Guess I’m not just a hysterical mommy blogger-Johnson & Johnson asked to clean up baby shampoo

woman throwing somethingHysterical mommy blogger? I think not. Well, if I am, I am at least in good company.  

Last week, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics delivered a letter to asking J&J to eliminate the carcinogens 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde, and hormone disrupting phthalates, from its personal care products. The letter was signed by almost 50 organizations, from Healthy Child Healthy World to the American Nurses Association. In other words, it isn’t just mommy bloggers that are concerned about the products our children use. We are not hysterical. 

The letter was delivered by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. If you recall, the Campaign was responsible for the No More Toxic Tub report. That report identified the presence of the carcinogens 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde in its popular baby products. Prior to the report coming out, I had posted about how J&J’s baby wash was definitely not as gentle to the eyes as consumers might assume given J&J’s family friendly face. With the release of No More Toxic Tub, the members of the Green Moms Carnival, including yours truly, posted and posted about the report, garnering the attention of industry organizations and industry representatives. In fact, a PR firm spent time slamming us and posting comments, but J&J refused to provide substantive answers to our questions.

 J&J’s response to my inquiry with certain questions about its products and the No More Toxic Tub report, resulted in a form email containing this enlightening statement but no substantive answer:

 We want to reassure parents that JOHNSON’S Baby Shampoo and all our baby and kids products are safe, gentle and mild products that they can trust and use with confidence.

Do you believe this statement? You may. The statement is true in the sense that the products comply with the FDA’s requirements. But the FDA does not approve cosmetic ingredients before the are used. The FDA’s oversight of cosmetic safety is very lax.

 In any event, J&J’s baby shampoo and other products contain the carcinogens 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde. They also contain hormone disrupting phthalates. These ingredients are not disclosed on the label. 1,4 dioxane is a contaminant in certain ethoxylated ingredients. Formaldehyde is released from certain preservatives, called formaldehyde donor preservatives (such as Quat 15). Phthalates are found in fragrance. I don’t believe that these ingredients are what moms think about when they consider products safe, gentle and mild. I certainly don’t.

 I also think that it is odd that a company with such a family friendly image would continue to use such ingredients and would also refuse to answer our questions.

Products can be made without the ingredients at a comparable price point. In fact, lots of companies do it already. And, funny thing is, J&J makes products for the Japan market WITHOUT formaldehye donor preservatives. Which is completely ironic considering that industry spokespeople posted in comments on several blogs that well, without formaldehyde donor preservatives, a host of bad things could occur, like blindness. 

 In any event, I was pleased to see that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics had delivered a letter that resulted in media coverage. I was also gratified to find out that the our famous Green Moms Carnival organizer, Lynn from OrganicMania, received an email from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics thanking us:

Normally a letter like this wouldn’t raise much interest, but clearly people are outraged that such a trusted product as Johnson’s Baby Shampoo could contain carcinogens. I think the Green Moms Carnival was really helpful in tipping parents off to this problem when we released the “Toxic Tub” report in March – thank you. We’re hopeful that the company will reconsider its position that “a little bit” of a carcinogen is nothing to worry about.
Thanks for your good work. 
Marisa Walker 

So, I’ll keep urging change. I’ll keep using my money to buy products I support. Products without these harmful ingredients, with more sustainable packaging, and that don’t rely on non renewable resources.  

If that’s hysterical, so be it.

Oh, don’t worry, you’re just a mommy blogger & just a little bit of a carcinogen is okay

circle of kidsYes, I’m a “mommy blogger.” Yes, I try to practice a green lifestyle.  Yes, I choose to buy products without certain ingredients in an effort to provide a safer lifestyle for my kids.  I choose the alternatives.  I sort of think that it makes sense to be safe instead of sorry, especially when alternatives are available at pretty much the same price point.  And I’d rather give my money to a company doing the Earth some good.

That does not make me a hysterical mommy blogger.  That does not make me stupid. 

I understand the dose response relationship.  Yes, I’m well aware that traditional toxicology is founded on the principle the dose makes the poison, as I am also aware that the current school of toxicology thought is the dose and the timing make the poison.  Yes, I get it. 

A representative from the Formaldehyde Council has been making the rounds commenting on our various blog posts suggesting that we don’t know what we are talking about. There are also some twitterers who also respond to our tweets suggesting that we just don’t get the science. We are mommy bloggers. 

Hey, paid PR people (as we have discovered they are), do you get the science? And, by the way, do you understand that my children don’t use just one product?  That we have sources of formaldehyde and dioxane elsewhere in our lives?  That the cumulative exposure to certain chemicals, and how they may work together, might make the exposure and risk more significant?  

And, by the way, if you are bathing your child, and you have the option of a product with and one without 1,4 dioxane at the same price and the same effectiveness, are you really going to tell me you would pick the product with 1,4 dioxane in it? 

Or will you not drink the chromium tainted water either? (Reference to Erin Brokovich if you don’t get it.) 

What the heck am I talking about? 

green moms carnival logoThe Green Moms Carnival this month blogged about 1,4 dioxane, formaldehyde and other problemmatic ingredients in baby bath products.  You really should go check out Sommer at Green & Clean Mom who hosted this carnival. 

Why did we tackle this topic?  Because, a couple of weeks ago, the Environmental Working Group released a report (No More Toxic Tub) that looked at the concentrations of two carcinogens, 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde, in baby bath products.  The information that these compounds are present in personal care products isn’t new (I’ve posted before about their presence in so called natural personal care products and litigation in California), but the focus on concentrations in baby bath products was new.  At the same time, in a case of bad timing, at least to the members of the Green Moms Carnival, Johnson & Johnson announced a new social media campaign using mommy bloggers to talk about its baby bath products and launched a video campaign using children bathing, with the top video being awarded $10,000. 

I called out the spokesperson, Angie Harmon, and Johnson & Johnson for purporting to be green yet continuing to use petroleum based ingredients containing carcinogens in non recycled content bottles.  And the other Green Moms were upset too, each with a different take on the issue.  Let me be clear – we understand that the EWG’s report does not purport to assess whether exposure actually occurs or whether that exposure would result in a health effect. 

Some of the commenters, particularly a representative of The Formaldehyde Council, keep saying that it is just a little bit, nothing to worry about.  Okay, that may be true – but I really don’t care.  I worry about the cumulative risk of exposure.  My kid will not just get 1,4 dioxane from one product, but from several products, plus other sources.  In fact, my kids get exposed to all sorts of chemicals, manmade & naturally occuring.  (Yes, I understand that carcinogens naturally occur in certain foods. You don’t need to tell me.)  So, if I can, I will use my money to support the company that can make the product without those potentially harmful ingredients. 

And. to be frank, everybody said that lead in paint was safe for YEARS.  Think about it – the first reported health effects linked to lead paint were in 1904.  Yet, in the 1940’s, after France and England and even Cuba had banned lead in residential paint, the US paint industry was still telling us lead in paint was safe.  We didn’t even get around to limiting lead in consumer paints and painted products until the 1970s. 

Alice Hamilton was called hysterical, yet her work helped protect countless workers.    

Everybody said that lead in gasoline didn’t really contribute to children’s blood lead levels.  Yet, banning lead as a gasoline additive has resulted in a dramatic drop in children’s blood lead levels (along with the limit on lead in certain consumer paints). 

DES was supposed to be safe.  So were PCBs.  As was DDT.  Now we have flame retardants, phthalates, triclosan and more that are being called into question. 

Do you see a pattern here?  We don’t always know what is safe or not, sometimes hazards pop up long after a compound is deemed safe.  (DES anybody?) We don’t always know what will harm our environment or not.  Unintended consequences often happen.  Synthetic chemicals persist in the environment, or react with other compounds, causing problems down the road.  (Yes, we still find PCBs and DDT in our homes and our bodies, including newborn cord blood, 30 years after they were banned.)  

So for me – I pick the products without those potentially harmful or questionable ingredients when I have a choice. 

And what do we use?  I love Earth Mama Angel Baby products.  California Baby is great too.  We use a lot of inexpensive plain liquid castile soap too – cheaper than almost every single conventional product on the market.  There are lots of wonderful products out there without phthalates, 1,4 dioxane or formaldehyde.  And most of those companies use less packaging, use recycled content packaging, steer clear of using any non renewable resource, etc.  I’d rather use my money for those products because, well, my children deserve it.  And so does the Earth.

Hey, Angie Harmon, You Can’t Kinda Go Green: Faulting Johnson’s Social Media Baby Product Campaign


Toxic Tub: Carcinogens 1,4 Dioxane and Formaldehyde Found in Baby Bath & Beauty Products

baby in bubble bathThe Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a new report showing that many conventional baby bath products include cancer-causing 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde.  The information really isn’t new – we’ve known for many years that the ethoxylation process can create 1,4 dioxane as a contaminant (see, for example, my post on 1,4-dioxane in so called natural products) – and we’ve also known that many commonly used preservative release formaldehyde.  However, this new report provides the actual concentration levels in many popular baby bath products.  
But, and this is a big but, please note that this study only looked at concentration levels in the products – it did not measure exposure – so just because a product contains 1,4-dioxane or formaldehyde, or both, doesn’t mean that an exposure occurs, or that an exposure occurs at a level at which harm might occur. 
And also please keep in mind that there are cancer causing chemicals in lots of products, even cancer causing chemicals that occur naturally in products, including the foods we eat.  So don’t be unnecessarily alarmed by these results but they may encourage you to choose products without these chemicals. 
First, a little bit of background on 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde in beauty products. 
1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of the ethoxylation process by which certain chemicals are made milder or gentler.  Ethoxylated compounds are “eth” type compounds – sodium laureth sulfate, for example.  You won’t find 1,4-dioxane on the ingredient list because it isn’t an ingredient – it is a contaminant.  (See my post analyzing Johnson’s Head to Toe baby wash).  1,4-dioxane is listed on the California Prop. 65 list of chemicals known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, and is identified by the US EPA as a probable human carcinogen.  The CPSC has stated that the presence of 1,4-dioxane, even as a trace contaminant, is a cause for concern, yet the FDA, the agency responsible for regulating cosmetics, does not have an established safe level for 1,4-dioxane in cosmetics.  (Such a surprise, right?)  1,4-dioxane is readily absorbed through the lungs, skin and the digestive system. 
Formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the EPA.  Formaldehyde is also known to cause allergic reactions and rashes in some people.  Formaldehyde is used as an ingredient in some personal care products and is listed on the ingredient list for those products.  However, formaldehyde may also be present in beauty products because it is released from common preservatives that are known to be formaldehyde contributors, such as Quaternium-15, or Quat-15.  In those cases, formaldehyde is not listed on the ingredient list because it isn’t an ingredient. 
Both of these are chemicals that you may not want in your baby’s bath products.   If you were already worried about synthetic fragrance and phthalates, you can add 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde to your list of stuff to be concerned about.  (Okay, but don’t be overly alarmed.)  And another reason to shift to baby products free of such items, like Earth Mama Angel Baby products (my favorite baby products and why I’m an affiliate). 
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetic’s report found out of the 48 common products it tested for 1,4-dioxane, 32 of the products contained the carcinogen.  American Girl shower products contained the highest levels of 1,4-dioxane of the products tested. 
The Campaign also tested 28 of these 48 products for formaldehyde and found that 23 of the 28 products contained formaldehyde at levels ranging from 54 to 610 ppm (skin reactions have been found at levels as low as 250 ppm).  Baby Magic Baby Lotion by Ascendia Brands contained the highest levels of formaldehyde of the products tested. 
Further, some products contained both.  Products that contained both 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde include Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Sesame Street Bubble Bath, Grins and Giggles Milk & Honey Baby Wash (a little annoying because it is marketed as a “natural” line) and Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber and Green Tea Baby Wash. 
Here’s the complete list of findings adapted from the report: 

Product Name and Company 1,4-dioxane (in parts per million) Formaldehyde (in parts per million)
American Girl Hopes and Dreams Shimmer Body Lotion (Bath & Body Works) ND* 310
Baby Magic “Soft Baby Scent” Baby Lotion (Ascendia Brands, Inc) ND* 570
Baby Magic “Soft Baby Scent” Baby Lotion (Ascendia Brands, Inc) 0.92 610
Baby Magic “Soft Baby Scent” Baby Lotion (Ascendia Brands, Inc) ND* 330
Johnson’s Bedtime Lotion Natural Calm Essences (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Mustela Baby Body Lotion (Laboratories Expanscience) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Tinker Bell Body Lotion (Goldie LLC) ND* 220
CVS Baby Shampoo (CVS/Pharmacy) 0.92 350
Johnson’s Baby Shampoo (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) ND* 200
Johnson’s Baby Shampoo (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 1.1 210
L’Oreal Kids Extra Gentle 2-in-1 Fast Dry Shampoo — Burst of Cool Melon (L’Oreal USA) 0.95 260
Suave Kids 2-in-1 Shampoo — Wild Watermelon (Unilever) 0.69 ND*
Liquid Shower Soaps    
American Girl Hopes and Dreams Glistening Shower and Bath Wash (Bath & Body Works) 14 Not tested for this chemical
American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gel — Apple Blossom (Bath & Body Works) 6.3 210
American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gel — Apple Blossom (Bath & Body Works) 5.7 220
American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gel — Apple Blossom (Bath & Body Works) 18 150
American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gel — Sunny Orange (Bath & Body Works) 35 ND*
Bath Washes    
Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 1.4 Not tested for this chemical
Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 1.7 Not tested for this chemical
Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 4.6 Not tested for this chemical
CVS Kids Body Wash — Blueberry Blast (CVS/Pharmacy) 0.75 54
Equate Tearless Baby Wash (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) 0.63 290
Gentle Naturals Eczema Baby Wash (Del Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) 6.4 Not tested for this chemical
Grins & Giggles Milk & Honey Baby Wash (Gerber Products Company) 2.8 400
Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wash (Kimberly-Clark) 3.2 410
Johnson’s Moisture Care Baby Wash (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 3.9 Not tested for this chemical
Johnson’s Oatmeal Baby Wash — Vanilla (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 4.2 Not tested for this chemical
Mustela Baby Shampoo (Laboratories Expanscience) 2.8 Not tested for this chemical
Mustela Dermo-Cleansing Gel for Hair and Body Newborn/Baby (Laboratories Expanscience) 3.9 Not tested for this chemical
Night-time Bath Baby Wash (Target Corporation) 3.6 Not tested for this chemical
Bubble Baths    
Barbie Berry Sweet Bubble Bath (Water-Jel Technologies) 0.65 440
Dora the Explorer Bubble Bath (MZB Personal Care) 1.5 130
Hot Wheels Berry Blast Bubble Bath (Water-Jel Technologies) 2.8 100
Mustela Multi-Sensory Bubble Bath (Laboratories Expanscience) 1.7 ND*
Sesame Street Bubble Bath — Orange Mango Tango (The Village Company) 2.8 340
Tinker Bell Scented Bubble Bath (Goldie LLC) 11 420
Baby Wipes    
Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wipes (Kimberly-Clark) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Huggies Soft Skin — Shea Butter (Kimberly-Clark Global Sales Inc) ND* 100
Kirkland Signature Premium Unscented Baby Wipes (Costco Wholesale Corporation) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Pampers Baby Fresh (Procter & Gamble) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Pampers Calming — Lavender (Procter & Gamble) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Hair Relaxers    
Dark & Lovely Kids Beautiful Beginnings No-Mistake Nourishing No-Lye Creme Relaxer, Normal to Course Hair (SoftSheen-Carson, owned by L’Oreal USA) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Dark & Lovely Kids Beautiful Beginnings No-Mistake Nourishing No-Lye Children’s Relaxer System, Fine Hair Types (SoftSheen-Carson, owned by L’Oreal USA) ND* ND*
Soft & Beautiful Just for Me! No-Lye Conditioning Creme Relaxer, Children’s Super (Alberto-Culver Company) 0.27 ND*
Hand Soaps    
Pampers Kandoo Foaming Handsoap — Magic Melon (Procter & Gamble) 0.49 310
Sun Blocks    
Banana Boat Kids UVA & UVB Sunblock Lotion SPF 30 (Sun Pharmaceuticals Corp.) ND* Not tested for this chemical
No-Ad Sun Pals SPF 45 UVA/UVB Sun Protection (Solar Cosmetics Labs Inc.) 0.46 Not tested for this chemical
Colgate Kids 2-in-1 Toothpaste and Mouthwash — Strawberry (Colgate-Palmolive Company) ND* Not tested for this chemical
* Not detectable.

A Label Reading Lesson: Johnson & Johnson’s Head to Toe Baby Wash

I’m always harping on about reading labels.  I know it is difficult to read labels while shopping with kids.  Who has time to read the label on each product with 2 kids tugging on you, demanding to go to the toy section right now! At least, that is what happens to me if I am shopping at Target.  So, not only is it hard to have time to read labels while shopping, it is even harder to figure out what the label says.  

And those labels can be tricky to decipher.  And what about the claims on the packaging?  Can you trust them? 

Well, let’s look at a baby staple.  Johnson’s Head-to-Toe baby wash from Johnson & Johnson.  And let’s hope I don’t get sued. 

First, let’s look at the claims.  The website advertises the product as “an ultra-mild cleanser for your baby’s skin and hair that’s gentle enough even for newborns.”  It also proclaims it “the #1 choice of hospitals” and “milder than baby soap.”  The “no more tears” formula is “as gentle to the eyes as pure water” and the product is “soap-free, dye-free, hypoallergenic and allergy- and dermatologist-tested.” 
baby washNone of these claims, including hypoallergenic, allergy-tested and dermatologist-tested have any regulatory meaning.  Keep in mind that, according to the Food & Drug Administration, a cosmetic company does not have to prove its claims or the efficacy of the products.  There is no regulatory definition of “hypoallergenic” – you think it means that the product will not cause allergic reactions or irritant responses.  Keep that thought in mind when we discuss the ingredients.  A company can label a product as “hypoallergenic” without having any proof to back up that claim.  There are no standardized guidelines for this claim, just as there are no guidelines for dermatologist tested or allergy tested.  Before we can talk about the claim that the product is “as gentle to the eyes as pure water,” we need to talk about the ingredients.  The ingredients are: 

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Polyquaternium-10, Fragrance, Quaternium-15, Citric Acid. 

PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate and PEG-150 Distearate are all ethoxylated compounds.  Ethoxylated compounds, unless vacuum stripped, are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane.  1,4-dioxane has been identified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  1,4-dioxane is not listed on the ingredient list because it is a contaminant from the manufacturing process, not an ingredient.  The FDA encourages manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane from products, but there is no requirement that it be done.  And, testing reported by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics did find 1,4-dioxane in Johnson’s Head-to-Toe baby wash at 5.3 to 6.1 parts per million (ppm).  In fact, in its FAQ section of its website, Johnson & Johnson admits that “[s]ome of the ingredients in our products may contain 1,4-dioxane as an incidental ingredient at extremely low levels.” 

Further, sodium laureth sulfate can cause eye and skin irritation.  Do you think that is consistent with the claim that the product is “hypoallergenic”?  Wouldn’t you expect it to be free of any ingredient known to cause irritant responses?  As a note, sodium laureth sulfate was widely reported on the web as being a carcinogen, but, at least to date, research by the EPA, OSHA, NTP and IARC has not suggested that sodium laureth sulfate is a carcinogen.   

Cocamidopropyl betaine, PEG-80 sorbitan laurate and PEG-150 disterate can all cause allergic reactions.  Again, these ingredients aren’t what you would expect in a product advertising itself as hypoallergenic.  Cocamidopropyl betaine may also be contaminated with nitrosamines. 

Quaternium-15 may release formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.  But, I actually think that Quat-15, as it is called, is more of a problem because it is the number one cause of contact dermatitis from preservatives, according to the American Acadmey of Dermatology’s Testing Tray results.  Also, it is identified by the cosmetic industry’s Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel as a sensitizer, but is still considered safe by the CIR as a cosmetic ingredient.  (If you want to learn about the function of the CIR, I encourage you to read Stacy Malkan’s Not Just A Pretty Face).  It has also been linked to birth defects in laboratory animals when administered orally. 

Finally, the product contains “fragrance” – which means synthetic fragrance and, of course, phthalates.  Phthalates are used in fragrance to sustain the fragrance and make it adsorb better to the skin.  Johnson & Johnson admits that it uses diethyl phthalate (DEP) in its baby products.  And, as reported in a recent study, exposure to DEP in baby care products results in the presence of a DEP metabolite in baby urine.  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, which means that they can mimic hormones and disrupt’s the body’s normal function.  Phthalates have been linked to premature breast development in girls, deteriorated sperm quality, low sperm counts and poor sperm morphology in men, and a host of other adverse health effects.   

So, how can this product claim to be “as gentle to the eyes are pure water” when it contains a host of chemicals known to be irritants, allergens or sensitizers?  And do you really want to use it on your baby?  I think that this staple baby product should be thrown out with the bath water.  But, hey, that’s just me. 
If you are looking for phthlate free baby care products, I have some listed here. 

My husband’s take on the Diva Cup

After doing my blog entry last night, I climbed into bed.  I thought my husband was asleep given the racket emanating from his mouth and nose.  But, alas, no.  He asked me what I was doing.  I told him I just finished my blog.  He asked what it was about.  I explained to him that I wrote a blog about my green step for the day – buying greener sanitary napkins.  I had attended a event featuring Sophie Uliano, the author of the best selling Goregeously Green, and committed to a green step as discussee here.  In any event, he asked why I picked that green step.  So I explained to him wandering into the Diva Cup discussion on MotheringDotCommune and realizing that I was only pale green, not the deep green I thought I was, or pretended to be.  And that I had been thoroughly eco-shamed for not being willing to use the Diva Cup. 

“What is the DivaCup exactly?” he asked. 

“It is a reusable cup to catch menstrual flow.  Made of silicone.  No clogging landfills.  No bleaching.  Better for the environment.” 

“But how could you get any work done?” he sleepily murmured. 

WTH?  “What do you mean?” 

“Well, I’d be thinking about it all day.  Wondering if it was filling up.  And wouldn’t it be uncomfortable?  I would just think about it all day.” 

Now I’m LMAO.  I tell him about the DivaCup and he is wondering how I’d be able to work if I was using it?  That’s his concern? 

“Well,” I said.  “It is sort of along the lines of a tampon.” 

“Yeah, but that absorbs.  It is like when I put tissue in my nose when it is running.”  (Not the most attractive thing that he does, let me tell you.  He’ll twist tissue into little sticks and put them in his nose when he can’t get it to stop running.  An extremely creepy tissue vampire.  With snot.)  “But that thing is a cup.  I wouldn’t stick a cup up my nose.”  

Personally, I wouldn’t stick anything up my nose for an extended period of time.  Especially with a 5 year old running around that apes whatever you do, including being a tissue vampire. But, hey, that’s me. 

At that point the conversation deteroriated mightily as I continued to laugh crazily, and he made reference to another part of his anatomy that could be plugged.  And how he would think about it all day and be unable to work.  So, now I’ve realized not only that I’m not nearly as green as I thought I was, being scared to even try the DivaCup, but also that my husband is not from Mars, but from a completely different galaxy.

Is that Siren Red Lipstick Toxic?

The urban legends website,, indicates the lead contaminated lipstick emails have been circulating since 2003.  At least one of those emails discusses a "sure fire" test involving a gold ring to detect lead in lipstick.  Be warned:  this test method is false.  It does not detect the presence of lead in lipstick.  But, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics' report indicates at least some lead contaminated lipsticks are available on the marketplace.  Also, several Proposition 65 lawsuits (Proposition 65 is a California law) have indicated that testing have revealed the presence of lead in cosmetics, including lipstick.

For most of us, lead in lipstick may not be a big concern.  But if you are pregnant, or have small children, you might want to re-think that red lipstick.  Although, to be honest, if you are pregnant or have small children, you probably don't have time for a night on the town.  I don't think I even know where my favorite red lipstick is . . .