A Day in the Toxic Life: Little Johnny wakes up and takes off his pj’s. Those cozy jammies are loaded with flame-retardant chemicals, the same chemicals that will soon be banned due to their toxicity. He just slept for 10 hours on a mattress that was emitting formaldehyde and chloride. Off he trots to the bathroom where he brushes his teeth with brightly colored toothpaste. Those bright colors come from the same dye, which in Europe would generate a warning label on the product stating it causes hyperactivity in children. He has a drink of unpurified water. Your tap water can contain many toxic ingredients including lead, pesticides and perchlorates. Next he is off to wash his hair with fun bubbly shampoo loaded with phthalates and solvent toxins. Always stylish, he puts in some hair gel with an ingredient list that is impossible to read let alone pronounce. All of this is done in a bathroom that has been cleaned with bleach. Bleach has been around for ages so it must be ok. Well bleach has been linked to asthma and cancer. Off to breakfast where Johnny enjoys a meal loaded with petroleum based preservatives and ingredients that are banned in other countries. He plays with a few BPA laden toys and hits the bathroom where he cleanses his adorable little hands with anti-bacterial soap. That germ killing soap has been proven to harm our immune systems. Our little Johnny has just navigated a toxic firestorm all before 9 am!
By the time our children are school age they had been exposed to an alarming number of toxins, hormone disruptors and carcinogens. To heal our children we must first clean up the toxic environment surrounding them. I know it sounds daunting to change the way we clean, but I promise you can do it. The Fiengold diet and Environmental Working Group books and web sites helped guide me on exactly what I needed to purge in my home. There were many changes that had to be made so don’t get overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time.
Things you can do:
Clean-up Your Water: Buy a Brita water filter.
Clean-up Your Cabinets: Throw out all unnatural cleaning products for your body and your home.
Healthy Cleaning Supply Options:
- 7th Generation
- Vinegar & Water
Whole Foods sells all these items, but now many average food stores are carrying 7th Generation and Meyers for your laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. It can get expensive. If there is a budget issue, my mother cleaned our home with white vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar because it smells better) and water and you know what…it was cheap and it worked! Once again, Mom was ahead of the times.
Clean-up Your Pantry: Go through your food cabinets and trash anything that is processed with GMO’s, food dyes and petroleum based preservatives. Don’t be fooled, some major companies are getting on the gluten free bandwagon but the chemicals are still in the food. General Mills has a delicious Rice Chex gluten free cereal but guess what it is preserved with EDTA. EDTA stands for tetrasodium and it is a preservative that’s made from the known carcinogen formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. How is it legal to put formaldehyde into our food? These are the things that make me shake my head and want to get the word out!
Read Your Labels and Dump Products with the following:
- Avoid artificial colors (Blue No. 1, Blue No. 2, Green No. 3, Red No. 3, Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6.)
- Avoid artificial flavors
- Avoid products with GMO’s
- Avoid products with artificial preservatives including the following EDTA, BHT, BHA, sodium nitrate, MSG, olestra and unfortunately the list goes on. If you can’t pronounce it, it’s better to leave it on the shelf where it belongs!
Looking for more info? Check out these resources:
Feingold Organization page at Feingold.com
Healthy Child Healthy World Healthychild.org
Environmental Working Group Egw.org