Pregnancy and Chemicals
Pregnancy and chemicals do not go together well! Exposure to environmental chemicals should be avoided as much as possible, because chemicals can harm your baby. It is impossible to fully avoid chemicals, but these are some of the worst ones, and exposure should be limited when possible:
- PFOA and PFOS - These are called perfluorinated chemicals. They are used in the production of Teflon non stick products, food packaging for greasy foods, many no-iron and wrinkle free clothes, upholstery with fabric protectors, carpets with carpet protectors, and flame retardants. These can impair your babies’ growth and give women problems with fertility.
- BPA use - We have all heard of BPA’s that are used in our plastic water bottles. Most of us now use BPA free water bottles. Ninety percent of Americans have detectible levels of BPA in their blood, because BPA is also used in plastic gallon milk bottles, microwaveable plastic items, plastic glasses, food and soda cans, and many baby toys, bottles, pacifiers and toddler cups.
These are things that most of us still use daily! Throw out all of your old plastic items if you do not know that they are BPA free. Plastic that has BPA will have a #7 recycling symbol. Do not use them or give them to your kids because they can leach out of the plastic, and into your food. BPA’s are known to cause many developmental problems and should never be used!
- Phthalates - which are found in hairsprays, perfumes, many cosmetic products, plastics like plastic food containers, plastic wrap, plastic toys, nail polish, mascara, shampoos and conditioners, lotions, sunscreen and antiperspirants. Avoid using plastic storage containers and read labels on all of the cosmetics and products that you buy. Out with the old makeup, and in with healthier products!
- Check out the Smart Plastics Guide by The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy for all of the information you need to know about plastics.
- Information about environmental risks during pregnancy like lead exposure, mercury, pesticides, solvents, air pollution, and household cleaning products can be found at the March of Dimes website.
The Lifestyle Solution is to avoid chemicals as much as possible to help promote a healthy pregnancy.
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