Eco-Tip of the Week: Baby-Safe Practices

Last week we discussed safe practices to reduce exposures to toxic chemicals when pregnant.  Of course, potentially harmful exposures don’t end when the baby is born.  As you probably know, young children are most vulnerable to the hazards of certain toxic chemicals since their bodies and brains are still developing.

The President’s Cancer Panel recently released a report about environmental causes of cancer with some useful recommendations of simple steps that parents and can take to minimize children’s exposure to toxics.

Here are some of the suggestions from the Panel and CEH:

1. Baby Food and Formula: The Panel suggests “choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers.” Look for the USDA Organic logo. The Panel recommends “eating free-range meat”, raised without antibiotics and growth hormones.

A quick, easy, and cheap way to avoid non-organic products is to make your own baby food using organic fruits and vegetables.  Click here for our simple recipes.

The Panel also suggests that “microwaving food and beverages in ceramic or glass instead of plastic will reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals that may leach into food when containers are heated.”

2. Water (and Formula): The Panel suggests using “stainless steel, glass, or BPA- and phthalate-free containers.” BPA- and phthalate-free baby bottles and sippy cups are now widely available.

3. Bringing Home Toxics: This tip is for those of us who work with or near toxic chemicals. “Family exposure to numerous occupational chemicals can be reduced by removing shoes before entering the home and washing work clothes separately from other family laundry.

For the President’s Cancer Panel’s Full List, click here(go to pages xix and xx).