10 Ways to Reduce Your Family’s Exposure to Chemicals

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The jury is still out about these substances’ effects on human health. But if you want to reduce your family’s exposure, this is how.

 

1. Use fresh or frozen foods instead of canned, when possible.

2. Use soy infant formula only if there is a medical reason for it, such as lactose intolerance or milk allergy, says Heather Patisaul, Ph.D. Genistein — a natural estrogen found in soy plants — is present in large amounts in soy-based baby formulas. (Some countries require a prescription for it.)

3. Don’t microwave food in plastic containers or covered with plastic wrap. When plastic is heated, the chemicals in it can more easily migrate to food.

4. Use BPA-free baby bottles. Check labels — the biggest manufacturers of baby bottles in the United States (including Disney, Gerber, and Playtex) stopped using BPA in 2009.

5. Avoid storing food or drink in plastics with the recycling numbers 3, 6, and 7 on the bottom — or buying items packaged in these plastics.

6. Don’t use chemical poisons on plants or bugs.

7. For drinking water, use a faucet-mounted filter that has been approved by the American National Standards Institute to “remove volatile organic compounds.” (Pitcher filters may not be enough.)

8. Choose soaps, toothpastes, and deodorants without triclosan. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antimicrobials like triclosan are unnecessary and may help breed drug-resistant germs.

9. Avoid heavily fragranced products or air fresheners, which may contain phthalates.

10. Go to senate.gov to tell your senators if you want more EDC research and regulation.

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