Good health is precious, and Americans invest significant amounts of time and money to protect it. But many people are waking up to the fact that, despite their vigilance, they are surrounded by products made with harmful chemicals.
Ultimately, we won’t get safer products — made from chemicals tested for safety before coming onto the market — until the federal law governing chemicals is strengthened. While we’re working on fixing the law, there are some basic things you can do to protect you and your family from toxic chemicals.
Many organizations in the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition have developed incredible resources to help you live a more healthy, non-toxic life. Here’s a round-up of a few guides worth checking out for tips, expert advice, and even recipes for good food and green cleaners!
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) hosts Simple Steps, which provides articles, quizzes, expert advice, and simple facts about healthier living. The Simple Steps pages provide information about food, health, home and garden, as well as special concerns for pregnant women, infants and children, youths and adults, and pets. Many materials are available in Spanish.
Healthy Child, Healthy World has developed a partnership with WebMD called Health eHome with many guides to healthy eating (including online recipes) and healthy shopping. You can also find a long list of one-page quick tips in English and Spanish about baby care, food and nutrition, and non-toxic and natural products.
Center for Environmental Health writes “Generation Green,” a weekly eco-tips column. Topics range from tips on things to avoid in personal care products, how to purchase lead-free handbags, and baby-safe practices to keep your child safe from toxic chemical exposure.
CEH also publishes a great list of recommendations for reducing toxicity in your home, covering everything from baby products and household cleaners to paint and pest control.
The Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC) publishes a monthly column for parents and caregivers, Growing Up Green! Once a month, they provide easy tips on choosing the safest products for children, including baby bottles, bib, sunscreen, and much more.
And WTC’s “Safe Start for Kids” provides advice and resources for parents looking to avoid toxic chemicals in children’s products from arts and crafts supplies to toys, furniture, and food.
Oregon Environmental Council has a “Creating an Eco-Healthy Home” section of its Web site that features simple, cost-effective changes you can make to reduce the burden of toxic chemicals on your family.
The Breast Cancer Fund has created a series of tips for preventing and reducing risk from toxic chemical exposure, including how to choose safe plastics, create a healthy home, and choose safe cosmetics. Each group of tips can be printed on an easy-to-carry sheet to bring along while you shop.
Women’s Voices for the Earth has developed a green cleaning party kit, a fun event where you get to learn how to make simple non-toxic cleaning recipes. To learn more or to order a kit, visit Women’s Voices for the Earth. You can also get recipes and take an action to force cleaner manufacturers to disclose their chemical ingredients.
Debra Lynn Dadd, dubbed the “Queen of Green” by the New York Times, writes regularly about how to identify and find nontoxic products that are safe to use, as well green products that help protect the environment. “Debra’s List” is a web-based directory with more than 1,000 links to nontoxic, toxic-free, and organic products.
HealthyStuff.org is a shopping tool and database that includes test results from more than 5,000 products because there is no other way to tell what’s inside. The tests were done on everyday products like toys, clothing, pet products, cars, and other stuff.
If you have favorite resources for healthy, nontoxic living, send them along to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.