There is no question that with the rise and rise in the use of dangerous plastics, microwave use, pesticide exposure, scotch guarding, waterproofing, and non stick cooking technology, that numerous cancers and deformities in babies are able to be directly traced and related – you’d think we would have learnt from the lead and mercury palavas by now, to test things for a much longer time before rolling out to market, but apparently not. Slow Death By Rubber Duck is the most approachable, not-too-scientific book I’ve read on every day toxic loads we’re carrying. I highly recommend.
The only problem is that most of us hear that we need to ‘lower our toxic load’ and want to shut our ears, because it’s usually coming from a scary, nerdy science type whose forté is not exactly breaking it down for us into bite sized pieces. It all just sounds too hard. I think that we can achieve a significant decrease in toxin exposure and still have a fabulous life in the city, so I’ve made a list of the few changes we’ve made around the house to be a lower tox family. Easy stuff and you can start today, often saving money and not taking any more time up in our busy lives.
- Quit with the Teflon/Non Stick already – Use it as an excuse to buy gorgeous stainless steel heavy based pans and don a little extra good quality organic butter or coconut oil – I’d take the nutritious fat over the chemical vapour of teflon any day! At just over 300 degrees celcius (pans on high preheating after just 5 mins) Teflon pans release at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses. At temperatures another 100 degrees higher, non-stick coatings break down to a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB, and a chemical analog of the WWII nerve gas phosgene. NO THANK YOU! The easiest way to tell if you’ve over exposed yourself, is with flu like symptoms. If that’s not enough, birds die when exposed to the vapours almost instantly with something actually labelled by vets “Teflon Toxicosis”.
- Make your own vinegar based home cleaner with essential oils. There are so many chemicals hidden in supermarket cleaning products, I’m not even going to go there – a cocktail of fake fragrances that disrupt our hormones along with harsh ingredients that upset our PH balances. Buy some chic little spray bottles and mix up a couple of your own. We have one for the kitchen and bathroom that is naturally antibacterial with Eucalyptus oil and the other for general surfaces and dusting that has lavender and rosemary oils added. Just fill your spray with 300ml cheap white vinegar, 200ml water and 5ml-10ml of essential oils for fragrance. “Kills 99.9% of germs” is a marketing and consumer obsession that is really messing with the natural balance of our environments and our own abilities to fight disease.
- For the boys: Ditch the mobile phone in jeans pocket routine. Tim Ferriss, famed author of 4 hour Body writes of his sperm count trials before and after periods of time with the mobile in the front pocket, with astonishingly varied results. If it’s doing that to your little guys, imagine what that close encounter is doing to the whole nether region over years and years. Scary stuff. Get a man bag pronto especially if you’re in your baby making hey Day.
- Switch to a natural deodorant. Before you jump to conclusions, I am a Sydneysider who religiously shaves under my arms and I don’t hug trees, so stay with me on this one!! I spent a month road testing aluminium free deodorants and have found that while many are really ineffective (and I apologise if you saw me on those days) the FRESCA range, especially the scent free one, is the business. There’s only one friend who disagrees, so your chances are high of agreeing with me. Give it a try, because Aluminium is one of those ‘maybe we shouldnt’s’ that I personally can’t ignore in terms of disease links through exposure.
- Coconut Oil: As a body and face moisturiser, it is fabulous. The first couple of days you shall get maybe a few little bumps on your skin, but that’s a sign of detox. After that, just a beautiful fast absorbed and non greasy glow and a natural protection against light sun exposure to boot (a good preservative free sunscreen is important and this shouldn’t replace your protection though!). Extra virgin coconut oil from Loving Earth, Spiral, Nui are brands I know and use. You can find coconut oil filtered from its fragrance and scent with a few drops of your favourite essential oil if you don’t like the smell. In cold weather, take the coconut oil jar into the shower with you so that it melts in the heat and is easier to use.
So there you have it. Just 5 easy things to change this week and in doing so, you have significantly reduced your exposure to chemicals and fumes that lurk in far-too-popular products and practices in our daily lives. There are so many more, but I think when making changes, if we do it with baby steps, it’s so much easier to adapt to and stick to, so that’s how my little clan is doing it.
Real food. Low Tox. Happy life.