chemicals http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1234/all en-US 7 Makeup Items You Should Ditch Today http://www.wisebread.com/7-makeup-items-you-should-ditch-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-makeup-items-you-should-ditch-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/makeup_000051522634.jpg" alt="Woman using makeup item that she should ditch today" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's spring, which means it's time to clean out those long neglected drawers full of junk. A great place to start is with your makeup drawer, because chances are you have a few things that need to be tossed.</p> <p>When going through beauty products, be sure to keep shelf life in mind as well as the impact on the environment and your health. For these reasons, the following seven products are an easy toss.</p> <h2>1. Old Mascara</h2> <p>If you've got tubes of mascara rolling around in your drawer that are more than four months old, toss them. Mascara is the cosmetic with the shortest shelf life, and chances are you've got one that is past its prime. Because it is used so close to the eye, it's a breeding ground for bacteria. You increase your chances of an eye infection or conjunctivitis by using old mascara, so switch it out with a new bottle every three to six months. The same rule applies to liquid eye liner.</p> <h2>2. Toxic Nail Polish</h2> <p>Take a look at your nail polish bottles and consider if they need to go. Are they several years old? Has the color separated? Is the texture lumpy? Toss them out. Then do a little research about the bottles you have left. Do they contain the &quot;toxic trio&quot; of chemicals? The trio includes formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and DBP and toluene, two reproductive toxins. These chemicals have been banned in several other countries, but not in the U.S. A backlash led to many brands going toxic-free, but a recent study shows that a number of brands still <a href="http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/PollutionPrevention/upload/NailSalon_Final.pdf">contain the harmful chemicals</a>. Make sure the polish in your drawer is, in fact, free of these three toxins.</p> <h2>3. Anti-Aging Products</h2> <p>Many anti-aging skincare products boast alpha and beta hydroxy acids as key ingredients, and praise their ability to give a refreshed look to your skin. Unfortunately, these acids may be doing more harm than good. Products with these ingredients increase the skin's sensitivity to UV rays, contributing to skin damage and making us more <a href="http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/2006/07/01/alpha-hydroxy-acids-ahas-beta-hydroxy-acids-bhas-and-skin-cancer/">susceptible to skin cancer</a>. Alpha and beta hydroxy acids are now present in over 10% of moisturizers and, oddly enough, 6% of sunscreens. Check your products for these ingredients, and wear sun protection daily to reduce sun damage and keep your skin youthful.</p> <h2>4. Used Sponges</h2> <p>If you use sponges to apply foundation, concealer, or other products, then throw out used sponges at least once a week. If your sponges are of high quality, you can wash them weekly, but don't hold on to them for more than a few months. Anything that comes into contact with your skin on a regular basis is bound to grow bacteria, and could cause skin problems when used repeatedly.</p> <h2>5. Eyeshadow With Aluminum Powder</h2> <p>Eyeshadows and some pencils that are highly pigmented can contain aluminum powder, which the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has deemed a <a href="http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700324/ALUMINUM_POWDER/">hazardous substance</a>. The FDA has restricted its use, but only in lip products. Concerns linger over skin absorption and neurotoxicity, so better safe than sorry. Check the ingredients of your eye makeup and toss those that contain aluminum powder.</p> <h2>6. Face and Body Scrubs</h2> <p>Scrubs are a refreshing way to polish away dead skin and keep your face and body soft and smooth. But before you scrub up, check the ingredients. <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/microbeads-cosmetics-gyres-plastics-pollution-makeup">Plastic microbeads</a> used in many scrubs are known to be terrible for the environment. Microbeads end up in lakes and oceans, and marine life cannot distinguish between the tiny plastic beads and food. Fish end up ingesting the plastics, along with any toxic chemicals they have absorbed. Many major companies have promised to stop using the beads, but warn that it will take several years to phase them out. Check your scrubs for plastic microbeads, and when purchasing opt for scrubs that use all-natural exfoliants.</p> <h2>7. Lipsticks With Lead</h2> <p>There has been a long, heated debate about whether <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/fashion/28skin.html?adxnnl=1&amp;adxnnlx=1427744262-qzfMoVamFHO75BqxsPsr3w&amp;_r=0">lead in lipstick</a> poses a threat to the wearer's health. The FDA has long claimed that the amounts are so small that they are perfectly safe to wear on a regular basis. Other groups have raised concerns over repeat exposure and its compounding effect. This issue is still being studied and discussed, but in the meantime, there are many <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/makeup/tips/g1886/lead-free-lipsticks-470402/">lead-free lipsticks</a> on the market. If your lipstick contains lead, you may want to consider trashing it, especially if you kiss your kids with that mouth.</p> <p><em>Do you have any of these iffy makeup products in your cosmetics drawer?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-makeup-items-you-should-ditch-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-brand-name-beauty-buys-under-20">10 Great Brand Name Beauty Buys Under $20</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-eyebrow-pencils">The 5 Best Eyebrow Pencils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-save-on-common-beauty-buys">12 Easy Ways to Save on Common Beauty Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-beauty-products-ive-learned-to-live-without">Five Beauty Products I&#039;ve Learned To Live Without</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-false-eyelashes">The 5 Best False Eyelashes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Organization beauty products chemicals cosmetics harmful ingredients makeup Tue, 14 Apr 2015 13:01:18 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1380849 at http://www.wisebread.com Toxic Laundry: What’s in Your Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener? http://www.wisebread.com/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laundry_on_the_line.jpg" alt="Baby socks line drying" title="Baby socks line drying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fabric softeners, dryer sheets, fabric sprays...and now laundry crystals. Most American laundry rooms are beginning to look like home chemistry labs. Liquids, gels, foams, and fragrances are mixed and remixed in a never-ending (and quite ironic) search for &ldquo;freshness.&rdquo; It makes me wonder what, exactly, our clothes and linens are going through that requires them to so be thoroughly and aggressively treated. Are all these products really necessary, or have we wholly embraced some trendy loft full of marketers&rsquo; whiteboard dreams? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <h2>The Chemicals</h2> <p>Some of these products are actually harmful to our bodies. According to the EPA and industry-generated Market Safety Data Sheets, fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain a laundry list (pun intended) of dangerous petrochemicals that are often used in untested combinations. There are enough toxins and carcinogens in most of these products to make Erin Brockovich stand up and take notice. Here are just a few:</p> <p><strong>Chloroform</strong></p> <p>In fabric softeners, chloroform is a solvent and aromatic agent.&nbsp;</p> <p>Potential dangers: Chloroform is an anesthetic, neurotoxin, and carcinogen. It's on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list. Inhalation of chloroform fumes depresses the central nervous system. In high concentrations, chloroform may cause headache, gastrointestinal problems, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of the respiratory tract, and loss of consciousness. It aggravates kidney, liver, heart, and skin disorders.</p> <p><strong>Ethyl Acetate</strong></p> <p>Ethyl Acetate is a solvent used in the manufacture of dryer sheets &mdash; it disolves easily and leaves behind only a pleasant smell.</p> <p>Potential dangers:&nbsp;This narcotic is also on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list. It irritates the eyes and respiratory tract, and may cause headache, anemia, and damage to the liver and kidneys. Prolonged exposure may lead to defatting of the skin and dry or cracked skin.</p> <p><strong>Linalool</strong></p> <p>Linalool is an alchohol compound that has a pleasant flower-like smell and is often used to scent dryers sheets and fabric softener.</p> <p>Potential dangers: Linalool is a narcotic that causes CNS disorders and can cause respiratory problems and impair motor activity.</p> <p><strong>Phthalates&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>In dryer sheets, phthalates are typically part of the &quot;fragrance&quot; ingredients. Phthalates help scents last longer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Potential dangers: Phthalates are getting more and more attention in the European Union and in the U.S. as the scientific community explores the health effects from long-term exposure. Phthalates are additives used in the manufacture of children's plastic toys to make them softer and more flexible. They're also a common ingredient in wide range of cosmetics and scented products. Phthalates have been linked to breast cancer, allergies, and reproductive system problems.</p> <p>To find out what other chemicals are in your fabric softener and dryer sheets, check out the article in Natural Life Magazine <a href="http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/0608/softener.htm">Are Soft Clothes Really Worth It</a>?</p> <p>This toxic recipe of chemicals isn't doing our clothes and linens any favors either. Fabric softeners are designed to be absorbed into the fabric&rsquo;s fibers &mdash; creating a lasting fragrance and softness. But over time, these chemicals build up in our clothes and the residue can attract dirt and grime. Why are we buying laundry products that make our stuff dirtier? On towels, fabric softeners interfere with the natural absorbency of cotton and can make that plush bath sheet about as an inviting as polyester pantsuit.</p> <h2>Fabric Softening Alternatives</h2> <p>If you want all the benefits of dryer sheets and fabric softeners, but don&rsquo;t want to invest in a hazmat suit to get them, there are alternatives. To soften fabric, add a quarter cup of baking soda to the wash cycle or a quarter cup of white vinegar (don&rsquo;t combine with bleach) to the rinse cycle. For more natural commercial products, check out Seventh Generation&rsquo;s Natural Lavender Scent Fabric Softener that uses vegetable products instead of chemicals to soften fabric. A Canadian company, Maddocks, has created a reusable dryer sheet called Maddocks&rsquo; Static Eliminator &mdash; it&rsquo;s non-toxic and hypoallergenic.</p> <p>I'm no scientist, and of course every consumer should to do his own research on these chemicals, but the more gunk and goo I pour into my washer and the more perfumed sheets I toss in the dryer, the less clean I feel. Water, a bit of detergent, some good old fashioned agitation, and a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish">line dry</a> takes care of most things. Save yourself a few bucks and guard your family&rsquo;s health in the process &mdash; shut down the laundry lab and consider experimenting with some kinder, gentler options.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house">8 Other Green Cleaners Already in Your House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-yourself-from-mailing-lists-and-eliminate-junk-mail">How to Remove Yourself from Mailing Lists and Eliminate Junk Mail</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish">Line Drying Your Laundry: Frugal or Foolish?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Green Living chemicals green cleaners laundry Fri, 27 Jan 2012 10:48:21 +0000 Kentin Waits 874624 at http://www.wisebread.com Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 2 http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/plastic bottle.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This is the second in a three-part series about bottled water. To read the first installment, <a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1"><em>click here</em></a><em>. To read the third installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3"><em>click here</em></a><em>.</em></em></p> <p>Bottled water companies do an excellent job of marketing their product. Don&#39;t think I haven&#39;t fallen for it a time or two. I have. I do occasionally buy bottled water, and of course, there are times when water in a bottle is your only option. If I have a choice between a bottle of Coca Cola and a bottle of water, I&#39;ll go for the water (and recycle the bottle, if at all possible). And there <strong>are</strong> places, even in the US, in which the tap water is darn near undrinkable straight out of the tap. Recalling the taste of the tap water in my Brooklyn apartment still sends a little shudder down my spine.</p> <p>In any case, seeing as how I live in a glass house with my occasional bottle of Evian, I&#39;m <strong>not throwing stones at people</strong> who choose to drink bottled water every now and then (despite what some slightly <em>challenged</em> readers might think), even if bottled-water drinkers have access to clean and tasty tap water. But what about people who ONLY drink bottled water, even with access to clean municipal water? Why do they do it? </p> <h4>Isn&#39;t It Ironic? Don&#39;t You Think?</h4> <p>I&#39;d argue that they&#39;re probably health-conscious people who have bought into an idea sold by the water bottling companies - that their clean, pure water cleanses your body and flushes out toxins. The irony of this is that<strong> people who are concerned about environmental toxins in their systems are only helping to perpetuate the pollution and enviromental degradation</strong> by buying bottled water, the production of which just makes everything worse off in the long run.</p> <p>Or, in the case of my friend, some water drinkers are absolutely convinced that their tap water must be dirty.</p> <p>Now, we all fall under the spell of marketing campaigns that sell us an image as well as a product (if I drink this beer, chicks in bikinis will dig me; if I wear this lipstick, I&#39;m irresistible to men - and it won&#39;t kiss off on their collars!), but in this case, we&#39;re paying good money for something that we can get for so much cheaper. At least with things like deodorant or snazzy cars or jewelry, we are making purchases of good that we couldn&#39;t easily create or access on our own. I don&#39;t have the resources to make my own Chanel lipstick from scratch.</p> <h4>Creating Demand</h4> <p>Companies that bottle and sell water make all kinds of claims about the health benefits of drinking their products. A couple of great examples are Fiji Water, from the Fiji Islands, and Evian, which hails from France.</p> <p>From <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/21/BUGE7NL8RA1.DTL">SF Gate.com</a>: </p> <p class="blockquote">The Web site for Fiji Water (fijiwater.com) says the water &quot;is drawn from an artesian aquifer, located at the very edge of a primitive rainforest, hundreds of miles away from the nearest continent.&quot; That distance, it adds, &quot;is part of what makes us so much more pure and so much healthier than other bottled waters.&quot; </p> <p>Grace Jeon, Fiji Water&#39;s vice president of marketing, said Fiji Water has a naturally high level of silica, which she said &quot;helps strengthen your hair, skin and nails.&quot;</p> <p>David Schardt, senior nutritionist at Washington&#39;s Center for Science in the Public Interest, said it appears that Fiji Water is taking liberties with the purported health benefits of silica. </p> <p>&quot;There are no studies showing that the silica in Fiji Water has any demonstrable effect on the human body,&quot; he said. </p> <p>Fiji Water has done an amazing job, under the tutelage of some <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/21/BUGE7NL8RA1.DTL">very smart owners</a>, becoming a premier designer water. Fiji water is so coveted that Sarah Silverman has spoofed it as something that a diva demands. And how can we resist? A <a href="http://artvoice.com/issues/v6n6/bottled_insanity">remote, tropical location</a>? Palm trees and frangipani? I can smell the coconut suntan lotion from here.</p> <p>Because of its remote location, Fiji Water remains probably the most inefficient form of hydration. The <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/02/pablo_calculate.php">production of one bottle of water</a> requires 7 times the amount of water that is IN the bottle.</p> <p>Evian was the Queen of Bottled Water until Fiji cam along and started touting it&#39;s benefits. Evian claims to be bottled in the French Alps (how much purer can you get than that?) and their main web page reads simply &quot;evian detox&quot;. Evian&#39;s iconic white-capped mountains definitely speak of pure, clean and fresh water.</p> <p>Evian also has a really bizarre, almost Evangelically-virgin-y-sounding &quot;<a href="http://www.detoxwithevian.co.uk/index.cfm">Purity Pact</a>&quot; that you can sign up for - test your purity, and vow not to drink anything but Evian! This is for the UK site, probably the &quot;<a href="http://www.puritytest.net/">Purity Test</a>&quot; that you can take online would cause most younger Americans to snicker. Loudly. </p> <p>Dasani is one of the most affordable bottled waters available in the US, at about $1 per 18-ounce bottle. Owned and bottled by the Coca Cola Company, <a href="http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0304-04.htm">Dasani is just tap water</a>. Filtered tap water, but tap water nonetheless.</p> <p class="blockquote">This is the essence of brand equity, and it&#39;s why consumers are happy to pay over the odds for Welsh TyNant water in Cyprus, or French Evian in the Peruvian Andes. It&#39;s also why the &quot;water sommelier&quot; has become a feature of upmarket U.S. restaurants. </p> <p>&quot;Branding does matter, even for a mundane product like water,&quot; Frits van Dijk, chief executive of Nestle Waters, said last year. </p> <p>&quot;We produce value-added waters. Marketing and R&amp;D all have to be financed somehow and that&#39;s why you&#39;ll never see Nestle in the very low price market. It&#39;s not our territory.&quot; </p> <p>There you have it. Value-added waters. And by &quot;value&quot;, they mean &quot;this water costs us next to nothing to bring to market, but you&#39;ll pay through the nose for it&quot;. Think about it - the mark-up on something like a can or bottle of Coke is pretty steep. Production costs, even factoring bottling and transportation costs, are minimal, so Coca Cola makes great profits on every bottle that we purchase. But compared to bottled tap water that has been run through a filter, a bottle of Coke is <strong>expensive</strong> to manufacture. </p> <p>By the way, Dasani gets an interestingly mixed review regarding its taste at <a href="http://www.bevnet.com/reviews/dasani/">The BevNET.com</a>.</p> <p class="blockquote">This water, which has a slightly grainy appearance, actually has a somewhat pleasant taste. Unlike many other bottled waters which taste like plastic, Dasani has a clean and pure flavor that we found to be quite refreshing. Overall, a fairly decent bottled water with a pleasant taste.</p> <p>I&#39;m afraid I have no idea what to make of &quot;grainy appearance&quot;. Are they talking about the bottle? The water is grainy? Would that be the opposite of silky (which is how Fiji Water describes their drinking experience)?</p> <p>Designer water is an increasingly popular thing, but it can be easy to be mislead about the source of the water. There are sites set up that are <a href="http://www.finewaters.com/">dedicated</a> to telling you what waters taste the best. I once stayed in a hipster hotel in Portland, OR, that provided a couple of $8 bottles of water in each room. Glass bottles, snazzy caps, lovely packaging. The name included an umlat, to indicate just how exotic it was. But like exotically-named <a href="http://www.hearhear.us/articles/2006/07/26/haagen-dazs-aztec">Häagen-Dazs</a> ice cream, it was all about appearances: it was tap water (you had to read the fine print to figure that out).</p> <p>Now, again, I&#39;m not saying it&#39;s a sin to buy a bottle of Dasani or even Evian if you are thirsty and need water and find yourself somewhere without access to good, healthy, tasty water. But to do so every day, to purchase these products in lieu of being prepared and providing your own bottle of clean tap water, filtered or not... well, I&#39;m not going to call it a sin, but is it a responsible choice?</p> <h4>What About Taste?</h4> <p>My best friend is a great guy. He doesn&#39;t waste stuff. I&#39;ve got him recycling. He doesn&#39;t blow money on useless crap. He&#39;s frugal. He also, until last week, would buy flats of bottled water at Costco every couple of weeks, because he believes that the water from his tap is bad.</p> <p>Seattle has some pretty safe tap water. It isn&#39;t as tasty as the stuff I grew up with (yummy, rural well water that was so ridiculously pure that it even tasted slightly sweet), but it isn&#39;t bad, either. It&#39;s certainly better than the water I have tasted in other larger cities.</p> <p>I&#39;m very sensitive to smells and tastes, and I can smell the tiniest amount of chlorine in a glass of wafter. Even then, our tap water is pretty good. But I still filter it, which is a habit that I developed when I lived on the East Coast.</p> <p>I know a lot of people who have come to the conclusion that our tap water is dirty or unsafe or full of chemicals. But I&#39;ve actually noticed that these people (they include two coworkers, the aforementioned best friend, three family members, and a couple fo good friends) will drink the tap water served in restaurants without a complaint. Sure, maybe they don&#39;t want to pay $6 for a bottle of Evian and are just drinking the water out of a sense of frugality. Or maybe they assume that swanky restaurants serve really good tap water. Whatever the case is, I&#39;d bet my Brita filter that most of these people wouldn&#39;t be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test between tap water and bottled water.</p> <p>ABC&#39;s 20/20 claims that their unscientific blind taste test found that participants <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Health/story?id=728070&amp;page=1">couldn&#39;t tell the difference</a> between tap and bottled water. According to the Mr. Mustachio himself, John Stossel:</p> <p class="blockquote">In our test of bottled waters, Kmart&#39;s American Fare — the cheapest brand — won. Big-seller Aquafina came in second. Iceland Spring tied the ordinary tap water for third place. Fifth place went to Poland Spring, and in last place, by far, with almost half the testers saying it tasted bad, was the most expensive water — the fancy French stuff, Evian. </p> <p>But let&#39;s just assume you can tell the difference - are you certain that your bottled water is any more pure than the tap water? Since many bottled waters actually come from the tap, how can you be certain that you are taking a real purity pledge when you pay through the nose for bottled water?</p> <h4>What about chemicals? Isn&#39;t bottled water safer?</h4> <p>Many Americans claim to drink bottled water because they feel like tap water is unsafe to drink. And according to the FDA, it&#39;s true that bottled water has stricter rules on the allowable levels of some dangerous chemicals, such as lead:</p> <p class="blockquote">&quot;Generally, over the years, the FDA has adopted EPA standards for tap water as standards for bottled water,&quot; Kim says. As a result, standards for contaminants in tap water and bottled water are very similar.</p> <p>However, in some instances, standards for bottled water are different than for tap water. Kim cites lead as an example. Because lead can leach from pipes as water travels from water utilities to home faucets, the EPA set an action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) in tap water. This means that when lead levels are above 15 ppb in tap water that reaches home faucets, water utilities must treat the water to reduce the lead levels to below 15 ppb. In bottled water, where lead pipes are not used, the lead limit is set at 5 ppb. Based on FDA survey information, bottlers can readily produce bottled water products with lead levels below 5 ppb. This action was consistent with the FDA&#39;s goal of reducing consumers&#39; exposure to lead in drinking water to the extent practicable.</p> <p>That seems fairly reassuring, especially to people who are worried about exposure to <a href="http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead/lead1.html">lead poisoning</a>. And in older buildings, lead in the water can be a serious problem, but it is usually mitigated by simply running the water for twenty minutes or so. Interestingly, the FDA doesn&#39;t say anything about how the regulate the bottled water industry, or whether or not they inspect the bottling plants, or how the verify that the water sold comes from the advertised destination.</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/chap4.asp">Natural Resources Defense Council</a>:</p> <p class="blockquote">Gaping holes remain in the regulatory fabric for bottled water, and FDA and state resources dedicated to bottled water protection and enforcement generally are thin to nonexistent. For example, FDA&#39;s head bottled water regulator estimates that FDA has just <em>one half</em> of a person (full-time equivalent or FTE) per year dedicated to bottled water regulation. <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/chap4.asp#note114"><font size="1"><sup>[114]</sup></font></a> Similarly, bottled water compliance is a low priority for FDA, so specific figures are not kept for resources dedicated to ensuring it meets standards; the compliance office estimated in 1998 that a likely total of &quot;less than one&quot; FDA staff person (FTE) is dedicated to bottled water compliance. <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/chap4.asp#note115"><font size="1"><sup>[115]</sup></font></a></p> <p>The NDRC report, which I highly recommend as some good, tree-huggin&#39; readin&#39;, states very clearly that they are not suggesting that bottled water is any less pure than tap water, and state that they have documented tap water contamination in the past. But they also point out that water bottled and sold in the same state is NOT subject to the FDA regulations, as flimsy as those regulations are. </p> <p><a href="http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0205-01.htm">According to the Earth Policy Institute</a>, &quot;[t]he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets more stringent quality standards for tap water than does the Food and Drug Administration for the bottled stuff....&quot;</p> <p>Dasani is just filtered tap water, like we mentioned. Sure, it might be purer than the water from your tap, but is that worth the cost when you could just filter it yourself?</p> <h4>What about Fiji Water, the <a href="http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/biz2/0701/gallery.101dumbest_2007/20.html">purest of the pure</a>?</h4> <p class="blockquote">Los Angeles-based Fiji Water runs magazine ads for its bottled water with the headline &quot;The Label Says Fiji Because It&#39;s Not Bottled in Cleveland.&quot; </p> <p>Cleveland officials retaliate by running tests revealing that Fiji bottled water contains 6.3 micrograms of arsenic per liter, while the city&#39;s tap water has none. </p> <p><em>This is the second in a three-part series about bottled water. To read the first installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1"><em>click here</em></a><em>. To read the third installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3"><em>click here</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>(Photo by <a href="http://www.recyclethis.co.uk/">How Can I Recycle This?</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 3</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you">Bottled or Tap: The Right Choice for Water May Surprise You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline">7 Soda Alternatives That Won&#039;t Bust Your Wallet — Or Your Waistline</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Green Living bottled branding chemicals Dasani detox efficient Evian Fiji lead marketing packaging pure water Thu, 19 Apr 2007 18:11:54 +0000 Andrea Karim 527 at http://www.wisebread.com Turn brass pennies into gold. http://www.wisebread.com/turn-brass-pennies-into-gold <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/525576_kings_treasure.jpg" alt="gold coins" title="gold coins" width="300" height="229" /> </p> <p>I was never very good at chemistry at school. Or physics. I&#39;m a writing kind of guy. So I&#39;m always in awe when I see the real power of science at work, before my very eyes. And seeing alchemy work (or look like it works anyway) is a real bonus. Here, a talented chap called Kent shows you how to turn ordinary brass pennies into silver, and then, GOLD. </p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/428318/make_gold_pennies.swf" width="400" height="345" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed><br/><font size="1"><br /> <a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/428318/make_gold_pennies/">Make Gold Pennies - video powered by Metacafe</a></font></p> <p> I have no clue of the science involved here. I&#39;m sure it just turns nice little brass pennies into nice, gold colored brass pennies. And as yet, they aren&#39;t quite legal tender anywhere. So don&#39;t go changing all your dollar bills into pennies, dumping them in chemicals and then hauling them off to the bank, having first given your boss the finger. I suspect all these are good for is something nice to display somewhere, or a fun way to impress kids at parties. Anyway, be careful with your vats of chemicals, and have fun.</p> <p></br/></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-brass-pennies-into-gold">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-hacks-for-single-living">10 Frugal Hacks for Single Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-there-a-secret-code-to-control-traffic-lights">Is there a secret code to control traffic lights?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carnival-of-scams-top-4-fairground-cons">Carnival Of Scams - Top 4 fairground cons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">5 more ways to hustle free drinks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-is-better-than-blogging-or-is-it">Giving is Better Than Blogging... or IS it?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks alchemy chemicals experiments gold money from nothing tricks Sat, 17 Feb 2007 21:37:54 +0000 Paul Michael 284 at http://www.wisebread.com