First Person: Choosing Natural Products,

February 22 [Fri], 2013, 5:52

A report released Tuesday says the man-made chemicals in products we use every day-toys, perfumes, beverage containers and more-are likely responsible for at least some cancers, birth defects and psychiatric problems. How do parents approach the use of chemicals in their homes? Yahoo News asked for some perspectives. Here's one.

FIRST PERSON | For 28 years, I didn't pay attention to the chemicals I put on and in my body. Then, in 2008, my daughter was born. I started reading about man-made chemicals in products marketed towards children. The more research I did, the more I realized that many of the teethers, lotions and cups my daughter was using were laced with possible endocrine disruptors and carcinogens.

As a 33-year-old mom in Los Angeles, California raising two children, I am aware that my kids are exposed to environmental chemicals. After all, L.A. isn't exactly known for its clean air. However, until I move to a location with fewer pollutants, I'm doing my best to avoid personal products with harmful chemicals. My daughter is almost 5. My son just turned 1. I strongly believe that my actions will help my kids lead a healthier life.

Since having children, our entire family has switched to shampoos, lotions and body washes that are paraban- and phthalate-free. If I do use a fragranced product, the scent comes from natural sources such as almond oil. In general, I avoid any children's products that contain things like .

I have also altered the way I clean. For years, I used bleach to whiten. Then, I realized that baking soda and vinegar were just as effective. I also switched from harsh detergent to plant based cleaners. I don't want the clothes my children wear and the bath they sit in to be coated in chemicals. Finally, I make sure my children's teethers and cups are BPA-free.

I could choose to ignore studies that say these man-made chemicals are dangerous. Some people think I am wasting my money. I just think I'm investing in my family's future.
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