Laura: Natural isn’t always non-toxic

By Laura Spark, activist and mother

I’d like to keep my kids safe.  But, 8 years ago, I used plastic sippy cups that are now being removed from the market.   I bathed my daughters in  Johnson and Johnson soaps that I thought were “pure and natural” because the label said they were.   After I read about low levels of 1-4 dioxane, a carcinogen, in Johnson and Johnson baby soap, I  I tried shifting to “natural” baby products–only to realize,  months later, that the “natural” product I was buying had the exact same ingredient as the Johnson and Johnson product I was avoiding.

Why do I worry about things like bisphenol A in sippy cups and carcinogens in baby soap?  Because I have read the medical studies and seen photos of how breast tissue changes when exposed to minute levels of BPA.  Because my wonderful sister Cynthia died at age 26 of breast cancer.  Because, of the  close friends who circled around me after my sister’s death–four subsequently died young–3 of breast cancer.  Because my father died of leukemia. Because one out of three people die of cancer, and many of these people die young.

I can’t buy my way to safety.  But Massachusetts legislators can make smart choices to protect children and help position Massachusetts as a leader in the green economy.