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Best of Enviroblog 2009: Top 10 posts

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

As the saying goes, another one bites the dust. Another year, that is. But before we leave 2009 behind for good - which many of us would happily do - let's take a quick look back at the 10 most popular Enviroblog posts of the year. It's a (web)log, after all, of what's newsworthy in toxics, a chronicle of what was on our minds, and yours.

  1. Thank you for buying our toxic plastic. It's 1960. Embattled tobacco industry reps, accused by the Federal Trade Commission and health groups of hawking products that kill people, retreat to a sumptuous hideaway and devise a campaign to salvage cigarettes by, among other things, targeting women.
  2. EWG's Tips for parents: The series. We're excited to tell you about our new Healthy Home Tips for Parents email series! EWG's scientists and public health researchers created a list of the most important steps you can take at home to promote your family's environmental health.
  3. So what products CAN we use? Every time a report is released that reveals toxics in our consumer products, it's only natural to wonder what you can buy once you've learned what you can't. In last week's Toxic Tub report, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics cautioned us that 61% of the kids' bath products they tested contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane - both probable carcinogens. Guess I know what not to buy.
  4. Infant formula: How to choose it & use it. Earlier this month, we daylighted a CDC report that showed perchlorate contamination in infant formula. Not surprisingly, we received quite a few questions about formula that week, so we put these recomendations together to supplement our perchlorate report FAQ.
  5. EWG's Tips to Avoid BPA Exposure. EWG is working hard to pass laws that limit or ban the dangerous chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). But until they pass, we think you should have the latest info on sources of exposure and our tips to avoid them on your own. Because before the personal becomes political it's, well, still personal.
  6. It's practically summer. Quick, grab the safe sunscreen. Every year about this time we get a note from our preschool asking parents to either sign off on the school's sunscreen application regimen (their brand) or to bring your own. We've always brought our own because I was not at all keen on the brand the school used. Not sure who got the last laugh when I learned last year that my "this one's safer" brand was, ahem, loaded with oxybenzone. How did I know? EWG's Cosmetics Database, of course. And for the curious, oxybenzone is on our list of ingredients to avoid.
  7. Eden Foods: A BPA-Free Pioneer. No one is more pleased to see the hazards of bisphenol A in the spotlight than Mike Potter, father of six, grandfather of four, and founder and president of Eden Foods. His company began using BPA-free cans in 1999, after two years of frustrating negotiations with his can suppliers. "It's regrettable that the use of BPA has gone on so long," Potter told me. "I've been flabbergasted as I've observed the lack of will on the part of the rest of the food industry to take advantage of an option we created."
  8. Chloramine + Lead Pipes + Fluoride = Contaminated tap water. The lead pollution crisis of the Washington, D.C. water supply - and the culprit that caused it, the water disinfection chemical chloramine - is a powerful example of how things can go terribly wrong when water quality problems are considered and tackled in isolation.
  9. Bisphenol-A: What are the sources of exposure? A year ago, scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and discovered that bisphenol-A (BPA) contaminates the bodies of 93% of Americans tested; women had higher BPA levels than men, and children and adolescents carried more BPA in their bodies compared to adults. Two key uncertainties were highlighted in the CDC study: what are all the sources for BPA exposure and how long this chemical would persist in the bodies of people of different ages.
  10. Pollution portrait of a state reveals over 6,100 violations. Yesterday, Environmental Health News featured an excellent investigation by Tony Bartelme of The Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina. Bartelme reported that the state of South Carolina has collected about $55 million in fines since 1991 for over 6, 100 violations of state pollution laws. Imagine how much money would have come in if environmental laws were actually good?

This was so fun, we did it last year, too. Happy reminiscing.

[Thanks to Flickr CC & Optical Illusion for the candles]


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