Environmindful Monday Tips #9, #10 and #11

As parents, we are always trying to keep our children healthy and safe and for years, flame retardants have been applied to children’s clothing to protect them in case of a fire, but those same flame retardants may be causing more harm than good.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), also know as flame retardants, are found in many areas in our homes, particularly in electronics such as cell phones, TVs, computers, video game consoles, laptops and media players, not to mention furniture, clothing and in most children’s pajamas.

Although PBDEs are meant to protect us and even prevent fires, PBDEs have now been linked to cancer, reproductive problems and found to lower IQs in children.

Environmindful Monday Tip #9

  • Avoid flame retardants in clothing and pajamas.  The EWG found that PBDEs are showing up in women’s breast milk. and they found that children have 3x more PBDEs than their mother. Children ingest more PBDEs because the substances stick to their hands and other things they put in their mouths.
  • Opt for organic* cotton or wool clothing and pajamas instead of polyester and other manufactured fibers treated with PBDEs
  • *Conventional cotton is typically grown using pesticides.  Since organic crops cannot be grown using pesticides, by buying organic cotton clothing you will ensure that you are not exposing yourself or children to pesticides which would be in direct contact with the skin.

Environmindful Monday Tip #10

dusting

  • Dust, vacuum and mop regularly to reduce dust in homes.  When electronics heat up the PBDEs release and settle into dust in your home. Chemicals are breathed in and picked-up from the carpet, furniture, floor, on toys and on toddler’s hands.  By dusting, vacuuming and mopping floors on a regular basis you will reduce expose to PBDEs.

Environmindful Monday Tip #11

hand-washing

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating. We often hear that we should wash our hands to prevent the spread of disease, viruses and bacteria, but it is equally important to wash hands prior to eating to  remove the PBDEs from your hands so you do not ingest them, especially after using electronics.

For more information go to the Environmental Working Group Reducing your exposure to PBDEs in your home and Children’s Health and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE)

Be. Mindful.

Kate

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