Friday, November 5, 2010


I just received and email from an organization I came in contact with over a year ago after Akiva was born. I was invited to a store opening, and the author of the book "Healthy Child Healthy World" was also at the opening. There is a "Healthy Child Healthy World" organization and website, and their mission is to help educate parents about using non toxic products so kids can grow up healthier. I think it s a pretty fantastic resource. Anyways, the email happened to contain a link to a documentary called "Toxic Baby" and the trailer scared the bejeezus out of me. It reminded me how thankful I am that we have a made a a small amount of changes in our home. I thought I'd share what we've done. Even if you don't have kids, these changes will help your health, and if you might one day have kids, making changes now will make a big difference. I hope sharing this list is helpful. When I was pregnant, it took so long and so much research to figure all this out. Much of this is also on the Healthy Child Healthy World website.

1. Open your windows! There are so many toxic chemicals in the home, a little fresh air helps. Seriously.

2. Use natural or non toxic cleaners from health food stores. Some cleaners trick you. Read ingredients. Never use "antibacterial" hand soaps, there are chemicals in them to make the "antibacterial" that are far worse for you then the germs they kill.

3. Use sulfate free shampoos and conditioners on yourself and your baby.

4. Get rid of your vinyl shower curtains. The vinyl off-gasses some pretty bad chemicals, especially when combined with hot steamy water. You can install glass, or buy hemp or even polyester shower curtains.

5. Buy 100% wool rugs and keep your floors hardwood. Many flooring products are full of chemicals that continually off-gas. And small children spend lots of time of the floor.

6. Get an organic crib mattress, and use organic cotton and wool bedding and pajamas. The flame retardants in regular mattresses stay in your body for years and years.

7. Get a water filter for your shower, and bathe your baby in this filtered water. Unfortunately, our water supplies are full of chlorine and other crazy bad chemicals.

8. Buy a really good air filter for your child's room. Get the most expensive one you can afford. Especially in LA, with all the freeways, there are these tiny particles in the air and when we breathe them in they are so small they will lodge themselves in our lungs. Forever.

9. On the same note, use a HEPA filtered vacuum.

10. Get a good water filter for your drinking water and avoid bottled water. There are many misleading claims about bottled water, but at the very least, the plastic leaches into the water, so filtered tap water is much healthier.

11. Don't use weed killers on your lawn. Again, children roll around on grass and (should) spend lots of time playing on it. And if you have a gardener, ask them to use only organic products. They will. If not find a new gardener.

12. Try not to buy toys made of plastic or made in China when your child is still at the age when things go in their mouths. I personally think there have been way to many news articles about China using really toxic ingredients in children's toys to even risk it. We can't completely help it, but I have a rule with certain toys with Akiva now- if they go in his mouth, I take it away and give him something that can go in his mouth.

13. Eat organic, and avoid canned foods. (Cans still contain BPA) There are too many studies linking pesticides to developmental problems in children.

How about you? Any suggestions to add to this list?


  1. Annie those are GREAT suggestions. You know I heard something years back about microwaving food in plastic containers.I use ceramic now but for years I nuked stuff in plastic. Who knew?

    A professor friend of mine specializes in Ethics in Food and Biotechnology related areas. His philosophy is "as close to the root as possible" you know what that means. So when I shop and try at all costs to avoid processed food as much as possible!!

    I wonder why so many young women have trouble getting pregnant. It doesn't surprise me anymore given the amount of chemicals in EVERYTHING.

    If my parents had known back in the 60s and 70s what we know now, they probably could have done so much more for us kids.

    You're doing a great thing publicizing that, keep up the good work :)

  2. Yes! The microwave/plastic thing for sure! We are a little nutty and we don't even use a microwave. And we use ceramic/enamel cookware never nonstick.
    We also joined a CSA a month ago- I'll write about that sometime in the future.

  3. I gave up the non-stick a while back. I can't remember--was it Dupont? Word got out that the stuff causes cancer? No way!!!

  4. Good for you! We use all Le Creuset pots and pans for cooking. They are pretty expensve, but they will last a lifetime.