About Us

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy is meant to help explain the data we collect about you when you visit our website or use our services and how we use this data.

This Privacy Policy is related to our website Terms of Use. If you do not agree with our Terms of Use or anything contained in this Privacy Policy, please do not use our website.

Information We Collect

We not collect, store, use or disclose personally identifying information about users browsing our Website.

When you use or access our website we do collect the following information:

  • (a)Website Data. We may collect common usage data about the ways our users view our website and the information available on or by accessing our website. Such usage is not personally identifiable and is not supplemented or combined with personally identifying or identifiable information.
  • (b)Cookies and Similar Data. We assign cookies to you when you use the website. These enable you to more efficiently use our website. This information may also be used to enhance your use of our website if you visit the website more than once and to assist us in the administration and use of the website.
  • (c)Information You Provide. On the website, we may request that you provide your name and email address. Providing this information is voluntary and this information will only be used by us in connection with your use of the website and our services. This information may also be shared with our partners or affiliates.
  • (d)Donation Information. Should you wish to make a donation to Because Health through our website, we will collect the information needed to process your donation. Donations are handled through a third party credit card company that process the donations on our behalf. Our third party processor will collect the information needed to process your donation and they will share such information as necessary to allow us to verify the donation and the name and identity of the person making the donation.

Ways We Use the Information We Collect

  • (a)Website Usage Data. We may share the information we collect with certain selected third parties, but only in aggregated, anonymous form. The data is generally used for completion and support of the current activity, for research and development, and to determine what future information and data to include on our website in the future.
  • (b)Cookies and Similar Data. This information is used to enhance your use of our website and services. This information may also be used to facilitate the use of the website and services and to assist us with the technology used in the website and providing the services.
  • (c)Information You Provide. We may use your name and email address to contact you regarding the services offered through our website or with the other services we provide. This information may also be used by our partners and affiliates.
  • (d)Donation Information. We will use any information you provided regarding a donation as needed to allow for the accurate processing of any donation and to verify the donation. We will also use any donor or donation information we receive in order to comply with any applicable laws, including applicable tax laws, rules, and regulations. We maintain an internal listing of our donors and your information will be included in our donor information. With your permission, we may publicly list you as a donor and may contact you for further information regarding donations and future donations. Of course, at any time you can request to opt out of receiving any further communications from us.

Updating Your Personal Information

At any time you may update your name and email address and any other information you have shared with us by contacting us and providing updated information. In addition, at any time you may request that we delete your information from our records and we will stop using that information and remove it from our records.

Additional Disclosures of Information – Legal Requirements, etc.

We will disclose any information available to us, including your personal information, to the extent we have a good faith belief such action is necessary or appropriate in the following circumstances:

  • i.Where disclosure is legally required;
  • ii.To cooperate with a proper request from any law enforcement agency;
  • iii.To comply with any applicable law, rule or regulation;
  • iv.To address any violation of our policies, including any violation of our Terms of Use or these policies;
  • v.To detect, prevent or otherwise address any security or technical issue, or any fraudulent use of our services;
  • vi.To defend ourselves against any claim or lawsuit; or
  • vii.To protect ourselves, our users or the public against any harm or damage to their persons or property, or as required or permitted by law.

Data Security

We have appropriate security measures in place in our facilities to protect against the loss, misuse or alteration of information that has been collected from you through the Website. In addition, we use industry standard methods to prevent your information from being accessed without authorization.

Although we take reasonable steps to safeguard and to prevent unauthorized access to your private information, we cannot be responsible for the acts of those who gain unauthorized access, and we make no warranty we will prevent unauthorized access to your private information.

IN NO EVENT WILL WE OR OUR AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES (WHETHER CONSEQUENTIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL OR OTHERWISE) ARISING OUT OF, OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH A THIRD PARTY'S UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO YOUR INFORMATION, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH DAMAGES ARE BASED ON CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, TORT, OR OTHER THEORIES OF LIABILITY, AND ALSO REGARDLESS OF WHETHER WE WERE GIVEN ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE THAT DAMAGES WERE POSSIBLE.

We reserve the right to change these policies at any time. Any such changes will be posted on our website and will be effective upon such posting (unless the posting specifies a different effective date).

COLLABORATIVE ON HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT/ BECAUSE HEALTH

PO Box 316

Bolinas CA 94924

Telephone: (415) 868-0970

Info@becausehealth.org

Because Health is a project of The Collaborative on Health and the Environment, which is fiscally sponsored by Commonweal, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.


BECAUSE HEALTH

COPYRIGHT POLICY

We respect the intellectual property rights of others. If you believe your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement or are aware of any infringing material on the Website, please contact us at:

Info@becausehealth.org

and provide us with the following information: an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest; a description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed; a description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the Website; your address, telephone number, and email address; a written statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.

Or contact us at:

BECAUSE HEALTH

PO Box 316

Bolinas CA 94924

Telephone: (415) 868-0970

Info@becausehealth.org

Because Health is a project of The Collaborative on Health and the Environment, which is fiscally sponsored by Commonweal, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Life

Buying holiday decorations? Here's what you should know

Don't let these chemicals ruin your holiday cheer

You may need to be careful rockin' around the Christmas tree this year! Why you ask? Well, there might be some unexpected chemicals in that holly jolly decoration above your head. Holiday decorations can bring great cheer, but sometimes they can contain an unwanted surprise. Some decorations may be made with toxic chemicals - keep a look out for the ones below!
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Life

Is Your Artificial Christmas Tree Toxic?

Tips to reduce your exposure to these hazardous chemicals

Artificial Christmas trees are becoming increasingly popular for families. They're seen as being convenient since they don't shed needles and can be reused year after year. Because they can be reused, families tend to save money by choosing artificial trees over a real one. A study from the The American Christmas Tree Association (yes that is a real and reputable organization!) performed a life cycle analysis and found that one artificial tree that's reused for eight or more Christmases is more environmentally friendly than purchasing a real tree each year (1). The study also found that Christmas trees, both real and fake, accounted for a tiny part (< 0.1%) of a person's annual carbon footprint.

But are artificial Christmas trees as good for your health as they are for your wallet? The majority of artificial trees are made using a plastic called polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and lead, which is used to stabilize PVC (2). The lead in the trees break down over time and forms lead dust. These particles are released into the air and can cause health issues, especially in young children. Most people do not realize that artificial trees contain lead, and only California requires a lead warning label (2). It is estimated that there are 50 million households in the United States that own artificial trees with lead in them (3).

Don't panic! If you are an owner of an artificial Christmas tree made out of PVC, there are precautions you can take to reduce your family's exposure to lead.

  1. PVC releases more gases when it is first exposed to air. They also release gases as they degrade. A good way to reduce the amount of lead in your household is to take the tree out of the box and air it outside when you first purchase it (4).
  2. If you have used your artificial tree for many Christmases, you may want to consider purchasing a new one. PVC tends to weaken and degrade after nine years (4). Newer artificial trees do not leach as much lead as older ones.
  3. Light cords that come with your artifical tree are prone to have levels of lead that exceed the limit set by the EPA (4). It is recommended that you wash your hands immediately after touching light cords. And definitely don't let young children handle cords.

If you're currently tree-less and in the market for an artificial one, consider purchasing a tree made out of polyethylene. This plastic is safer than PVC and does not leach lead. Additionally, trees made out of polyethylene tend to be more durable than PVC trees.

While artificial PVC Christmas trees don't pose a high health risk overall to the general population, it's very possible for young children to have severe negative health effects (3). It's important to be aware of the health risks that go along with trees made out of PVC, and the ways to avoid lead exposure for yourself and your family this holiday season.


References

  1. https://www.christmastreeassociation.org/real-artificial-christmas-tree-environment/
  2. https://rtkenvironmental.com/lead/warning-hidden-health-hazard-artificial-christmas-trees/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15628192
  4. https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19548208/do-christmas-trees-make-you-sick/
Sometimes it may feel like everywhere you turn, there's some sort of junk food being advertised—whether that's cupcakes or fries or deep fried things on a stick. And more than sometimes, you have a child begging you for a sweet treat or sugary drink. It can feel like a daunting task at times to encourage and foster healthy eating. While we know there are many factors that influence a child's food choices, here's one that you may not have thought of.
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Life

Avoid These Stressful Ingredients the Next Time You Relax with a Bath Bomb

We don't need these chemicals messing with our #selfcare

December means it's time to start thinking about those stocking stuffers or Chanukah gifts for your loved ones. What's better than a bath bomb to relax and take in those sudsy, therapeutic fragrances? Bath bombs can also get your kids to bathe without putting up a fight. They're basically magic! But, have you stopped to think what else they are putting in those bombs to make those suds glisten and fizz?

What's in a Bath Bomb?

It turns out, there can be a whole range of questionable chemicals packed neatly into those appealing little bombs. It's hard to tell exactly what's in each bath bomb because the ingredients vary widely among manufacturers, but fragrances, artificial colors, boric acid, and glitter are some common ingredients.

Fragrance is never a welcome sight on the ingredient list. The FDA does not require companies to disclose ingredients used to make fragrances in products like bath bombs in order to protect company "trade secrets (1)." Many synthetic and natural fragrances also include such hormone-disrupting chemicals as phthalates, which can be absorbed through the skin and have been found to pose specific risks for pregnant women and children (2). Studies have also linked health effects of phthalates to miscarriage, gestational diabetes, reduced IQ, and ADHD with increased exposure to phthalates.

As for dyes, the evidence is limited when it comes to FDA approved dyes readily being absorbed through the skin. However, one study found that certain dyes may be absorbed after shaving (3). Also, young children often swallow water while bathing and ingestion of some of these chemicals for young children is definitely not recommended!

Boric acid also has some side effects that you may not want to risk. It can be absorbed through the mucous membranes and has been linked to hormone disruption and developmental and reproductive toxicity (4). And then there is glitter, which is just more plastic that can end up in our lakes, rivers, and streams.

Alternatives and DIY Recipes

While there may be harmful ingredients in some bath bombs, you don't have to give them up! It's easy to avoid these ingredients with just a little extra effort. You can choose to purchase "fragrance-free" or "phthalate-free" bath bombs, but making your own bath bomb is super easy. Here are also some DIY recipes to try at home.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup citric acid
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup finely ground sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond oil (or apricot oil)
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of witch hazel
  • 1 teaspoon beet root powder
  • wild orange essential oil
  • rose essential oil

Directions

  • Blend all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Blend wet ingredients in another bowl.
  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Place in mold of choice or just form a ball about 1-2 inches in diameter.
  • Allow the bath bombs to dry for approximately 1-2 days.
  • To use, place bath bomb in the bath.
  • To store, place in airtight container. Storing in a refrigerator can allow the bath bombs to keep for about 3 weeks (5).


References

1.https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/fragrances-cosmetics

2.https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp73-c1.pdf
3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23127598
4.https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Boric-acid#section=Health-Hazardhttps://draxe.com/health/are-bath-bombs-safe/
5.https://draxe.com/beauty/diy-bath-bomb-recipe/
6. https://homemadeforelle.com/bath-bombs-for-kids/#Ingredients
Life

The Hidden Risk in Store-Bought Slime

Avoid this hazardous ingredient with our own DIY slime recipe

Slime seems to be the hottest new toy for kids. They love that it's a tactile toy they can squeeze and smash. But before you rush out to buy a new tub of gooey slime on your next shopping trip, have you ever wondered what's actually in it? Turns out, there's a not-so-kid-friendly ingredient lurking in many slime products sold in stores, as well as in some DIY kits and recipes.

What's So Bad About Boron?

Boron is a chemical commonly used in many brands of slime, DIY kits, and some DIY recipes to give it that rubbery texture. While it may feel fun, it's actually not great for our health. Boron is an acute eye, respiratory tract, and nasal irritant and is harmful if swallowed (1). If ingested, it can also cause nausea and vomiting (2). Long-term exposure to boron can also cause negative reproductive health effects (3, 4). The problems with boron don't stop once you throw slime away either. It turns out that boron lasts a long time in the environment and has hazardous effects on aquatic life (5).

To make matters worse, there's a lot more boron in slime than there should be. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) recently tested different brands of slime and found concentrations as high as 4700 parts per million (ppm) of boron, (6) which is more than fifteen times the allowable level for toys sold in the European Union (300 ppm for sticky/liquid toys) (6). Canada, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates have even instituted policies limiting or banning boron in children's toys (6).

Safe Slime

Luckily, it's easy to make your own boron-free slime. We like this recipe for full-proof slime that substitutes boron/borax (a boron compound that's found in a lot of other slime recipes) with cornstarch and school glue. We guarantee your kids will still have hours of fun with this non-toxic slime!

Fluffy Volcano Slime

  1. Pour 1/4 cup white school glue and a 1/2 cup of cornstarch in a bowl
  2. Add 3 drops of food coloring (optional)
  3. Mix well
  4. Knead it with your hands for 10 minutes
  5. Heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds
  6. Let it cool, then knead it for another 10 minutes (7)

References

2. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-09/documents/health_effects_support_document_for_boron.pdf

3. https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+328

4. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-09/documents/health_effects_support_document_for_boron.pdf

5. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Boron

6. https://uspirg.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/WEB_USP_Toyland-Report_Nov18_2-1.pdf

7. https://www.cnet.com/how-to/make-slime-without-borax/

Roundups

15 Non-Toxic Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Fun, healthy, safe, and great for those budding imaginations

Updated for 2019!

You can pat yourself on the back for bringing these non-toxic toys into your home or gifting them to friends. These are the highest rated, healthiest toys for your growing little one. Not only did we make sure that the materials are safe, but we made sure parents like you love these toys. All the toys here are great for revving up their imagination and creativity and are made to last. If you're looking for something for a newborn or a baby under 1, here are our top picks for best non-toxic newborn toys.

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Roundups

15 Non-Toxic Toys for Newborns

healthy, safe toys for 0-1 years old

Updated for 2019!

Even before they can talk, babies know how to play. Sure, they will play with whatever is in front of them, but having their own toys is way more fun, and saves things like your watch from being covered in slobber. Here are some of the highest rated, healthiest toys out there, but be sure to check out our roundup of toy brands, too. If you're looking for something for someone a bit older, here are our picks for best non-toxic toys for toddlers.

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