Tag Archives: BPA

Luke’s Toy Factory & the Eco-Truck

UPDATE: We received our wonderful red, nontoxic, wonderful Fire Truck last month. Everyone is playing with it!

DANBURY, Conn., May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Luke’s Toy Factory – a Connecticut startup founded by father and son team, Jim and Luke Barber, today launched a KickStarter project aimed at raising funds to prove the viability of manufacturing eco-friendly, sustainable and safe children’s toys in the United States. The “Eco-Truck” – a toy fire truck designed with five interlocking parts – represents the culmination of over two years of research & development conducted by the Barbers into the incorporation of organic materials such as sawdust and wheat straw in injection molded plastics.

These materials are the by-products of industrial farming and manufacturing operations here in the United States. In the past they would have been discarded, but their use as fillers not only gives them a second life, but enables the production of toys that are sturdier than plastic products. The organic material allows the toys to be injection molded like plastic, while retaining the look and feel of traditional wooden toys. Furthermore, toys made with this new composite material will not contain any surface paint, glue or chemical additives such as phthalates or BPA, significantly increasing the safety of the products. Instead, the toys will get their color from, FDA-approved pigments mixed into the composite material before molding, eliminating safety issues such as tainted paint, flaking and splintering that have long plagued the toy industry.

“The innovative material and manufacturing process we’ve developed allows us to create traditional toys that are truly products for the 21st century. This has the potential to help bring the toy industry back to America.” said founder Jim Barber.

He continued, “It no longer makes sense to make toys out of either wood or plastic in China, where 85% of the world’s toys are made, and ship them to the United States. The cheap labor that once made Chinese toy production cost effective has shifted so much that brands are now sacrificing design quality and in turn, safety, in an effort to protect their margins. We started researching this process two years ago, because we thought we could offer parents a better, safer option – competitively priced toys made 100% in the United States from organic and recycled material.”

Well-made, long lasting safe toys – – it doesn’t seem like so much to ask, RIGHT? But there are so many safety recalls of toys and so many that cause illness even brain damage, this is your chance to speak up-In a way that the big toy companies understand, with your cash! Mattel, Hasbro, and the others won’t “get it” until they see a switch in consumer behavior. You can go to kickstarter and back the project- $15 will get you a firetruck- hint hint!  

Give attention to the great ethical toy companies, here is another Blue Orange – they make quality games in SF. Toy Safety was one of my first blog articles in 2008, read some of the safety articles of the CDC, search on “toys” if you want the data. —  the editor

Using a Connecticut manufacturer with over 40 years of experience in the injection molding field, Luke’s Toy Factory will be able to oversee all aspects of production and material sourcing. This direct oversight ensures that only the highest quality products reach children’s toy boxes.

“This KickStarter project is just the beginning”, said Luke, the toy designer. “The Eco-Truck will allow us to prove the viability of this type of manufacturing and refine our processes going forward. We have designed a line of vehicles with interchangeable parts to complement the firetruck, so kids can assemble them in different combinations and we expect to make those available soon.”

Echoing his father, Luke added, “We view this not just as changing the status quo, but hopefully starting an industry wide revolution in how toys are made. We’re very much looking forward to support and feedback from the KickStarter community – especially parents who take a genuine interest in where and how their kids’ toys are manufactured.”

About Luke’s Toy Factory:  Luke’s Toy Factory was founded by father/son team Jim and Luke Barber on the belief that parents and their children deserve better, safer options when it comes to toys. The company utilizes an innovative process and sustainable, recyclable materials to make toys here in the United States.

To learn more about and support the Eco-Truck project, the KickStarter page  This is how companies get funded, by US here in the USA!  Click on the KickStarter link and watch the video, you can see how cool the toys are and how they encourage kids to build and learn.

Here are the company’s Twitter and Facebook pages.   Twitter@LukesFTY  Facebook:  facebook.com/LukesFTY   Look at the EcoTruck!  

A Scary Story: BPA

BPA freeOriginally posted in June 2011, this article is worth reading.

The reproductive fitness of mammals and changes to sexuality in amphibians, is a common thread in the Atrazine pollution story and this story on BPA. Often these chemicals seem beneficial but the long term consequences and our limited ability to remove chemicals from our environment…. is something we must think about and take action on. Step One: Pay Attention, please read this article.  –the editor

“The BPA-exposed deer mice in our study look normal; there is nothing obviously wrong with them. Yet, they are clearly different,” said Cheryl Rosenfeld, associate professor in biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center. “Females do not want to mate with BPA-exposed male deer mice, and BPA-exposed males perform worse on spatial navigation tasks that assess their ability to find female partners in the wild. This study sets the stage for BPA researchers to examine how BPA might differentially impact the behavioral and cognitive patterns of boys versus girls. Investigators looking for obvious BPA-induced differences, such as chromosome deletions or DNA mutations, could be missing subtle behavioral differences that eventually lead to long-term adverse outcomes, including demasculinization of male behaviors with ensuing decreased reproductive fitness.”

‘BPA-Exposed Male Deer Mice are Demasculinized and Undesirable to Females, New MU Study Finds’

Story Contact
Christian Basi, BasiC@missouri.edu, 573-882-4430

NOTE: A more detailed article on Rosenfeld’s and Geary’s work can be found at: http://bondlsc.missouri.edu/news/story/46/1

COLUMBIA, Mo. –While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes “some concern” with the controversial chemical BPA, and many other countries, such as Japan and Canada, have considered BPA product bans, disagreement exists amongst scientists in this field on the effects of BPA in animals and humans. The latest research from the University of Missouri shows that BPA causes male deer mice to become demasculinized and behave more like females in their spatial navigational abilities, leading scientists to conclude that exposure to BPA during human development could be damaging to behavioral and cognitive traits that are unique to each sex and important in reproduction.

Cheryl Rosenfeld, associate professor in biomedical sciences and Bond Life Sciences investigator, found BPA-exposed male deer mice are demasculinized and undesirable to females.

“The BPA-exposed deer mice in our study look normal; there is nothing obviously wrong with them. Yet, they are clearly different,” said Cheryl Rosenfeld, associate professor in biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center. “Females do not want to mate with BPA-exposed male deer mice, and BPA-exposed males perform worse on spatial navigation tasks that assess their ability to find female partners in the wild. This study sets the stage for BPA researchers to examine how BPA might differentially impact the behavioral and cognitive patterns of boys versus girls. Investigators looking for obvious BPA-induced differences, such as chromosome deletions or DNA mutations, could be missing subtle behavioral differences that eventually lead to long-term adverse outcomes, including demasculinization of male behaviors with ensuing decreased reproductive fitness.”

In the study, female deer mice were fed BPA-supplemented diets two weeks prior to breeding and throughout lactation. The mothers were given a dosage equivalent to what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers a non-toxic dose and safe for mothers to ingest. At weaning (25 days of age), the deer mice offspring were placed on a non-supplemented BPA diet and their behavior tested when they matured into adults.

When sexually mature, researchers tested each mouse’s ability to navigate a maze to safety. This enhanced spatial navigational ability of male deer mice is important because it allows them to find mates that are dispersed throughout the environment. Females do not have to search to find mates and thus their navigational abilities have not been enhanced by evolution. It was these navigational skills, among others, that were tested in the laboratory setting. Each animal had two five-minute opportunities per day, for seven days, to try to find its way into a home cage through one of several holes placed around the edge of an open maze which was marked with a set of visible navigational cues. Many male mice that had been exposed to BPA early in their development never found the correct exit. By comparison, male mice that had not been exposed to BPA consistently found the hole leading to their home cage within the time limit, some on the first day. In addition, the untreated mice quickly learned the most direct approach to finding the correct hole, while the exposed males appeared to employ a random, inefficient trial and error strategy, Rosenfeld said.

In addition, male deer mice exposed to BPA were less desirable to female deer mice. Females primed to breed were tested in a so-called mate choice experiment. The females’ level of interest in a stranger male was measured by observing specific preferential behaviors, such as nose-to-nose sniffing and the amount of time the female spent evaluating her potential partner. These behaviors assess a potential mate’s genetic fitness. Rosenfeld said that both non-exposed and BPA-exposed females favored control males over BPA-exposed males on a two-to-one basis.

“These findings presumably have broad implications to other species, including humans, where there are also innate differences between males and females in cognitive and behavioral patterns,” Rosenfeld said. “In the wide scheme of things, these behavioral deficits could, in the long term, undermine the ability of a species such as the deer mouse to reproduce in the wild. Whether there are comparable health threats to humans remains unclear, but there clearly must be a concern.”

“We can use this evolutionary approach to the study of BPA to determine the best way to assess differences in the risks to boys and girls to early exposure to this chemical,” said David Geary MU Curators’ Professor of Psychological Sciences.

This research will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Rosenfeld collaborated with Geary and Todd Schachtman, Professor from the Department of Psychological Sciences. The primary author was a graduate student in the MU Interdiscplinary Neurosciences Program, Eldin Jašarevi?, who conducted most of the experiments.

View this news release on the Web at:
http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2011/0627-bpa-exposed-male-deer-mice-are-demasculinized-and-undesirable-to-females-new-mu-study-finds/

For more news, visit:
http://munews.missouri.edu/

Domestic Detox – Green Clean

Professionals are evaluate your level of toxic exposure in your home. This is “way past” removing solvents and inventing better storage options. They can evaluate potential indoor health hazards, like mold, lead, radiation, water problems and more.
Often people notice that they seem more allergic in one place or another, this problem is known in a generic way as “sick building syndrome”. There are so many chemicals used in building (formaldehyde) or furnishings it is quite a task to sort out culprits.

The toxicx lists is long, start by protecting yourself against these:

  • BPA (in plastic)
  • Lead, Mercury, chlorine, fluoride, asbestos, arsenic, radon
  • Phthalates (shampoos, cosmetics)
  • fabric and upholstery materials may be bleached or from pesticide
    sprayed cottons

Arm yourself with knowledge, read these and others:
“Clean” is a guide published by Gwenneth Paltrow and Donna Karan
“Slow Death by Rubber Duck” Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie
Do this:

  1. Kitchen sink water filter (under counter model is about $150-200)
  2. Shower Filter (about $50-75)
  3. Pick GREEN Cleaners look for the Green Seal, use vinegar, or lemon oil
  4. For Cosmetics, no parabens, keep it pure, ingredients that you can say/spell
  5. For cleaner air, use an HEPA air filter (get a vacuum cleaner with one too)