November 3, 2010

BPA Receipts

Here’s another way that most ubiquitous of not-so-friendly chemicals, BPA, can end up in your body: via store receipts. Turns out that the thermal papers used to print most receipts are heavily infused with the chemical (up to 2% by weight, apparently). Tests have revealed that the BPA easily rubs off on your fingers as you handle the receipts (more…)

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November 9, 2009

BPA in the NY Times

NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff writes about the ubiquity of BPA in our bodies, plus a gaggle of new studies linking BPA exposure to a variety of abnormalities in test animals. If you’ve been following the BPA Saga (including this impressive bit of corporate nastiness by Sigg), you’ll see that the latest research keeps upping the ante on the potential ill effects of BPA exposure in our food and water (more…)

Posted in Health, Science | 6 Comments

August 5, 2009

New Yorker on SPF Ratings

The New Yorker has a fascinating piece on SPF ratings in suntan lotion. Looks like I may have to rethink my standard SPF 50…

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July 30, 2009

Hypoxic Interval Training?

I was reading an article in this month’s Backpacker magazine about thirteen-year-old Jordan Romero, who is on a quest to be the youngest person ever to climb the so-called Seven Summits. While there’s certainly no lack of controversy about Jordan’s story (he summited Aconcagua at 11, and has plans to top Everest next year), what got my interest was learning that the boy and his dad sleep in a hypoxic tent in their Big Bear, CA, home to pre-acclimatize themselves for high altitude mountaineering (more…)

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September 26, 2008

Sunscreen in a Pill?

For fair-skinned persons like myself, it’s sort of the Holy Grail of sun protection: the concept of a sunscreen that you ingest as a pill rather than slather all over your body. Interestingly enough, one of my parents’ health newsletters is mentioning a product called Heliocare which promises to do exactly that. It’s a pill. Take it before you go out into the sun, and you get extra protection from the sun (more…)

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September 16, 2008

BPA Study links exposure, health effects

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a study has linked BPA exposure to health issues in humans. Here you Go…

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May 23, 2008

Traveling in Bear Country

Traveling in Bear Country

Late season storms aside, I’ve been looking forward to ditching the ski gear and switching to hiking and climbing. After all, summer camping in the Sierra is easier in almost every respect than winter. There is one big difference, however: in summer, we share the mountains with bears. I must say I ordinarily harbor no ill will toward bears, but as a hiker I find they present an added layer of complexity that (more…)

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May 8, 2008

Female Athletes and ACL Tears

The New York Times is running an article on the epidemic of ACL tears and other injuries in U.S. female athletes. Female participation in sports in this country is exploding, credited in part to a 1972 law, TITLE X, which mandated equal opportunity in sports to female athletes (more…)

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March 25, 2008 on Plastic Toxicity

This month’s newsletter features an article on plastic water bottle concerns and alternatives. Some of you may be aware that Canada’s largest outdoor retailer recently pulled polycarbonate (Lexan) water bottles from its shelves, citing safety concerns about the ingredient BPA, which leeches from polycarbonate plastics, and which acts like a hormone when ingested by lab animals (more…)

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August 7, 2007

How Toxic is Your Sunscreen?

If you’re like me—fair-skinned, that is—you’ve probably discovered that sunscreens don’t all perform the same. I can put on a thick layer of SPF 50 and still get torched. No, it’s not just that sunscreens tend to wash off as you sweat: some just don’t work that well.

Many formulations only give SPF ratings for UVB rays, which turn out to be less damaging than UVA. Some sunscreens now contain new ingredients designed to filter UVA light. Many of these newer chemicals are not yet approved by the FDA, and are only available in sunscreens sold in Europe (more…)

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