It is clear that the onus is on each of us to buy products that are safe and to learn about other environmental exposures that can affect our health. This is especially true for expecting moms. According to the Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics the average pregnant woman in the U.S. carries at least 43 industrial chemicals in her body. Just because there are no explicit pregnancy warnings on personal products like there is on tobacco or alcohol products does NOT mean products are safe to use while pregnant (or not pregnant!). Chemicals in many personal products are scientifically proven to be toxic and products that contain these ingredients will likely be forced to carry a warning in the near future. Don’t wait for the government to make this “official.”
The concern being addressed is that studies indicate that toxic exposures can not only affect fertility and cause long term health problems for children, but that they cause harm across generations. In essence, toxic body burden creates a weaker human race. Medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics are now becoming more vocal about the toxic chemical issue and are dropping their connections from chemical companies like Monsanto. This is a step in the right direction but like I mentioned earlier, things take a LONG time to become official and I believe taking the precautionary measure to reduce exposure during pregnancy is the right approach given all the scientific literature out there demonstrating human toxicity of many chemicals approved for use in the US.
SLN’s Take Home Message
To reduce your toxic exposure:
- Print out and carry with you when you shop the Ingredient Watch List for Face and Body and the Ingredient Watch List for Hair
- Use Non-Toxic Personal Products and Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
- Do not use pesticides or insecticides
- Eat organic foods and make sure you have a good water filter!
- Don’t use toxic plastics made with vinyl chloride, phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA)
- Use paints that are “VOC-free” and use “water-based” materials