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You may have heard that children are not merely little adults. Their bodies work differently. Their immune systems are not fully developed and they don’t have the same ability as adults to clear chemicals from their bodies. Additionally, children breathe more than adults, about twice as many times in a minute, so they literally have twice the exposure from chemicals in their environment.

Whether plastic or another class of chemicals, we know it’s nearly impossible to avoid all exposures in our daily lives, because they’re literally everywhere. But every step you take to reduce harmful chemicals in your life, no matter how small, is a good step. Actively reducing your toxic load can impact your health and well-being and make the difference between sickness and wellness. According to research studies, reducing your exposures makes a meaningful difference in the levels of these chemicals (and their metabolites) in your body. Simply put, this means that by reducing your use of these products you can improve your health! For example, people who stopped eating all canned food and food packaged in plastic for just three days showed a drop of over 60% of the hormone-disruptor BPA in their urine.[1]

General Tips:
  • Whenever you can, avoid plastic and especially single-use plastics, i.e. things that get used once and disposed. Think plastic baggies, disposable plastic bags, straws etc.
  • Prioritize reducing plastic exposure overall by reducing your use of plastics whenever and, wherever you can. Limit and avoid:
    1. Plastic food containers (consider bringing your own to restaurants and cafes).
    2. Other sources of plastic exposure such as cans which are often lined with plastic, to-go containers etc.
    3. Single-use plastic wherever possible, i.e. refuse plastic straws.
    4. Plastics in toys and items that infants may teeth on or put in their mouth.  

[1] Food Packaging and Bisphenol A and Bis(2-Ethyhexyl) Phthalate Exposure: Findings from a Dietary Intervention, https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/119/7/ehp.1003170.pdf

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