Today the Wall Street Journal reported that governments around the world are calling for consumer product companies to reveal the lists of chemicals that exist in their product. That’s huge—but, and its a big but—this is not mandatory yet and since it’s taken years for the people at the top to ask for this type of information–it’s going to take years for it to become public info.
What to do? I started eliminating chemicals from our family’s everyday living 10 years ago, one product at a time. It is not only possible, but relatively easy at this point to dramatically reduce everyday exposures at home, the office, and possibly even the kids’ school.
AT HOME: (these are not in any particular order and, at the risk of sounding repetitive, are ALL extremely important in reducing chemical exposure)
—use green cleaning supplies–it is not an option to do otherwise, its a must-do for the health of your family’s lungs and brain cells. the green products out there are so capable. list to follow soon on my favorites.
–use no-VOC paint. 10 years ago there was only low-VOC, today there is no-VOC. Again, this is a must
—NO Pesticides on your lawn. They do make their way into your home and the water supply.
—Organic / natural skincare, shampoo/lotions/ make-up. Again–a must. Your skin absorbs everything you put onto it. it has been proven several times over that a women who is getting ready for her day, puts on more than 100 chemicals before breakfast. Eliminate parabens and sulfates and you are eliminating a huge intake of chemicals.
—use house plants throughout the house–the bigger the better! they absorb the chemicals that may exist. plese check for poisonous plants as I am not familiar with these.
— ONLY BUY ORGANIC MATTRESSES. that way you are not breathing in flame retardents all night long. especially important for babies and children.
—organic fruit and vegetables are a must. (and hormone free meat and dairy)
—no microwave popcorn and no teflon. they are both coated with chemicals that are terrible for us.
AT THE OFFICE:
–again, set up some plants
—NO plastic water bottles, both the single use and the 5 gallon containers are laden with chemicals.
–choose organic meals whenever possible
–do NOT USE ANY STYROFOAM–ever!!!!!!
—only use green dry cleaners–the perc that is used in conventional dry cleaners is toxic
—no idling bus policy: many school districts are adopting a no-idle policy. If yours has not done so yet, encourage the supervisor to make this a priority. Diesel fumes get into the buses and the children ride to and from school surrounded by the cancerous fumes.
—encourage school to use green products. it is NOT more expensive and makes a huge difference as children tend to have their hands in their mouth all day and easily absorb the residue from the cleaners.
—a large entryway carpet encourages children to brush their shoes off when they enter the building, which eliminated a lot of dirt and pesticides and chemicals from entering the classroom, where young children lay on the floor and play with toys.
—no pesticides on the fields. and NO TURF! standard turf is made from recycled tires, which are hazmat–every footstep sends up loads of toxic dust into children’s lungs. there are other green turf options. After children play gym/ sports they must, must, must wash hands before eating, so that most chemicals are off hands before ingesting food. also wash cuts well.
MY favorite organization in the world, paving the way for all of us in this chemical-free movement, is grassroots environmental education. They have kits you can order for minimal amt (i think $15) that coach parents and educators on how to go chemical free at school. Their site is filled with the most pressing, relevant, cutting edge research out there and makes this mission to go chemical-free very do-able.
During the last 3 years I have touched upon alternatives for all the things mentioned above, so peruse blog for more detail, or comment, or do a little research. the info is out there and its up to the consumer to make these changes happen NOW.
more to come……