They say home is where the heart is, but is it also where the toxins and harmful chemicals are??? As moms, our main priority is to protect our children from every danger in the world, so we try to create loving safe environments. Are the environments we’re creating actually safe??? Lately, I’ve been reading more and more articles about hidden toxins in our households and items that we use everyday. Could these everyday products seriously be damaging to our little ones? Let’s take a look at the most dangerous things your child is being exposed to.
What to Look Out for in Your Home
- Bisphenol A ( BPA): It is well known not to drink a plastic water bottle that was left in a car after a hot day due to this harmful chemical (or maybe that’s just my opinion after growing up in Arizona), but BPA is hiding in more places than you think. From flooring to windows and fragrances to food can linings, the powerful endocrine disrupter is ever present and known to cause things such as cancer and infertility.
- Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs): PFCs are another powerful hormone disrupter that can be found in non-stick pans, stain-resistant fabrics, pizza boxes and other fast food containers, paints, roof treatments, and floor protectants. They are known to cause various cancers as well as other reproductive and developmental disorders.
- Trichloroethylene (TCE): TCE along with toluene can be found in paints and painting supplies, ink, adhesives, and fuel. It is a carcinogen and neurotoxin known to cause various cancers, including lymphoma and leukemia, and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Although it is important for your child to explore their creativity, make sure they’re using supplies that are age appropriate and safe!
- Mercury and Lead: are neurotoxins found in old paints, fish, batteries, microwaves, and light bulbs. Heavy exposure can lead to low birth weight as well as learning and developmental disabilities in children.
- Pavement and Pavement Sealers: contain carcinogens called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are known to cause kidney and liver cancers, as well as cataracts. Avoid freshly paved walkways, streets, and driveways!
- Toxic flame retardants: may be present in your child’s own pillow or car seat. They may also be present in mattresses and furniture cushions, so look for products that contain polyester, down, wool, or cotton. This is especially important, as these are items your child spends a majority of their time sitting or laying on.
- Carbon monoxide: Although it plays an important role in our biological functions, exposure of carbon monoxide at high levels can lead to extreme poisoning and possibly death. It is crucial that one keeps a carbon monoxide detector in the home because this odorless, colorless gas can go by unnoticed. Carbon monoxide is released from malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces and heaters, fireplaces, charcoal burned indoors, and engine-powered equipment such as a car left running in an enclosed garage.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Children
Although it may now seem as if your home is a death trap, keeping harmful toxins away from your child is fairly simple. Little things can make a huge difference, such as:
- Opening your windows to let fresh air in
- Taking off your shoes when you walk in the house
- Dusting more often
- Reading Labels!