Keeping a healthy home environment really will make you a healthier person. Think about all of the things that we are exposed to in our homes – cleaning products, plastic bottles, canned food, cosmetics, clutter, pesticides, tap water, toys, food. Did you know that most of these items contain chemicals known as endocrine disruptors?
Endocrine disruptors are naturally occurring or man-made chemicals that may interfere with the production or activity of hormones of the endocrine system. BPA, DDT, PCBs, flame retardant, lead, and soy are some of the common chemicals causing harm. Exposure to these endocrine disruptors have been linked to fertility problems, sexual dysfunction, obesity, developmental problems, decreased immune function, and cancer.
We are exposed to them through the air, our skin, and our food, and usually don’t even realize it. It’s the gradual exposure to these chemicals, starting in utero, that’s showing up as the multitude of health problems we’re seeing today. Experts believe that one reason we are seeing so many obese children has to do with their exposure to these chemicals as a fetus. These chemicals are proposed to increase the number of fat cells and alter metabolism to preference for fat storage.
So, what can you do to clean up your home and reduce your exposure to these endocrine disruptors? Try these:
- Green cleaning products (Method, Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers), or make your own all-purpose cleaner(1 cup white vinegar + 1 cup water + 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol) – works like a charm!
- Use only BPA-free plastic bottles, baby bottles, and canned goods
- Place a filter on your kitchen tap or try a reverse osmosis system
- Buy organic whenever possible
- Buy natural cosmetics that contain no chemicals – check the Environmental Working Group’s database of health and beauty brands http://www.ewg.org/report/skindeep2/index.php
- Do not use conventional pesticides in your garden. Check out these alternatives – http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/organic/2002081329023823.html
- Store your food in glass or stainless steel containers
- Microwave foods in glass containers, not plastic
- Use natural laundry detergent
- Know the origin of your beef and fish (polluted waters and soil)
- Clear the clutter