Archive: September 2010

September 20, 2010

Oh the (green) places you will go….

Q Collection Junior is often asked what sites we visit most for great articles, product reviews and editorial on all things ‘green’.  Here are some of our favorites.  We’d love to hear what your go-to blogs are…feel free to add more in comments.

Children focused

  1. Healthy Child, Healthy World:  http://healthychild.org/main/
  2. Inhabitots: http://www.inhabitots.com/
  3. Apartment Therapy’s Re-Nest: http://www.re-nest.com/

General content

  1. Grist.org: www.grist.org
  2. Huffington Post – green: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/green/
  3. Environment 360: http://e360.yale.edu/
September 9, 2010

Bisphenol A (BPA): Why is this so confusing?

The suspected endocrine disrupting chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) is back in the news.  A New York Times article this week reminds us how confusing this topic is.

Environmentalists & a growing number of elected officials call for the precautionary principle – when in doubt, be cautious. Some industry and trade groups claim that the concern over the health risks of BPA is overblown. They argue that to phase out such a widely used chemical (it’s found in plastics, aluminum cans…almost all of us are exposed to it) is needlessly expensive considering the inconclusive findings on its health impacts.  Our chemical regulatory structure today is innocent until proven guilty and when problems crop up, they can be far reaching (think Erin Brokovich, Love Canal, GE’s dumping of PCB’s in the Hudson River).

My wife Mary & I stopped using BPA, wherever possible, long ago.  The calculation seems pretty simple…For us, if there is even a small possibility of BPA creating lasting problems, I want to keep it away from my kids.  It used to be very hard to do this. Today, you can find almost any baby item in a BPA-free form (e.g. plastic baby bottles, cups, toys, jewelry, etc).

What does all of this back-and-forth mean for you though?  We don’t know for certain the long term impacts of BPA. It could be years until we do and a lot of money is at stake. In the meantime, the best approach for a concerned parent seems to be to leave the politics to Washington and exercise caution – look for plastics that don’t have BPA.

HELPFUL LINKS:

Environmental Working Group’s overview of BPA:

http://www.ewg.org/featured/218

Canada bans BPA.  Why Haven’t We?  (Grist)

http://www.grist.org/article/food-canada-bans-BPA-why-havent-we/

September 6, 2010

Bedbugs don’t make good pets – a ‘greener nursery’ guide


The thought of bedbugs gives us the heebie jeebies. We hope you don’t have to deal with them, but just in case…there are effective AND non-toxic alternatives.

Reports of bedbugs in cities like New York are down this year compared to last year, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the papers (see recent press below).  It’s hard to know how much is hype. Remember all of the press coverage of shark attacks a few years back?

We’ve been asked a lot at Q Collection Junior recently, by both customers and friends: what’s the best, non-toxic way to deal with bed bugs?  Thankfully bed bugs don’t carry diseases. They are a nuisance but not a public health concern.

Some of the best tried-and-true solutions to bed bugs don’t involve nasty chemicals at all:

1)      Heat: bed bugs can’t survive in very high heat so putting your linens and clothes through a cycle in the washing machine and dryer will remove them from those items

2)      Steam: there are services that can come in and steam treat mattresses and entire rooms. Orkin, the pest control company, recently received industry accolades for devising a pesticide-free treatment that uses 212°F steam-cleaning to beat the bugs.

3)      Vacuuming: vacuuming items or areas that have bed bugs can be effective

4)      Bed covers: you can find mattress covers that protect from bedbugs without the use of chemicals (they are made from particularly tightly woven cottons). Many infant mattresses have a waterproof plastic (hopefully nylon rather than vinyl – read why here) layer that will protect from bugs.

Here are two links to much more detailed info on how to identify and deal with bed bugs, without relying on the use of potentially harmful chemicals:

v     Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “top ten bed bug tips”

v     New York State integrated pest management (IPM) report

A few articles from Tuesday, August 31st are included below:

US grapples with bedbugs, misuse of pesticides. A resurgence of bedbugs across the U.S. has homeowners and apartment dwellers taking desperate measures to eradicate the tenacious bloodsuckers, with some relying on dangerous outdoor pesticides and fly-by-night exterminators. Associated Press

They crawl, they bite, they baffle scientists. This month, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a joint statement on bedbug control. New York Times