1. Trim consumption of animal fats: Some toxins linked to prenatal nervous systems and hormonal damage are stored in fatty tissue.
2. Put a stop to insecticides in your home and office: Organophosphates are a family of insecticides that attack the nervous system. Pesticides also release inhalable volatile organic compounds.
3. Minimize foods pesticides: Some pesticides used on fruits and vegetables can be toxic. Check our list of vegetables and fruits with then lowest load of pesticides.
4. Pass on high-mercury fish: See article below on Fish and Mercury.
5. Let Old Paint Lie: If your old house has lead paint in good condition, cover it with fresh paint rather than removing it, which releases lead dust into the air. To test paint for lead, see www.epa.gov/lead or call the EPA's lead hot line at 800-426-4791.
6. Make sure your water is safe to drink: Your local utility must by law provide you with an annual "Right to Know" report listing the EPA-recognized pollutants that exist in your water at potentially unsafe levels.
7. Avoid the VOCs that offgas from paints, glues, air fresheners: Exposure to air fresheners during pregnancy and within the first six months of life was associated with diarrhea and earache in infants and headaches, according to a study published in the October 2003 Archives of Environmental Health.
8. Steer clear of vehicular and smokestack emissions: Research conducted by Columbia University links "combustion-related" chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with shorter gestation periods for pregnant women, resulting in smaller babies.
9. Stay away from phthalates in vinyl, personal-care and cleaning products: Chemicals called phthalates, known hormone-system disruptors that have caused birth defects in lab animals, are widely used as plasticizers in nail polishes and vinyl and as solvents in synthetic fragrances. Avoid soft vinyl products and cosmetics containing "Fragrance."
10. Get rid of those crumbling foam cushions: The latest chemicals found to be approaching possibly unsafe levels in American women's breast milk, as well as umbilical-cord blood, are fire retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs. Furniture foam tends to release PBDEs into house dust when it breaks down.
Source: Green Guide