Sunday, December 11, 2011



(Click HERE for a description of what PHTHALATES are and why they are dangerous)

Oh where to start?? Phthalates really are everywhere.  In the air (in dust particles, building materials, paints etc), in dust, on food, on personal care items, on toys, on hospital equipment, on the plastic gloves used at your local deli, car dashboards,plastic tubing used at dairy farms (so in your milk and other dairy products) ... and the list goes on. 

Children, by virtue of being physically closer to dust (crawling etc), licking their fingers and chewing on phthalate containing products, in addition to having smaller body masses, tend to have higher levels of phthalates.

Here are really EASY and QUICK room by room guide with changes you can make in your house to reduce your family's exposure to these dangerous chemicals...

educe usage of plastic:
1. Use glass or stainless steel bottles to carry water around,
2.  NEVER use plastics in the microwave (especially when heating up baby foods or a bottle).  Instead, use glass or ceramic containers.
3. Opt for items that are not sold in plastic bags or containers (like peanut butter, juice,or ketchup - try buying them in glass containers)

1. USE YOUR NOSE: if a product smells like something (think:  flowery scents , fruity lotions or shampoos, or even strong smells like in nail polish ) consider switching to fragrance free alternatives.   Pretty much all products that contains ‘fragrance’ in its ingredient list and that smells like something  have phthalates ( except SOME products that use essential oils).   This goes for everything from shampoos, baby shampoos, baby and adult body washes, conditioners, hand cremes, deodorants, hairspray, nail polish, lipsticks,  etc)
2. Switch to a non toxic shower curtain (versus the traditional vinyl kind)
3. Rubber Ducky?  Make certain that your munchkin’s rubber ducky, and ALL toys are labelled phthalate-free (and PBA free too while we are at it)

1.  Clean should not smell like anything, switch from chemical doused house cleaners that claim to smell ‘lemony fresh’ or like ‘pine’ to known eco-friendly nontoxic cleaners (I trust Seventh Generation the most) or, even better, make your own cleaners!  Did you know you can clean and disinfect almost any surface with white vinegar and water (50% vinegar mixed with 50% water).   This is what I use at home, in the kitchen and in my son’s room. 
2. Say NO to artificial fragrance (candles, plug ins, fragrance sprays and disenfectants all contain phthalates)

The reality is that USUALLY its the plastic toys that are the funnest for our kids.   HOWEVER:
1. Try to limit the toys at home to toys that are phthalate free. You wont have control about toys at friends houses or daycares or preschools, but if you can reduce the chemicals at home you are making a huge difference.
2. Pay special attention during teething periods when everything will be chewed on for hours by our little munchkin.  There are great eco friendly phthalate free teethers.  IF THEY DO NOT HAVE PHTHALATES IT WILL USUALLY SAY ON THE PACKAGING .
3.  Please do not clean your child’s bedroom and toys with clorox wipes.  The air inside our homes are usually more polluted that the air outside and its because of what most people use to clean.  Seriously:  water and vinegar in a spray bottle, or good ol’ (fragrance free please) soap and water will disinfect and clean perfectly.

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