How can I reduce my chemical exposure
I recently attended a seminar about chemicals and ways to avoid them by Dr Sarah Lantz and Tabitha McIntosh. I thought this information is important to share with you:
Some exposures to pesticides and industrial chemicals are unavoidable. Many everyday items found around our homes can emit chemicals, that when combined together, create a toxic cocktail inside our homes and bodies. The increasing prevalence of many modern day illnesses and allergies is being linked to chemicals that we are exposed to in our homes.
It is now widely recognised that babies and young children are at greatest risk from chemical exposure, which can have life-long impacts on their health and ability to learn. If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, are breastfeeding or have young children, it is advisable to pay particular attention to reducing chemical exposure as much as possible.
Here's a 'starter-list' of practical measures you can take to protect yourself and your children from common chemicals:
- Store your food in glass containers whenever possible. Don't microwave in plastic or with Gladwrap; use glass or ceramic instead. It is especially important to look for BPA-free bottles for you infants.
- Buy and eat organic produce and free-range, organic foods where possible, to reduce your exposure to pesticides, GMO and fertilisers. This especially applies to animal produce (meat, chicken, eggs) and full-cream dairy products, as these may contain higher levels of some pollutants.
- Avoid the use of pesticides in the home or garden, or on your family pets. Examples of common things to avoid: Mortein, Baygon, garden sprays, flea treatments, mosquito repellants that contain DEET etc. There are safe, effective and natural alternatives out there.
- Eat low-mercury fish and say 'No' to mercury amalgams. As discussed in my last blog about this topic, there are certain chemicals in our environment we can't escape and others we can chose to avoid.
- Throw out your Teflon pots and pans and instead use safer cooking materials like ceramic, stainless steel, and glass.
- Avoid processed foods, and become a food label detective. Avoid artificial food additives of all kinds, including MSG and artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are found in most chewing gums, diet foods and drinks, and some children's medications.
- Run your tap water through a home-filter, or drink spring water. Filters can reduce levels of common tap water pollutants, especially chlorine and fluoride.
- Avoid artificial fragrances: in air fresheners, fabric softeners, perfumes, cheap candles, and other synthetic fragrances. Use fresh flowers, essential oils and natural alternatives instead.
- Reduce the number of cosmetics and other personal care products you use, which can contain harmful chemicals and can be sold with no safety testing. Aim to switch to natural brands of personal care items: including shampoo, toothpaste, deodorants and cosmetics. Skin care products are notorious for containing a slew of dangerous chemicals. See the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database here