Monday, July 16, 2012

Healthy Home Tips for Parents

I am "stealing" part of today's post from the "Environmental Working Group's (EWG's) Healthy Home Tips for Parents."  I found this list online and found the tips useful.  You can read the entire file through the link above.  However, for this post, I am using the basic tips and embellishing them with things I've found on my own.
  1. Choose better body care products.
  2. Go organic and eat fresh foods.
    • Another great list to help you figure out what you should or should not eat organic is the "Dirty Dozen" list published by EWG.  They also publish a list called the "Clean 15."  Items on the "Clean 15" are the lowest in pesticides and it is OK to not buy organic for these foods.
    • Choosing organic will also help you to avoid eating foods that are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's).  
  3. Avoid fire retardants.
    • A label on a product indicating that it meets California's "Technical Bulletin 117" usually means that the product has been treated with a fire retardant.  I've written two other blog posts about this which you can read for more detailed explanations.     
  4. Pick plastics carefully.
    • I have also written three blog posts about plastics and what to look out for when purchasing items made of plastic.   I would generally avoid plastic items labeled with the SPI Resin Identification Codes of Vinyl, PS and Other.  These are indicated with the numbers #3, #6, and #7.
    • I have found an interesting post on ways to "Banish plastic from your kitchen."
  5. Filter your tap water.
  6. Wash those hands.
    • The CDC has excellent recommendations and tips for proper hand washing.  Most people do not wash their hands often or long enough.  You should rub your hands while washing for at least 20 seconds.  That is enough time to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice from beginning to end. 
  7. Skip non-stick.
    • Teflon, is the name of a synthetic polymer which coats non-stick cooking ware.  Teflon when heated at high temperatures can emit toxic fumes.  These fumes have killed pet birds and have caused flu-like symptoms in humans.
    • Cooking with a well seasoned cast iron skillet can give you the same results as a Teflon coated skillet.  It can also be used from the stovetop to the oven.
  8.   Use a HEPA-filter vacuum.
    • A HEPA filter is a type of air filter that "must remove 99.97% of all particles greater than 0.3 micrometer from the air that passes through."  A "HEPA filter traps the fine particles (such as pollen and dust mite feces) which trigger allergy and asthma symptoms."
  9. Get your iodine.
    • "Use iodized salt, especially while pregnant and nursing, and take iodine-containing prenatal vitamins. Iodine buffers against chemicals like perchlorate, which can disrupt your thyroid system and affect brain development during pregnancy and infancy."
  10. Use greener cleaners and avoid pesticides.
  11. Eat good fats.

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