Thoughts on Being Natural in Your Home and Garden
The chemical industry is a multi-billion pound, powerful force in the world; by choosing to buy safe household and garden products, you can make a difference and enjoy the health benefits of chemical free products.
Every single day, we are exposed to hundreds of toxic subtances, many of these household chemicals have been linked to serious diseases and they pose particular risk for children who have weaker immune systems; it is accepted that some chemicals are passed to babies via breastmilk. There are many hundreds of chemicals, the effects of which are just not known - chemicals that were on the market before the 1980s do not have to undergo ANY safety tests.
Over 80,000 synthetic chemicals have been invented since World War II and it is estimated that this figure is growing by around 1,000 further toxic substances every year. Unlike previous generations, our bodies are now contaminated with between 300 and 500 man-made chemicals; the full impact this will have on our health remains to be seen, but it is safe to say that by minimising the chemicals in our homes and gardens we can provide some protection both for our families and the environment.
The EU has listed many substances that they describe as 'chemicals of very high concern', yet these can be found in our household cleaning products, personal hygiene products, batteries, weed-killers, toothpastes, the list is endless. The dangers don't end there, everything we pour down the drain ends up in our water treatment plants to be mixed with more chemicals, then recycled and returned to our drinking water supply. Our rivers, lakes, streams, environment and wildlife are also threatened by the vast array of chemicals in the modern home.
WWF"s top ten tips on reducing exposure to hazardous chemicals
- Buy organic produce whenever possible.
- Wash and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
- Avoid the use of pesticides in the home or garden by going organic.
- Avoid canned food: choose fresh, frozen or dried foods instead.
- Avoid food coming into contact with PVC cling film.
- Use non-polycarbonate baby feeding bottles or, better still, breast-feed babies.
- Open your windows instead of using air fresheners.
- Use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
- Buy soap, shampoos and cosmetics that don’t contain synthetic fragrances.
- Use paints, varnishes and glues with a low VOC content, or those that are water-based.
A report by the World Wild Life Fund revealed that children as young as nine years old are not only contaminated with a cocktail of hazardous man-made chemicals but can have higher concentrations of certain newer chemicals than older generations. Justin Woolford, WWF Chemicals and Health Campaign Director said "This is a wake up call to the UK Government and the European Union to stop repeating the mistakes of the past and ensure that these chemicals are banned and replaced with safer alternatives." He went on to say "Wildlife and people, not least children and future generations, should have the right to clean, healthy and uncontaminated bodies so that they achieve their maximum potential without the ever-present worry of their lives being blighted due to exposure to hazardous industrial chemicals."
Please visit the following sites to show support for the international campaigns to protect our families, future generations and the environment.
Friends of the Earth - http://www.foe.co.uk
Greenpeace - http://www.greenpeace.org.uk
World Wildlife Fund - http://www.panda.org
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