‘Eating processed meat raises risk of heart disease by a fifth’ – The Guardian

‘Eating processed meat raises the risk of heart disease by a fifth, according to the largest ever analysis of research into the impact of meat consumption on cardiac health.

‘Researchers at the University of Oxford are urging the public to cut their red and processed meat consumption by three-quarters, or to give it up entirely, to lower their risk of dying from coronary heart disease.

‘The team found that eating 50g per day of processed meat, including bacon, ham and sausages, increased the risk of heart disease by 18% owing to its high salt and saturated fat content.

‘This fell to 9% for unprocessed red meat, such as beef, lamb and pork, but there was no link found between heart disease and eating poultry, such as chicken and turkey, which are lower in saturated fat.’

Eating processed meat raises risk of heart disease by a fifth | The Guardian
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Dave’s guide to keeping kids (and yourself) safe from ticks in the UK

Protecting from tick bites

  • Keep to foot paths and avoid long grass when out walking
  • Wear a longsleeved shirt, trousers, and if possible, wellies. Tuck trousers into socks.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin. It is important to make sure children & infants do not ingest DEET repellent. Apply DEET repellents outdoors and in a well ventilated space. Do not allow children under 10 years of age to apply repellent themselves. Do not apply to young children’s hands or around eyes and mouth. Do not breathe in, swallow, or get into the eyes (DEET is toxic if swallowed.) Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin. Breast-feeding mothers should wash their hands in breast tissue before handling infants.
  • Do wash off the insect repellent with soap and water once you come back inside, and throw those clothes in the wash.
  • When sunscreen is also required, DEET should be applied after the sunscreen. Do not use products that combine sunscreen and DEET as sunscreen needs to be reapplied often and DEET should not be used more than once a day.
  • If possible, wear light coloured fabrics that may help you spot a tick on your clothing
  • Make it a habit to check clothes and bodies regularly for ticks when outdoors. After being out in the countryside or in woodland, inspect skin for ticks including your head, neck and skin folds (arm pits, groin, behind the knee, and waist band). With children make sure to be thorough around head and neck areas including the scalp. Ticks can be very small so look out for anything as tiny as a freckle or a speck of dirt. Check ticks are not brought home on clothes.
  • Keep lawns short

If you find a tick

Pulling a tick out using fine-tipped tweezers. Image source: https://twitter.com/LymeAction/status/1397872453175496706/photo/1
  • It’s important to remove any ticks as soon as possible.
  • DO NOT cover the tick(s) in vaseline or nail varnish or burn them off as this can can aggravate the tick and lead to secondary infection
  • To remove a tick safely, use a tick-removal tool or fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, slowly pull upwards, taking care not to squeeze or crush the tick. The goal is to remove the entire tick including its head and mouth. Be careful not to twist as this can cause the tick to break. Dispose of it when you have removed it. Clean the bite with antiseptic or soap & water.

References

  1. https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/news/protect-yourself-against-tick-bites
  2. https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2014/03/24/tips-and-tricks-to-stay-safe-from-ticks/
  3. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27255853
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease/
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/22/ticks-lyme-disease-matt-dawson-harm
  6. ‘Public Health England – Health : Watch out ticks about!’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzR1eja6Wa8
  7. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insect-bites-and-stings/prevention/
  8. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/694158/PHE_Tick_Leaflet.pdf
  9. https://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/about-ticks/tick-bite-risk-reduction/
  10. https://bnfc.nice.org.uk/treatment-summary/malaria-prophylaxis.html
  11. https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/toolkit/deet.pdf
  12. https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/reregistration/fs_PC-080301_1-Apr-98.pdf
  13. https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/9-deet-safety-tips-to-know-before-you-spray
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The New Smoking: Recent Findings on the Link Between Meat Consumption and Colon Cancer — Green Humanist

‘[A] recent study in Cancer Discovery has gone further and established a biological mechanism through which red meat consumption causes colon cancer.

The population for the study was composed of 900 individuals with colorectal cancer that were selected from a larger group participating in a longitudinal health study. The researchers sequenced the DNA of the 900 participants, and found a common mutation in the patients who ate both unprocessed and processed red meat. The association between the DNA damage observed in the colon and colorectal cancer was not found for any other lifestyle factor; only red meat consumption was connected to this specific type of mutation.

Red meat has known chemicals that can cause this specific type of DNA damage, known as alkylation. Heme, one compound in red meat, can be broken down by the body to produce such toxins. In addition, the nitrates found in processed meat also cause alkylation. Based on this information and the DNA sequencing of the cancer patients, the researchers concluded that they identified a direct mechanism through which red meat causes colon cancer […]’

Read more >> The New Smoking: Recent Findings on the Link Between Meat Consumption and Colon Cancer — Green Humanist
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Cormac McCarthy and his editor Albert Erskine communicating about the Epilogue of Blood Meridian

The Epilogue of Blood Meridian is as follows:

‘In the dawn there is a man progressing over the plain by means of holes which he is making in the ground. He uses an implement with two handles and he chucks it into the hole and he enkindles the stone in the hole with his steel hole by hole striking the fire out of the rocks which God has put there. On the plain behind him are the wanderers in search of bones and those who do not search and they move haltingly in the light like mechanisms whose movements are monitored with escapement and pallet so that they appear restrained by a prudence or reflectiveness which has no inner reality and they cross in their progress one by one that track of holes that runs to the rim of the visible ground and which seems less the pursuit of some continuance than the verification of a principle, a validation of sequence and causality as if each round and perfect hole owed its existence to the one before it there on that prairie upon which are the bones and the gatherers of bones and those who do not gather. He strikes fire in the hole and draws out his steel. Then they all move on again.’

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/cormacmccarthy/comments/4o7vig/blood_meridian_epilogue/

Here is Daniel King in 2013 on McCarthy & Erskine communicating about the Epilogue:

‘The most significant section of Blood Meridian added late in the process is the enigmatic epilogue featuring the figure moving across the plains using a mysterious “implement with two handles” to strike fire in holes he is making across the plains. McCarthy attached an early draft of this section to a letter he sent to Erskine in February 1983, describing it as “a notion I’d been toying with on and off for a year or SO. McCarthy goes on to write that he was “not unhappy with the way the book ends as it now stands” but that he “thought [he] would submit this to [Erskine] for [his] inspection and possibly […] opinion.?” McCarthy tells Erskine that ifhe did not like the new addition to “please say so,” or if Erskine had “no opinion one way or the other say that” and if the editor thought that “it wont hurt anything say that.” The draft of the epilogue that McCarthy sent to Erskine in 1983 was slightly different from that which appears in the published edition of Blood Meridian. A few additional details of the “tool” the man is using to make his holes are included in this early description, such as that it has “two blades” in addition to its two handles, bringing McCarthy’s description of this tool closer to a post-hole digger,” Otherwise, the epilogue McCarthy sent to Erskine is very similar to that published in Blood Meridian. That McCarthy was able to put in place such a striking additional section of the novel so late in the drafting process is testament to Erskine’s understanding and faith in his author. It is also significant that McCarthy seemed not only interested in seeking Erskine’s opinion on the piece, but also in getting his editor’s permission to include the epilogue. This note reveals the regard in which McCarthy still held his editor, despite his rising profile and experience as a writer.’

Source 1: https://www.cormacmccarthy.com/topic/the-end-of-blood-meridian/#post-7161
Source 2: Page 127 of https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/14309/1/594600.pdf
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Letter template to use to enquire whether a personal care product or cosmetics product you’ve purchased is free of toxic chemicals

If you would like to find out if the cosmetics you use regularly contain toxic chemicals, you can use this template when you contact the company that makes them:

I recently bought your beauty product –PRODUCT NAME–.

This webpage https://www.edc-free-europe.org/shareables/view/63 lists chemicals linked to breast cancer such as: Diethyl phthalate, Hydroquinone, Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane, Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), Formaldehyde, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Benzophenone, Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, Octinoxate, Triclosan, Triclocarban, Galaxolide (HHBC), Tonalide (AHTN), Musk ketone, and aluminium salts. Could you please confirm your product does not contain any of these chemicals?

The following PDF from Breast Cancer UK https://cdn.breastcanceruk.org.uk/uploads/2019/08/Full_brief_parabens_v2_nw.pdf says that parahydroxybenzoic acid may potentially interfere with the hormone system. Could you please confirm your product does not contain parahydroxybenzoic acid?

This PDF from wecf.org http://www.wecf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/PlasticsgenderandtheenvironmentHighRes-min.pdf says that BPA (Bisphenol A), and it’s substitutes Bisphenol S & Bisphenol F, can be found in many products. The PDF says BPA leeches from products and has been found in the ocean. Additionally in pregnant women BPA has been found to cross the placenta, where the foetus is exposed to it, and where BPA can contribute to breast and prostate cancer, endometriosis, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, fertility problems, birth defects, altered immune system function, and effects on brain development, behaviour and reproduction. The PDF also says that BPA substitutes equally affect neurodevelopment and should be avoided. Could you please confirm your product bottle does not contain BPA or Bisphenol S or Bisphenol F?

The same PDF from wecf.org http://www.wecf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/PlasticsgenderandtheenvironmentHighRes-min.pdf says that a group of chemicals called phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. The PDF says that DBP (Dibutyl phthalate) can be used as a solvent and personal care products, perfume’s, lotions and cosmetics. Could you please confirm your product does not contain DBP?

Page 32 of same PDF again from wecf.org http://www.wecf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/PlasticsgenderandtheenvironmentHighRes-min.pdf says that microplastics, also often referred to as microbeads, can be found in personal care products and cosmetics. The PDF says that ‘the fine particles can be transported through the gastrointestinal tract to the lymph and circulatory systems, through the placenta to unborn foetuses leading to a variety of biological responses negatively impacting on the health of human cells. When inhaled, studies have linked exposure to fine particulates with allergic reactions, such as asthma, cancer and heart disease’. Could you please confirm your product does not contain microplastics or microbeads?

The book “Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race” by Shanna H. Swan & Stacey Colino says that the following chemicals can be found in personal care or beauty products and that they are endocrine disrupting: Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Benzophenone-3. Could you please confirm your product does not contain any of these chemicals?

This webpage https://kemi.taenk.dk/bliv-groennere/test-body-lotions-may-contain-endocrine-disrupting-chemicals-and-allergenic-perfume says that the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals says that the chemicals BHT and cyclopentasiloxane are suspected endocrine disruptors. Could you please confirm your product does not contain either of these chemicals?

Lastly, this PDF from Breast Cancer UK https://cdn.breastcanceruk.org.uk/uploads/2020/08/Ingredients-in-cosmetics-we-recommend-you-avoid.pdf lists ingredients in cosmetics to avoid because of their endocrine disrupting effects and/or specific breast cancer links. Could you please confirm your product does not contain any of these chemicals?

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Hugh Trevor-Roper writing about Goebbels: ‘Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology.’

I was trying to find a quote today by Joseph Goebbels, only to find out it wasn’t by Goebbels. The quote below is actually by Hugh Trevor-Roper writing in the introduction to the book Final Entries, 1945 – The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels, which he edited and annotated:

“There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be “the man in the street.” Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology.”

– Hugh Trevor-Roper in his introduction to the book Final Entries, 1945 – The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels

I learnt all this thanks to the appropriately named website Goebbels Didn’t Say It. One of the people who maintains that website is Professor Randall Bytwerk, who says of the above quote: ‘It is a reasonable summary of Goebbels’s views— but he never would have put it in that way. As I’ve observed before, in public he always maintained that propaganda had to be truthful.’ (Source: https://truthisthegreatestenemyofthestate.blogspot.com/2019/09/another-fabricated-quotation.html)

It looks like getting hold of a copy of Final Entries, 1945 (New York, Putnam, 1978) wouldn’t be easy these days. But what’s fun is you can search the text (semi-reliably) on Google Books. And if you search for the word “intellectuals” here https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/_/O4keAAAAIAAJ?hl=en&kptab=overview&gbpv=1 you will find the quote by Trevor-Roper does indeed exist:

converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be “the man in the street.” Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology." - Hugh Trevor-Roper in his introduction to the book Final Entries, 1945 - The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels

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Letter template to use to enquire whether a clothing purchase will be free of toxic chemicals

Recently I went on holiday to the beach and we bought our toddler some new swimming shorts.

This is the email I sent to the company who were selling the shorts asking them whether the swimming shorts contained any toxic PFAS chemicals (PFAS standing for ‘per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances’). PFAS chemicals are often used in clothing to make the fabric waterproof and stain resistant, so swimming shorts and school uniforms for example.

Here is the template:

I am planning on purchasing –PRODUCT NAME– from your company.

I recently read on https://chemtrust.org/furniture/ that ‘Some clothes are treated with fluorinated chemicals called PFAS to make them waterproof or stain resistant.’

This webpage https://silentspring.org/project/everyday-exposures-pfas-chemicals says that ‘[S]ome types of PFAS have been linked to cancers, including breast cancer, immunotoxicity in children, thyroid disease, reproductive problems, and other health effects.’

The webpage https://www.pfasfree.org.uk/about-PFAS says ‘Two well known harmful forms of PFAS are PFOS and PFOA. ‘Studies have shown links between PFAS exposure and a wide range of human health concerns, from growth, learning, and behavioural problems, to cancer, immune system disorders, fertility issues and obesity.’

This page from the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/magazine/the-lawyer-who-became-duponts-worst-nightmare.html says ‘Last May [May 2015], 200 scientists from a variety of disciplines signed the Madrid Statement, which expresses concern about the production of all fluorochemicals, or PFASs, including those that have replaced PFOA. PFOA and its replacements are suspected to belong to a large class of artificial compounds called endocrine-disrupting chemicals; these compounds, which include chemicals used in the production of pesticides, plastics and gasoline, interfere with human reproduction and metabolism and cause cancer, thyroid problems and nervous-system disorders. In the last five years, however, a new wave of endocrinology research has found that even extremely low doses of such chemicals can create significant health problems.’

According to https://www.pfasfree.org.uk/about-PFAS the chemicals GenX and PFHxS are now being used as substitutes for PFAS’s but that ‘GenX, the original replacement for PFOA … is now considered a ‘substance of very high concern’, … PFHxS, which is now in consideration for a global ban under the Stockholm convention.’

I am concerned that I may be exposed to PFAS chemicals. Could you please confirm that –PRODUCT NAME– does not contain any PFAS such as PFOS or PFOA?, and that it also does not contain GenX or PFHxS?

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The Top 10 Intermediate Tips For Reducing Toxic Chemicals In Your Life

Heads up! This post is the top 10 intermediate tips for reducing toxic chemicals in your life. If you haven’t read the top 6 beginner’s tips, that may be a good place to start.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

This year I read the book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race by Shanna Swan and Stacey Colino. Prior to reading it, I was not aware of the pernicious & compounding effects toxic chemicals are having on everyone’s health. As I was reading the book, as well as the resources it recommends, I was keeping note of actions we can all take to avoid toxic chemicals in our lives. And that’s how this top 10 came about. I hope it helps! (I have already posted the six most very basic tips here: Top 6 Beginner’s Tips).

The Top 10 Intermediate Tips:

1. Hoover all carpets and rugs/floor coverings regularly using a machine with a HEPA filter

Household dust can absorb and become a repository for toxic chemicals. Dust in carpets and on floors is a health risk to babies & children from breathing the dust in and putting things in their mouths. Source: Count Down. Source 2. Source 3. Source 4.

2. Avoid as much as possible storing food in plastic containers

Toxic chemicals such as phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA), which can be found in plastics, can seep into your foods or drinks. Use glass, stainless steel, ceramic, or porcelain containers. Avoid containers which have the number 3 or V or PVC inside the recycling symbol as that means the containers contain phthalates. Avoid plastics which have the recycling code 7 as that means the material may contain Bisphenol A. Source: Count Down. Source 2.

3. Don’t use pots or pans that use a nonstick coating (e.g. Teflon)

Nonstick cookware is made with PFOAs or Teflon which contain endocrine disrupting chemicals which can seep into your food. Switch to cast-iron pots & pans or stainless steel. Source: Count Down. Source 2.

4. Avoid as much as possible handling till receipts

Till receipts/spot slips can contain the toxic chemicals Bisphenol A (BPA), Bisphenol S (BPS), or Bisphenol F (BPF). These bisphenols have hormone-disrupting properties. Ask for a digital receipt. Don’t mix paper receipts with fruit, vegetables or other fresh foods, such as bread, in your shopping bags. Don’t store receipts in your purse or wallet. Source: Count Down. Source 2. Source 3.

5. Don’t use synthetic pesticides, synthetic herbicides, or synthetic fertilisers

The most common pesticides found in lawn care are two herbicides, glyphosate and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D for short). Studies have found 2, 4-D to be a carcinogen (cancer-causing), linking it to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, childhood brain tumors and soft tissue sarcomas. Glyphosate, the most widely applied pesticide in the world, has also been found to be a carcinogen and is found in many lawn care products. These products are commonly known as RoundUp. Use organic fertiliser (home-made or store-bought). See this webpage for a list organic home-made fertilisers: https://www.becausehealth.org/organic-fertilizers-2650932508.html. Source: Count Down. Source 2. Source 3.

6. Don’t use air fresheners/toilet sprays

Whether you are using a plug-in product, a wick, or a spray air freshener, stop. All these contain phthalates and other potentially harmful chemicals. Source: Count Down. Source 2.

7. Choose as much as possible food that is certified 100% organic

If you’d like to choose organic, in the UK, look for the Soil Association and Organic Farmers and Growers logos on food labels; in the rest of Europe, look for the EU organic logo. If you are concerned about the cost of switching wholly to organic food, you could start by cutting out the most contaminated produce, such as meat, larger fish, and dairy products. The Pesticides Action Network has a super handy list on page 2 of this PDF of the fruit and vegetables you are most likely to find pesticide residues on: https://www.pan-uk.org/site/wp-content/uploads/Pesticides-in-our-food-multiple-residues-June-2019-1.pdf. Source: https://chemtrust.org/food-packaging/

(left to right) Soil Association logo, Organic Farmers and Growers logo, EU organic logo

8. Don’t use nail varnish or nail remover

Nail varnishes and nail removers are sources of toxic chemicals and they are best avoided. Source: Page 4 of https://nestbau.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Beware-Toxic-Chemicals-in-everyday-life.pdf.

9. Don’t purchase or use products with the ingredients ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’

The phrases ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ are often used to hide a cocktail of ingredients that may include dozens or more potentially harmful chemicals. BCPP testing on beauty, personal care, and cleaning products revealed that 1 out of every 4 fragrance ingredients detected in our tests were linked to cancer, birth defects, respiratory harm, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, or aquatic toxicity. Source 1. Source 2.

10. Use mobile apps or websites to identify whether products contain toxic chemicals

In the UK try the Giki Badges app: https://badges.giki.earth/. ChemSec’s SIN List search engine is also very good: https://sinlist.chemsec.org/.

Good luck!

If you’re interested, I have recently posted my Big Checklist For Avoiding Toxic Chemicals ➡

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Top 6 Beginner’s Tips For Reducing Toxic Chemicals In Your Life

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

You may have heard that some of the chemicals found in everything from our toothpaste to our clothes can be bad for us. And maybe you want to do something about it but you don’t know where to start?

I recently finished reading the book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race by Shanna Swan and Stacey Colino. From that book, and the resources the book recommends, I have put together the top 6 tips for beginners below.

Top 6 Beginner’s Tips:

1. Take your shoes off when you go inside

Helps reduce dirt & other pollutants being brought into your home. Source 1.

2. Avoid microwaving food in plastic containers. Move the food to a bowl or a plate first.

When toxic chemicals like phthalates and Bisphenol A are used in plastic containers, these chemicals are released when these containers are heated in the microwave. From the book Count Down by Shanna H. Swan and Stacey Colino (2020).

3. Open a door or a window several times a day to let fresh air into your home

This helps reduce air pollution in your home. Source 1. Source 2.

4. Don’t use scented candles inside your home

They pollute the air in your home and pose a threat to sperm count & your overall health. Source 1: Count Down. Source 2.

5. Wipe dust off the surfaces in your home with a damp cloth or mop

Household dust can absorb and become a repository for toxic chemicals. Wash your hands thoroughly after dusting and cleaning. Source 1: Count Down. Source 2.

6. Avoid plastic drink bottles

Use reusable glass or stainless steel bottles. The toxic chemical Bisphenol A is still used in many plastic bottles and can seep into our drinks. Many reusable plastic bottles leach harmful chemicals including phthalates and Bisphenol A. Source 1: Count Down. Source 2. Source 3. Source 4.

Good luck!

Want more tips for avoiding toxic chemicals? Check out my top 10 intermediate tips to reducing toxic chemicals in your life ➡

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The Big Checklist For Avoiding Toxic Chemicals

Photo by ThisIsEngineering on Pexels.com

This is a checklist you can use to hopefully significantly reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in your life.

(If this list looks too long, maybe try starting with the Top 6 Beginner’s Tips For Reducing Toxic Chemicals In Your Life).

So, why did I create this list?

This year I read the book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race by Shanna Swan and Stacey Colino.

(You can read the NY Times review here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/05/books/review/shanna-swan-count-down.html).

Before reading this book I knew nothing about the pernicious effect toxic chemicals are having on our lives. As I was reading it I started to highlight any of the tangible actions the authors mentioned I could take to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in my life. Then, after finishing the book, I did the same thing with some of the online resources the authors mention. This checklist is the output of all the actions I took note of. So it isn’t exhaustive, but I think it is a good place to start for reducing toxic chemicals in your life 👍

The Big Checklist:

Household
Only use cleaning products that have ingredients you can identify e.g. water, vinegar, baking soda, essential oils. Look for home-made cleaner recipes online. Do not use cleaning products that have phosphates, bleach, solvents, preservatives, disinfectants, and fragrances.
Don’t use or purchase carpets, indoor mats, or rugs that are treated with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Good alternatives to carpets include solid wood, tile, cork or natural linoleum flooring
If you do choose to have carpet, opt for natural materials
When selecting area rugs, choose wool or natural plant materials. Look for materials such as jute, seagrass or sisal, and natural rubber nonskid padding.
Don’t use adhesives to install carpets, use staples
Regardless of flooring, use doormats and don’t wear shoes indoors. Taking off your shoes will prevent tracking in dirt and pollutants.
Avoid stain or waterproofing treatments on your carpets
Vacuum all carpets and rugs thoroughly using a machine with a HEPA filter at least once a week
Don’t use shoe polishes and carpet cleaners containing trichloroethylene (TCE)
Wipe surfaces of dust using a wet cloth or mop
Don’t use plastic containers for food storage. Use glass, stainless steel, ceramic, or porcelain containers with tops or aluminium foil.
Never reheat food in plastic in the microwave. Transfer it to a plate or a bowl. Don’t use nonstick cookware. Switch to cast-iron pots & pans or stainless steel. Also consider ceramic, porcelain, anodized aluminium cookware, or glass bakeware.
Use glass or stainless steel for reusable drink bottles
Avoid black plastic cooking utensils
Don’t use a plastic reusable cup or a bamboo reusable cup. Choose a stainless steel, ceramic, porcelain or glass reusable cup.
Ventilate your home for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day to help eliminate air pollution from indoors
Don’t use anti-mold paints in the home
Don’t use vinyl shower curtains
 
Food & drink
Eat a home-cooked fresh food diet. Choose fresh ingredients such as loose fruit and loose vegetables. Buy from bulk stores where you can refill your own containers.
Buy organic seasonal locally-grown food
If you are unable to buy organic food 100% of the time, avoid eating non-organic products which contain the highest amounts of pesticide residues such as strawberries, grapes, pears, peaches, cherries, parsnips, asparagus, apricots, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and apples
Avoid packaged food or drink such as plastic bottles, food wrapped in plastic wrap, takeaways in fast food containers, food packaged in greaseproof lining, canned foods, packaging labelled with recycling codes 3 or 7
Reduce your consumption of canned food
Don’t eat fast food
Don’t eat microwave popcorn
Don’t drink out of cans
To avoid exposure to dioxins (a harmful chemical) eat a vegan diet. More than 90% of human exposure to dioxins is through food, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish.
If you do want to eat meat, avoid processed meat. Choose hormone-free beef and hormone-free dairy.
If you do want to eat fish, choose fish with the lowest toxic chemical content
Only drink water that has already been filtered for toxic chemicals & microplastics/nanoplastics. Consider installing a whole house water filtration system such as a Reverse Osmosis water filter (gets fitted under your sink).
 
Children
Buy children’s toys that are labelled phthalate-free, PVC-free, BPA-free, BPS-free, and BPF-free
Avoid children’s toys that smell strongly of chemicals or are heavily scented
Avoid soft plastic children’s toys, as these can contain endocrine disruptors like phthalates
Choose natural rubber children’s toys
If a children’s toy is painted or treated with varnish or other coatings, make sure it is non-toxic, free from lead, and meant for children
When furnishing the playroom, include natural materials whenever possible. Choose wooden tables and chairs, with cushions if desired, and baskets, rather than plastic bins, to hold children’s toys and art supplies
Unpack any new children’s toy and leave it outdoors to let some of the hazardous chemicals evaporating
Buy solid wooden children’s toys with as few glued parts as possible
Buy unvarnished and painted children’s toys wherever possible or watch out for non-toxic and natural finishes
Don’t buy school uniforms that have PFAS-based stain resistance (check the labels before you buy)
Don’t use face paint with toxic ingredients on children
Buy nappies that are chemical free. Opt for organic cotton, fragrance-free, and reusable nappies
 
Personal care & beauty
Don’t use personal care or beauty products that contain toxic chemicals. Buy certified 100% organic products packaged in glass or ceramic jars that are labelled paraben free, fragrance free, and perfume free.
Use PFAS-free dental floss
When buying abroad or online, be aware the same product can contain harmful chemicals depending on where you buy it
If you live outside the EU, choose products that are sold in the EU. The EU has the strictest chemical regulations in the world, and so these cosmetics may have fewer harmful chemicals in them.
Don’t use nail varnish and nail remover
Don’t purchase or use products with the ingredients ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’
Don’t use scented candles or antibacterial soap
Do not use products (e.g. soap or toothpaste) that contain Triclosan
Don’t use air fresheners/toilet spray
Use period products that are plastic-free, unscented, and labelled “totally chlorine free (TCF)”
Where possible use reusable period products such as silicon cups, reusable pads, reusable tampon applicators, and period pants/period underwear
Don’t wear face masks and other personal protective equipment containing nanographene and other nanoparticles
Buy non-toxic sunscreen and non-toxic baby sunscreen
Check suspect ingredients in hair sprays, nail polishes, hair dyes, shampoos, body wash products, body creams, moisturisers, make-ups, soaps, lipsticks, deodorants, antiperspirants, cleaning products, and fragrances against the SIN List (https://sinlist.chemsec.org/).
 
Products
Purchase items & products that are free of PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) and other harmful plastics
Buy products free of free of flame-retardant chemicals and toxic adhesives (such as those containing formaldehyde)
Choose natural-wood tables and cabinets that are made without synthetic wood or particleboard or MDF
Buy organic-cotton mattress pads, not ones with the plastic barriers that will release their own chemicals into the air
Consider latex mattress/pillows or other natural/organic options free of foam and fire retardant chemicals
Don’t buy clothes that are treated with fluorinated chemicals called PFAS to make them waterproof or stain resistant
 
Outside
Don’t use synthetic pesticides, synthetic herbicides, or synthetic fertilisers
Use organic fertiliser (home-made or store-bought)
 
Other
Avoid handling till receipts as much as possible
Don’t put till receipts in the recycling bin – because they can contaminate the entire recycling stream
As a rule it’s best to avoid products labelled as having anti-microbial properties
Use mobile apps to identify toxic chemicals: In Germany, France and the UK, you can use apps to identify cosmetics containing chemicals that you should avoid. In Germany, use Tox Fox, in France use Clean Beauty, and in the UK try the Giki Badges app (https://badges.giki.earth/).

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