I didn’t really think too much about pesticide exposure until I had children and we moved to a quiet neighborhood in the country. After many of the neighbors on our street developed cancer, I became concerned about the runoff from the farm that ran along all of our properties. Testing of our well water confirmed that there were pesticides, herbicides, and a bunch of other things in the water that shouldn’t really have been there.
Although we moved shortly after I had those tests done, I made a conscious effort to try to reduce the exposure that my children had to different chemicals and other toxic substances. How can you reduce your children’s exposure to these things?
Be Clean and Green
It is convenient to buy your cleaning supplies from a store. However, many cleaning supplies aren’t necessarily kid friendly. You can make your own cleaning products by using baking soda and vinegar. If this solution doesn’t do the trick, try purchasing the environmentally friendly cleaning products that are now available at a variety of stores.
Search Before You Destroy
We live in the south where it is warm for most of the year. Because we never really get a “frost”, pests never really die off. It is possible for pets to have fleas year round!
It’s very tempting to use toxic substances to kill off the fleas and other bugs that seem to find their way into our house. In fact, many of our neighbors have contracts with a commercial bug killing service in order to keep the pests at bay year round.
It is possible to find non-toxic solutions to your pest problems. For example, you can purchase spray to kill ants which is not toxic to animals and people. You can also find companies that use environmentally friendly products to deal with pest problems. Check your phone book or do an internet search to see what is available in your local area.
You Are What You Eat
According to studies, the average American ingests about 20 pounds of pesticide per year just by eating their fruits and veggies. No, you shouldn’t give up eating produce, you just need to eat smarter.
Consider buying organic produce to limit the amount of pesticides that your family is ingests. A downside to this is that organic produce tends to be more expensive because it is more labor intensive to grow organic produce. You can still limit your exposure to chemicals and also keep your budget in check!
The following fruits and veggies tend to have a higher pesticide residue amount based upon studies by the US Food and Drug Administration(FDA): apples, cherries, lettuce, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes and spinach. Consider purchasing organic produce when you purchase these items.
Another great way to limit your exposure to pesticides is to have your water tested regularly. Consider using a whole house filter or at least a filter on your shower head and on your kitchen tap if chemicals are found in your water.
Have you taken steps to reduce your childrens’ exposure to chemicals and toxins? Please post and share your ideas and suggestions.