Monday, September 5, 2011

Dangerous Chemicals Found in Most Car Seats just recently published its annual report on toxic car seats with detailed research conducted by the Ecology Center. Surprisingly, over 60 percent of the 2011-model car seats tested contain at least one toxic chemical, while others were found to be virtually free of harmful chemicals. Over 150 car seats were tested for bromine (associated with brominated flame retardants); chlorine (indicating the presence of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC and plasticizers); lead; other heavy metals, and allergens. These substances have been linked to allergies, birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, and cancer. It is important to remember that heat and UV-ray exposure in automobiles can accelerate the breakdown of these chemicals and possibly increase their toxicity and that infants are actually the most vulnerable because their systems are still developing and they spend more time in their car seats than older childen.

Below is a list of the least toxic car seats and most toxic car seats for 2011:

Least Toxic 2011 Car Seats:
• Infant Seat: Chicco KeyFit 30 in Limonata, Graco Snugride 35 in Laguna Bay & Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche
• Convertible Carseat: Graco Comfort Sport in Caleo, Graco MyRide 65 in Chandler and Streamer, Safety 1st OnSide Air in Clearwater, and Graco Nautilus Elite 3-in-1 in Gabe
• Booster Seat: Graco Turbo Booster in Anders 

Most Toxic 2011 Car Seats:
• Infant Seat: Graco Snugride 35 in Edgemont Red/Black & Graco SnugRide 30 in Asprey
• Convertible Seat: Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set & Britax Marathon in Platinum
• Booster Seat: Recaro Pro Booster in Blue Opal & Recaro ProSPORT Toddler in Misty

While no one is arguing that car seats save lives and are absolutely necessary, this report bears paying attention to, particularly when buying a new seat., in coordination with the Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety, is stepping forward and asking the largest car seat retailers, Graco and Evenflo, to take a leading role in disclosing and phasing out hazardous flame retardants from their products. Click here to sign the petition to Graco and Evenflo and let them know our children deserve safer seats. 

To view the full report and read a list of all car seats tested for to

Plastic Bag Ban Finally in Effect

I'm so proud of my city! Santa Monica FINALLY banned plastic bags at all grocery and retail stores this week. It was a long time coming - for a city that claims to be a green leader. If I forget my stash of  reuseable bags at home it is going to cost me 10 cents per paper bag. This is definitely an incentive to keep those reusable bags stocked and clean. My personal favorite are cloth and nylon, like the Flip & Temble sold at I'm not a fan of the cheap plastic and vinyl reusable bags many chain stores give away. They don't wash or wear well - so what's the point?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Use Cloth in lieu of Paper to Soak Grease

If you're a bacon lover like me (pork, turkey OR veggie) you've probably been guilty of soaking your bacon grease on a paper towel or two over the years. But have you ever thought about what may be leaching into your bacon from those paper towels? Bleach, dioxins and BPA - just to name a few of the toxins not meant to be ingested by humans. Not to mention - you're wasting yet another tree. So next time you get the bacon bug, simply lay a cloth napkin, flour sack or cheesecloth across a plate and use that to absorb the excess grease. Yes - it will stain your cloth a bit, so be sure to use an older cloth and consider just making it your dedicated "bacon soaker."

TIP: Be sure to soak the cloth in soap and water afterward so your next load of laundry doesn't reek of bacon.