Monday, June 18, 2007

Are Plastics and Soda toxic?

Toxic substances and Green solutions are certainly popular and controvertial these days. The Huffington Post's Marc Gunter discusses the elimination of toxic substances as reminded by the Thomas the Tank toy recall last week. He details how environmental groups are working to get businesses to reduce or eliminate certain toxins from production and/or their store shelves, including Whole Foods, Walmart, ConAgra, and Johnson and Johnson.

Across the pond, an article in the Independent reports the dangers in soft drinks.
"A new health scare erupted over soft drinks last night amid evidence they may cause serious cell damage. Research from a British university suggests a common preservative found in drinks such as Fanta and Pepsi Max has the ability to switch off vital parts of DNA."
Of course, these are preliminary findings, but it's a reminder that the more chemicals there are in our food/drink supply, the greater the potential for unknown dangers. The EU tends to be much more conservative with things like the food supply than the US, in my opinion. For example, Genetically Modified seems much more controvertial in the EU (banned in several countries), but the jury still seems out in the US.

If it's not toys, it's make-up, or soda. There's always something to be concerned about it seems, and it's hard to keep up with the "dangers" our society presents. Though I sometimes feel like an alarmist, I prefer to be well informed about potential dangers and then take it all with a grain of salt. One study isn't going to stop me from doing anything, but a few might slow me down. These days, I try to avoid plastic containers for food and drinks, and I've decided that fewer well-made wooden toys are safer for my son than a lot of cheap plastic ones made in China.