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Healthy Home Tips

Welcome to our Healthy Home Tips series

EWG’s scientists and public health researchers put our heads together and created a list of the most important steps you can take at home to promote your family’s environmental health.

We expanded this short list into a more in-depth email series. For each short tip there’s additional information that we think you’ll appreciate knowing - the why’s and how’s that support our recommendations.

Listen to EWG Senior Scientist, Dr. Anila Jacob, talk about health risks from common toxics in the home - and what you can do to minimize them. It’s an educational few minutes.

Read our Monthly Healthy Home Tips:

Tip 1: Know the ingredients in your personal care products.

Just because a label says “gentle” or “natural” doesn’t mean it’s kid- safe. Look up your products on CosmeticsDatabase.com. Read the ingredients and avoid triclosan, BHA, fragrance, and oxybenzone.

Tip 2: Eat organic & fresh foods.

Opt for organic fruits and veggies, or use FoodNews.org to find conventionally grown produce with the least pesticides. Choose milk and meat without added growth hormones. Limit canned food and infant formula, as can linings contain bisphenol A (BPA).

Tip 3: Avoid fire retardants.

Choose snug-fitting cotton pajamas for kids, and repair or replace worn out foam items.

Tip 4: Pick plastics carefully.

Some plastics contain BPA, which is linked to cancer. Avoid clear, hard plastics marked with a "7" or "PC" and choose baby bottles made from glass. Don’t microwave plastic containers. Stay away from toys marked with a "3" or "PVC." Give your baby a frozen washcloth instead of vinyl teethers.

Tip 5: Wash those hands, but avoid Triclosan.

In addition to reducing illness, frequent hand washing will reduce kids’ exposure to chemicals. Skip anti-bacterial soaps, since they can be bad for the environment, aren’t any better than soap and water, and can contain pesticides that are absorbed through the skin.

Tip 6: Skip the non-stick, the dangers of teflon.

When overheated, non-stick cookware can emit toxic fumes. Cook with cast iron or stainless steel and bake with oven-safe glass instead.

Tip 7: Your Green Holiday Kitchen.

Get tips for a healthy kitchen this holiday season.

Tip 8: Filter your tap water.

Use a reverse osmosis system or carbon filter pitcher to reduce your family’s exposure to impurities in water, like chlorine and lead. Don’t drink bottled water, which isn’t necessarily better. Mix infant formula with fluoride-free water.

Tip 9: Get rid of that (toxic) dust.

Kids spend lots of time on the floor, and household dust can contain contaminants like lead and fire retardants. HEPA-filter vacuums capture the widest range of particles and get rid of allergens. Leave your shoes at the door so you don’t bring more pollutants inside.

Tip 10: Use greener cleaners and avoid pesticides.

Household cleaners, bug killers, pet treatments, and air fresheners can irritate kids’ lungs, especially if your kids have asthma. Investigate less toxic alternatives. Use vinegar in place of bleach, baking soda to scrub your tiles, and hydrogen peroxide to remove stains.

Tip 11: Your Healthy Home Checklist.

We created this Healthy Home Checklist for you to use as you walk through your home -- and open your bathroom cabinet, look under your sink, and check those laundry supplies. It’s an easy, hands-on way to create a less toxic environment for your family.

Tip 12: Give kids a green and healthy start.

Young children’s developing bodies are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals. You can take simple steps to protect them by opting for safer products and practices around the house, during pregnancy, and when feeding your baby.

Tip 13: EWG’s Cancer Prevention Tips

Get EWG’s practical tips to reduce your exposure to potential cancer-causing chemicals. Consumers simply can’t wait for the government to take action or for companies to act responsibly by removing carcinogens from their products.

Tip 14: EWG’s Back-To-School Guide

Buying school supplies is an annual end-of-summer tradition. It’s also an opportunity to look for safer products for your children and their classrooms. The good news is that with a little time and attention, a backpack full of non-toxic school supplies is in reach. Get EWG’s Back-To-School Guide and shopping tips!

Tip 15: EWG’s Healthy Halloween Tips

Dressing up and celebrating Halloween can be fun -- especially for kids. It’s easy to make it a healthy holiday for your family and the environment. Just follow the simple steps in our Healthy Halloween Tips!

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