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How to avoid unhealthy chemicals mentioned in news 'Common Chemicals May Delay Pregnancy'?

By January 29, 2009 - 10:02am
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This article was decent enough, but lacked one important thing. It didn't tell the readers how to go about avoiding items containing the chemicals mentioned. The article states that the EPA is phasing these items out and pointed out 3M as being a major producter, but doesn't give any details on what items/products had contained them in the past. Does anyone know where I can find out more about the items?

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Modern life has a price, we are surrounded by toxic products, not just outdoors, but in our own homes, work place, food, cosmetics, etc . I am not surprise when I read articles about the negative effects of common chemicals in pregnancy. But how do we deal with this threat? Do we suppose to stop living? Do we move to an island in the middle of the ocean?

For someone who experienced heavy metals toxicity a few years ago, I have learned ways to stay "clear" from common toxins, especially mercury (which is everywhere including flourescent light bulbs, carpet glues, dental amalgams, etc). One way to protect your body from radical damage is to maintain a healthy diet rich in anti-oxidants and natural anti-inflammatories. Glutathione is one of the most important anti-oxidants that can be consumed from foods. For example, asparagus and watermelon will make glutathione naturally. For someone with defficient diets, a good glutathione product may be necessary to include as supplement. I prefer the IV push treatments which only a physician can do it. There is a great new product that offers glutathione on a patch. I have been using it for 2 months now.

There are other ways to help maintain a routine detoxifying plan that can help remove or decrease radical damage to our bodies. Below is just some of the things you can do to protect your body from environmental toxins.

1. Turmeric supplements
2. Omega 3 oils
3. Green tea
4. Far infrared sauna therapy
5. Epson Salts baths
6. Gut cleansen/detoxcifying treatments (leaky gut syndrome can carry toxins from the intestines into the blood stream)
7. Good hydration with high pH level water. And soon the new "heavy water" which is not available yet in the market.
8. Magnetic Clay/Mud baths

January 29, 2009 - 10:35pm

good question!

The article I read said that the EPA is helping eight major companies phase out the use of these chemicals (including DuPont) by phasing them out by 2015, and will cut emissions of the chemical by 95% by next year.

It is interesting that, "[PFCs] has been seeping into drinking water supplies around the country and has been detected in the blood of 95 percent of Americans, including pregnant women, as well as in the blood of marine organisms and Arctic polar bears." I guess the new alarm is that it may effect infertility, although these chemicals have already been linked to cancer and birth defects in animals.

The types of substances that were researched in the study you mention (reference below) are the two types of PFCs, or "perfluorinated chemicals": PFOS, perfluorooctane sulfonate, and PFOAs, perfluorooctanoate), which are found in nonstick cookware, food packaging, pesticides, upholstery, carpets, microwave popcorn bags, personal care products and breathable clothing, among other items.

What we've known for years:
"PFOA is the best-known of the PFCs because it is used to make Teflon, Goretex, Scotchgard, Stainmaster, and other oil-, water- and stain-resistant materials that are used in many common items, including nonstick frying pans, utensils, stove hoods, stainproofed carpets, furniture, and clothes. PFOS is thought to be the main, final degradation product of many of the perfluorinated chemicals released into the environment."

What we've known for years re: Health Concerns of PFOA:
"Pervasive in the blood of the general population of the US and now global contaminants. Potentially carcinogenic. Damage to organ function and sexual development in lab animals. Over 4 years to excrete half the amount of this chemical from organs and human tissue – continuous exposure adds high concern"

It is also important to note: "PFCs are found not only in household goods but are also used in manufacturing processes, for instance for industrial surfactants and emulsifiers. They persist in the environment and in the body for decades." This is important to know, as simply avoiding certain household products may not provide the needed/wanted protection from PFCs.

According to the Environmenetal Working Group (EWA)
Routes of Exposure related to Perfluorochemicals (PFCs):
* Consumer products: carpets, clothing
* Environment: industrial water pollution, nuclear transport, nuclear waste, rain
* Food: food packaging, fruits, popcorn, vegetables
* Found in people
* Miscellaneous: manufacturing, medical, occupational
* Water: sewage sludge, tap water

How to Avoid Products with PFCs?
1) Shop at retailers who sell safer products. Here are a few sites:
- Safer Products
- Cosmetic Safety Database
2) Read product labels that do not contain any type of PFC
3) Forgo the optional stain treatment on new carpets and furniture.
Find products that haven’t been pre-treated, and if the couch you own is treated, get a cover for it.
4) Choose clothing that doesn’t carry Teflon® or Scotchgard™ tags.
This includes fabric labeled stain- or water-repellent. When possible, opt for untreated cotton and wool.
5) Avoid non-stick pans and kitchen utensils.
Opt for stainless steel or cast iron instead.
6) Cut back on greasy packaged and fast foods.
These foods often come in treated wrappers.
7) Use real plates instead of paper.
8) Pop popcorn the old-fashioned way on the stovetop.
Microwaveable popcorn bags are often coated with PFCs on the inside.
9) Choose personal care products without “PTFE”or “perfluoro”in the ingredients.

Maternal levels of perfluorinated chemicals and subfecundity. Human Reproduction, (in press) Accessed at: http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/den490v1

Do you have a favorite website that provides information on environmentally healthy products and/or retailers that sell safer products? Please share!

January 29, 2009 - 2:49pm
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