Thursday, February 25, 2010

Phthalates- yuck!

After reading this article in the NY Times about toxins causing autism, I did a raid under my kitchen sink. Who knew so many household products have so many bad chemicals. Actually, is there such thing as a good chemical? 

While the thought of having to expunge of EVERYTHING with harmful ingredients like phthalates is overwhelming, my husband and I are both on board to start paying more attention to fumes and toxic ingredients for the sake of our family health. I really think this will be one of those things that 10 years from now, are kids are going to ask us- "What were we thinking?" and our response would be "Sigh. We just didn't know any better."

When I was preg-o, I was very cautious with salicylic acid in face wash and make-up, and would only paint my nails with the windows and doors open (how thoughtful of me to pollute into our nice, fresh, clean air, right?) but it wasn't until today that I read on's (fav. brand of nailpolish) website that prior to 2006, their products had the dangerous duo of: toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate. Thankfully they have since removed these 3 ingredients, which are symbolized by their sticker on the bottom in green writing, rather than black. I think I'm going to seek out chemical-free nail polish remover while I'm at it since the nasty acetone stuff gives me a headache! I wish we had a Wild Oats or a Whole Foods here....I'll have to see what I can find in the health section of Smiths Marketplace. I don't want to go too overboard, but do think it's important to be smart about what we're putting into the environment we live in and the products we ingest. I can boast about our recyclable grocery bags that we've been diligently using for about 2 years now! 

Here's a website that I just came across with some good tips on what to look for in green friendly products. I was excited to find a natural remedy for our sluggish tub drain! I can also testify to this old trick of cleaning your microwave:
Place a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water, 1/2 cup vinegar inside the microwave and microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes (it needs to boil). Keep your microwave closed for a few minutes to allow the steam to loosen the grime, then open your microwave, carefully remove the bowl, and wipe clean!

Speaking of healthy things- remember that post I did a couple of months on go on glorious flax seed?  Well, I feel so silly!  I just now found out that you have to grind up the seeds to get any of their nutritional value. If you don't, they just go right through you. I don't remember reading that anywhere on the bag!  So, now I know that they require the extra step of grinding them in my husband's coffee grinder. They definitely become "more alive" this way, although they no longer seem appropriate for my salad. I haven't even noticed them in my morning oatmeal though!

Oh, and (thanks to my mom), I also now know NOT to use normal Ziploc bags in the microwave for steaming! I confirmed on that these are too thin. This could just be a way for them to sell their other product "Microwave and Steaming Bags" but these do say that they've met FDA standards for microwaving. As the NY Times article mentions, we should also only use plastics in the microwave with the number 3, 6, or 7 on the bottom. 

Wow! What a lesson I learned today on all of this stuff. My goal is to be as green friendly as we can by Earth Day~April 22, 2010. Did you know this year will be its 40th anniversary? I'll be sure to do a follow-up post on how the vinegar and baking soda works on our drain.   If any of you have any green friendly tips to share, I'd love to hear them!

1 comment:

  1. I really love Simple's works great! Also, I make my own cleaner which is environmentally friendly and non-toxic. It's super easy to make:
    1 Tbs. Borax (it's on the laundry detergent aisle and works great for tons of stuff like cleaning your toilet bowls and freshening your laundry)
    3 Tbs. Vinegar
    2 C. water
    1 Tbs. dish soap
    I also add lavender and chamomile drops to make it smell good.
    I just stick it in a squirt bottle and use it for everything when I clean.
    Also, there is a great book called Growing Up Green by Deirdre Imus that has tons of helpful stuff in it.