By Lafe | December 4, 2008
Austin’s lucky to have a group in town like DadLabs, who take a fun, scientific approach to a number of products on the market for babies and kids. I did a great interview a few weeks back with Clay Nichols, one of the DadLabs’ dads, and it’s up on their site now:
It’s a good introduction to our baby products, and I get to talk about the attention that goes into the products we make and how we package them. (And it’s also a good introduction to the practical yet whimsical approach of the DadLabs team.)
By Lafe | November 28, 2008
There’s a new study out from the New England Journal of Medicine, as the link above details, showing that “repeated topical use of products containing lavender oil and/or tea tree oil may cause prepubertal gynecomastia, a rare condition resulting in enlarged breast tissue in boys prior to puberty, and for which a cause is seldom identified.”
Part of the reason we keep our products fragrance-free is because of the growing concern that essential oils — even ones as seemingly benign as lavender and tea-tree oils — may carry a significant enough level of estrogenic activity that they affect children. This new study is an indication of the importance of clean and simple formulations in any product for children. Therefore, we have creating clean-smelling baby products without adding anything to the mix, and will continue to do so, especially in light of studies like this.
By Lafe | November 25, 2008
I ran across a sad and disturbing case a few days ago about a 12-year-old boy in Britain who died from using too much deodorant.
The story, in the Daily Mail, details the case, in which the 12-year-old sprayed copious amounts of Lynx brand deodorant on himself while in a cramped bathroom, and inhaled the fumes, which triggered an irregular heartbeat that led to his untimely death. The coroner in the case noted that the dangers of inhaling excessive amounts of the product in closed spaces were marked clearly on the packaging.
I gather, from the report’s details, that Lynx is very similar to Axe Body Spray, a highly-fragranced brand of cologne containing butane that is popular in the U.S. The very fact that this product needs warnings about its use is a good indicator that people — especially children — should steer clear of using this product. While the Daily Mail story is obviously an extreme case illustrating the dangers of such products, it concerns me that people are using these chemicals as part of their daily routine, sometimes without even reading the warnings or ingredient lists on the labels.
By Lafe | November 20, 2008
Greetings from San Francisco, where I’m spending a few days on Lafe’s business. I couldn’t wait until I got home to share some great news:
We’ve decided to do something special for the holidays — we’re offering two-item and four-item options for our Lafe’s Baby Line as Holiday Gift Packs. It’s the first time we’ve done a holiday gift pack option with our products — we’re so excited about the reception to the baby line since it came out this past summer, and we wanted to introduce more people to these organic, simple formulations — all packaged in baby-safe plastic, of course (free of Bisphenol A, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals). Buying the holiday gift pack also gives shoppers a discount — the gift packs are priced 20 percent lower than buying each product individually.
We also are pleased to announce that we’re in our first retail store in Austin — Wheatsville Food Co-Op! Up until now, we’ve had great success selling online to shoppers in our hometown. But this is a way to give Austin shoppers more options, and Wheatsville is a great store to partner with. They’ve been in Austin since 1976, and they’re very in line with our philosophies of sustainability and quality organic products — this FAQ page is a great introduction to a store we love.
By Lafe | November 7, 2008
No matter how you voted on Tuesday, the sight of President-Elect Obama addressing the crowd in Grant Park in Chicago offered a new and inspirational hope for the nation — underscoring the idea that anyone can be anything they want to be in this country through hard work and perseverance and good ideas. From watching Obama’s speech on Tuesday night, I sense that he thinks it’s more important to get to work than to celebrate this historic win.
We do face a lot of issues. I’m particularly concerned, of course, with the safety of products we use, and protecting consumers against harmful chemicals in everyday products. Readers of this blog know I’ve been concerned about BPA for a long time. We’ve seen the FDA come out and declare that BPA is not dangerous. We then had the scientific community balk at that statement. Now, the FDA is backtracking and taking another look at BPA. I hope that Obama’s victory will provide the national leadership that supports concerns from the consumer’s perspective, and reduces influence from industries that dominate review boards and oversight committees. That doesn’t just apply to Bisphenol A or phthalates or other estrogenic activity chemicals.
You also might notice the blog has changed its name to lafesblog.com. That change has been in the works for a few weeks — this announcement just happens to coincide with the historic change we’ve just witnessed. You’ll see this blog, over time, encompass additional topics that interest me and other areas of expertise I’ve developed in running a growing business with a green approach.
I am passionate about what I do — providing people with clean, simple, and organic personal care products — and I’ll talk about aspects of that in future blog entries. But I’m also part of a community of entrepreneurs and bloggers who are committed to green living, and I’ll introduce you to some of them down the line as well. I’ll still bring you news about Bisphenol A and phthalates and other related topics as I run across them — the current situation demands continued vigilance and the need to share as much information as we possibly can.
I hope you enjoy the blog’s evolution!
By Lafe | October 28, 2008
It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been at Expo East, one of the premiere natural products trade shows in the nation, held in Boston this year. It was an incredible success, and I’m appreciate of everyone I got to meet while I was there. One thing that struck me on the way home, as I went over the reactions to the baby line, is that the packaging issue is becoming increasingly important for retailers. Consumers are being more aware of the dangers of estrogenic activity chemicals, and packaging is no longer an afterthought. When government officials and retailers come together to call for bans on products, as Whole Foods and San Francisco reps did last week, it’s a sign that we’re all beginning to rethink our relationship with plastic packaging.
By Lafe | October 10, 2008
There’s been so much focus on Bisphenol A lately (including on this blog) that it’s almost easy to forget the dangers of phthalates — which are also contained in plastic resins and can also disrupt hormonal activity. USA Today (courtesy of Liz Szabo, one of my favorite reporters out there right now) just posted news of this troubling report from Environmental Research. The study ties phthalates to incidences of abnormal genitalia in baby boys. What I find most troubling about the report is that phthalates are in relatively common items and can then find their way into “drinking water, breast milk, and household dust.”
By Lafe | October 3, 2008
I ran across an article on Yahoo’s Shine online publication, reprinted from Eating Well, with four interesting facts to help you determine whether or not you should be concerned about your use of plastics and Bisphenol A. Included in the article was one particularly startling fact — according to a 2005 Center for Disease Control study, 95 percent of those screened tested positive for BPA.
The article also mentions dangers of BPA leeching from plastics, particularly when hot or boiling water come in contact with the plastic — which may or may not include during dishwashing. (The handful of studies on this have returned mixed findings.)
But it’s the 95 percent positive statistic that raises my eyebrows. While adults reportedly are exposed to much lower levels than would be deemed dangerous by the FDA, we know that it can be transferred from mother-to-baby through the umbilical cord. And if you’ve been following this blog or other sources talking about the BPA controversy, you know the concerns around children being exposed to BPA.
By Lafe | September 26, 2008
We just got some great news from one of our favorite publications! Natural Solutions, a magazine dedicated to “vibrant health” and “balanced living,” just awarded our Hemp Oil Roll-On Deodorant as one of its Editors’ Picks for its Beauty With a Conscience Awards. What makes us proudest about the award is it honors us for having principled standards for our products. As they say in their introduction of the award winners on the website:
“Unfortunately, even products marketed as ‘natural’ can come packed with hormone disrupters, carcinogens, toxic by-products, and heavy metals. In fact, the average woman applies more than 150 chemicals through her skincare daily. Knowing the link between this unnecessary toxin exposure and serious health concerns, we made the decision to honor companies that use only the cleanest, healthiest ingredients available.”
That, of course, is right in line with our philosophy — especially for our baby products. The decision to go with EA-free packaging for the baby line came from the question that guides all our products: “How can we make this as clean and as simple as possible?” We’re glad that Natural Solutions is out there taking notice of companies like ours motivated by the desire to create the cleanest possible products.
By Lafe | September 17, 2008
There was very interesting news in the Bisphenol A debate yesterday — as detailed in this USA Today article, more and more scientists and consumer advocates are coming forward in the debate over whether or not the chemical is safe. A published article just released in the Journal of the American Medical Association links Bisphenol A to higher incidences of heart disease and diabetes, and yesterday’s FDA hearing again revisited the agency’s recent ruling declaring BPA to not be a danger at current exposure levels.
I believe the more we study Bisphenol A, the more we’ll learn about its dangers. I think we know enough now to stay away from Bisphenol A as much as we possibly can — which was the impetus for us to create baby products packaged in EA-free packaging. You’ll note the USA Today article gives readers advice to avoid Bisphenol A, including steering clear of non-recyclable plastics with the #7 symbol on them, especially in the microwave or dishwasher. The government may eventually reverse its position on BPA, but in the meantime, concerned consumers have to be vigilant.
Topics: BPA, Baby Lotion, Baby Products, Baby shampoo, Bisphenol A, EA free, Endocrine disruptor, Estrogenic Activity, Estrogenic Activity Free, Harmful chemicals, Infant health, Plastics, Reproductive health, eco-friendly, family health, healthy alternative, organic, phthalate-free, phthalates, sustainable living | No Comments »
« Previous Entries