Friday, May 14, 2010

BPA & Plastics to Avoid

A food safety bill considering a ban on BPA (Bisphenol-A) is being resisted by the food industry and major business groups. The bill “to improve food safety” contains a “proposed amendment that would ban bisphenol-A, a controversial chemical, from food and beverage containers.”

BPA is used in a variety of consumer goods, “including compact discs, dental sealants, credit card and ATM receipts,” as well as “plastic food containers, bottles and the epoxy linings of metal cans.” The major concern of health advocates is the use of BPA in products that can leach the chemical into foods and beverages. According to federal estimates, the chemical “is found in the urine of more than 90% of the U.S. Population,” while a 2009 U.S. study “detected an average of 2.8 ng/mL BPA in the blood of 9 out of the 10 umbilical cords tested.”

The safety of Bisphenol A has been in question since the 1930’s. It is known as “an endocrine disruptor”. The U.S. National Institutes of Health notes concern for BPA’s “effects on fetal and infant brain development and behavior” and link to increased obesity. Bisphenol A is shown to affect thyroid function and can “promote the growth of neuroblastoma cells”. In Sep. 2008, the Journal of the American Medical Association published findings on a cross-sectional study of 1,500 people that found “higher bisphenol levels [in urine] were significantly associated with heart disease, diabetes, and abnormally high levels of certain liver enzymes.” Canada classified BPA as “toxic to human health and the environment”. Denmark and France banned BPA use in baby bottles. Japan replaced the majority of its epoxy-coated cans with PET film. Additionally, “many companies have voluntarily removed BPA from their products or required suppliers to provide BPA-free options.”

To avoid BPA in food products, consumers should look for plastics with at Number 7 or Number 3 printed in the recycling triangle at the bottom. These plastics can leach BPA into food and drinks and are extremely toxic when burned. These plastics should not touch food. Additional plastics to avoid are those containing a Number 6 in the bottom. Number 6 is can also leach toxins into foods, especially when heated.

Ref:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/25/AR2010042503408.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A
http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/recycling-symbols-plastics-460321

All content © Village Memorial. 2009-2010.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

HydroCremation, Environmentally Responsible Alternative to Cremation

Alkaline Hydrolysis, alternative to incineration creation

When we die, Alkaline Hydrolysis is the natural method of decomposition. Just as food in the intestine is digested and transformed into nutrients by alkaline hydrolysis and enzymes operating at pH 7-8 at body temperature. Human bodies are mostly water and when buried under the earth we degrade through this natural process, (expedited by the soil bacteria.)

“Water Resolution” is the water reduction process for the application of Alkaline Hydrolysis to human cadavers. The Alkaline hydrolysis process has been used worldwide in laboratory and research applications. It is a fully automated process of pressure, high temperature, and alkalinity to accelerate the natural process of tissue hydrolysis decomposition by using a strong alkali (pH 14) to solubilize and hydrolyze tissue, expedited by heat at 150˚C in a pressurized vessel. The integral load cells weigh the body and the appropriate amount of water and alkali are added automatically to the vessel. The vessel is quickly heated via steam to around 150˚C (~300˚F) and the body is resolved to its component elements. The entire process is complete in 2-3 hours. This process generates a solution of amino acids, peptides, sugars, and soap (salts of fatty acids) that is suitable and safe for release into the environment.
The process is environmentally friendly because it does not generate air pollution and the embalming fluid is neutralized into a harmless chemical compound. It incurs 20 times less CO2 emissions vs. average cremation. It is energy efficient, using 1/10th the energy per body versus cremation. It makes use of foreign substance in the body, like pacemakers, replacement joints and pins, which remain sterile and intact for recovery and possible re-use. Additionally, for the budget conscious, it is 3-5 times less expensive than cremation. It is projected that within 5 years hundreds of machines will be in use in California, Oregon, and Washington.

By mimicking a body’s natural chemical process of decomposition it breaks down the human chemical make up of 65% Oxygen, 18% Carbon, 10% Hydrogen, 3% Nitrogen, 1.5% Calcium, 1% Phosphorus and 1.5% total of remaining additional periodic elements reducing CO2 emissions in the process.

All content © Village Memorial. 2009-2010.