A substance is determined to be toxic by it’s ability to cause damage on a cellular level or even effect the whole body. This damage may be visible, such as a burn or it may be invisible damage, such as organ damage, cancer or memory loss. Most chemicals enter the body via the lungs, the mouth, the skin and the eyes that occur with cleaning supplies, stain and water resistant products. In the office environment people should be especially concerned with exposure to PFCs, or Perfluorinated Compounds. PFCs are chemicals with stain-resistant or water-resistant properties. They are applied on office furniture, carpet, food packaging and food preparation pans and utensils. Our contact with these materials is one of the reasons PFCs are now more commonly found in our blood.
3M’s Scotchguard was discontinued in 2002 when studies found PFCs in their carpet, furniture and clothing treatments. However, not all manufacturers have discontinued use. PFCs are still found in teflon coated cooking utensils and on most office furniture. One source that many people are unaware of, is the use of these in our food packaging such as the grease-resistant lining on pizza boxes and the inside of microwave popcorn bags.
There is still much to learn about how these and other chemicals can affect our long term health. The EPA has developed a recommended action plan for all companies to take to avoid exposure until studies are completed and assurances can be made. The Washington Toxics Coalition also provides good tips and recommendations. There are many alternatives with all of these materials that are considered non-toxic, safe for the environment and for your employees.
If you need help finding non-toxic alternatives please contact us, we would be happy to help.
There has been a lot written about plastic lately. Not only is it harmful to the environment but overwhelming studies are finding plastic harmful to your health. Consider these facts;
Plastics production produces 14 percent of toxic air emissions in the U.S., and each plant emits an average of 300-500 gallons of contaminated wastewater per minute. (It’s Easy Being Green book)
100 million plastic bottles dumped in US every year. Each bottle will take over 1,000 years to biodegrade. (SIGG)
BPA (a plastic hardening agent prevalent in bottles, cups and lined tin cans) is so prevalent in food packaging and other consumer items that prior research has detected its presence in at least 90% of Americans. A group of 20 San Francisco residents had 66% less BPA in their urine after three days on a diet of fresh, organic and unpackaged food, scientists found. (Silent Spring Institute)
500 billion plastic bags or wraps are thrown away in America each year and are created with 12 million barrels of oil. (DropthePlasticBag.org)
Find out the facts about plastic for yourself with these resources;
Plastic Disclosure is a great website that offers facts and information about the harmful effects of plastic.
GreenBiz released this article a few weeks ago about the plastic use in corporations.
New York Times released this article on the issue of plastic and waste
If you want a more lighthearted approach, view the movie Bag It, that was released early in 2011. It discusses all the issues with plastic. For a review, go to this blog entry.
As summer is now in full force with outdoor barbeques be mindful what you put on that grill! Veggie Burgers use a soy extraction uses a chemical called Hexane which is a known neurotoxin. An interesting article called, What’s in Your Veggie Burger, came out recently in E magazine about the chemical Hexane in Veggie Burgers. Also, Mother Jones put out an article, Which Veggie Burgers contain Neurotoxin, last year.
Here is a brief article on why Hexane is not very good for you published by Cancer to Wellness organization. And here is Cornucopia’s full report, Behind the Bean, that talks about the good and bad of the soybean industry.
Here is the list of non-Hexane Veggie Burgers verified by the Cornucopia Institute: