Carcinogenic hexavalent chromium found in one-third of California’s drinking water, CDPH sued by environmentalists
In their suit, the National Resources Defense Council, along with the Environmental Working Group, contend that the Legislature ordered the state’s top health agency to develop drinking water standards for the carcinogen by January 2004, but so far the department has declined to do so. The suit claims the delay is unjustified and is asking the court to impose a faster deadline.
“Made famous by the 2000 film ‘Erin Brockovich,’ hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen and drinking water contaminant,” the complaint says. “At least one-third of drinking water sources sampled statewide – sources that provide drinking water to tens of millions of Californians – are contaminated with hexavalent chromium concentrations higher than those that the state deems to pose no significant health risk.”
Continuing, the suit says, “More than a decade after the Legislature ordered the Department to act, and more than eight years after the statutory deadline for action passed, the Department has not even proposed a hexavalent chromium drinking water standard. The Department presently estimates on its website that it will not publish a final drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium for at least another two to three years.”
New Study Reveals Children Are Being Poisoned by Common School Supplies
Andrew Puhanic, Contributor
Children are now being exposed to toxic phthalates found in school bags, rain coats, rain boots, three-ring binders and other common school supplies.
A new study published by the Centre for Health, Environment and Justice titled “Hidden Hazards: Toxic Chemicals Inside Children’s Vinyl Back-to-School Supplies” has revealed that common school supplies are laden with toxic chemicals that have been banned in toys.
It was identified that school supplies made out of softened vinyl plastic contained dangerous levels of phthalates.
Phthalates are known to be hazardous even at very low levels of exposure. At high levels of exposure they can disrupt hormones, and have been linked to birth defects, infertility, early puberty, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
A summary of the results of the study are as follows:
- 80% (16/20) of children’s back-to-school supplies sampled contained phthalates.
- The phthalates Bis (2‐ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Di‐n‐octyl phthalate (DnOP), Dimethyl phthalate (DMP), and Di‐n‐butyl phthalate (DBP) were detected in children’s back-to-school supplies.
- 75% (15/20) of children’s back-to-school supplies contained levels of phthalates that would be violation of the federal ban for toys 1, if these products were considered toys.
- 65% (13/20) of children’s back-to-school supplies sampled contained measurable levels of DEHP.
- 55% (11/20) of children’s back-to-school supplies sampled contained more than one phthalate indicating children are exposed to multiple phthalates from vinyl back-to-school supplies.
- None of the products sampled contained labels indicating the products contained phthalate.
- Since the phthalates are not chemically bound to the vinyl, they can migrate from within the products to the surface and be released from the products. Children may be exposed to elevated levels of these toxic substances by using these school supplies.
- Relatively low levels of heavy metals were detected in 40% (8/20) of these children’s school.
One lunch box sold by Disney contained an alarming 29 times the limit set by US Federal Health Agencies. If this lunch box was considered a toy, it would be banned in the United States of America. Another lunch box sold under the Spiderman franchise was found to contain 27 times the limit set by US Federal Health Agencies.
Beware: Corporations Sneak Synthetic Preservatives into Organic Baby Formula
August 28, 2012
Corporations and less than trust-worthy manufacturers are continuously ousted for sneaking synthetic ingredients and other chemicals in organic food products, and consumers don’t like it. Recently, a not-for-profit policy research organization called the Cornucopia Institute filed a formal legal complaint with the USDA against several infant formula manufacturers. Why? These manufacturers are sneaking two synthetic preservatives in certified organic baby formula.
Synthetics Hidden within Organic Baby Formula
Going against The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which explicitly bans synthetic preservatives in organic food, corporations are loading up organic baby formula with synthetic beta carotene and ascorbyl palmitate.
“This is another blatant violation of the federal law governing organics by multi-billion dollar corporations that apparently think they can get away with anything,” says Charlotte Vallaeys, Director of Farm and Food Policy at The Cornucopia Institute.
Interestingly, these corporations are adding the synthetic preservatives to organic baby formula to prevent the oxidation and rancidity of other synthetic, toxic ingredients, such as those found in DHA/ARA-enhanced baby formula. Baby formula manufacturers first started putting synthetic fatty acids called DHA and ARA in formula about a decade ago, but despite complaints over the years and questionable marketing practices by the companies, these DHA/ARA-enhanced formulas remain on the market today.
“This is not the first time that the pharmaceutical companies and agribusinesses, that manufacture infant formula, have quietly added to organic formula the same synthetic ingredients that they use in their conventional versions without first seeking the legally required approval for use in organics,” Vallaeys says.
According to the industry’s trade-lobby group, International Formula Council, synthetic beta carotene and ascorbyl palmitate provide no nutritional value, and provide no other purpose other than to prevent oxidation and rancidity. And of course, it isn’t surprising to see little benefit from these synthetics. In fact, it is because of synthetic vitamins that many vitamin studies and vitamin supplements are potentially useless.
The real issue concerning the organic baby formula, however, is that these companies are sneaking synthetic ingredients into organic food. Organic standards require organic foods to be free of synthetic ingredients when the primary purpose is to preserve. But as a bypass, the International Formula Council never uses the word “preservative”. Instead, they use terms like ‘antioxidant,’ to ‘prevent undesirable oxidation,’ and ‘prevent rancidity’ in “powder formulations containing DHA and ARA.”
“The only reason why these two synthetic preservatives are added to infant formula is to prevent the rancidity of some of the other synthetic ingredients that are not essential and have also been added illegally. This is a slippery slope, and we urge the USDA to take appropriate enforcement action and put an end to the practice of first adding synthetic additives to organic food, including infant formula, and then seeking subsequent approval,” says Vallaeys.
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