How to Reduce Your Chemical Exposure

I just finished reading Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health, by Rick Smith. It is a great read, especially if you have kids. The book shows that we are accumulating toxic chemicals in our bodies and in our children’s bodies by using everyday household products that we consider harmless.

The chemicals most discussed in the book are endocrine disruptors. According to the authors, “If toxic chemicals mimic hormones, the chemicals will actually alter what genes get turned on or off at different times.” These toxic chemicals can cross a pregnant woman’s placenta and affect the neurological development, reproductive development, and organ development of her fetus.

Some very positive things have came out of this book, however. Canada banned bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles, and many other companies followed suit by voluntarily taking BPA out of their plastics. Plus, new legislation regarding chemical safety has been changed. In the past, chemicals had to be proven toxic to be removed from use with food products; now, until a chemical can be proven safe, it won’t be allowed. In the United States, it is still a work in progress, but there is promise as states like Massachusetts have banned BPA in baby bottles.

Another endocrine disruptor is a group of chemicals called phthalates, used to make plastics soft and flexible. Continue reading “How to Reduce Your Chemical Exposure”

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