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What simple ways do you reduce chemical exposure in your home?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

News that the FDA has officially banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups is causing quite a stir, but the action was taken mostly for the purposes of increasing consumer confidence--given that many companies have already removed the chemical from such products.

This reality, combined with the fact that the FDA has not taken action to ban the chemical in other household products or food containers (including infant formula cans), is a good reminder that individuals must do their own research and continue to place pressure on companies to reduce potential chemical exposure.

Here are some resources for identifying and removing possible sources of BPA and other chemicals in your home.


12 Ways to Avoid Toxins in Packaging

Make Over Your Cleaning Cabinet

The Toxic Truth: How Everyday Products Threaten Healthy Pregnancies

Using Herbs for Customized Pest Control

Bisphenol A in Canned Food: Consumer Reports Tests Reveal Widespread Contamination

The Diaper Dilemma

Tell us what choices you have made to avoid chemicals in everyday products. Do you avoid canned foods? Choose glass over plastic? Buy or make natural cleaning products? Diaper with cloth instead of disposables? Share your tips.


We'll be featuring this conversation on facebook and twitter. :) 

post #2 of 9

I would like to point out that BPA is not the only bisphenol on the market, it is just the most widely known about: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/20/bpa-free-plastic-still-toxic.aspx  (I highly recommend subscribing to this site's newsletter!)  There are also these things that contain BPA: thermal reciepts (such as those you get from Walmart), Beer and wine (vats are lined with a BPA-containing resin), Rubbermaid polycarbonate-lined baking tins used by Subway, many color changing plastics (even those labeled BPA free), lining of lids on glass jars, http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20111202/study-bpa-is-in-wide-variety-of-paper-products (normally I would never link webmd but this article is good), http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/19011662/bpa-substitute-lurks-in-paper-money-receipts

And, there are other chemicals in plastics that are dangerous, one of those is phthalates.  

We use glass for food storage, buy food that's packaged in glass, basically try to avoid all sources of exposure to plastic and other synthetic materials, fabrics, etc whenever possible, but within reason.  We also buy organic and locally grown foods/household products so as to avoid pesticides and such, and we grow our own vegetables and eggs.  I also use reusable organic cotton bags when grocery shopping to avoid the plastic bags. 

We use vinegar for cleaning and laundry(along with all natural detergent), we cloth diaper, breast feed, no canned foods, use no perfumes/air fresheners, no vaccines or medications so we dont get those chemicals in our bodies, cook with glass and stainless pots/pans (no teflon), keep lots of indoor plants for air filtration, leave windows open to air out house, buy wood toys for the kids, use un-paper towels and napkins (shown to be contaminated with BPA, and they're not environmentally friendly, more info on this in a link above).

Lets not forget about toxic flame retardants and formaldehyde in furniture, carpet, mattresses, etc.  One thing I am really wanting is an organic mattress!  So darn expensive though, way out of our budget for the moment :( For now we have an organic mattress pad and organic wool pillows.  If clothing says pre-shrunk, non-staining, etc, its treated with nasty chemicals.  

Here's a good video about chemicals http://www.ewg.org/kid-safe-chemicals-act-blog/kid-safe-chemicals-act-10-americans-video/

One thing I love about trying to avoid chemicals is that it often leads to being overall more environmentally friendly!  The locally grown foods dont consume fuel and pollute the environment in order to be shipped to me, etc.

I hope everyone got a chance to read the information in the above links, it is very worthwhile if you truely want to limit bisphenols in your life and keep them out of your body.

post #3 of 9

Thank you for all the links, 1love4ever!


We try to avoid plastics in general and go for glass.  Though, sometimes that's hard, because it's so darn heavy and they can be expensive.  I just figured out I can reuse glass jars and bottles though.  You would think I would have figured that out a lot sooner.  duh.gif



For cleaning products, we use a lot of vinegar, water, and EO's.  I love that, because I can make my own scents for the day.  Cleaning is not my favorite thing, so I do what I can to make it more enjoyable!  If it's not something I make, I use 7th gen or Myers products. 


Foodwise, we try to do as much organic as we can afford.  We don't do dyes or artificial sweeteners, though when we go to bbq's and parties, I do let my kids have regular soda or other things that I wouldn't have at home.  I make most things at home by scratch.  So that's makes it easier to avoid things in foods. 


For body products, I make a lot of my own, which is a lot of fun!  Beyond that, we use things with no artificial scents, dyes, or sls.  We use Badger Sunscreen, which is thick and white, but it works and seems to stay on in the water.  We use bug sprays that are made with EOs, and no DEET.  DEET scares me! 


We use a lot of herbs, supplements, and homeopathic remedies in relation to our health, especially immune support.  I make a lot of the herbal tinctures, teas, and salves myself as well.  That's not to say, we don't use conventional medicine if we need it!   

post #4 of 9

In addition to many things already mentioned:


We use water & microfiber cloths for most cleaning tasks.


No SLS or parabens in any beauty/cleaning products.


Grass-finished/pastured/free-range local meat & dairy that is antibiotic & hormone-free. (and GMO grain-free.)


No sunscreen--we optimized our D3 levels with sun/supplements, which prevents burning & cover up when we start turning pink.


When we have bought any new furniture with synthetic foam cushions, we had it left in the warehouse unwrapped so it could out-gas before we had it delivered.  Takes about 6 weeks with new foam, but so worth it! 


Our organic latex mattress is the BEST!


We use laundry Balls or soap nuts.


We buy used, wool, organic cotton, hemp or linen clothing.

post #5 of 9

I do my own body care stuff - especially soap and laundry soap. 


Organic wherever possible.


Cloth instead of paper towels


Mama and girl cloth instead of disposables


Essential oils in water to wipe down our tile and marble floors for an air freshener effect


Vinegar, lemon, and baking soda for cleaning


I would LOVE to have an organic latex mattress, lovesto learn! Do you have any recommendations?

post #6 of 9

LOVE this post.  Lots of information. 


This is new to us to be going toxin free and they are hidden everywhere!!!  I'll be revisiting this post to write down some of the great ideas.



post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post


I would LOVE to have an organic latex mattress, lovesto learn! Do you have any recommendations?


We got ours from Savvy Rest: http://www.savvyrest.com/


Great mattress, great service! 

post #8 of 9

I feel like a lot of my autoimmune issues are attributable to unnatural chemicals.  I've done my best to rid my home of them but I feel I have a long way to go.

Thanks for this info...quite helpful

post #9 of 9
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