Monday, December 1, 2008

Healthy Home...Happy Family

As the writer of a wellness oriented blog I am constantly subscribing to and/or receiving emails, newsletters, research studies, and more on health related topics. Today as I "thumbed through" my exciting list of new emails from health related, wellness related, diet related, and environmental related agencies and groups I came across a simple yet useful article from EWG (Environmental Working Group) for parents, and parents to be. From that article here is a list of 11 effective things you can incorporate in to your daily life/routine to create a healthier and greener home environment for you, your children (who are especially prone to health problems from household toxins and more), your pets and more. I found this list helpful not only because it is very informative and concise, but also because it is easy to follow. Just read it and you will most likely agree:
  1. Choose better body care products. Just because a label says "gentle" or "natural" doesn't mean it's kid-safe. Look up your products on, to see if they are truly safe and effective Read the ingredients and avoid triclosan, BHA, fragrance, and oxybenzone. See the previous article in my blog titled Organic Beauty for an online source of natural cosmetics!
  2. Go organic & eat fresh foods. Opt for organic fruits and veggies, or use to find conventionally grown produce with the least pesticides. Choose milk and meat without added growth hormones. Limit canned food and infant formula, as can linings contain bisphenol A (BPA).
  3. Avoid fire retardants. Choose snug-fitting cotton pajamas for kids, and repair or replace worn out foam items.
  4. Pick plastics carefully. Some plastics contain BPA, which is linked to cancer. Avoid clear, hard plastic bottles marked with a "7" or "PC" and choose baby bottles made from glass or BPA-free plastic. Don't microwave plastic containers. Stay away from toys marked with a "3" or "PVC." Give your baby a frozen washcloth instead of vinyl teethers.
  5. Filter your tap water. Use a reverse osmosis system or carbon filter pitcher to reduce your family's exposure to impurities in water, like chlorine and lead. Don't drink bottled water, which isn't necessarily better. Mix infant formula with fluoride-free water. We reccomend the in home Multi-pure system.
  6. Wash those hands. In addition to reducing illness, frequent hand washing will reduce kids' exposure to chemicals. Skip anti-bacterial soaps, since they can be bad for the environment, aren't any better than soap and water, and can contain pesticides that are absorbed through the skin.
  7. Skip non-stick. When overheated, non-stick cookware emit toxic fumes. Cook with cast iron or stainless steel instead.
  8. Use a HEPA-filter vacuum. Kids spend lots of time on the floor, and household dust can contain contaminants like lead and fire retardants. HEPA-filter vacuums capture the widest range of particles and get rid of allergens. Leave your shoes at the door so you don't bring more pollutants inside.
  9. Get your iodine. Use iodized salt, especially while pregnant and nursing, and take iodine-containing prenatal vitamins (I recomends whole food supplements and vitamins from Standard Process). Iodine buffers against chemicals like perchlorate, which can disrupt your thyroid system and affect brain development during pregnancy and infancy.
  10. Use greener cleaners & avoid pesticides. Household cleaners, bug killers, pet treatments, and air fresheners can irritate kids' lungs, especially if your kids have asthma. Investigate less toxic alternatives. Use vinegar in place of bleach, baking soda to scrub your tiles, and hydrogen peroxide to remove stains. You can even find some green cleaners in Target (see Method cleaners website).
  11. Eat good fats. Omega-3 fatty acids can offset toxic effects of lead and mercury. They're in fish, eggs, nuts, oils, and produce. Choose low-mercury fish like salmon, tilapia and pollock, rather than high-mercury tuna and swordfish, especially if you're pregnant. Breast milk is the best source of good fats (and other benefits) for babies, and protects them from toxic chemicals.
Before I close let me just say one thing. I always say that "one change at a time is better than no change at all." Don't feel obligated to incorporate every one of these 11 suggestions in to your life today, that may be unreasonable, depending on how you currently live. Make one change at a time until you feel comfortable with that, then move on. Eventually your life will be healthier, happier, and greener and you won't feel like you had to do a lot of work to get there!

Before You Go....please check out the CCW website's December Wellness tip on How to Create an All Natural Medicine Cabinet Especially for the Cold/Flu Season by Clicking Here


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