Saturday, April 30, 2011

Protect Your Family from Environmental Toxins

Guest Post by Krista Peterson

Cigarette smoke, lead-based paint, pesticides, asbestos, and household chemicals are just a few examples of environmental toxins that are currently known to be harmful, especially to children. And the only way to minimize the risks of these environmental hazards is to limit exposure to them. Luckily, unlike certain health issues that we have no control over, environmental toxins present an issue that can be avoided. But in order to do so, parents must help to increase their family’s awareness.

Educating children on the importance of avoiding environmental toxins at an early age can be a useful tool for promoting a healthier, safer lifestyle. Children are especially vulnerable to environmental toxins because as they are growing, their organs are developing and their behavior puts them in closer to the ground. Because they’re so prone to dangers, it is crucial for kids to know how to protect themselves at an early age.

The real truth is that it’s nearly impossible to avoid environmental toxins completely. But by making some environmentally friendly decisions, it is possible to minimize your exposure. Some useful strategies include buying and eating organic produce and free-range organic foods. Try your best to avoid processed food that contains additives and preservatives that could potentially be loaded with toxins. Produce that is not organic is often laced with pesticides that, over time, could lead to health concerns. Buy natural cleaning products in your home. Other cleaning agents may contain chemicals that are harmful to young, developing bodies. Test your house’s tap water for contaminants. If your water is dirty, install filters on all appropriate faucets, including your showers and baths.

Another important step to take is to make sure your home and school are free of mold and asbestos. Asbestos is a common toxin that was widely used as insulation on floors and ceilings throughout the 1950s to 1970s. The material is extremely dangerous and is known to cause a deadly cancer called mesothelioma. If you live in a home or go to a school that is particularly old, get a professional to come and ensure that you’re not breathing in the deadly material on a daily basis.

Even if we take all the steps necessary to protect ourselves from the threats of environmental toxins, the fact remains, an enormous amount of pollution still occurs on a daily basis. Environmental toxins are simply a byproduct of our modern lifestyle, and with the current state of our society, it may seem like there is no going back. But that doesn’t have to be true. If we can educate the young and promote healthy, green lifestyle decisions, there is hope that our population can live in peaceful unity with the environment.

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