4 Nontoxic New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Home
Toxic chemicals that we’re working to protect kids and families from can be found at home, where too many families breathe in, eat, and drink them, unknowingly, as they go about their daily lives.
The good news is there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family—and the new year is the perfect opportunity to resolve to tackle toxics in your home.
With these four “new year’s resolutions,” you’ll be well on your way toward a healthier home:
- Ditch plastic in the kitchen.
- Phthalates (THAL-eights) are industrial chemicals added to many plastics to make them soft and pliable. The trouble is, these “everywhere chemicals” have been linked to reproductive harm, thyroid problems, and learning disabilities—and pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable.
- Protect your family from phthalates by ditching plastic containers. Switch to food containers made of glass, stainless steel, or biobased (plant-based) materials.
- Go the extra mile and advocate for all kids and families: Sign our petition calling on Kraft Heinz to lead the food industry by taking public action to keep toxic phthalates out of food: change.org/kleanupkraft.
- Test your drinking water.
- Especially if you rely on well water, make a resolution to test your water for common toxic contaminants like arsenic. (If you live in Maine, this helpful Maine CDC brochure explains how to test your water.)
- Long-term exposure to arsenic is linked to lower IQ and behavioral problems, as well as bladder, lung, and skin cancer. Young children are the most vulnerable.
- If your test results show high levels of arsenic, install a water treatment system to make sure your water is safe to drink.
- Look for help: A new Maine law we helped pass in 2017 means that all Maine families, no matter how much money they make, should have access to safe drinking water. Contact Maine Housing at (207) 626-4602 to see if you qualify for financial assistance.
- Wet-dust, mop, and wash hands often.
- Toxic and unnecessary chemical flame retardants are often added to furniture and building materials, and then “off gas” into the air we breathe in our homes. Flame retardants are linked to learning disabilities and behavioral problems in children, and to firefighters’ high rates of cancer.
- Make sure to frequently wet-dust and mop surfaces—this will go far to keep toxic chemicals in household dust out of the air you breathe. (Dry dusting just disperses the chemicals back into the air.)
- Encourage frequent hand-washing with soap and water to reduce your family’s toxic exposures.
- As an extra measure, invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which is capable of vacuuming up the small particles of these toxic chemicals.
- When purchasing new furniture, check with the retailer or manufacturer to make sure it is free of toxic flame retardants. (By January 2019, ALL upholstered household furniture sold in Maine will be flame-retardant free—thanks to another new law we helped pass in 2017.)
- Support our work with a monthly donation.
- Set up a monthly donation in 2018 to fund our important work to strengthen chemical safety rules, push companies to take action to protect consumers, and make homes and food and water safer for kids and families.
- Just $10, $25, or $50 a month will go a long way!
- With your support, we’ll work to make sure ALL families are safe and protected from toxic chemicals in the home.
With your help, our new year’s resolution is to win even more victories to protect children’s and families’ health in 2018 and beyond. Thank you, so much, for your invaluable support.