I grew up on the east coast but married a gentle man and now live in the friendliest city ever. So while I can thank the bus driver as well as the next person and hold the elevator door open for people miles away, I still have the potential to get REALLY ANGRY. Ever since I opened the O on Saturday and saw the short article (in the Living section, already!) on Bisphenol A and - in a mini rage - tossed every Nalgene bottle I could find, I've been pissed. Why? So glad you asked.
- Pissed that I unwittingly fed my babies breast milk in toxic bottles that may well cause cancer. In them.
- Pissed that we've been drinking (oh so healthy) water out of toxic Nalgene bottles.
- Pissed that every. single. can. of. food. in our pantry has an epoxy resin coating that is leaching crap into our food: beans, soups, mandarin oranges, and mini corns (god love 'em). Who needs organic when you're already dosing up on Epoxy, mamas? I mean, go ahead, toss in a little pesticide residue, what's the diff?
- Pissed that going to the store to buy a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g requires an advanced degree in toxicology or at the very least a few hours of extra time to research that I just. don't. have. Is it too much to ask that I could, say, mosey up to Fred Meier and leave with a bagful of items that won't slowly kill me?
- And SUPER PISSED that no-one seems to be doing much. And no, I don't think the government should do all the heavy lifting for me, but in this case, I'm thinkin' they need to be there, on the front lines, helping me avoid poisoning myself and my far more susceptible children.
OK, Phase I is over - anger. Time for Phase 2 - action. More? I'm getting tired of this. Where to focus my efforts? Lead? Phthalates? This? Sheesh. No wonder some people get overwhelmed by all the depressing news. Did you catch the Pdx Tribune article on that perspective? There's one mom who is keeping her fears in check. Not me, mamas. Not me.
My 3 Action Steps: Inform myself, Change habits at home, Change policies. Oh right, I don't have time to do any of those! Good thing others are working on this:
- Inform myself: Today's NYT has an informative article on products - for grown-ups and kids - that contain bisphenol-A.
- Change habits at home: Aside from tossing the newer, harder Nalgene bottles (older, softer cloudy ones are OK, so much for progress) and worrying about all those canned beans we eat, I'm heading straight for the OR Center for Environmental Health's store on NE Fremont. Anyone been? Also, the Oregon Environmental Council has an info-packed resource on Healthy Kids that has a terrific safe products buying guide. And, natch, we uMs have discussed this topic before. Did someone say Sigg?
- Change policy: OCEH is all over this chemical thing. E-mail them to learn more and get involved. Rumor has it, mamas, that the companies that manufacture these products are willingly going to stop manufacturing them and, according to NPR, retailers are even pulling the baby bottles. I want to be happy, pleased, grateful. Relax and take action on some other pressing issue. But call me crazy, I'm not gonna rest easy until there's a law. Because as sure as I'm cleaning out our pantry, this will blow over like all the rest of it, and then where'll we be? Mad and depressed, that's where. Like I am right now.