’s hands and be spread further by touching other devices like a cell phone.

Halogenated flame retardants have been added to television cases since the 1970s. Researchers say these chemicals were added to older TVs because of the fire risk these devices had. Back in the ’70s, a cathode ray tube would have to be warmed so the TV could project the images on its screen. This process ended up setting hundreds of TVs on fire, prompting companies to add flame retardants to the mix.

Even when televisions evolved into the sleek, modern, and safer products we see today, the study says companies have continued to cover them in potentially harmful flame retardants. Researchers warn these chemicals are not bonded to the TV case and eventually break free into the environment around them.

Source: Toxic Flame Retardants Can Spread From Your Electronics To Your Hands, Study Warns

Dogs can be ‘early-warning systems’ for toxic chemical exposure at home

They really are man’s best friend! –

Since dogs are much like us, and share the same living space, scientists conducted the first investigation into how industrial chemicals impact humans and pet dogs living in the same household.

Using silicone wristbands and collars—a relatively new technology for detecting chemical exposure—the team found remarkable similarities between dogs and their owners’ chemical loads, according to the study, published recently in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

These results are encouraging, says study leader Catherine Wise, because they show dogs can act as early-warning systems for human health, providing valuable clues about the detrimental effects of these exposures.

It often takes decades for chemical-related diseases to manifest in people, but the impact on pets may only take several years, says Wise, a Ph.D. candidate at North Carolina State University. So, for example, if scientists found that phthalates consistently led to cancer in dogs, they could offer guidance for people to be more vigilant in their exposure to plastics.

Source: Dogs can be ‘early-warning systems’ for toxic chemical exposure at home

Australia’s animal testing ban finally realised as AICIS comes into effect

Australia’s animal testing ban finally realised as AICIS comes into effect

Woohoo! A great step in the right direction –

Australia is finally is implementing a ban on cosmetic testing on animals as the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) comes into effect, after multiple delays.

AICIS replaced the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) on July 1, 2020​ as the new national regulator of the importation and manufacture of industrial chemicals in Australia.

One of the most anticipated changes of this reform is the new restrictions on animal test data for cosmetics.

The rules state that any new cosmetic ingredients manufactured in, or imported into Australia, will not be able to use information from animal testing to prove its safety.“There is strong public support to introduce a ban on cosmetic testing on animals. This ban will bring Australia into line with the EU and other countries introducing a ban on using data from tests on animals for determining the risks of new cosmetic ingredients,” ​said the Australian government in a statement.

With this ban, it hopes to encourage new methods of testing that do not rely on the use of animals, for chemicals with any industrial use, including cosmetics.

Source: Australia’s animal testing ban finally realised as AICIS comes into effect

How pregnant woman’s high blood pressure can change shape of baby’s heart

How pregnant woman’s high blood pressure can change shape of baby’s heart

Why managing your blood pressure during pregnancy is so important! –

Mothers who have high blood pressure are more likely to have babies with slightly different-shaped hearts, a finding that could impact future cardiovascular care for those women and their children, according to a new study.

The research, published Thursday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, adds a new layer of understanding to how pregnancy complications affect prenatal and postnatal heart health.

Past studies have shown premature birth and low birth weight may affect how an infant’s heart forms. The new research looked at the prenatal experience—whether high blood pressure, also called hypertension, among pregnant women also might affect the shape of babies’ hearts.

Source: How pregnant woman’s high blood pressure can change shape of baby’s heart