The simple truth is that it is impossible to shop our way out of the problem of toxic chemicals in everyday products—and we shouldn’t have to.
We’re working everyday to ensure that all products on store shelves are safe.
That said, the most common questions we get are “what should I buy?” and “what should I avoid in order to keep my family safe?”. So we provide the following resources to help you answer those questions while encouraging you to take a first step of supporting our work to ensure all products are safe by becoming a member of the Environmental Health Strategy Center today!
Around Your Home
- Check out the Healthy Homes and Families booklet created for our coalition the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine by the Learning Disabilities Association of Maine.
- Find out how your cosmetics and other personal care products rate from a health perspective and choose the safest alternatives for your families needs.
- Go to HealthyStuff.org for toxicity test results of more than 5,000 products including toys, cars, pet supplies, clothing, and more.
- Check your drinking water for contaminants like lead and arsenic and your basement for radon by ordering a home testing kit.
- Use organic growing techniques for your lawn and garden and avoid the use of toxic herbicides and pesticides.
In Your Food
- Avoid pesticides by eating organic foods. One of the best and least expensive ways to shift a significant portion of your diet to organic foods is to become part of a CSA. A CSA is a local farm that sells community members a weekly share of the farms bounty for pickup or delivery. Find CSA’s in Maine here or outside of Maine here.
- Eat fish low in mercury.
- Avoid canned foods as much as possible since cans are lined with BPA, a chemical that disrupts the hormone system. Choose to use dried beans, frozen vegetables and foods jarred in glass rather than cans.
- Avoid the use of Teflon coated pots and pans since Teflon chemicals, known as PFOAs contaminate food, build up in our bodies and the environment and has been shown in lab tests to harm organs, cause cancer and impair healthy reproduction. Choose cookware made from stainless steel, cast iron, glass, or porcelain.
On the Job
- Know what you’re working with, ask for the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for materials you work with and refer to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards for information about any chemicals you encounter at work.