Manufacturers have been barred from using lead in some children’s products. So what did they do? They substituted the more harmful cadmium in its place. Some people will stop at nothing to make a profit. I can’t tell you how disgusting this practice is to me. And to all you readers, I’m sure. If the plant or head office were in our town or city, there would be moms and dads and people in general coming out in droves to state clearly, “Enough is enough!” We are not being protected and this deceitful practice has to stop. It’s poisoned our pets and it’s poisoning us. With manufacturing going on overseas, I sometimes feel powerless and overwhelmed due to the vast distance and lack of understanding of standards and regulations. And a lot of days like today, I’m just pissed off. Period. Like you, I’m doing my best and that’s all I can do.
Whenever I shop now, I look at where a product is made. I can’t trust it’s safe just because it’s sold in a chain store or supermarket. I look for ingredients, a luxury sometimes, since many industries don’t have to list what is actually in their products. And when they do release information, it is sometimes a lie. Just this week, it was reported that fast foods actually contain more calories than was stated on the information given to consumers. And last year, Dr. Steinemann’s tests showed unlisted ingredients in the products she’d tested. VOC’s, more harmful ingredients.
I’ve had enough. Life is stressful enough without worrying if my new casserole dish is lowering my IQ or cans are disrupting my hormones. Without a clear plan and a clear head, we consumers can worry ourselves to death. Let’s take a breath and look at this through the lens of information. That is the very reason I began this blog and podcast. It’s a process of learning and taking action …and it takes time.
Fact: The handbags were made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
Lead is commonly found in PVC. I’ve written in the past about PVC-what numbers on plastics mean as well as about finding PVC-free school supplies. We’ve heard recently about toxic shower curtains made with PCV and concern over water bottles and PVC pipes that carry our drinking water. PVC is a soft plastic and what makes it soft are chemical additives such as phthalates, which mimic the human hormone estrogen. When we ingest these chemicals. it’s said we change our body’s natural hormone cycles. Do you know what plastic is made from? If not, that’s a good place to start your research. Then decide if you want to heat it in your microwave and eat off of it. And while you’re at it, check into PVC, a type of plastic.
I just visited an industry website which reassures me that the baby with the plastic PVC soother is safe. While the studies go on, and the conflicting messages continue, we’re left confused. Just perfect for people who want to prey on our lack of certainty and sell us products that we don’t need, that are poorly made and that may even harm us.
The antidote? INFORMATION! That’s all we can really do is keep sharing what we learn and shop consciously. I have faith that after there is a certain awareness, consumers will send the message: Enough is enough! We want safe, well-made products. We want correct information and integrity in manufacturing and advertising. And we’re willing to do our homework and buy differently, from companies who do differently. They are out there, the ones that are trying to do differently. Let’s support them.I can’t tell you what to buy. But I can suggest how to shop if you don’t want to be surprised by these types of news articles.
1. Don’t shop with your eyes or nose. The pretty package is designed to make you buy it without even know what’s in the stuff. I’ve noticed another disturbing trend: Great packaging for crappy products. Use your intellect. Use your conscience, your heart. Know yourself!
2. Read labels. Call companies and ask questions. If you don’t get satisfying answers, don’t buy from them. Find a company that is transparent in what and how they manufacture goods.
3. Sniff out the baseless marketing claims and greenwashing and think critically.
4. Remember: If you make good decisions, YOU already know what’s good for you and if you’re not sure, it’s probably not that good for you. Seriously! Confusion results in bad decisions. Remember what is healthful and life-giving to you and your family. And stick to it.
5. Talk about safer products with your friends and family. Share better, health-giving alternatives. Demand more from manufacturers. There are usually smaller, better choices out there!
6. Take time to buy. Slow down. This is probably the biggest mistake people make. They’re so busy, they don’t have time to shop consciously. They want to do their shopping in one trip, as quickly as possible. They don’t have time to their homework so they buy products that come back to bite them. Recently, this happened to me. I was so overwhelmed by my shopping trip, I bought some meat and eggs I didn’t want. I had shopped against my conscience and my better judgment. They had won. They had got my money one time but not my trust, nor loyalty.
4. Think materials, not just products. If you were going to make yourself a shower curtain, would it be ok to put in toxic chemicals? What about your food? Your pet’s food? NO! So why is it ok for some faceless company to do the same? Without impunity?
5. Wake up and smell the toxins. Get out of harmful habits and addictions. No more excuses. This simply is enough already! It takes 3-6 months to change a habit and do something differently. Find a supportive group and start with one small change. Do it for a day, then a week and soon, that becomes months and years and you’ll get the benefits of making smart choices.
Is your butt hurting yet? I don’t know about you but for me, I sometimes need to get angry and say ENOUGH before I take action. Please share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.
And just FYI, another interview on Living in a Chemical Soup Podcast is on its way next month. I hope you’ll listen and if you can, join in the live recording to ask questions of my guest. The topic will be toxins in everyday products and health. Please send me a note if you’d like participate during recording and call in with a question or two. More to come.
Related report: Pretty But Poisonous: Lead in Handbags and Wallets A good link with pictures of faux leather handbags found to contain lead in paint. From April last year. Guess this isn’t the first time for this news, either.
Remember….Stop thinking products and think MATERIALS. Faux leather ain’t leather. Do you know what’s it’s made from? Maybe it’s time to find out.