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Tagged with BPA

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Bonneville Power unfairly favored hydro over wind, rules FERC

Photo: Vlasta JuricekThe Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has ruled that the Bonneville Power Association (BPA) unfairly discriminated against wind turbine owners when it curtailed the production of power from wind assets last spring in response to high hydro production. Wind owners are understandably happy, having argued that BPA was essentially favoring hydro over wind. The technical argument went like this: BPA entered into contracts to sell all of the power available from their generators; if BPA (or any other grid operator) has the ability to unilaterally curtail wind generation, it would reduce the effective value of future wind contracts …

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What are we made of? One word: Plastics

This story originally appeared in Urbanite. In What's Gotten Into Us? Staying Healthy in a Toxic World, McKay Jenkins sounds an alarm on the chemicals that we unknowingly ingest and inhale daily.Photo: J.M. GiordanoAfter the discovery of a tumor near his hip, McKay Jenkins, married, father of two, began investigating the manufacturing and consumer use of synthetic chemicals, particularly those in everyday products such as plastic bottles, cosmetics, toys, carpets, and cell phones. His search eventually lead to a book, published by Random House in April, called What's Gotten Into Us? Staying Healthy in a Toxic World. Jenkins, a professor …

Read more: Green Home, Living, Pollution

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Your canned Thanksgiving staples are full of BPA

I get the sense that everyone who can cook (i.e. pretty much everyone who isn't me) is going the foodie route with Thanksgiving these days, all free-range individual Cornish hens and Brussels sprout slaw. But if you like to go the easy/traditional/pull-stuff-together-at-the-last-minute route, use caution when reaching for the canned pumpkin or beans. The Breast Cancer Fund tested a number of Thanksgiving staples, and found that nearly half their samples were positive for BPA. The report, "BPA in Thanksgiving Canned Food," tested Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, Campbell's Turkey Gravy, Carnation Evaporated Milk (by Nestle), Del Monte Fresh Cut Sweet …

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High BPA levels in pregnant moms may change their daughters’ behavior

It's not just hippie paranoia that should keep pregnant women from eating too much BPA-laced canned food. A new study found that 3-year-old girls were more likely to show symptoms of depression and anxiety if their mothers had tested higher for BPA levels during pregnancy. (There didn’t seem to be a correlation for boys.) The symptoms are still within the normal range, but as one researcher says, "subtle shifts" can have "very dramatic implications" for these girls’ lives. In other words, your daughters won't be totally crazy but they might be worse off than they'd be otherwise. Naysayers say that …

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Ask Umbra: Should I wash out my zip-lock bags?

Cherry-pick your food containers and leave plastic baggage behind.Photo: Elvis KennedyDearest readers, Once in a while, your separate letters decide to link arms and chant in unison to ensure that they're really heard. Today they are telling me that many of you are losing sleep over plastics and food. But may I gently suggest that your insomnia is misplaced. Instead of gazing into the darkness and wondering whether you should wash out your zip-lock baggies, you should be chewing your pillow in fury over the fact that a household good could be so bad. The plastics industry, built on the …

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California will ban BPA from baby cups

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that bans bisphenol A from baby bottles and sippy cups sold in the state, starting in July of 2013. The Environmental Working Group had been pushing the law, which is called the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act and requires that manufacturers sub in the "least toxic alternative available" for hormone-disrupting BPA. It's almost too bad that the law will take so long to go into effect. Given the number of parents out there who'd probably prefer not to be lacing their kids apple juice with toxins, sippy cup exports from California …

Read more: Green Home, Living

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Beauty and the Beastly BPA-Soaked Soup

Disney princess-mania can strike 3 to 5-year-old children at any time. That’s bad enough for kids (and mostly their parents), but now these bedazzled damsels are harming all children in a whole new way -- by enticing them to ingest high levels of BPA. Campbell's has been using Disney princesses and other Disney characters to sell kid-targeted food. Cartoon labels and "cool shapes" -- i.e. noodles that are supposedly, though unidentifiably, made to look like kids’ favorite characters -- help entice "healthy kids" into eating chicken in salty chicken broth. And of all the soups tested for BPA in a …

Read more: Food, Scary Food

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Did a government study just prove that BPA is safe?

Though it has dropped from the headlines recently, the bisphenol A discussion continues to rage. California is one Jerry Brown signature away from a partial ban of the chemical, which is used in everything from canned goods to PVC plastic to cash register receipts. There is ample evidence that BPA, an endocrine disruptor, has been linked to various ills, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Some scientists are even raising questions about the damage it's doing to our oceans. And, despite FDA footdragging on the issue, the government is worried. The National Institutes of Health recently initiated a $30 million …

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BPA makes male mice into mincing little nancymice

In the patriarchy (that's Women's Studies for "dicktopia") we live in, there is pretty much no worse fate than wussification. So in a way, we're glad to hear that Bisphenol A, an organic compound found in a lot of plastics, makes male mice act less masculine. Maybe this will induce Girl Panic in some of the straight dudes who run things, and we can finally get the stuff taken out of our baby bottles, plastic packaging, and cans.  According to an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, deer mice exposed to BPA in utero (the …

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Now that the FDA itself has found BPA in canned foods, will it regulate the poison?

Oh, yes we can: It's time for the FDA to act on its own information regarding canned foods and BPA.The next time an FDA panel convenes to discuss whether to ban BPA, the endocrine-disrupting industrial chemical used in can liners, it will have new data to consider -- a study by the agency's own scientists. In a just-released report, they tested a range of commonly used canned foods, from peas to chili, and found "detectable" levels of BPA in 71 of 78 samples. Given that millions of Americans consume these foods daily and that the dangers of BPA have been …

Read more: Food, Scary Food