9.3 A Cautious California Parent Avoids Chemicals in Everyday Products for Her Family

A report released Tuesday says the man-made chemicals in products we use every day-toys, perfumes, beverage containers and more-are likely responsible for at least some cancers, birth defects and psychiatric problems. How do parents approach the use of chemicals in their homes? Yahoo News asked for some perspectives. Here’s one.

FIRST PERSON | According to news reports released today, humans are at increased risk for birth defects, cancers and other types of ailments, likely as a result of consumption and exposure to man-made chemicals such as EDCs and BPA. As a parent to two teens, a daughter, 16, and son, 13, this information comes as no surprise. I’ve been wary of chemicals since I was first pregnant 17 years ago.

Chemical’s effects on hormonal systems were something I paid attention to during my pregnancies. I ate as much organic produce as possible, took organic vitamins and used natural cleaning products. I avoided re-using plastic containers, and never heated plastic in the microwave to prevent BPA absorption in our food. I chose natural deodorant to decrease the possibility of EDCs moving from my skin to the fetus.

Living in Davis, Calif., we are surrounded by agricultural fields with possible water contamination from pesticides, as well as an agricultural research university, I was careful to watch what my kids ate and drank from a very early age. I preferred they play with wooden toys when possible, especially when at the age where everything went into their mouths.

Currently, our family avoids reheating/reusing plastic, and still eats organic produce. We drink filtered water, and rely on metal water bottles over plastic. In fact, my son’s middle school installed a free water filtration station for kids to refill the metal water bottles provided free to each student!

My family pays attention to these kinds of studies because we want to do anything possible to live a healthy and environmentally-sustainable lifestyle. At the same time, we believe education and infrastructure in developing countries is crucial to create a healthier planet for us all.

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