Thursday, April 24, 2008

is anyone else completely freaked out by this?

All this recent (to me, at least) news about bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles (and everything else) basically has totally freaked me out.

For those of you who don't know (yet) about bisphenol-A, it is a chemical which is added to plastics and as sealants on metal (and probably a lot of other things, too). The chemical industry tells us it's wonderful because it makes plastics resilient, clear, basically unbreakable, and it seals metals from foods, as in baby food jar lids. But I don't want to get ahead of myself here.

Evidently, a lot of people have been talking about and researching the negative effects of bisphenol-A for a while. I've been seeing these baby bottles made by BornFree at Whole Foods for a while, with signs on them saying they are free of bisphenol-A. I had no idea what BPA was then and, like a lot of new parents, didn't have a lot of time to research it.

Well, let me tell you, I've been researching. And the news is not good.

NOTE: DO NOT go to a website called for unbiased info. Despite being a DOT ORG, they are actually run by the plastics industry. Other info which is against BPA may not be unbiased either, but at least it isn't the industry itself putting out the info. Remember how the cigarette companies insisted for decades that their research showed that cigarettes were fine for your health, maybe even good for you? And now it's clear that they were purposefully lying.

BPA mimics hormones and is known to disrupt hormone function as well as how chromosomes are sorted. There is evidence that, even at very low doses, it is linked to cancer, diabetes, reproductive development, hyperactivity, and lots of other health problems.

So, with everything else going on right now, we've been researching this BPA thing, calling companies, buying new things (good for the economy, right?) and trying to decide what exactly to get rid of.

This is what I've come up with so far:

Avent bottles - DO contain BPA; they should be avoided. Supposedly, BPA leaches out at a higher rate if the plastic is heated (as in a dishwasher) or if harsh detergents are used on it (as in a dishwasher). I'm guessing that I'm not the only parent who has put baby bottles in the dishwasher thinking that they'll be more sanitary that way. They are working on a non-BPA bottle and will send out a free sample to you if you call them to complain (1-800-542-8368).

Earth's Best organic baby food - the metal lids contain BPA. So much for buying organic because it's better for my baby. And he liked it, too. :-( The cereals in boxes, though, are OK.

Nalgene bottles are apparently bad, too. Which is too bad, because I love my Nalgene bottles. However, Nalgene says they're phasing out BPA bottles within the next few months, and they already have a BPA-free alternative on the market, called their "Everyday" line.

Powdered baby formula is almost always packed in containers that has BPA, at least in the metal tops and bottoms. Some companies also use BPA in the cardboard on the sides of the containers, too. Similac says that their individual packets do NOT contain BPA. (However, you'll be throwing away a lot more trash with this option, but maybe it's worth it.) Although surprisingly, when I checked in the grocery store, it did not appear to be more expensive. And the organic formula does not appear to come in the individual packets. Again, it's ironic that the organic option comes with extra chemicals (no extra charge!! sorry for the sick humor). They also said that the already-prepared liquid has BPA on the lid part, but not in the bottle. If you know of a formula that doesn't have BPA, let me know! The organic stuff from Earth's Best supposedly has even more BPA than the Similac, although I forgot to ask those folks about formula when I was on the phone with them.

In general, plastics with the numbers 3, 6, or 7 on the bottom (in the little recycle symbol) should be avoided. Some #7 materials (which just indicates "other" plastic) are OK, for instance, if it is a combination of #1 and #2, it will be marked as #7. Plastics marked with #1,2,4,5 should be OK for contact with food.

Now for the good news:
The Canadian government ROCKS!! - I have another post coming up with details on this one.

I've already changed to BornFree baby bottles, mostly glass bottles.

Earth's Best organic cereals are in boxes that have no BPA.

I'm making baby food for now, organic, fresh, home-made, BPA-free. Love the pressure cooker.

gotta love having time off

So this is one of the things that I've been "working" on the past couple of days...
I noticed that FreeRice seemed to have added some new levels as well as new vocab words. So I decided I would beat my previous high level of 50. I got all the way to 55! Woo-hoo! Yup, I'm proud of myself.

I also saw in the options that you can have it remember your level and the number of grains you've "donated" via their website. So, even though this doesn't include my earlier attempts, you can see I've been spending way too much of B's naptime playing FreeRice.


Hey, at least I'm doing something good while goofing off.

Which reminds me...

Here's another way I started goofing off occasionally: The ESP Game.
Basically, the computer matches you with an anonymous partner, and you get a set amount of time to agree on words to describe photos. I read about this in a Smithsonian magazine article about young innovators. The magazine was interesting... something like 25 people under 25 who are changing the world (don't quote me on the exact title, but you get the gist).

It's set up as a game, but the people who "play" it are basically doing a task to help all internet users: cataloging the internet's photos/images. The article said that people who play get "attached" to their partners, which seemed weird to me at first, I mean, how can you get attached to someone that you can't actually communicate with, don't know their name/username/nothing. All you are doing is typing in words to describe photos. But I will say this: some people are much better partners than others. Funny, it's obvious when you change partners: some people will hit pass immediately for every picture (annoying!), others will try for a while, sometimes I get a partner who really thinks like me, and we get lots of bonus points.

OK, I feel kind of nerdy, but it's fun. And it keeps me off the street.

still worried, but kind of moving on

Yes, I guess I'm still worried (see the other entry), but really, there's nothing I can do about it. Except stop blogging, I guess. Or start a new blog. Ugh, that sounds so tiring. I wonder if this person even realizes what happened. My guess is... she must. But she hasn't said anything about my slip-up. So I don't know if she's just trying to be polite and pretend nothing happened. Or if she actually didn't notice.

OK, moving on. (Well, maybe not really, as I would still like some reassurance....)

Monday, April 7, 2008


So yesterday I was working. Thinking-type of work, at home, on the computer, not like heavy physical labor or dangerous-type stuff. Since I was on the computer, I was kind of goofing off at the same time. But since I was working and goofing off simultaneously, I guess I wasn't focusing as closely as I should have been (probably on either).

And so, I did something really stupid that I wouldn't ordinarily have done (at least I hope not). I put myself in kind of a vulnerable position with someone who I don't really know all that well, and now I'm really worried that this person might do something that is not so nice. Well, maybe this person wouldn't do that, and I hope not, because I'd like to think that I know this person well enough to say that, but quite honestly, I don't. I didn't realize it right away, but I realized shortly thereafter, and I can't believe I would be so stupid.

So I was sick with worry last night and into today. There's really nothing I can do about it, at this point, as what I've done is irreversible. I wish, though, that I had some reassurance that things would be OK. I'm still worried.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

send some positive thoughts

Sustainable Dave's father's been hurt, and Dave has asked everyone to keep him in their thoughts/prayers/whatever you want to call it. And pass it on. For what it's worth, I'll ask all three of my readers to join me in this.

I have been so busy that I really have not been keeping up with blog reading lately. There are a few blogs that I still stop in on, but mostly I just haven't had time. I had been watching Dave's blog since the beginning of the year when I heard about him, but my RSS feed showed 63 unread messages from his blog. So you can see that it's been a while since I've read anything from him. But tonight, for whatever reason, I decided to drop in, and this is what I read.