Thursday, November 29, 2007


Too busy caring for your children to obsess over every news story that could mean danger for those same offspring? Not when you're the mommy of a Funny, Funny Family. And what's funnier than endocrine disruption and all those amusing new genitals kids are showing up with?

Are Your Products Safe? You Can't Tell
From the home of my first and only newspaper internship*, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. I appreciate their point: It's easy to tell people to avoid pthalates and bisphenol-A, but since companies don't have to tell us this stuff, it's kind of hard to actually put that into practice.

Key point:
"Hundreds of studies have shown that these compounds cause a host of problems in lab animals. They include cancers of the breast, brain and testicles; lowered sperm counts, early puberty, miscarriages and other defects of the reproductive system; diabetes; attention deficit disorder**, asthma and autism** - all of which have spiked in people in recent decades since many of these chemicals saturated the marketplace."

Extra points for post-Halloween frights: "Michael E. Mitchell, chief of pediatric urology at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, has seen the consequences he attributes to these unregulated chemicals.
He has witnessed a dramatic spike in the number of genital birth defects in the last 30 years."

Many more toys tainted with lead, inquiry finds
The dozens of leadolicious toys outed by the Tribune include the yellow block from the Baby Einstein set that we and so many other families we know own. The blue one has already been recalled, but so far manufacturer Kids II is standing by its yellow ducky block

I think this article pretty much tipped me past the brink of lead fatigue. I get it, it's everywhere, yet most of our kids are not retarded. Shouldn't I be transferring most of this hysteria to endocrine disrupters in plastics (see above)?

In fact, in the midst of its fear-mongering, the article admits that "In Chicago, for instance, lead prevention officials say they have yet to trace a single poisoning case to a child ingesting lead in toys."

However, I really liked this point: "The results countered a popular belief that upscale boutiques offer better protection from the hazard than chain retail outlets. More than one-third of the tainted items found by the Tribune were sold in small stores."

Because I am tired of hearing parents say things like "it's just not worth it buying cheap toys" or "that's why I only buy wooden toys, not plastic crap." The facts just don't support it, my fellow yuppies.

* I reported a lot of suburban non-stories to filled the zoned sections popular in those days, and once a week worked the copshop, a little office right in the police station. On copshop nights, one of my jobs was to walk over to the morgue, ring the bell, and copy down the information sheet for any corpses they had gotten that night. The morgue people were always friendly and glad for a living late-night visitor.

** I am really curious about how they test lab animals for attention defecit disorder and autism.


PumpkinsMom said...

It's all frightening- I keep up with the recalls and throw out anything that I know has lead but I'm sure so many of my son's other toys have lead as well, so unless I throw them all out, what can you do? You're right, with all of the other chemicals and additives everywhere, you feel like you're fighting a losing battle. I think the long-term effects are really going to start to show as our generation ages.

Kori said...

What would I do without you? You know I'm not a fan of the paper-copy of the newspaper, so I rely on your savvy eye for detail to get me the stories of fear and worry I desperately need to inform my parenting.

Seriously, though, I find out a lot of important stuff from your attentiveness, so thanks!

BTW, I've purchased lead spoons and forks for your daughters for Christmas. EJ has one, too. I figured we might as well just seal the deal...