Why should we be concerned about mercury exposure?
It may seem like an odd question… We keep seeing it in the news, hearing it in our doctor’s offices, but one day I stopped and asked myself, why is it important to avoid mercury? I did some research and this was the best explanation I came up with:
The nervous system is very sensitive to all forms of mercury. Methylmercury and metallic mercury vapors are more harmful than other forms, because more mercury in these forms reaches the brain.
Exposure to high levels of metallic, inorganic, or organic mercury can permanently damage the brain, kidneys, and developing fetus. Effects on brain functioning may result in irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems.
From the ATSDR – Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry:
And the EWG says this:
Mercury can damage the neurological development of fetuses and infants. Recent studies have suggested that mercury may also pose a health risk for adults, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
This is the story of Lil Diva and her first manicure and pedicure.
Previously – I had heard about opting for greener polish – but wasn’t compelled to try them until my daughter asked to have her nails painted. And I didn’t know what the problem was with regular polish.
So why should you consider switching?
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde and toluene – big words right?
What makes them bad… well they are know to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
All three ingredients are banned by the European Union, but not by the FDA.
The good news – there are many companies making nail polish without these harmful ingredients.
If You Are Formula Feeding – How do you choose the safest option for your Baby?
Use these 3 tips to steer you in the right direction.
1. Choose Organic Formula
If there is ever a time to spend the extra money on an organic, pesticide free options – this is it. If you need to use formula – choose organic for the safest option. The trickier part will be finding one. To my knowledge there are only a few of brands on the market: my favorite Nature’s One, Earth’s Best, Similac Organic, and Walmart’s Parent’s Choice Organic.
2. Avoid Ready Made Formula in Cans
A toxic chemical called bisphenol A (BPA) can leach into liquid formula sold in metal cans. Canadian tests show no BPA leaching into powdered formula. The same brands are sold in the U.S., making powdered formula a low-risk for BPA contamination.
Some liquid formulas are sold in plastic, mostly polyethylene and polypropylene which do not contain any BPA. Avoid any plastic containers that are rigid and transparent, marked with “PC”. All liquid formulas sold in metal cans are lined with BPA-epoxy, which has been shown to leach into the product. If you buy formula in metal cans choose the concentrated type which is diluted with water prior to feeding. Avoid ready-to-eat formula in metal cans, which has the highest BPA leaching potential.
3. Select Powdered Formulas
Powdered formulas are the best choice for parents who want to avoid bisphenol A in their baby’s diet. While powdered formula has not been tested for BPA, it is diluted with much more water than liquid formulas which reduces the amount of BPA that the baby consumes in each feeding. Nestlé has made unsubstantiated claims that they don’t use any BPA to line their powdered formula cans. Nestlé, Enfamil and Similac use a mixed metal and cardboard package with less BPA-coating. Second best are Earth’s Best Organic and PBM’s store-brand powdered formulas that use a fully metal can.
4. Soy vs Milk Based Formula
Of course you’ll want to consult your pediatrician, but unless your baby has a sensitivity to milk proteins and requires a soy formula – stay with milk based formulas. The most significant reason to avoid soy unless you have no other options is because soy can mimic the effect of estrogen when consumed in large quantities.
If you do need to use a soy based formula – be sure to use an organic option to be sure you are getting non GMO soy. Soy is one of the largest GMO crops. Given how little we know about the long term effects of consuming GMO foods. We would be wise to avoid experimenting with our infants!
PND recently found an article on MSN Health and Fitness 12 Preservative to Avoid, it seemed worth sharing. The article briefly lists MSN Healths picks for the top 12 additives and preservatives to avoid and briefly explains why. This list has inspired PND to create a new series.
We’re calling it ~ The Twinkie Report.
The 12 preservatives to avoid:
Sodium Nitrate Propyl Gallateu usually used in conjunction with BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydrozyttoluene) Propyl gallate MSG – Monosodium glutamate – AKA Natural Flavorings Trans fats Aspartame Acesulfame-K – Another Sweetener Food colorings: Blue 1, 2; Red 3; Green 3; and Yellow 6 Olestra Potassium bromate White sugar Sodium chloride
In future installments PND plans on going through each preservative on the list to learn even more about why we should be avoiding them.
Some questions we’ll ask:
- What is it?
- Why Should we avoid it?
- Where is it used/Which Foods?
- What can we do/use instead?
We’re not sure exactly why we’re picking on the Twinkie – except when thinking about the ultimate in non food, preservative laden food ~ The Twinkie comes to mind first! Then we found this picture, which keeps making us laugh.
On side note I don’t think we’ll be doing any hostess giveaways in the near future. Apologies to our readers.
What exactly is in the Twinkie – not much that can be considered real food from our research.
Digging a little deeper the top twinkie ingredients are:
- Enriched Wheat Flour – enriched with ferrous sulphate (iron), B vitamins (niacin, thiamine mononitrate [B1],ribofavin [B12] and folic acid).
- Corn syrup
- High fructose corn syrup
- Vegetable and/or animal shortening – containing one or more of partially hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed or canola oil, and beef fat.
- Whole eggs
According to Steve Ettlinger’s book, Twinkie Deconstructed, five ingredients come from rocks and other ingredients like cellulose gum, Polysorbate 60, and calcium sulfate… These ingredients are also used in sheet rock, shampoo, and rocket fuel.
We’re looking forward to learning more and sharing with you over the coming weeks.
First up: Sodium Nitrate.