Toxins & What to do about Them
More and more evidence exists about toxins and the havoc they wreak on your health, and ultimately the health of your child. Whether you are a man or woman, wanting a child or not, it is critical to remove these from your daily life. We've put together an easy-to-digest information for you so that you can make informed choices about what works for you.
Why are toxins bad?
According to the National Institute of of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.
A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A. Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products– including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.
The U.S. government doesn't review the safety of products before they're sold.*
Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Cosmetic Database
*Includes cosmetics, oral care, skin care, sun products, hair products, nail products, oral care, and several baby products.
Everyday Products that may Impact your Health
And what you can do about it
Plastic products, especially children's products, are now "BPA-free," yet they may release other estrogenic chemicals after exposure to UVA light, microwaving or moist heat.
Either switch to glass or wood products or never wash plastic with hot water or expose to hot food/liquids.
The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website provides a tip sheet on properly selecting safer cosmetic & personal care products.
Cosmetic & Personal Care Products
Shower curtains, rain coats, school supplies, makeup bags and placements are often made of flexible plastic, which may contain phthalates. Look for a phthalate-free version or switch to a non-plastic version.
Products made of Flexible Plastic
Coffee makers are made from plastic. Imagine the hot water rotating through the machine, potentially releasing estrogenic chemicals. Best to use a French press or ceramic drip coffee.
Canned food items may be lined with BPA, although some stories indicate 80% of manufacturers have stopped using BPA. Nonetheless, it is best to be safe and minimize the use of canned products, and if using canned products, look for BPA-free labels to minimize your intake.
Crib mattresses, changing pads, and mattress pads may contain phthalates. Healthy Child is a great resource for toxic-free baby products.
While convenient to drink bottled water or water out of a water faucet/Brita, it is important to quench our thirst while minimizing toxins. The ideal is to install a reverse osmosis filtration system or use a Berkey filter.
Most yoga mats are made with phthalates and, as a result, it is best to find ones without. This is the latest article on toxic-free yoga mats for purchase.
Nail polish contains several toxic ingredients. Look for "three-free" (formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP (a form of phthalate) and "phthalate free." The EWG Skin Deep Database has a list of toxic-free brands.