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ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS | DISRUPTION | TOXIC TOYS June 12 2017, 0 Comments

ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS

This is a research report by Twoodie, originally published here...

  • It contains no hyperbole.
  • It is evidence based.
  • It is concise and written in plain English.

We went through all 29 Pages of the WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION and UNITED NATIONS report on Endocrine Disruptors. We then assimilated these facts, combined with highlights from the latest research, expert viewpoints and verified sources, into an executive summary.

At Twoodie our job is not to be academics or scientists. It's to research and innovate across the entire supply chain to ensure that we provide practical product solutions to keep your family safe and healthy.  We try and to do so in a way that is refined and attractive. We're not hippies or activists... we're just designers, with common sense.

Together we’ve done the hard (and tedious) work for you. We reveal to the world our progress/thought process (through transparent operations) so you can feel confident in trusting our judgement.

We stand firmly behind the findings below. They are the TRUTH according to the information we have available as of 6 April 2017. As new studies and information comes to light we will update our advice to reflect this and welcome your feedback and input.

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Shop safe here 

WHAT ARE Endocrine Disruptors?

Endocrine disruptors are a class of hazardous chemical commonly found in PLASTICS but also cosmetics, furniture, pesticides and other products. They are anthropogenic (man-made) chemicals.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are defined by the World Health Organization as “chemicals that interfere with normal hormone action”. These chemicals affect or ‘disrupt’ the endocrine system, which produces hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, tissue and sexual function in our bodies.

Endocrine disrupters target two essential functions of human anatomy:

  1. The formation, development and growth of organs
  2. Reproduction

Hormone receptors (produced by our bodies) naturally regulate these activities but endocrine disruptors interfere with hormone action.

The effects of Endocrine Disruptors depend on both the level and timing of exposure. There is a specific window of exposure deemed ‘sensitive periods for endocrine disruptor action’ by the World Health Organization, when humans are most susceptible to the adverse effects of EDCs, which is during development (in utero, infancy and early childhood in humans). This is significant because in adults, when the hormone or EDC is isolated or removed, the effect subsides, but the adverse effects of endocrine disruption are permanent and irreversible on developing tissue. It follows that exposure to EDCs is especially dangerous for pregnant women and growing children.


WHERE do they come from?

Endocrine disruptors derive from man-made chemicals. There are an increasing amount of EDCs formed as a by-product of manufacturing or combustion of waste. Examples of such chemicals include current-use pesticides, solvents, paints and pharmaceutical or food additives. EDCs may be released from the products that contain them. Once in the environment, they can be carried by air or water. EDCs are prevalent in everyday items ranging from cosmetics to plastic containers and even food.

People in contact with these substances risk exposure to endocrine disruptors. Humans take up EDCs by ingestion, inhalation and through contact with our skin. Infants and children are also more likely to be exposed to EDCs because of their hand-to-mouth activities.


IS THIS REAL? Are we just PARANOID?

What credible sources validate the existence of Endocrine Disruptors?

Demonstrating a clear link between endocrine effects in individuals and populations will always be challenging because of the difficulty in isolating the effects of chemicals from the effects of other stressors and ecological factors. Furthermore scientific and medical research into EDCs is a relatively recent occurrence. Studies and trials need to be undertaken over many decades (with adequate placebo and other methodological tools) to provide further supportive data.

What has been discovered to date is detailed below and can be summarised as the following:

It is undeniable and unanimous amongst researchers and laboratory studies that chemical exposures contribute to endocrine disorders in humans and wildlife and are a definite source of concern.

To quote the WHO:

“We live in a world in which man‐made chemicals have become a part of everyday life. Some of these chemical pollutants can affect the endocrine (hormonal) system and interfere with important developmental processes in humans and wildlife.

There is emerging evidence for adverse reproductive outcomes (infertility, cancers, malformations) from exposure to EDCs, and there is also mounting evidence for effects of these chemicals on thyroid function, brain function, obesity and metabolism, and insulin and glucose homeostasis.

Global rates of endocrine-related cancers (breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid) have been increasing over the past 40–50 years.”


HISTORY of Evidence

In 2002, the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) conducted research specific to EDCs, and published the “Global Assessment of the State-of-the-Science of Endocrine Disruptors” report.

IPCS is a joint programme of the World Health Organization, United Nations Environmental Programme and the International Labour Organization. It concluded that while results indicated adverse effects of EDCs in wildlife, more research had to be done to examine specific threats to the human body.

Following this publication, international authorities such as the Endocrine Society, European Commission and the European Environment Agency gathered evidence which showed that there was emerging evidence that EDCs indeed have negative effects on the human body regarding reproductive functions.

In 2011 The European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and the US Paediatric Endocrine Society put forward a consensus statement calling for action regarding endocrine disruptors and their effects.

A year later the most comprehensive report to date was published via a collaboration between the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme.

This paper, ‘State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012: Summary for Decision Makers’, compiled the findings of international scientific experts and their research and was led by Professor Åke Bergman, of Stockholm University. The members of his team included doctors, academics, scientists and various heads of departments within the World Health Organization.  The research was funded by governments (not industry) so we can assume it was not conflicted.

The findings in this seminal report have been referenced by credible journalists and researchers from Environmental Health Perspectives and the Economist, with the main aim of educating the general public on the sources and the dangers of endocrine disruptors. To quote Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times “The chemical industry - by spending $100,000 on lobbying per member of Congress - buys its way out of effective regulation of endocrine disruptors. The industry’s deceit marks a replay of Big Tobacco’s battle against regulation of smoking”.

 

The BAD news

The most alarming fact regarding Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals is that the research performed to date appears to be only the tip of the iceberg. So while hundreds of chemicals that are currently used in different industries are already known to have endocrine disrupting effects, there are thousands of potentially similar chemicals, especially in consumer products, that have not yet been tested.

Close to 800 chemicals are known or suspected to 
be Endocrine Disruptors, but only a small fraction of these chemicals have been investigated in tests capable of identifying endocrine effects. The vast majority of chemicals in current commercial use have not been tested at all.

Furthermore the testing process, although in theory strict, only tests specific dosages of EDCs to determine the levels safe for humans and wildlife. The concern is that whilst humans have low dosage exposures to individually safe EDCs, these chemicals could collectively reach a harmful level. The toxicity of such environmental circumstances have not yet been determined and assessed.

The consequences of exposure to EDCs on human health are severe. Endocrine disruption leads to a magnitude of health problems. In adults, close contact to EDCs have been linked to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndromes, reproductive issues as well as more fatally, increasing rates of testicular and breast cancer.

As previously mentioned, exposure to EDCs during the specific ‘sensitive periods’ of development will lead to long-term and more permanent health impacts such as increased occurrences of reproductive diseases, endocrine-related cancers, behavioural and learning problems.

 

HOW TO AVOID Endocrine Disruptors?

In reality, simply testing for EDCs is not sufficient. Bisphenol-A (BPA), a common and dangerous endocrine disruptor that is present in a range of consumer goods such as food packaging, plastic bottles and baby teethers, was not banned by the Food and Drug Administration despite strong objections from the Endocrine Society and toxicologists. While we wait for official measures to step in, endocrine disruption can be avoided or minimized with conscious changes in daily lifestyle.

This includes:

  • Not storing food or beverages in polycarbonate containers and instead choosing to use glassware
  • Choosing furniture or toys of natural materials such as wood and glass
  • Consuming organic food
  • Avoiding pesticides
  • Washing hands after dealing with chemicals
  • Making informed choices when purchasing cosmetics or fragrances

With regards to woods (our passion at Twoodie) chemical preservatives, paints, finishes and other unnatural additives should obviously be avoided.

Special attention should be paid to infants and children and products that they come into close contact with such as toys, teethers and plastic cutlery and containers. Especially in the case of teethers, while the ones most commonly sold in the United States were labelled as BPA-free or nontoxic, BPA or replacement chemicals were found in them.

Bottom line:

  • Research and understand what products and environments are likely to contain EDCs
  • Minimize or completely avoid these where possible


  • THE TWOODIE WAY

    The effects of endocrine disruptors on our health are potentially catastrophic.  They include cancerous tumours, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. For this reason we will adopt a “better safe than sorry” approach to the products we use and will pay special attention to those that surround children.

    The science is debated, but only as much as that of climate change. Regardless of one’s faith in man's ability to change the climate we can all agree that living a more sustainable lifestyle is a good thing. This is also our approach at Twoodie.  You don’t need to wait to have more conclusive proof of the existence and impact of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals to make purchasing decisions that are natural, healthy, beautiful and of lasting quality. Our job is to make this easy for you.


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    World Health Organization. (2012). State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. United Nations Environment Programme. Geneva: WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data.

    Harrison, P. T. (2001). Endocrine Disrupters And Human Health: Current Research Will Establish Baseline Indices. BMJ: British Medical Journal , 323, 1317-1318.

    Ashby, J. e. (1997). The Challenge Posed by Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals. Environmental Health Perspectives , 5 (2), 164-169.

    International Programme on Chemical Safety. (2002). Global assessment of the state-of-the-science of endocrine disruptors. World Health Organization. Geneva: IPCS.

    Skakkebaek NE, e. a. (2011). The exposure of fetuses and children to endocrine disrupting chemicals: a European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) and Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) call to action statement. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism , 96 (10), 3056-3058.

    Agency, E. E. (2012). The impacts of endocrine disruptors on wildlife, people and their environments - The Weybridge +15(1996-2011) report. European Environment Agency, Copenhagan, Denmark.

    Kortenkamp A, e. a. (2011). State of the art assessment of endocrine disrupters. Final report. Directorate-General for the Environment. European Commission.

    Kabat, G. C. (2017). Hormonal Confusion: The Contested Science of Endocrine Disruption. In Getting Risk Right: Understanding the Science of Elusive Health Risks (pp. 85-115). Columbia University Press.

    Kristof, N. (2009, 06 27). It's Time to Learn From Frogs. Retrieved 03 29, 2017, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/opinion/28kristof.html

    Kristof, N. (2012, May 2). How Chemicals Affect Us. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/opinion/kristof-how-chemicals-change-us.html

    Tech.view. (2008, Aug 22). Hazard in a Bottle. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from The Economist:http://www.economist.com/node/11991291

    Honest Blogs. (2016, Jan 26). What are Phthalates? Retrieved March 29, 2017, from The Honest Company : https://blog.honest.com/phthalates/#

    Amarelo, M., & Lunder, S. (2016, Dec 9). Teethers Expose Babies To BPA and Other Endocrine Disruptors. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from Healthy Child Healthy World: http://www.healthychild.org/teethers-expose-babies-to-bpa-and-other-endocrine-disruptors/


    Working on our pitches for magazines and online sites April 17 2017, 0 Comments

    Twoodie is the ONE STOP skill-building, creativity-boosting baby toy solution designed to cover ALL the essential developmental and learning needs in your child's first 18 months of life.


    Our toy is inspired by Montessori free play, because we believe fun playful learning is fundamental to growth – and don’t just take our word for it, free play is preferred by Prince George, Google's Larry & Sergei, and an innumerable number of super-successful CEOs who were educated according to this method. We’ve dedicated three years and over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity/safety of Twoodie toys, so that you can trust every single one is natural, sustainable, and made to exacting quality standards in Japan.  Twoodies come packaged in a luxurious velvet pouch for easy transport, and a solid artist-tattooed shoebox for safe storage...adding beauty (not clutter) to the home.


    In this tech-focused world, your baby only needs ONE toy before paediatricians say it's safe to engage with smartphones and screentime: Twoodie is that toy!


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    Twoodie is the ONE STOP baby toy solution that is designed to cover ALL the essential developmental and learning needs of a child's first 18 months of life.

    It's inspired by Montessori free play as preferred by Prince George, but also Google's Larry & Sergei and a disproportionate amount of CEOs who were schooled in this method.  Twoodie spent three years and ran over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity/safety of the toys which are natural, sustainable and made to exacting quality standards in Japan.  Twoodies come packaged in a luxurious velvet pouch for easy transport and a solid artist tattooed shoebox for safe storage...Adding beauty (not clutter) to the home.


    You only need ONE toy before paediatricians say it's safe to engage with smartphones and screentime: Twoodie is that toy!


    ------------------



    Twoodie Gems

    US$125 with complimentary shipping

    Sold exclusively via twoodie.com


    We've spent 3 years immersed in Japanese culture, interviewing children's health & development specialists and collaborating with wood technicians to create the ALL IN ONE baby toy.

    The Twoodie gems are unique in that they cover ALL the early learning and developmental requirements for 0-18 months but are appreciated by playful minds of all ages.

    With Twoodie you only need ONE toy for the critical first 2yrs when paediatricians recommend no screen time. Twoodie is an all in one solution that's organic, stylish and PROVEN.

    We've designed a toy that speaks to Marie Kondo's minimalism and Montessori free play (as preferred by Prince George, but also Google's Larry & Sergei and a disproportionate amount of CEOs who were educated according to this method).

    It's an heirloom and adds beauty not clutter to the home.

    We have run over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity and safety of the toys which are all natural, sustainable and made to exacting standards in Osaka, Japan.

    Twoodie is the world’s first completely transparent toy brand.



    Safe Sustainable and stylish

    Tried tested trusted

    Imperfect impermanent incomplete



    Twoodie is the ONE STOP baby toy solution that covers ALL the essential developmental and learning needs of a child's first 18 months of life.

    It's inspired by Marie Kondo's minimalism and Montessori free play (as preferred by Prince George, but also Google's Larry & Sergei and a disproportionate amount of CEOs who were educated according to this method).  We ran over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity/safety of the toys which are natural, sustainable and made in Japan.

    75 words, 460 characters with spaces

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    Using sustainable woods and some impressive physics Twoodie makes whimsical surrealist stacking toys.

    The gems are part of a new movement of toys that embrace free and 'self directed' play and has recently gained momentum after the royal family decided that Prince George would attend a Montessori nursery school.

    From 0-2 yrs paediatricians recommend no screen time as this can damage a young child’s retina irreversibly.  So the African-Australian designers at Twoodie set out with the ambitious goal to create a toy that would fulfil ALL of the developmental and learning needs for the first 18 months of life.  

    "People need less stuff because they are travelling more and living in dense urban spaces.  They seek the organic: wood, nature and calming objects - a complement to their hyper connected surroundings and lifestyle.  Twoodie is an all in one toy for millennial parents that relieves anxiety and encourages interaction."

    These pure wood gems are cross purpose although they are tested to the strictest international standards for newborn babies and have faceted edges and a careful weighting that allows little ones to grasp them easily...

    Everything is Made in Japan where the toy was developed with human centred design and observation at the Tokyo Toy museum and the hundred year old archives of the Odawara wood center.

    Twoodie is the only toy brand in the world offering complete transparency, a rarity in the cheap and opaque world of plastic playthings.  This engenders trust from a small but growing international clientele of artists, tastemakers and idealistic parents.



    254 words


    Hi Nic.  We're writing to you because you write about issues that are

    important to all of us.

    Therefore we think there is a possibility you will understand what we are

    trying to do.  Its about mission, not ambition:


    We've started a new type of toy company.  After living in Asia and being

    at the coldface we experienced the poisonous effect cheap plastic toys have on our health, communities and environment.  Everyone talks about cleaning up the fashion supply chain, but toys are a vastly more opaque and

    untransparent industry.


    There was this moment when I realised that the plastic toys I was picking

    up off the beach in my company sponsored clean up were exactly the same as those in the Toys R Us showroom I walked through every day at work.

    If the statistic that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the

    ocean is true then sacrificing our careers and everything we own to fix

    this problem has to be worth it.


    How we solve this problem:


    1 - We designed a toy that uniquely covers ALL the developmental needs of a child for their first 18 months.  So you "only need to buy 1".

    2 - We made these toys sustainably in Japan, compensated everyone involved fairly and tested them independently.

    3 - We made our Public Benefit company COMPLETELY TRANSPARENT: all our margins, factories, salaries, contracts, testing certifications and

    philanthropic giving is available for public scrutiny at twoodie.com

    This way we hold ourselves to account.


    How can you help us?  Connect us to someone at your newspaper who

    understands design and sustainability and will tell the world that *there

    is now an alternative to toxic toys and plastic landfill.* Or consider this for your blog. That's all we're asking: the opportunity to let people know it exists.


    For your consideration.  


    Non-Toxic Toys April 08 2017, 0 Comments

    The short list of what you won't find in Twoodies:

    • No Carcinogens 
    • No Endocrine Disruptors
    • No Fire Retardants
    • No GMOs or Synthetic Biology 
    • No Heavy Metals 
    • No Nanoparticles 
    • No Herbicides, Insecticides or Pesticides 
    • No Harmful Chemical Solvents or VOCs
    • No Behavioral, Developmental or Neurotoxins
    • No know allergens
    • No BPA or other plastics
    • No lead tainted paint
    • No metals or magnets 
    • No toxic glues or adhesives

    "The reality of life today is that we live in a toxic world surrounded by thousands of invisible chemicals and toxicants which infiltrate the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the products we use every day. These silent encounters with chemicals have been linked to nearly every disease raging in America from ADD, Allergies, Alzheimer’s, Asthma, Autism and Autoimmune diseases to Infertility, Cancer, Diabetes, Chronic Inflammation, Obesity, and Parkinson’s disease."

    nontoxiccertified.org

    Twoodie wooden gem in walnut from America and safe wood for baby toys  Twoodie wooden gem baby toys in gem shape and oak wood from America  Twoodie wooden gem baby toys in gem shape and cherry wood  Twoodie wooden stacking gem in Japanese Zelkova wood with visible woodgrain

    Twoodie wooden gems arranged in crown formation on wooden surface


    Couple app & couple of rules April 05 2017, 0 Comments


    MVB December 08 2015, 0 Comments

    We launched Twoodie.com (our MVB or minimum viable brand) last week on LinkedIn.

    This was an unconventional platform for a retail company launch, but it fits with our current progress and somewhat academic approach to brand building. 

    We're very grateful for people's feedback and are still #feelingflattered...

    Twoodie_organic baby toys_wooden gems

     https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/minimal-viable-brand-mvb-jeanne-bardin