Saturday, May 10, 2008

Trying to get "greener" with your child's environment?

Here's a helpful article by Dr. Leila Masson that I found on regarding cleaning up your child's environment. I have bolded some points so that it's easier to read in the blog format. As usual, I have Dr. Masson's OK to reprint her article.

Clean Up Your Kids' Environment
by Leila Masson, M.D., MPH, DTMH, IBCLC
PaediatricianLactation Consultant
PoBox 25930
St. Heliers

Use natural, biodegradable and perfume free detergents and cleaning agents. Ecostore products are a good substitute and available at many supermarkets. They work out cost effective as you use much less of them. You can also contact them directly and ask for a catalogue. There are also new cleaning cloths for which you do not need to use any detergents – for example the ENJO system (quite expensive, but cheaper versions are available).

Do not use fragrant or anti-mosquito sprays in the home.

Avoid chlorine: use water filters, limit pool and spa pools. The ocean is a great place to spend time, as the minerals are very detoxing. There are some products suitable for spa pool treatments. Consider installing a shower filter, as a lot of chlorine is inhaled when showering and bathing.

Wear 100% cotton clothes where possible. Avoid flame retardant materials (antimony).

Most personal care product contains many chemicals and can be avoided and replaced with safer alternatives. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is another thing to watch for, this is carcinogenic.

Use fluoride-free toothpaste, (tin, titanium). Weleda do good toothpaste. This needs to be SLS free too.

Use natural shampoos, soaps etc. (Ecostore and Living Nature are good alternative).

Avoid playing on pressure treated wood (arsenic).This applies to many of the play grounds with a woodchip base. and decking.

Eliminate exposure to mercury and thimerosal products.

Do not allow amalgam (grey) fillings, use composite instead.

Use an air purifier especially in the bedroom if any concerns over air quality in the home e.g. close to busy road, mouldy

Ventilate your house. Many synthetic products in the home emit gasses and your house can be a toxic place. Open windows, and air bedding in the sun.

When purchasing new furniture, and carpet allow for time to off-gass (At least 24 hours). Many carpets are full of pesticides as well as solvents.

Encourage a habit of removing shoes when entering your home especially if you have carpets. You end up tramping in lead, pesticides and other nasties.

Delay redecorating till you are sure everyone is well prepared to deal with the toxic effects or source alternative eco-friendly products.

Avoid prolonged handling of batteries.

No plastic furniture (polyvinyl chloride).

Use aluminum-free baking powder and deodorant.

Do not cook in aluminum foil or drink from aluminum cans or foil–lined cardboard juice containers.

Cooking should be done in stainless steel, glass or enamel pots.

Avoid Teflon.

Avoid use of herbicides or pesticides, on lawns, garden, or home.

Do not dry clean clothes.

Do not reuse the plastic pump drink bottles. They degrade quickly, so you drink a portion of plastic. Use polycarbonate drink bottles. These can be obtained at I.E. Produce or Katmandu (great when they have their 50% off sale).

Avoid wrapping food in gladwrap/plastic bags, use greaseproof paper where possible.

Avoid heating food in plastic such as take away containers.

Microwaves are best avoided.

Consider how you heat your house. Radiant heat is the healthiest. Gas is a moist heat, and should be avoided. It not only gives off fumes, but is a great breeding ground for mould.

Dust your house with a damp cloth.

Nasty Additives

102 tartrazine
104 quinoline yellow
107 yellow 2G
110 sunset yellow
122 azorubine, carmoisine
123 amaranth
124 ponceau, brilliant scarlet
127 erythrosine
128 red 2G
129 allura red
132 indigotine, indigo carmine
133 brilliant blue
142 green S, food green, acid brilliant green
151 brilliant black
155 brown, chocolate brownNatural
160b annatto, bixin, norbixin

200-203 sorbic acid, potassium & calcium sorbates
210-213 benzoic acid, sodium, potassium & calcium benzoates
220-228 sulphur dioxide, all sulphites, bisulphites, metabisulphites
249-252 all nitrates & nitrites
280-283 propionic acid, sodium, potassium & calcium propionatesAntioxidants
310-312 all gallates
319-321 TBHQ, BHA butylated hydroxyanisole, BHT butylated hydroxytoluene

620-625 glutamic acid and all glutamates,
MSG monosodium glutamate
627 disodium guanylate
631 disodium inosinate
635 ribonucleotidesYeast extract, HVP HPP hydrolysed vegetable or plant protein

951 aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal)

To learn more about Dr. Masson and read other articles, visit her

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