What can I do to help reduce unnecessary exposures?
- DO East fresh food and if possible buy organic
- DO Check ingredients and labels for potentially harmful chemicals
- DO Use glass, ceramic stainless steel or Pyrex for food and drink storage.
- AVOID products which contain parabens, phthalates, bisphenol A or triclosan.
- AVOID plastics where possible.
- AVOID microwaving food in plastic
- REDUCE consumption of processed and tinned food
- DO Discard old plastic products especially if scratched
- If you use plastics opt for:
- high-density polyethylene (HDPE,)
- low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
- polypropylene (PP)
- DO Find alternatives to plastic toys, (especially teethers) and tableware
- AVOID plastics marked:
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET),
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- If your work brings you into contact with potentially hazardous substances, discuss how you can reduce exposures with your employer.
- Always work in a well ventilated environment
- Wear gloves and mask (if appropriate) and wash hands regularly
Food and Drink
- DO Eat fresh, preferably organic fruit and vegetables
- DO Wash fresh food thoroughly to reduce pesticide residues
- DO Choose stainless steel drinks bottles and glass, ceramic or china for storage
- DO Use ceramic, stainless steel or Pyrex for food and drinks storage
- AVOID tinned food/canned drinks/plastic containers
- AVOID processed food
- AVOID storing food in plastics and cling film
- AVOID heating food in plastic containers which can release harmful chemicals into food (1,2)
- DO Minimize use of personal care products and cosmetics.
- AVOID applying products all over your body on a regular basis (eg spray tans)
- AVOID cosmetics, deodorants and toothpastes that contain parabens, phthalates, aluminium, fragrances (synthetic musks) and triclosan
- AVOID hair dyes (3) especially those that contain para phenylenediamine (PPD), nonylphenol, resorcinol or ammonia
- AVOID synthetic fragrances, perfumes and wet wipes
Home and garden
- DO Keep rooms aired, dust and vacuum regularly
- DO Try an eco-range of domestic cleaning products that are free from harmful chemicals
- DO wear gloves and mask when using fly , flea powder or garden sprays
- AVOID products that contain biocides (e.g. triclosan in liquid hand soap)
- AVOID products with synthetic fragrances, scented candles and air fresheners and perfumed cleaning products
- AVOID using fly sprays, flea powder and deodorant sprays
- AVOID garden and plant pesticides and fungicides
Preparing for baby’s arrival
- DO use water based and low volatile organic compound (VOC) emitting products without biocides when painting
- DO ensure adequate ventilation and wear protective gloves and mask when decorating.
- DO choose natural products such as wood, cork or ceramic tiles and organic products which contain fewer chemicals.
- DO Wash new clothes and linen before use including fabric dinner mats and bibs
- DO Source organic cotton if possible as it is likely to contain fewer chemicals
- DO choose solid wood and air newly bought furniture
- AVOID,plywood which may emit formaldehyde (4)
- AVOID removing paint, especially if it contains lead
- AVOID installing new carpets or laminate (especially those that contain biocides and waterproof sprays).If possible, wait until after baby is born
1. Moreira, M.A. et al. (2014). Analysis of Phthalate Migration to Food Simulants in Plastic Containers during Microwave Operations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11: 507-526.
2. Lim, D. S. et al. (2009). Potential Risk of Bisphenol a Migration From Polycarbonate Containers After Heating, Boiling, and Microwaving. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A 72: 21-22.
3. Saitta P, et al. (2013). Is there a true concern regarding the use of hair dye and malignancy development? A review of the epidemiological evidence relating personal hair dye use to the risk of malignancy. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology 6: 39-46.
4. CPSC (2013). An update on formaldehyde. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Accessed February 5 2015