Thursday, January 21, 2010

8-Step Green Course for Pregnant Women

Eight things you can do to protect yourself and the coming baby from toxic elements:

1. Food

Start eating whole foods. Avoid packaged foods and try to eat a varied diet that includes plenty of protein, calcium, whole grains and folic acid.

2. Water

Test the tap water at home for contaminants. A Brita-style carbon carafe pitcher will take care of most issues. Stop drinking bottled water and carry your beverages in something safer like glass or stainless steel, avoiding chemical-leaching plastic.

3. Air

You can’t always control what you’re breathing – the carpet at the bank or toxic bathroom cleaners at work – but wherever possible (in the car, at work, at home) open the windows and keep your environment as well-ventilated as possible.

4. Kitchen

Lose the Teflon and nonstick pans because they are a probable human carcinogen. Store food in glass instead of plastic, and never microwave food with plastic wrap on it or in plastic containers.

5. Beauty Products

Stop using the ones with chemicals that are potentially harmful to a fetus. This takes more effort than eating organic because, regardless of what their label claims, there’s no certification process for these products. Go to the "Skin Deep" section at the Environmental Working Group site and enter the name of your preferred cosmetic into a database for a rating of its ingredients.

6. Cleaning Products and Insecticides

The ingredients in non-green cleaners are often toxic, not to mention considered trade secrets and rarely listed. Most green products will list their ingredients, and less is usually more. Apply the same approach to any fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides you use to garden.

7. Renovation
Resist the urge to renovate, unless you're able to be out of the house for the duration of the work, and then some. There are toxins in the paint, dust, caulk and glue that you shouldn’t inhale while gestating, and there are too many potentially toxic dusts and chemicals unearthed when you start tearing things apart. Also replace crumbling foam in cushions – they contain brominated flame retardants (PBDE’s) that can negatively affect brain function.

8. Testing
Test your home for contaminants like radon and lead and carbon monoxide, and paint over any chipping lead paint with a zero-VOC fresh paint.

Source: The Environmental Working Group

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