Last week California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced its intent to list Bisphenol-A (BPA) on the state’s Prop 65 List, which requires disclosure of substances known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. While I’m certainly glad that OEHHA has moved to regulate this endocrine-disrupting chemical commonly found in baby bottles, canned foods, and paper receipts—a move that is long overdue, in my opinion— I don’t believe it’s likely to result in additional protection for consumers, at least not in any tangible way.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that Prop 65 exists. It’s because of this law and the work of groups like the Center for Environmental Health that we no longer allow the sale of lead-tainted candy in California. It’s why phthalates linked to birth defects in boys are no longer permitted in teething rings and sippy cups. Those are all fantastic outcomes of Prop 65, the only law of its kind in this country. However—and I’m not speaking as a scientist here, but as a mom and a consumer—it doesn’t do nearly enough to protect our families. Here’s why:
I know it’s only half-way through January, but in our house it’s already time to start prepping for Valentine’s Day. Between the two older kids, I’ve got sixty-five valentines to make, so I like to get an early start. While I realize it would only take a ten-minute trip to Walgreens to buy valentines for our kids’ classes, I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m just not the buy-your-valentines type of mom. I’ve made them each year since preschool and I’m not about to give in now. No offense to those who do buy; this is just how I roll.
This morning’s circus (a.k.a, the getting-to-school-on-time routine) was too crazy to even consider cleaning up breakfast beforehand, so after returning home from dropping everyone off, I started in on clearing up the mess. Just as I was about to drop the empty cereal box into the recycling bin, I had an epiphany: Hey, why not make our valentines out of this? It saves money, time (in driving to the store to buy card stock), and extends the life of something that would have been recycled. Kind of like a valentine for the planet, too.