The summer sun is just starting to gather strength, but you might want to think twice if you are planning on putting the vacuuming off for a rainy day.
The Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment (CPCHE) found that frequent dusting and vacuuming of your home are amongst some of the best ways to reduce common sources of toxin exposure in your children. Reducing toxins in your home isn’t just about keeping your children safe, it is important for pregnant women too.
As quoted from Times Magazine, CPCHE Partnership Director Erica Phipps said, “Expectant and new parents, in particular, need practical advice to help them safeguard their children from health risks — such as learning and behavioral disorders, asthma, cancer and certain birth defects — that researchers have linked to toxic chemicals found in and around the home. The time of greatest vulnerability is in the womb.”
Reducing environmental toxins in your home means more than just thoroughly washing the fruit you and your children eat; it also means turning a blind eye to large companies who market their non-green cleaning and convenience food products directly to you, the target market.
“You can’t turn on the TV during the day without being bombarded by fabric softener commercials, promising clean, fresh smelling laundry” says Brandy Westerhausen, a mother of 2 young boys. “I planned to go green a long time ago, but its hard to resist when these new products promise to make cleaning quicker and easier.”
The CPCHE recommends 5 easy ways to reduce the toxins that you and your children will come into contact with:
- Dust on a daily basis: If you have carpets, vacuum frequently. If you have hardwood, be sure to take a damp mop or a steam mop that uses only plain water to clean your floors. Dust shelves, dressers, and tables frequently.
- Go Green When you Clean: It might be hard to do, but ditch the cleaning products with scent and find a homemade solution. Baking soda works well on the ring around the bathtub, and vinegar and water cleans everything from windows to the inside of your fridge.
- Chuck the plastic containers: When BPA was declared toxic in Canada, many moms took every piece of plastic they owned and threw it in the garbage. You can buy containers that are BPA free, but you should never use plastic containers or plastic wrap in the microwave. Use glass baby bottles and sippy cups, and never put a plastic baby bottle in the microwave.
- Choose the right kind of fish: If your toddler won’t eat tuna yet, keep this in mind: Choose light tuna or canned salmon as your fish of choice. These varieties are low in mercury.
- Get the kitchen of your dreams, but get it the right way: When renovating, keep children away from construction dust and possible toxins by sealing off the area with plastic wrap. Use low VOC or zero VOC paint when painting walls and trim.
For more information on how to protect yourself and your children from environmental toxins in your home, please visit http://www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca/