There are so many toxic products in our homes today. Products that we don't even think twice about buying and keeping in our homes for long periods of time are toxic. Even products we purchase for our little newborn infants are highly toxic – how crazy does that sound? It's scary but it's the truth. This is one of the many facts that make being a parent stressful in today's environment.
Outside of the home it's nearly impossible to protect our families from toxins, they are everywhere we go. This is why it's so important to try to control the toxins within our homes. Our homes are where our children spend the most amount of their time and it's an enclosed space where toxins can be either trapped in or kept out (as best we can) which is why it's the best place to start detoxing your life.
When families first start to make changes towards a more toxin-free lifestyle it can be very overwhelming. There is a very long list of things that should be replaced by non-toxic alternatives but doing it all at once is nearly impossible. In fact, when my clients try to do a complete overhaul all at once it usually backfires. They get too overwhelmed and give up. It's best to choose 1-3 things to change at a time. Once you've mastered those changes, move on to change a few more things and eventually you'll have a much less toxic home.
Each home and each family is different so the first thing that needs to change is not the same for everyone but there are three things that I believe are among the top 10 toxic products you should eliminate now.
Non-stick cookware contains a coating that contains PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and other perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). The CDC stated that PFOA's can remain in the body for a long period of time and have been found to effect growth and development, reproduction, and damage the liver in laboratory animals. In addition, the Environmental Working Group, writes about a study done by the EPA which found exposure to PFC’s may have caused low birth weight, damage to organs, reproductive effects, and damage to major organs of offspring. Read more about this topic in this post: Why You Should Never Use Non-Stick Cookware
If you have ever used non-stick cookware you will notice that eventually the coating starts to wear away, even peel. As the cookware is used the coating is slowing infiltrating its way into your food. After you spend time and money preparing healthy food for your family, the non-stick cookware is contaminating the food as it cooks.
Best alternatives: Stainless steel, cast iron, stoneware
Plastic Food Storage Containers
Plastics are a huge part of our lives. They are used in so many ways that its nearly impossible to avoid them all together. Personally, I made a decision a long time ago to avoid plastics as much as possible – especially plastic that comes in contact with our food.
BPA has been singled out as the toxic chemical found in plastics. The truth is that BPA is not the only problem. The concern with BPA is that it mimics the hormone estrogen and has been linked to a long list of serious health problems. Estrogen is essential for everything from bone growth to ovulation to heart function. Too much or too little, especially during pregnancy or early childhood, can alter brain and organ development, leading to disease later in life. In addition, elevated estrogen levels generally increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Recently, it was reported that the new alternatvies to BPA that are being used in plastics are now even more toxic then BPA – read more about that in this post: Why You Should Not Buy BPA Free Plastics
When storing or heating foods in plastic containers, the chemicals in the plastic leach into the food. The very containers you store your food in are contaminating the healthy meals you are cooking. The news about BPA reinforced my instinct to stear clear of plastics when it comes to food storage. Who knows what else we will find out about the dangers of plastics??
Best alternative: Glass food storage containers, mason jars
The mattresses found in most homes are laced with toxic chemicals and built with materials that off-gas into the air. Most children spend on average 12 hours per 24 hour period sleeping – which is pretty much 50% off their life. This means that half of their life is spent laying on a harmful bed of chemicals, breathing in a toxic cloud of pollution. If that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will!
The biggest reason why conventional mattresses are so terrible is because of the regulation put into place as of July 1, 2007 which requires mattresses to be extremely flame retardant. As a result of this mattress manufacturers douse the mattresses in highly toxic flame-retardant chemicals like polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), Boric acid, a toxic respiratory irritant used to kill roaches, antimony, a metal that may be more toxic than mercury and formaldehyde, and a known carcinogen. What is even worse is that this does NOT have to be disclosed in any way. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has studied chemically treated mattresses and found that the chemicals do, in fact, leech from the mattress into the air that we breathe as we sleep.
Although this is an expensive change to make in your home, I urge you to consider to at least start by replacing your child's mattress with a safer option. Children spend considerably more time in bed then adults which makes their exposure more concentrated. Also, because children are developing it makes them more susceptible to toxins in their home environment.
Best alternative: Natural latex mattresses
If you have been thinking about buying new safe mattresses for your family, you won't want to miss this. Plush Beds is having an amazing Black Friday Sale on their Natural Latex Mattresses. Purchase a mattress from Plush Beds and get…
- $1,200 off all latex mattresses
- 2 free organic latex pillows
- Free Egyptian sheet set
- Free mattress protector
(a $376 value for the 3 free gifts)
These three areas are a great place to start for any family that wants to reduce their exposure to toxins in the home. Start with one of these areas and then move on to another. As time goes on you will be able to make all the changes you'd like to make towards your goal of having a clean toxin-free home for your children.
Do these three household products scare you as much as they scare me? What product will you concentrate on eliminating first? Please share in the comments below.