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Food Packaging is Major Source of Toxic BPA and DEHP Chemical Exposure

If you are trying to live a greener, simpler life, you are probably already avoiding packaged food.  In general, I avoid over packaged food because of the amount of garbage it is adding to our landfills or energy used to recycle.  Sometimes I make an exception for seaweed snacks or Trader Joe’s (yes, I am a hypocrite), but extra garbage or recycling is not the only reason to avoid food packaging.  According to a new study, food packaging is a major source of human exposure to the toxic chemicals BPA and DEHP.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) has been all over the news for years, and many families avoid BPA containing plastics; however, even those can leach hormone disrupting chemicals into our food and drink. Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) is a plasticizer commonly used in the production of PVC and is the “most important” phthalate.  Both chemicals are considered safe by the US government, although BPA is being investigated.  Despite governmental assurances, these are chemicals of concern commonly found in food packaging.

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5 Green Products: Recycled Cardboard Christmas Tree, Nature’s Gate Holiday Gift Sets, and B Toy’s Eco-Friendly Packaging

1.  Recycled Cardboard Christmas Tree

When I was first approached about reviewing Cascade’s recycled cardboard tree, I was a bit reticent.  We have reviewed several cardboard playhouses before, and they usually end up in the recycling bin after a few months, as they are simply not sturdy. I anticipated this cardboard tree would be similar…disposable after one holiday season. I am pleased to report I was wrong.

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Fruit Loops Contaminated by Petrochemicals

Photo by terren in VirginiaChildren's cereals contaminated with chemicals from wax bag liners.

Children's cereals contaminated with chemicals from wax bag liners.

Other than toys, there is not a product more targeted at children than sugary cereals.  From cartoon characters to prizes in boxes, I succumbed to the lure of Captain Crunch and the Trix Bunny as a child. At least organic cereals try to appeal to children by educating them about endangered species. Marketing strategies aside, many commercial cereals are chock full of artificial colors and flavorings linked to hyperactivity in children; however, there is a new threat to our health from cereal:  petrochemical 2-methylnaphthalene.

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