The Importance of Avoiding Chemicals & 4 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Safer

While I like to make conscious decisions about the products I bring into my home, I’ve never considered myself to be a fully “green” person. Sure, here & there we’d pick up natural products {more often than a typical non-green family, I’d say} but we definitely had a lot of conventional products as well.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to be on a call with a representative from Healthy Child, Healthy World, a representative from Seventh Generation, and a representative from Stonyfield Organic, in addition to the lovely ladies at The Motherhood. This call really sparked something for me & because of it, I am making some drastic changes around here. Something kind of just clicked & made me realize just how bad some of the stuff out there is. Take a look:

Why You Should Be Worried About Chemicals

1. Growing up, I often heard about how different things were 35 years ago. I’ve heard horror stories about kids not wearing seatbelts {or cars not even HAVING them in the backseat!}, kids going to play with their friends {unsupervised} across town, and kids crawling across lawns newly doused with pesticides. Things have gotten much, much safer since then- but for some reason, 35 years ago is the last time that primary US law that regulates the chemicals in everyday products was updated. Would you drive in a car that hadn’t been updated since 1978?

2. Europe has banned 1,328 chemicals for use in personal care products. Don’t worry, the United States has banned or restricted some too- eleven of them.

3. Children are more susceptible to chemicals than adults since their bodies are tinier & always developing. Yet, they are not protected from exposure. In a recent study of 10 children’s’ face paints, all 10 tested positive for lead. In addition, children’s toys & jewelry are recalled for high lead content often.

4. There are more than 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S., but no federal laws exist requiring testing of their safety before they hit the market.

There are a few chemicals everyone knows to avoid, like BPA. I’ve been very diligent about protecting my son from that & making sure to only purchase BPA-free products for my entire family, but after learning those facts about chemicals I have realized it goes so far beyond that. Healthy Child, Healthy World, an organization committed to protecting kids from the toxic exposures they face everyday, has several tips that they recommend to help keep some of the nastiness out of your home:

4 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Safer from Chemicals

1. Remove your shoes at the door: 85% of the dirt in our homes is tracked in via the bottom of our shoes. You may think “dirt don’t hurt” but you could also be dragging lead, gasoline, pesticides & more along for the ride.

2. Buy safer body care products: Protect your family’s health by avoiding products with ingredients like parabens, synthetic fragrances & triclosan. For a list of most-toxic offenders, download Healthy Child, Healthy World’s free eBook, “Easy Steps to a Healthy & Safe Nursery.”

3. Open a window: Indoor air is typically far more polluted than outdoor air, but we usually spend more time inside. Opening your windows, even just for a few minutes a day, can improve indoor air quality.

4. Eat more whole foods: We should all know this one by now, but processed foods are often loaded with sweeteners, artificial flavors and coloring, and synthetic preservatives. Not only are these foods low in nutrients, but they are even linked to health issues like ADHD & cancer.

None of those tips are particularly difficult {I’ve already been doing some of them without knowing how helpful they are!} & they can make a huge difference in the health of your family. In addition, avoid bringing harsh chemicals into your home by using more natural cleaning alternatives {I’m a huge fan of Seventh Generation}.

How to help

If chemical use concerns you as much as it concerns me, there are a few things you can do:

1. Urge Senators to strengthen and pass the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA). Click here to find and message your senator.

2. Host your own Healthy Baby Home Party! For the last four years, the Healthy Baby Home Party has been a great way to spread awareness of the dangers of chemicals among moms & caregivers. Beginning next week, there will be 2,000 Healthy Baby Home Parties going on among moms in homes, schools & more!

You can learn more &get a $1 off e-coupon from the Healthy Baby Home Party website.

Win It: One lucky reader will win a Seventh Generation Prize Pack, including four full-sized products: a pack of eco-friendly diapers {size 3 or 4 randomly selected}, 64ct free & clear baby wipes, facial wipes, & bar soap! Just enter using the form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: I was compensated for my work on this campaign, but it is such an important cause that has really opened my eyes. All opinions are my own.

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  1. Michele P says

    BYOB bring your own bag… keep it with you in the car trunk or whatever, and use it for shopping etc…

  2. Tricia Andrews says

    We donate to thrift stores so things don’t end up in the landfill. We also shop at Thrift stores because it is reusing someone else’s donations. And most of the time the items no longer have the wasteful packaging that a new item would!

  3. Christine says

    Recycle, Recycle and Recycle some more. There are places to recycle everything these days. Find out how and where to properly recycle your light bulbs, old electronics and batteries.
    Thanks for the chance!

  4. Tara O. says

    Frequent your local farmer’s market. They will have the seasonal fruits and vegetables and they can always be canned to preserve it.

  5. Samantha F. says

    Invest in covers for skylights in your home, reduces your electricity bill and your impact on the environment!

  6. AmyBond says

    We have everyone remove shoes at the door, if they don’t like it, oh well. We sit on the floor and our pets live here so we don’t want all those germs brought in.

  7. Jennifer says

    We recycle everything that we can. Our city recently expanded that list of items we can recycle, and we take full advantage of that.

  8. Michelle Tucker says

    I’d say try to reuse items. I see people throwing things away all the time that are still useable.

  9. Darlene Owen says

    We drive an electric car – Volt and we love the amount of money we are saving and there are no fumes.

  10. Laura P says

    We try to be very intentional about buying anything new… where we can reuse or get by without it, we will do that!

  11. Cheryl says

    Use reusable shopping bags whenever possible. Recycle the plastic bags you do receive from the store.

  12. says

    Great blog you have here, Shell!

    My favorite green living tip is to Eat Earth Friendly. Think about what you are eating and choose wisely. Avoid GMOs, palm oil, reduce meat intake, choose sustainable seafood, etc.

    See more on my blog at

  13. Christina Anne says

    My green tip is we recycle. I also use vinegar for cleaning (just be careful and read up on using it to follow precautions:)

  14. Pamela Halligan says

    Use vinegar and baking soda for household cleaning. Not only are they green, they are cheap and effective.

  15. Angela S. says

  16. Shannon F says

    We recycle everything, upcycle whatever we can and we make a lot of our own cleaners/detergents!

  17. Orlando Air Conditioning says

    Hi Shell!
    Thanks for sharing these great tips and ideas for purifying your home of chemicals. Indoor air quality can be greatly impacted (for good and bad) by the quality of and change frequency of air filters. Keep them new and buy good quality filters for best indoor air quality

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