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Science

Do Those Recycling Codes Mean Anything?

Actually yes, and they can tell you quite a lot

You know how you can flip over a yogurt container (or really any container) and see that little recycle triangle? Well, if you look even closer, there is an even tinier number inside that triangle. You might think those numbers are just for the people at the recycling plant, but if you know what to look for, they can actually tell you quite a lot.

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Science

Antimicrobials, or anti-your-health?

Why you should rethink buying antimicrobial products

You know it's coming, the dreaded flu season. Maybe you've tried investing in an antimicrobial mattress, shower curtain or probably the most common, soap, to try and prevent those germs from making you and your family sick. They just seem so promising, with their claims of preventing 99.9% of all germs. But, are they actually keeping you safer? Based on new research, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement on why antimicrobials might not be the best way to fight off germs. We'll break down everything for you.

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Science

Having Trouble Keeping a Healthy Weight?

Here's why chemicals might be keeping you from shedding those last few pounds

If you're eating healthy, getting lots of sleep, but just can't seem to hit a healthy weight, it might be something you've never thought about. Obesogens, a term coined in 2006 to refer to chemicals that cause us to gain and hold on to weight, and can influence weight loss. Now, we know that maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle is influenced by what seems like a bajillion factors, and is a complicated issue with no easy solution. But, it looks like obesogens are a piece of the puzzle and definitely something you want to be aware about. Data shows that obesity is an increasing problem. Over one-third of both adults and children in the U.S. are obese or overweight (1, 5). Even for people who regularly work out or have superhuman strength to say no to desserts, obesogens are having an impact. Unfortunately, as obesogen research is in its early stages, we still don't know everything about these chemicals and how they affect weight gain, but as of now, here's what we do know.

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Science

Is BPA-Free Good Enough?

You probably already guessed by the title…

Let's get right to the point, while BPA-free is a great step forward and shows how customers can call for big commercial and policy change, BPA-free isn't always quite what it seems.

If you want a little refresher about what BPA is and how it can affect your health, read our article about what BPA is first.

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Science

What Are Flame Retardants?

They sound awesome, but trust us, they aren't

What are they?

Flame retardants are a group of chemicals that are added to a variety of different products to help them meet flammability standards. These standards were set back in the 70s, and we have learned a lot since then about flammability, chemicals, and even the health hazards of cigarette smoking (which used to be a large cause of indoor fires).

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Science

What Are Phthalates?

And how do I even say that word… basically ignore the "ph-"

What is it?

Phthalates are similar to BPA in that they are an additive to plastic. Phthalates are technically a group of chemicals, and they are added to plastics to make them more flexible and durable.

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Science

PFAS: Pretty Freaking Awful Stuff

Or, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances - you can choose

Where can I find this stuff? And why?

The most well-known PFAS is probably Teflon. Yep, the OG nonstick coating. This is a perfluorinated chemical, and we all have heard how when it starts to peel off or chip from our pans it can be bad.

Perfluroalkyl substances (PFAS), sometimes called PFOA and PFOS, which are specific types of PFAS or PFCs which stands for per- and polyfluorinated chemicals, are used in a variety of different products (more than just pots and pans) because they are water and oil resistant. That makes them super useful for products that we don't want to get wet or stain. Think items like waterproof jackets, stain-resistant fabric on couches or carpets, water-repellent camping gear, and food packaging. The food packaging is a little less obvious, but not when you realize why. It can be super annoying if your cheesy pizza seeps oil through the paper take-out box. So, the manufacturers coat these products with PFAS to make them more durable.

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Science

What’s the Deal with BPA?

And why am I seeing "BPA-free" stickers everywhere?

What is it?

BPA, or bisphenol A, is a chemical that is often used in plastics to make them clear and strong. It is also in epoxy resins that can line water pipes and food cans, and is used in receipt paper. Although BPA is the most well-known bisphenol, there are dozens of other bisphenols (often called BPA replacements) out there that are chemically similar to BPA. Many of them are used in the same way that BPA is and have very similar health effects. A common replacement is bisphenol S, or BPS.

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