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Dec 5

Written by: Coach Danielle
12/5/2009 12:53 PM


Jennifer covered so much information -- and that was just the tip of the iceberg. What a fantastic call! Here are just some of the things we talked about:

  • A large amount of the toxins in our homes come from outside. To avoid bringing them in, take your shoes off before you enter your home. Use a good doormat both inside and outside your home. Cover dirt walkways to the home with gravel or grass.

  • Studies have found toxic chemicals in umbilical cord blood - toxic chemicals are getting into our bodies. Child exposure to carcinogens in the first 2 years of life increases their risk of cancer by a factor of 10 compared to an adult. Exposure to home and garden pesticides alone increases risk of childhood leukemia by a factor of 3x - 9x. Children are more susceptible to toxins for several reasons:

    • They stick everything in their mouths

    • They breathe more air-- higher respiratory rate

    • They eat more food per pound of body weight

    • Drink 2-7x more water per pound of body weight

    • Greater skin surface area compared to adults on a body weight basis

    • Newborn skin is 30% thinner than adults

  • Phthalates: hormone disrupters found in many baby products (used for fragrance and make creams creamier). The more they are applied to infants, the more concentration found in infant urine.

  • Lead: Lead paint was banned in 1978 but if your home is older, the first 2 feet of dirt near the home is likely to be contaminated with lead. Lead exposure can come from many different places including: water, dust, game meat, water pipes, certain herbal remedies, brass keys, construction debris, Halloween makeup, PVC plastic, some tablecloths, lunchbox linings, and even some imported candies. Be sure to dust with a wet cloth and use a HEPA vacuum. When your child is tested for lead exposure, get the actual exposure number. A passing score is less than 10 mg/d however, 10% of kids have a level of 5 or greater. It is important to investigate possible exposure sources. Studies show that there are health effects at 2 mg/d. We are exposed to lead through the atmosphere and ingestion. Children absorb 50% of the lead they ingest (adults 11%)! (Even lead free pipes can contain some lead-- opt for 0% lead pipes)

  • Flame retardants: Flame retardants have been found in virtually all people tested. They are found in just about all kid's pajamas, carpets, couches, mattresses, plastic cases, car seats, heavy draperies, TVs, etc.

  • Perfluorinated compounds: These can be found in non-stick pans, food packaging, stain-resistant clothing, couch covers, water repellant products, fast food wrappers, microwave popcorn, etc. Avoid them as often as possible.

  • Bisphenol A: Can be found in baby bottles and plastics. It is also used in can linings. Opt for fresh, frozen or jarred food packaging.

  • Cosmetics do not require FDA approval. US companies can use just about any compounds with the exception of 9 banned compounds-- In the European Union, there are more than 1,100 banned compounds in cosmetics! Here is a link to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database which has a information on different things used in cosmetics as well as information on specific products. 

  • Avoid anti-bacterial cleaners and soaps that contain triclosan. Best to simply use soap and water! With the concerns of swine flu, remember that the anti-bacterials do not kill viruses.

  • Use "green" products to clean your home. Water, vinegar, baking soda, and castile soap work wonders! Jennifer has some recipes on her blogher book. and more in

To get more information on reducing your family's exposure to toxins, check out Jennifer's book The Smart Mama's Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child's Toxic Chemical Exposure and frequently visit her blog www.thesmartmama.com. You can also follow Jennifer on Twitter. Also check out her quiz: How Toxic Are You?

Copyright ©2009 Danielle Zanzarov-Rodriguez


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Health 4 Parents!

 Health 4 Parents  *  Danielle Zanzarov  *  Health and Wellness Coach
P.O. Box 355  *  Bohemia, NY 11716  *  (631) 627-0703