Tips for a Chemical free summer (part 2)

I would hope that after reading my first blog, some of you would have rushed out to replace your Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen with something that is a little bit better for your health.

Pesticides are a significant source of toxicity. People are exposed to pesticides via food and the environment in particular lawn care. While research is usually focused on massive pesticide exposure, low dose long-term pesticide exposure is difficult to capture. Not to mention the fact that pesticide residue has been linked to everything from hypospadias to decreased intelligence, learning and memory in children. Children are particularly vulnerable because of their immature organs, rapidly dividing and migrating cells, higher metabolic rate and smaller size.

Ways to decrease pesticide exposure.

1. Eat locally and organically. Summer is the perfect season to do this. Farmer’s markets are filled with everything from organic produce to baked goods and plants. Summer is also a good time to  plant an organic garden and decrease your grocery bill while nourishing your body.

2. Avoid the herbicide atrazine. According to Health Canada, atrazine is used extensively in Canada as weed control for corn and rapeseed. It is also used on lawns, sugarcane fields and golf courses. According to healthy child healthy world, atrazine is an endocrine disruptor that has been linked to cancer, miscarriages, developmental and birth defects, miscarriages, weakened immune system, reproductive abnormalities and sexual changes. Visit the Health Canada site for ways to maintain a beautiful lawn without nasty pesticides.

3. Remove your shoes when you come in from outdoors. People who know me are aware that this is a big issue with me. There is a lot of environmental residue that gets attached to the bottom of our shoes. It is important to have a no shoes in the house policy for guests and family members.

4. Invest in a water filtration system that will get rid of organic pollutants. Atrazine has  shown up in drinking water. Water can be a significant source of environmental contamination and toxicity.

5. Keep your floors clean by vacuuming and moping regularly. This is especially important if you have small children that are crawling.

6. Petition the government in your city to make sure parks and areas that children play at is free of harmful pesticides and chemicals.

7. Make your own bug repellent by using essential oils instead of DEET and permethrin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus has been shown to be just as effective as DEET. DEET has been shown to be a neurotoxin. Just remember that you have to reapply often with essential oils. Avoid scented products and cover up when outdoors. Wellnessmama is a wonderful website with information on how to make your own natural insect repellent that works.

What are you doing to decrease your exposure to environmental toxins?

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