We should demand more of product labeling in general.
With back to school sales going on, it is often easy to overlook the toxins that our children are getting exposed to with the new products. Even personal product shopping in general can lead us to overlook what the product contains out of routine, or necessity. I know it is also just as easy to go so clean that you drive yourself, and your family, batty. There has to be a middle ground. As I have stated countless times, small changes will have lasting, long term benefits for yourself, and your loved ones.
So what are some small changes that you can make as you are shopping for back to school, and just in general? Think about how you are storing foods as in after dinner what do you put your left overs in? If it’s plastic containers, please make the transition to either glass, or stainless steel. Glass for kids is not always the wisest choice however, but that is where the stainless steel comes in. Over time, plastics can leach chemicals into foods. Especially if the food is hot when it is placed in the container, or is reheated in a plastic container. Do you remember, back in the day, when your mom would put leftover spaghetti into a Tupperware container, and how that container was always a shade of pink/yellow from there on out. Well the spaghetti and plastic were interacting with each other. I have done many blogs on plastics so if you don’t know what is bad about plastics then please check out these blogs.
Crayons, markers, and other art supplies are also often full of toxins. I know most of us ate a crayon, or two, or had a friend that did (I don’t think I ate any on purpose!), but they lived to tell the story. However, with advances in technology why have there not been any changes, necessarily, to what chemicals are being used by our children to color and create. Crayola
crayons say they are made of paraffin wax, but do most of us know where paraffin wax comes from? It can be derived from petroleum, coal, or oil shale, and to decompose these it will take hundreds of years and/or other toxic chemicals.
Fortunately there are other options. One of my new favorite stores (to spend hours online window shopping in) is Sprouts San Francisco. Look on Amazon too, and read the product reviews. I know going the healthier route can cost a bit more, but maybe by putting our money into cleaner products we can make some positive changes.
For us menstruating women, when was the last time you looked at, or considered, what your feminine hygiene products were made out of. I know I never really looked. The manufacturer would add aloe, or other items, into the pads that I was using, and I would think about it for a second, but then just buy it. I had tried the chlorine free, non toxic pads once, and it was just a disaster. I have had patients tell me the organic, non toxic tampons just leaked like there was nothing there. I have not been brave enough to try a diva cup, but some of my patients who use them swear by them. If you dont trust me that there are toxic chemicals in your tampons and pads watch this video. Im going to either go back to the organic pads, or give the diva cup a try.
It is hard to make the right decisions all of the time, but small changes will influence our health. What we put into our bodies, what we put on our bodies, and what our minds think and say affect our health. So choose cleaner products, but don't go insane. Trust common sense; if you cannot pronounce the ingredient it most likely should not go into your system, or you should consider trying something else.
Photo Credit: Amraepowell (Wikipedia) (CC BY-SA 3.0)