I’ve been busy getting used to working again, getting Maya transitioned to the new schedule, working on my nascent book proposal, and hatching plans for a new on-line venture, about which you will hear more soon.
In addition, just this week, a terrible family tragedy has consumed all of us. We’re okay, but our loved ones are really hurting.
I will be back posting again shortly, as soon as I get my feet under me. In the meantime, here’s news you can use:
- California’s comment period on its proposal to revise the flame retardant standard closes for comments March 26th at 5 pm California-time. You should write them a note and tell them that flame retardant chemicals do NOT belong in our furniture and household items. Here’s a general sense of what to say and where to send your valuable input, courtesy of the ever-helpful Green Science Policy Institute. You can weigh in on this wherever you live, as California rule-makers should hear from everyone they impact with their stupid policy.
- For more evidence of why this change is sorely needed, see two important recent studies about flame retardants from the Center for Environmental Health — one finding sky-high levels of a cancer-linked chemical, chlorinated tris, in car seats and other baby items, and another from December finding flame retardants in — and this is so upsetting — naptime play mats used in preschools and homes.
- An inspiring California firefighter, Tony Stefani, who contracted a rare cancer linked to toxic chemicals has started a petition on Change.org. He will present all of the signatures at the March 26th hearing — you should go sign his petition as I did. Like, right now.
- New evidence suggests that lead exposure is far more dangerous than previously believed, and does harm at far lower levels than we thought possible.
- Sadly, proving once again that there are NO reasonable Republicans, the common-sense assault weapons ban offered by Senator Feinstein is DOA in the Senate. Really, people of the Congressional member-type, for shame.
- Then there was that Sheryl Sandberg thing. (The sum total of my response given the timing: “I would lean in but my back hurts too much.” Snort. And soooo sorry, my dear friend Katha Pollitt, if I’m not “helping the cause” because I might be “making it seem completely dreary to be a working mother.” More on that later, I suppose, but in the meantime check this out to see if you agree that Sandberg is mired in didactic ’70s Marlo Thomas lyrics. Snarky sidenote: have you tried to give Free to be You and Me a listen lately? It’s grating, preachy and ridiculous. (Or maybe that’s just me, as another (self-)righteous byproduct of the ’70s.)
- Last but really not least, the World Health Organization just published a comprehensive round-up of what we do and don’t know about the science on endocrine disruptors, i.e., chemicals that mimic hormones in the body. Check out the summary, here, and the good op-ed on “boys with boobs” by Beth Greer that brings the research home.
On a personal note, the latest CEH study makes me want to hork and have one of my classic post-hoc freak-outs about Maya’s $^%#!^ car seat. We’ve been using a Britax for its excellent safety ratings from Consumer Reports, but I was always upset about the flame retardants, as I ‘splained here. CEH says:
One product, a Britax infant car seat purchased from Babies R Us, contained significantly more Tris than the average amount in similar foam baby products tested for a 2011 national study. That study warned that baby products with 3-4% Tris could expose children to the chemical in amounts greater than the federal “acceptable” daily exposure level.
Oh, wow. If I was ticked off and worried before, I really should just chuck and replace them now. Britax did promise to phase the chemicals out by this past January, but has evidently missed that deadline, according to the good people who comment on such things in my posts. I will check out the other options asap, and share what more I find out.
And I will grapple with my normal dilemma of trying to resell what once was a 400-dollar car seat to some family less informed than me — if the past is any indicator, even my dire and honest explanations will not get in the way of a deal once proffered. So more kids get exposed, or it goes straight to the landfill and back to all of us as it degrades. What a crappy dilemma. Anyone know what the stores do with them that have buy-back programs? Maybe that’s an option…
If there’s big news I missed, please let me know. Next post, I promise to fix the glitch in my rant on toddler snacks and re-publish that bad boy.