Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Skin Deep...

I am some what of a begrudged "green" girl. I have to admit, when I first learned of the BPA found in plastics, including Avent baby bottles, my first thought was "great." Don't these consumer reports know that we stocked up on these very bottles for Madalyn and smugly planned to use our stash for any and all future children? We already bit the bullet once--c'mon! And, really, isn't Maddy just fine? Aren't we just fine, oh fellow generation, whose mothers placed us on our bellies to sleep, never fed us organic whole milk, and let us ride our bikes without helmets?

As a nurse, I am always on the lookout for "junk science." It is my firm belief that you can find a "study" to back just about any opinion you to you separate real, pressing concerns from the anxiety-inducing fray who seem to prefer our children to grow in climate-controlled bubbles?

That being said, as a mom, a nurse, a human-being, I love being informed. Individuals use similar logic as mine given above to justify, for example, why they have home births with lay midwives; their sister or mom or grandmother did and everyone was just fine. But look at the maternal and infant mortality rates when home births were a norm. So there is a very proper place for questioning and examining practices of the past with the knowledge and technology we have today.

Babies who are placed on their backs to sleep have a lower instance of SIDS. That is what we know now. It could change as we learn more. Prayerfully, there will come a time and a body of knowledge that eliminates SIDS entirely.

Organic milk is healthier for our children than that packed with antibiotics, grow hormones, chemicals. That is what we know now. Again, there is room for more study.

And helmets save lives when children fall, as children do, when riding bikes. Heck, they save lives when adults fall. If only I'd had a helmet on my tushy during mountain biking (see earlier post). Maybe I'm on to an idea there....

But I digress.

Believe it or not, there is a purpose to the soap-box filled blog. Good friends who I trust have inspired me to take a hard look into what cosmetics, soaps, and lotions I use for myself and my family. However, I had no idea where to look for the "safer" version of my paraben-filled favs. I'm certainly not going to take the time to scrutinize the back of every bottle at Meijer with the meter running on the car I payed a dollar for Maddy to sit in and watch WonderPets while I shop. The battery runs out on those things. And that MUST NOT happen until I have safely cleared the checkout lane. Don't judge me until you have experienced the peace and calm of shopping with a two-year old with the Meijer cars.

I can't stay on point today! Too much caffeine this morning, perhaps. The point, in fact, is that I came upon a website source entitled "Skin Deep" at This little gem allows you to type in any bath and body product, including cosmetics, and scores each product on toxicity, cancer-causing potential, allergies, and much more. You can then see which similar items are safer or more dangerous in comparison. Eg: I was shocked to find that Boudreaux's Butt Paste actually ranked better than the Burt's Bees Baby Bees Diaper cream I just purchased. Way to go, Butt Paste. *Warning*--this searching is somewhat addicting and can lead to deciding to see where every product you own ranks and staying up until 1:30 AM doing so. Not that that happened to me. I'm sure I'm always in bed at a sensible hour.

This database is a great resource to make informed decisions. As I run out of my current products, I'll use it to see what would be the best possible replacement. I'm sure all my way-cool, less reluctant Green friends already know about it. I'll get back to checking out those glass bottles. Incidently, several Babies 'R Us stores are taking back Avent bottles and giving the fair market price as a store credit to purchase a safer substitute. So it looks like our investment is still worth something!

Happy Searching!


Rebekah said...

I so love you. I'm doing the same as you. I'm not going to throw out everything I own and start over, but I am switching as I run out of products. I know there will always be extremes, but it feels good to be educated on such important issues. Thanks for the website tip!

Jen Holt said...

first off, let me know if you find a good conditioner that still leaves your hair feeling "silky smooth" haha, i havent had any luck yet. Secondly, i haven't decided on what cloth diapers, heather holt (who told me she is really excited to here about your cloth diapering adventure!) was going to help me out with trying to decide, but basically i am open to trying anything (hope that helps a little...) i hope this question means i'll get to see you at the end of the month!