Monday, April 28, 2008

On the Way to Earthday

Heading out to DC for Earthday on the Nation’s Mall. We’re launching our Bag the Bag viral video campaign for reusable bags (saying no to paper AND plastic)-- It is also the final swing of promotion for the broadcast Wednesday night.

Interesting that Bisphenol A (BPA) is in the news right now.
This is a story we were picking up on over a year ago when we started research for Dirty Secrets. Today it is getting a lot of press because new studies with lab rats given BPA show changes suggesting a potential cancer risk and and could be involved with changes resulting in early puberty Polycarbonate is made with BPA.

This is one of those unnecessarily confusing issues for the public. A google search for BPA will result in a mixture of peer reviewed study references and industry disguised sites. A parent sorting through the sites finds comforting words telling you there is absolutely no health concern with using polycarbonates countered by scientists like the one we feature in Dirty Secrets, Dr. Frederick vom Saal, telling you that there is enough evidence to avoid the use.

To illustrate, check this out—go to Fox News and read the article, Coming Soon: More Chemical Scares Than Anyone Dreamed Possible by Steven Milloy,,2933,25065,00.html
The tag for the story is: Anti-chemical activists achieved a major victory this week. A government-sponsored panel of scientists laid the foundation for banning virtually any chemical on a whim.

“On a whim?” This is journalism? The article goes on to state: “[Activists’] claims are based in the work of Our Stolen Future cult leader and University of Missouri researcher Frederick vom Saal. His experiments on laboratory mice supposedly show that very low doses of some chemicals — thousands of times lower than current safe standards — increased prostate weight in male mice and advanced puberty in female mice.

Now go to an article at in the peer reviewed journal, PLoS Biology (from the Public Library of Science) by Liza Gross called, The Toxic Origins of Disease.

Her tag line: Researchers say endocrine-disrupting chemicals can permanently harm the developing organism and may even promote obesity. But the chemical industry doesn't want you to believe them.

What does a concerned person do—particularly if you don’t want to spend hours sorting through the controversy? You may want to look at what Canada is doing. Just last week, Canada banned the import and sale of plastic polycarbonate baby bottles. And Wal-Mart Canada is pulling baby bottles made with polycarbonate from its shelves. That’s enough for me, though I tend to adopt the precautionary principle on these issues—I had enough evidence sometime ago.

To help you—at least a little-- check out our Smart Plastics Guide at at

--Mark Shelley

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