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WORLD NEWS Ashkin Honored As Presidio Fellow In Sustainability

Stephen Ashkin, long known as "the father of Green Cleaning" in the professional cleaning industry, was named a Fellow in the Sustainability and Sports Certifi cate Program by the Presidio Graduate School.

Presidio Graduate School is located in San Francisco, and theirs is the fi rst MBA-level sustainability program focused exclusively on the sports industry. Honouring Ashkin with the Presidio Fellow in Sustainability title was Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D., a Distinguished Professor in Sustainable Management at Presidio Graduate School.

"There aren't fi ve people in the world who infl uence Green Cleaning more than Stephen Ashkin," said Hershkowitz. "The fact that he is using that position to advance ecologically smart practices is of enormous importance."

A Presidio Fellowship, according to Hershkowitz, is "an exclusive club" of infl uential practitioners and thought leaders in the sports greening movement. This fellowship follows Ashkin's appointment to the board of directors of the Portland-based Green Sports Alliance in 2013.

The Green Sports Alliance, which began in 2010, is a not-for-profi t organisation with a mission to help sports teams, venues, and leagues enhance their Green and sustainability performance.

"This is really quite an honour," said Ashkin. "We are seeing nothing less than an evolution in the professional sports industry. It is becoming Greener and more sustainable at a rapid pace, and I am proud to be one of the people helping to make this happen."

Cleaning Chemical Lowers Children’s IQ

The same chemical additives that lower sex drive could also reduce unborn children’s IQs, a new study has found.

Research carried out on 328 women from inner-city New York revealed that children whose mothers had the highest levels of phthalates – a compound found in some cleaning products, as well as food packaging and other common household products – in urine measured in the last weeks of pregnancy had IQs that were on average seven points below those whose mothers had the lowest levels. The children’s IQs were tested when they were seven years old.

However, researchers have said that the study was purely observational, and cannot prove that phthalates caused the lower IQs. But they did add that pregnant women might still want to avoid the additives as a precaution.

Pam Factor-Litvak, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, New York,


said: “People, and especially pregnant women, should try to reduce their exposure to phthalates. We advise them to avoid microwaving food in plastic, and to avoid scented products, including cleaning products, air fresheners and scented personal care products, because phthalates hold scent.

“We also advise them to store food in glass containers rather than plastic ones. Although we didn’t measure phthalate levels earlier in pregnancy, I think it’s prudent to take this advice throughout the entire pregnancy.”

Recent research from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine found that the chemical interferes with hormones and lowers sex drives, but this is the fi rst time that IQ has been linked with it.

Factor-Litvak added that phthalates may affect brain development in the womb as a result of disrupting the

normal behaviour of thyroid hormones and oestrogen. However, David Coggan, professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the University of Southampton, said that the connection between the additives and IQ may not be relevant, instead refl ecting normal variations in measurements.

He said: “The study adds usefully to our knowledge about possible adverse effects of phthalates. However the results are not entirely consistent, and the associations reported may in part refl ect the coincidental effects of other unmeasured determinants of IQ.”

In the EU, many kinds of phthalates have been banned in toys and cosmetics, but still remain in fl ooring materials, paints and fabrics. However, in the US, they can be found in soaps, hairsprays, lipstick and nail polish, but they are not always listed as ingredients.

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