We are exposed to toxins on a daily basis, but just how much depends on the foods we eat, the furniture we sit on, the lotions we decide to put on our bodies, etc. The degree to which we potentially put our children’s health at risk depends on the different products we decide to bring into the house. Their exposure to toxins begins before they are even born. Whatever we inhale or ingest can have a lasting effect on our children.
It can be overwhelming at first to think of how we can be possibly be putting ourselves and our babies at risk.
Of course, there are various simple and effective ways to reduce our exposure to the different toxins in and outside of our home. According to Healthy Child Healthy World, making these 5 changes can reduce both yours and your child’s exposure to toxins:
1-Eat organic or the best you can. Most of our fruits and veggies are contaminated with pesticides. If you are unable to eat all organic look at the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) dirty dozen list and try your best to eat organic for those particular fruit and veggies. According to the EWG website, you are able to lower your pesticide exposure by 90% by avoiding the top 12 most contaminated fruit and veggies. That is crazy to think that by changing what we eat, can lower the amount of toxins entering our bodies.
Think about the meat, poultry and dairy you consume. They are usually loaded with hormones and antibiotics unless you purchase organic/local products. By doing so, you will lower the amount of hormones and antibiotics you ingest while eating and pass through the placenta.
Try and reduce the amount of processed foods you consume. They may contain MSG, artificial food coloring, artificial sweetener, nitrates and genetically modified organisms which are not heathy for you or the baby. At the very least, try to consume these products in moderation.
2-Drink clean tap water. Definitely, skip the watered bottle to decrease your exposure to BPA, which is know to leach out into the water we drink from the plastic water bottles. Why not install a home water filtration system or a simple faucet filter in your home. There are many different types of water filters available at affordable prices.
3-Reduce your use of beauty products or use non-toxic products. Cosmetics can contain an abundance of chemicals and toxins. Your skin is very absorbent and a large amount of what we put on our skin can enter your body and pass through to your baby’s bloodstream via the placenta. Reading your labels and knowing what you are putting on your body is very important; this includes shampoo, conditioner, perfume, facial/hand creams, cosmetics, nail polish etc. Feel free to consult the EWG: Skin deep database for information on safer and less toxic products for you and your family.
4-Breath cleaner air. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, our indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than the outdoor air we breath. There are some ways to clean up your air: add plants, ban smoking in your home, ventilate the house by opening up windows to circulate air. Clean your home with safe and non-toxic products. Try making your own products for cleaning that will not only be safe for you and your family, but safe for the environment. Oh, and avoid those plug in air freshers- they are known to do more bad then good.
5-Create a safe sleeping environment. When we are expecting a little bundle of joy we want to decorate and create the cutest room possible. Have you ever thought of what is in the paints we use to plaster on our walls? The best option is VOC-free paints, which use water instead of petroleum based solvents and contain no heavy metals or formaldehyde. These paints are readily available at most home improvement stores.
Before grabbing the paint brush, make sure your walls are free of lead. Lead paint was banned in 1978, so if your home was build prior to that, you may want to make sure your walls are lead-free.
Think about the furniture and nursery items you will be purchasing. Look for furnishing that are made from untreated, natural woods. Most pressed woods contain an abundance of chemical finishes and glues. Second-hands is a great option for natural woods. Purchasing organic and non-toxic toys and stuff animals will help to lower their exposure to nasty chemicals.
These are just a few suggestions to help you on the road to a cleaner and healthier you and family. Take baby steps- try one thing at a time and gradually work your way to living a little more toxic-free and reap the rewards!
Sources: Healthy Child Healthy World Book
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