Chemicals are everywhere in our modern environment and while it’s impossible to avoid them all there are some simple things you can do to minimize your exposure. Chemicals can disrupt our bodies delicate hormonal balance and make it harder for our liver to detoxify. The more than 84,000 chemicals that are used in skin and body care products, household products, food and packaging are linked health conditions from headaches to cancer. Here are some products to be aware of when it comes to chemicals in your environment:
Plastic– Think plastic water bottles and Tupperware containers. Use glass or metal containers in place of plastic.
Cookware– Non stick cook ware is coated with a synthetic polymer called polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE) which should be avoided. Cast Iron or stainless steel cookware is best but here is come advice from the Environmental Working Group if you’re stuck with non-stick:
- Never preheat nonstick cookware at high heat — empty pans can rapidly reach high temperatures. Heat at the lowest temperature possible to cook your food safely.
- Don’t put nonstick cookware in an oven hotter than 500 degrees.
- Use an exhaust fan over the stove.
- Keep pet birds out of the kitchen — the fumes from an overheated pan can kill a bird in seconds. Learn more here.
- Skip the self-cleaning function on your oven. It cleans by heating to high temperatures, which can release toxic fumes from non-stick interior oven parts.
- Choose a safer alternative when buying new cookware.
Mattresses– Mattresses in the US contain toxic chemicals such as antimony, formaldehyde and flame retardants. The flame retarded chemicals off-gas while we sleep and end up in our bodies. Getting an organic mattress is a great place to start; mine is from Sleep EZ www.sleepez.com and has a wool layer that acts as the fire retardant, no chemicals needed!
Skin/Body Care Products– a lot of commercial manufactured products like face wash, lotion, shampoo and conditioner is full of parabens, phalates and synthetic fragrance which can all be hormone disrupters! We have a whole blog about this here. As a bonus look for brands which have a bunny on the label which indicates they do not test on animals.
Food– Eating organic is one of the best ways to reduce your exposure to chemicals. Agriculture in the US is widely sprayed with homicides, pesticides and fungicides. You can bet any processed, packaged food you buy is made with Genetically Modified corn or coy which is just covered in harmful chemicals. Even our meat products are not safe as cows from conventional feed lots are given hormones and antibiotics. At a minimum stick to organic for the dirty dozen and you animal products like meat and cheese!