Do You Really Get What You Pay For?

The saying “you get what you pay for” is not currently true in the cosmetic industry. Words like “natural,” “chemical free,” “organic” or products labeled by industry as “best products,” “best sellers,” or “best brands,” are not always true. U.S. Federal law allows companies to leave many chemicals off labels, including nanomaterials, ingredients considered trade secrets, and components of fragrance that contain harmful chemicals. As consumers, we are often led to believe that we are buying a very expensive product that will do wonders for us. However, we are often not knowledgeable about reading labels and linking ingredients to cancer causing agents. Although we may be purchasing a very high end product, we may also be contributing to the decline of our health by the ongoing exposure of chemicals on our skin that invade our bodies.

In the United States more than 500 products sold contain ingredients banned in cosmetics in Japan, Canada or the European Union. In addition, nearly 100 products contain ingredients considered unsafe by the International Fragrance Association. Also, 22% of all personal care products may be contaminated with the cancer-causing impurity 1,4-dioxane, including many children’s products. Over 60% of sunscreens contain the potential hormone disruptor oxybenzone that penetrates skin and contaminates the bodies of 97% of Americans. Lastly, 61% of tested lipstick brands contain residues of lead.

Unlike the United States, the European Union (EU), now comprised of 25 countries, has more protective and stringent laws for cosmetics. In fact, EU Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC) bans 1,328 chemicals from cosmetics; the U.S. FDA has banned or restricted only 11 of those 1,328 chemicals.

One state that has taken a lead in banning chemicals from products is California. In 2005, California became the first U.S. state to pass state legislation governing the safety and reporting of cosmetic ingredients. As a result, the California Safe Cosmetics Act requires manufacturers to disclose to the state any chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects. This database is open to the public. The state took action on a company called Brazillian Blowout during November 2010 when it filed suit for high formaldehyde content in its hair-straightening products.

As consumers, we should assist the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the agency charged with oversight of cosmetics, by encouraging Congress to pass more stringent requirements. As of today, FDA has no authority to require pre-market safety assessments (that are often done with drugs, medical devices, and biological items). Therefore, cosmetics are among the least-regulated products on the market. The fact is that 89 percent of all ingredients in cosmetics have NOT been evaluated for safety by any publicly accountable institution.

Take a stand and get involved in creating a safer cosmetic line of products for the good of our people and the planet. Support companies like Johnson & Johnson that committed to reduce its use of carcinogens in products by 2015. Support The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 (H.R. 1385), introduced on March 21, 2013 by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. and Ed Markey, D-Mass., that is designed to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to ensure that personal care products are free of harmful ingredients and that ingredients are fully disclosed. Provisions of the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 include:

1) Phase-out of ingredients linked to cancer, birth defects and developmental harm;
2) Creation of a health-based safety standard that includes protections for children, the elderly, workers and other vulnerable populations;
4) Elimination of labeling loopholes by requiring full ingredient disclosure on product labels and company websites, including salon products and the constituent ingredients of fragrance;
5) Worker access to information about unsafe chemicals in personal care products;
6) Required data-sharing to avoid duplicative testing and encourage the development of alternatives to animal testing; and
7) Adequate funding to the FDA Office of Cosmetics and Colors so it has the resources it needs to provide effective oversight of the cosmetics industry.

Join the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics ( ). Lastly, Support companies promoting natural and chemical free products.

A Warm Heart For Cold Noses

This is a story about one woman who is making a difference one dog at a time. Five years ago, Signe Razzi, a dynamic, energetic woman with a huge heart for cold wet noses, started volunteering as a dog walker at the Southern Arizona Humane Society in Tucson. She wanted to do something that would make a difference in the lives of shelter dogs waiting to be adopted into loving homes. But, who would have anticipated she would end up becoming the Mother Theresa for unwanted, soon-to-be-euthanized pups. Signe (pronounced See Na); a hairdresser/artist/grass roots activist is quite a colorful character who is full of life and love and up to things in life! She is one of the founders of the non-profit animal rescue called Tucson Cold Wet Noses Fosters (TCWNF). Cold Wet Noses helps nurture and rehabilitate unadoptable, sick, abused dogs and some cats back to health and then find them loving forever homes.

After Signe had been volunteering at the Southern Arizona Humane Society for a while, she found out that Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) needed volunteers. She admits she was reluctant to go to PACC because she had heard how dismal the environment was there. But, since they needed help so desperately she decided to make it her New Year’s resolution to make a difference in a place that really needed it. Signe said, “Every day PACC comes out with a rescue list of dogs and cats that have something up with them (kennel cough, limping, and shyness) for which PACC deems them unadoptable. A rescue group has to take them within 24 hours or they will be euthanized. If there is room in foster homes then those are the animals that we take, get well and put up for adoption, after we know them and can assess their situation. We try to make the right match for the right dog. We do a few cats too but mostly dogs. So many of them are great animals! And, if you relate and give a dog a chance to blossom, they do.”

Signe went where very few others were willing to go. She admits, “It takes emotional discipline to keep going back when it is so depressing there.” Immediately she saw what was needed and got into action! She was undaunted by the task at hand as she created the dog walking program in cooperation with the PACC staff. She observed that, “All the dogs at PACC had to look forward to was some food and water and a minimal amount of human contact and interaction.” Signe saw the need and an opportunity to make a difference in the quality of life of these dogs. She was on a mission! As she started recruiting volunteers to start walking dogs, Signe discovered that, “There is no way out once you get involved!” They started out walking dogs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays every week. They kept busy! In the beginning, there were only 5-7 people walking over 70 dogs. She said, “There were days I would wear a pedometer and I would have walked 10 miles!”

Signe shared some heartwarming stories of some of her favorite pups she has met along the way in her journey to make a difference. One Thanksgiving day early on, she saw a Sheppard with an “E” tag on its cage, which meant it was scheduled to be euthanized. She didn’t understand why since she seemed like a sweet adoptable dog. She inquired as to why the Sheppard was going to be euthanized. She was told because she was lactating she would not be adoptable for a two weeks so they were going to put her down. This lucky little girl was Signe’s first rescue of many from PACC. She took her home and got her adopted to a loving home. Her foster program had been born with the purpose of, “We get them well and then we get them adopted out.” The average time she would have a foster was 2 months before it was adopted out to its permanent home. Then there was a chow mix with separation anxiety issues that escaped and was missing for five days. It was found in an industrial office park. The office manager there fell in love and adopted Corey on the spot!

Signe credits a great deal of the early success of their rescue attempts at PACC to Terry Goddard who appeared in her hair salon one day. Terry immediately fell in love with a little Charpe mix that needed a home and helped get her adopted. She got hooked and worked tirelessly to recruit dog walkers and fosters and get dogs adopted out.
Terry was instrumental in getting TCWNF program launched. In fact, 99% of the rescues that Cold Wet Noses adopts out come from PACC.

Signe currently has 5 of her own adopted dogs who share their home with several other foster dogs. She averages having 10 dogs at any given time in her own home. She says, “You must have a deep love and affection for dogs in order to do this work.” Some of her personal philosophy is that she loves dogs because they are innocent like children. She doesn’t believe in judging a dog according to its breed but to connect with each individual dog. It is important to her to educate people and clear up some misconceptions people have about dogs. She wants people to know that older dogs can be trained just as well as puppies, but may need a little extra time. She warns that people need to be realistic about the responsibility of adopting a dog. They must be willing to take the time and attention it will require to help their new family member adapt to their new home and lifestyle. Signe has observed that, “At first a dog keeps a low profile and will be on its best behavior. It is during this period that people are unconsciously training their dog into behaviors without realizing it.” She is a huge Caesar Milan (The Dog Whisperer) fan and agrees with his philosophy. She comments, “You have to commit to provide them calm assertive leadership from the start to avoid problems later. She also agrees with his fundamental approach in training which is to exercise, discipline and give affection.

Signe admits she has had a lot of help along the way from all the dedicated dog walkers and foster parents. She would like to thank them for their commitment and discipline to keep showing up to make a huge difference in the life of the dogs at PACC, one dog at a time.

The World of Dog Costumes and Collars – Great Gift Ideas for Dog Owners

The dog is considered to be man’s best friend. It is a loyal companion for many and even an accepted member of the family. The number of households all over the world that own dogs is innumerable; some even have more than one dog at home. For the dog lovers out there, the friendship that they offer is one of a kind and truly very valuable.

It cannot be denied that there are dog lovers all over the world. People could even see on television the different celebrities with their pet dogs. Celebrities like Paris Hilton and her famous Chihuahua, Tinkerbell and Jessica Simpson with her dog Daisy have graced both the television and magazines all over the world. The lovers love to shower their dogs with love, gifts, and would usually let them get pampered in the different pet salons. It is obvious that the lovers love to put a lot of attention on their beloved dogs.

For those who have friends who are the owners or the lovers, it would be good idea to give them gifts for their dogs. Whatever the occasion is, it would be a wise decision to give the owners something for them as a gift. They would definitely appreciate that.

People who have friends who are dog owners may wonder what gifts would be appropriate for them. There are actually a lot of things that could be given to them, both for the owner and the dog. Here are some great ideas:

1) Dog calendars – There are calendars that bear pictures of the breeds and the owners are sure to like them.

2) Gift cards to pet stores – Gift cards to great pet stores will allow the owner to purchase some great stuff for his or her dog.

3) Personalized picture frames – For the owners who love taking pictures of their dogs, personalized frames are great especially when with a great picture inside.

4) Personalized leather dog collars – Buying a good-quality dog collar and have it printed with the name of the dog will surely make any dog owner ecstatic.

5) Dog costumes – For the owners who are fashion lovers, giving them cute costumes for their dogs will definitely make them happy.

6) A day at the spa for both the dog and the owner – Both the owner and the dog benefit from this gift. They can spend a day in the spa just relaxing and enjoying.

There are other gift ideas out there that are sure to knock the socks off of the dog owners. It does not have to be expensive, but it is the thought that counts. Choosing what is best for it and the owner is good. The ideas written here are just some great ideas and there are other gifts that people can give to the owner. The important thing is to make the owner happy, as well as his or her dog. No matter what the occasion, even the simplest of gifts could make a person happy.

Fun Jobs Guide For 14 Year Olds

Did you ever have a job? Did you know that young kids can have jobs? This article will tell you about jobs that kids can have. The kids will not not only can make money from these jobs, but also can have fun.

  • Rake Leaves
  • Fall is coming, the road and yard will be full of thick and wet leaves, that is annoying, so we need raking, you can provide raking leaves service to your neighbors, all you need is a rake. You’d better use the right rake for this job, In most cases, if you can find a leaf rake, that is best, if you can not, you can use others instead.

  • Pet Caretaker
  • Do you like to take care of animals? Have you always felt happy with pets? If the answer is yes, I think you can to be a animal caretaker, turn your interest in pets into a kids job to make some money.

    Pet caretakers will start their working with dogs, cats, and everything in between. They are found in pet shelters, kennels, stables, grooming salons, and zoos.

  • House Cleaning
  • Instead of a parents helper, kids can do simple house cleaning. There are so many chores that would be suitable for kids such as dusting, vacuuming, etc.

    When you are cleaning your house, you should walk around the house with a garbage bag and a laundry bag. This way you can pick up as you go and will not have to walk back and forth.

    In fact, There are many fun kids jobs, such as pet sitting or babysitting, I will introduce them in the following articles, if you are interested in these kids jobs, you can pay attention to my latest articles.

    Surprise! 5 Fun Places For Kids’ Birthdays

    After a few years of planning parties, you might start to run out of ideas for fun places for kids’ birthdays. Many parents prefer to hold their children’s parties in a public venue to save themselves the effort of planning activities, setting up, and cleaning up afterward. But everyone gets bored going to the same old place for everyone’s parties! Try some new, fun places for kids’ birthdays for a change of scenery and a great celebration.

    * A Salon/Spa Experience

    For little girls (and even some boys!) who love to play dress-up, try a children’s salon! Most towns have at least one hairdresser who specializes in small children’s cuts, and some will also host birthday parties. The guests can have their hair done, get mini manicures or pedicures, or even try a little makeup. Your little princess and her friends are sure to enjoy a day at the salon.

    * The Nature Center

    Is there a nature center or conservation area in your city? If so, those can definitely be fun places for kids’ birthdays! The party guests can learn about local flora and fauna, go on a nature walk, and wind it up with an outdoor picnic. Not only will they have a great time, but they’ll also get to learn about nature and burn off plenty of energy in the great outdoors.

    * Indoor Sports Centers

    If you’re hosting a group of kids who all like different activities, check out an indoor sports center. Many have facilities for soccer, basketball, swimming, miniature golf, and much more! Especially if your child’s birthday is in the winter, the guests will love the opportunity to play some sports and burn off some energy without freezing. Plus, a little friendly competition is always fun, as well as a chance to practice good sportsmanship.

    * A Day On The Farm

    Especially in more rural areas, local farmers often host community events including children’s parties. The children can pick berries in the summer and apples in the fall, visit the farm animals, find their way through a corn maze, and learn about where our food comes from. The farm may even provide lunch made of locally-grown ingredients! An afternoon at a farm is a fun and educational activity for kids and is a great option for birthday celebrations.

    * Gymnastics Studios Are Fun Places For Kids’ Birthdays!

    For a group of especially energetic children, a junior gymnastics studio is a terrific venue! Certified instructors who specialize in teaching youngsters will lead the party guests through obstacle courses and other physical activities, such as the trampoline, balance beam, and rings. Whether they’re experienced gymnasts or not, the children will have a fantastic time jumping, swinging, and turning cartwheels.

    If you and your child are tired of the same old birthday parties, try out one of these ideas! Fun places for kids’ birthdays are easier to find than you might think; you just need to know where to look!