As we’ve watched the progression of the Safer Chemicals Act in Congress this week, I hope that we’re all reminded that there is very little actual regulation of the chemicals used in our cleaning products, bath and body products, and in our air. Last week in Chicago, I was able to meet up with Health Child Healthy World to talk more about how we can each work on an individual basis to limit chemical exposure in our daily lives. Healthy Child Healthy World is a great resource to empower parents (and those who are not parents!), promote solutions, and influence policy. Please take 3 minutes and 39 seconds to watch this video on why they do what they do.
Meanwhile, one of the most frequently asked questions I get on this blog and in real life is: how can I limit my child’s exposure to dangerous chemicals? Thanks to Healthy Child Healthy World, I can give you the following:
5 Easy Steps to Limit Chemical Exposure
1. Take off your shoes at the door
The professional cleaning industry estimates that 85 percent of the dirt in our homes is tracked in from the outside on the bottom of our shoes. Know what’s in that dirt? Toxics like lead, pesticides, gasoline residue and more. Keep your home safer—and cleaner—by taking off your shoes and leaving toxic residues at the door.
2. Buy safer body care
According to the Environmental Working Group, children are exposed to an average of 27 care product ingredients on a daily basis that have not been found safe for developing bodies. Protect your family’s health by avoiding products that contain some of the worst offenders such as parabens, phthalates, fragrance, triclosan and more. For a list of the most toxic offenders, check out our eBook, “Easy Steps to a Healthy & Safe Nursery“.
3. Open a window
People spend about 90 percent of their time inside, but indoor air is typically far more polluted than outside. So, open those windows! Let the bad air out and some fresh air in. Even a few minutes a day can improve your indoor air quality.
4. Eat more whole foods
Processed foods may be convenient, but they’re also loaded with sweeteners, salt, artiﬁcial ﬂavors and colorings, and synthetic preservatives. Not only do these ingredients lack nutrients, but many are also linked to serious health issues like ADHD and even cancer. Reduce your exposure to these risky chemicals by eating more whole foods.
5. Ban the can
Bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone disruptor that has been linked to everything from obesity to cancer, is in the plastic resin that lines most canned goods—from soups to sodas. A 2011 study by the Silent Spring Institute showed that avoiding canned food for only 3 days signiﬁcantly lowered BPA levels in test subjects. You can do it, too! Look for foods packaged in glass or ﬁnd fresh, dried, and frozen options.
No one can do everything, but everyone can do something!
For more easy steps, visit the Healthy Child Healthy World library