Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Low Down on Baby Wipes - Part 2

So after my post about Wipes and the alternatives I thought I would investigate various brands and what they contain.

 Johnsons's baby Cleansing Wipes contain:
Water, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate , Glycerine, Citric Acid.
So what does all those random words, mean?

Phenoxyethanol:  Touted as a preservative that is "safer " then Parabens,  The FDA issued a warning that this chemical can cause the central nervous system to shut down and contact dermatitis. 
"Phenoxyethanol is a glycol ether (not 'ester' as I incorrectly wrote in the first version of this post). Glycols are a series of chemicals that find their way into all sorts of things: paint, lacquer, jet fuel..... Phenoxyethanol is used as an anti-bacterial in cosmetics as well as a stabilizer in perfume.
The product's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) says that it phenoxyethanol is harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin and that it can cause reproductive damage. The MSDS refers to 100% concentrations, so is it safe at lower doses? In cosmetics the concentrations are typically 0.5% to 1%."  Source: truth in aging (link to article)
Phenoxyethanol's profile on the cosmetic Database  
Chemical of the day found this: 
 "Safety/Hazard Info:
  • This animal study found phenoxyethanol to be a reproductive toxin.  (Source)
  • This study found it to be the cause of contact dermatitis (skin allergen/irritant.)  (Source)
  • This review confirms phenoxyethanol as a reproductive toxin.  (Source)
  • This also confirms phenoxyethanol as an ovarian toxin not just for the original animal exposed to it, but shown to effect the development of its offspring.  (Source)
  • This study found it to be a significant contact allergen.  (Source)"

Sodium Benzoate:   
"Sodium benzoate is a type of salt that may occur naturally in some foods but is more likely to be chemically produced and added as a preservative to foods. When used as a preservative,sodium benzoate is typically added to foods in small amounts only. If too much is added, food may take on a very bitter taste.
The reason you will note sodium benzoate listed in the ingredients of so many foods is because it works very well at killing bacteria, yeast and fungi. You will most commonly see it used as a preservative in foods with a high acid content, since sodium benzoate will only work when the pH balance of foods is less than 3.6. It is therefore effective in most sodas, vinegar, fruit juice, and in mixed ingredients like salad dressing. It is additionally used to stop the fermentation process in wines.
Sodium benzoate naturally occurs in several fruits like apples, plums and cranberries. A few sweet spices contain small amounts of sodium benzoate, including cloves and cinnamon. The presence of sodium benzoate in these foods does not necessarily act to preserve them." Source link
It has been link to low oxygen levels in the human body, the breakdown of the immune system and also linked to cancer.
"Derived from a reaction of benzoic acid with sodium hydroxide, sodium benzoate is actually the sodium salt of benzoic acid. Sodium benzoate is a known carcinogenic additive which, when eaten or applied to the skin, gets transported to the liver, where it is supposed to be filtered, and expelled in urine, but the damage gets done before that process is completed.
The FDA says it's safe because the amount used to preserve foods is very low, but don't ever combine it with vitamin C or E, as this causes benzene to be formed. This is dangerous. Benzene is a known carcinogen, which means it causes cancer." Source Link

In Food Sodium Benzoate appears as Sodium benzoate 211 on the labels. (link on it in food)
 Sodium benzoate's profile on the cosmetic Database states it is unsafe to be inhaled but there are no safety concerns, yes work that one out.
Sodium benzoate Dangers  has a great article on Sodium Benzoate here is a great quote :
 "One known cancer danger exists related to sodium benzoate. If you combine ascorbic acid (vitamin C) with sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate (another preservative), you get benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen. Most of the benzene exposure comes from the environment including cigarette smoke, car exhaust, industrial waste and service stations. Some benzene exposure can also come from contaminated food and water. "

From Chemical Of the Day:
"Safety Info:
Known to be a neurotoxin to aquatic animals.  (Source)
Is toxic/lethal at high doses in humans.  (Source)
Animal studies have shown some developmental abnormalities (Source)
Rats and mice given moderate doses of sodium benzoate showed decreased weight and some endocrine disruption (Source) however, at low doeses there were no effects.
Animal studies have shown it to be toxic to the liver at moderate doses (Source)
When combined with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or citric acid, it forms benzene, a known carcinogen.  This is a common problem in soft drinks. 

  • One study found that sodium benzoate created free radicals in the body, destorying mitochondrial DNA, adding to the body's aging process.  (Source)"

Glycerin:     has been approved for human consumption by the FDA, it can be found in everything from food such as Candy to products such as Toothpaste. 

Wikipedia lists its uses as ranging from a laxative to antifreeze (link)

Citric Acid:  

The MSDS fact sheet for Citric acid states this for health and safety risks:
Potential Acute Health Effects:
Hazardous in case of eye contact (irritant), of inhalation (lung irritant). Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant,sensitizer), of ingestion. The amount of tissue damage depends on length of contact. Eye contact can result in corneal damage or blindness. Skin contact can produce inflammation and blistering. Severe over-exposure can produce lung damage,choking, unconsciousness or death.
Potential Chronic Health Effects:
Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (sensitizer). CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS:Not available. TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. The substance may be toxic to teeth. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Repeated exposure of the eyes to a low level of dust can produce eye irritation. Repeated skin exposure can produce local skin destruction, or dermatitis. Repeated inhalation of dust can produce varying degree of respiratory irritation or lung damage."

So this chemical is known to cause blindness, death, choking, dermatitis... and lung damage.. sounds like a fun cuddly chemical doesn't it?  Wikipedia info on citric acid

From Cosmetics Info:

Safety Information

Citric Acid, Calcium Citrate, Potassium Citrate and Sodium Citrate are on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) list of direct food substances affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).

The safety of Citric Acid and its Calcium, Potassium and Sodium salts has been assessed by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. The most recent review concluded that it was not necessary to limit the dietary intake of Citric Acid and its salts.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has deferred evaluation of Citric Acid and its salts because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.

Now does this make you want to rush out and buy some of these wipes?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Haircuts & why it is something that shouldn't be forced

For most Adults, haircuts bring excitement and plans for a new style or new colour, maybe even both. But for a Toddler or preschooler, the word haircut can bring fear and meltdowns.  How do I know?
I have one such little one who was frightened of haircuts and hairdressers. So he was the proud owner of a lovely mop of long blonde hair (Peaceful parenting has a great album on facebook of boys with long hair).
There are some great tips here on how to prepare a littlie for a haircut.

So we embarked on getting a trim for little Charlie. Bearing in mind the last time we took him to the hairdressers he had a complete meltdown and no one but I was allowed near him. But this time it was different, why? because Daddy tagged along.  The hairdresser let Charlie be a mini -assistant and use the spray bottle of water on daddy as daddy was getting his hair cut.   When it came time for Charlie to get his hair trimmed He insisted that he didn't need to sit in daddy's lap and sat on the chair on his own, perfectly still and was like a different child to his last visit to the same hairdresser.

Charlie before:


And after a trim:

The Low Down on Baby Wipes

Baby Wipes, everyone has heard of them, maybe used them even if they haven't got children.  But does anyone ever wonder what exactly goes into those wipes that are often used on babies's faces, hands, and bottoms?  

What I have discovered with Wipes:
They can remove lovely mural drawings that your little artist uses markers to make a wall mural for you. Even the permanent markers are no match for the wipes. Crayon drawings can also be removed.

To some extent they can be a stain remover on clothes...
So bearing this in mind I began to research just what was in wipes and whether it was actually safe for using on a human, whilst also wondering about the eco friendly factor.

Ecochick did a blog post on rating which wipes were more enviro friendly  it doesn't list all the brands you find int he supermarket though, but it does give you a rough idea of what most are made of.
MUMmedia lists what is actually in wipes, this post appeared after a recall occurred in New Zealand where the wipes were recalled but were still sold here, in Australia with no recall or caution.  what was the chemical that caused the recall you ask? 

* Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.
* A preservative.
* Originally used in paint and wood.
* Now also in some cosmetics but banned from baby wipes in New zealand but ok for use in wipes here.
* Linked to allergic skin conditions.

Now Anyone is right to question why these chemicals are known to be a cause of ill health are allowed to be in products, According to the Australian standards many of these chemicals (if not all of them) are not a concern.   

And No I am not just talking about Huggies wipes , and Johnson and Johnson and similar some bloggers out there, in the blogging world have discovered even the eco friendly wipes are not as eco as they market themselves. Take Green Tot Come, she discovered a few surprises after reading the label on a eco friendly pack 

So what are your alternatives you ask?

Well there are Eco baby wipes on the market that are organic and not full of chemicals (read the labels and become aware of what to look for) or you could use cloth wipes.

Here is a pic of one such brand of wipes that aren't full of chemicals:

 What do Cloth wipes look like? Well here is a picture of some you can buy online 

So if you elect to go for the Cloth option, there are a truckload of wipes solutions to keep them wet (or you could opt for plain water). Here are some links to recipes:
Recipe one (uses baby oil and shampoo )

4 Recipes here
22 recipes here
1 recipe here 
3 recipes here and a few tips 
10 recipes here 

Now with all those recipes you will need some cloth wipes, you can buy them at most Cloth Nappy website or store, or you can use facewashers or some mums have even used chux cloths as wipes. Or you can make your own wipes.
here are a few tutorials to get a few ideas ( some mums just grab to bits of fabric and overlock them together)
Flannel baby wipes tutorial

My Happy Crazy Life offers some great tips on making wipes.
Fernandfreckle has a great tutorial using a serger.
The Sewing Monster has a cute tutorial on wipes, perfect if you don't have a serger.

I myself, have plans to make some cloth wipes. The recommended amount for a newborn to potty training age is 20 wipes but I will probably make more since they are so quick and easy to make.

You can find Part Two of this series here
part 3 can be found here

Monday, February 13, 2012

Taking things Slow and enjoying the little things

I have been reading about something called Slow living, on a few of my favourite blogs. (Check out my links page for a list of the blogs I stalk) I also have been reading about waldorf inspired rhythm s for the home. My favourite Rhythm is one i found at This Whole Family.

I am planning to bring in a similar Rhythm into our home, I think it will create more peace and more predictability. Once I figure out how to post a pretty graphic like This whole family's one I will post our Rhythm and how its all going.
And now for some Photos taken over the weekend:

The last photo was taken at 15 weeks 3 days along. Top is from The sunny daisy tye dye creations .  Update on pregnancy: I had the GTT ( glucose tolerance test   for those who don't know the acronym of it. ) on friday morning, i did the 2 hour one with the 12 hour fasting , over the 2 hours my blood was taken 3 times.  by 10am i was feeling sick and faint and randomly i wanted to vomit. But by the time i was ready to leave etc, the vomit feeling had gone but i was still not feeling 100%  i felt very tired.  Apparently the test results should be back by Tuesday. Fingers crossed they are back soon.

I have also found this awesome tutorial and pattern for a newborn gown, i plan to make a whole bunch they look super cute!  I just have to collect some funky tshirts.

Ultrasound pic was not taken over the weekend but I just realised I hadn't posted it yet! That was done almost 2 weeks ago. But #4 is waving.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rubbish Free Lunches

With the back to school rush, I decided my goal would be to make Tyson & Cody's lunchboxes rubbish free. I got the Nude Food Movers Rubbish Free LunchBox and CoolSkin case (you can view them on this link)
After posting on Facebook some photos of what I pack for the boys for lunch I thought it may be a good idea to blog some.

Day One: Thursday 2nd February 
Salad Sandwich & Rockmelon pieces
Orange tub: Hummus Dip
Sultanas, Celery sticks and Carrot sticks

Day 2: Friday 3rd february

Salad Sandwich
Orange Tub: Rockmelon & watermelon pieces
Green Tub: Guacamole Dip (dairy free)
Carrot Sticks and Whole Wheat Seed Crackers (Dairy Free) -Can be frozen

Day 3: Monday 6th February
Salad Sandwich
Very Berry Chia Muffins ( I added Chia seeds as an extra they are not in the recipe also made these Dairy free) -Can be frozen
Veggie Slice -Can be frozen
Strawberry pieces
Green Tub: Roasted Honey Cinnamon ChickPeas
Orange Tub: Rockmelon Pieces

Day 4: Tuesday 7th February

Salad sandwich
Green tub: banana chips
orange tub: rockmelon bits
Chia berry muffin
Strawberry bits
Carrot bits
And dates