For many, becoming pregnant is akin to learning a new language. Suddenly you're dropped in a whole new world of impossible to pronounce toxins that can harm your health or give your baby 12 fingers.
According to environmental experts, the average household contains 62 toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer, asthma and hormone disruption.
So with spring here, it's the perfect time to clean out your expired skincare and -- even better -- toss those toxic cleaners in your home!
Decoding ingredient labels can be confusing; however, here's a handy cheat sheet to help spot toxins and chemicals to avoid while pregnant (& beyond).
Phthalates:Phtalates aren't required to be listed on ingredient labels, so if your product has fragrance, there's a good chance this toxin is in it. This includes everything from air fresheners, soap, toilet paper and even nail polish. Pthalates can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system, and are endocrine disruptors that can reduce sperm count in men.
Healthy alternative: Shop fragrance-free products! If you find you miss the yummy smells, opt for products with essential oils.
Triclosan:By now, we've all heard how antibacterial products may actually promote the growth of "super" bacteria that's resistant to drugs. So if your soap or detergents say "antibacterial" on it, triclosan is probably in it. Aside from encouraging super bugs to form, triclosan may be a carcinogen as well. Our conclusion? TOSS IT!
Healthy alternative: Shop non-toxic brands or use detergents with simple, short ingredient lists. Better yet, make your own home made cleaners so you know exactly what's in it.
Ammonia:This popular ingredient gives your windows and kitchen surfaces that satisfying, streak-free clean. But ammonia is a strong irritant that can exasperates asthma and lung issues, and may lead to chronic bronchitis after long-term exposure.
Healthy alternative: Add a shot of vodka to your favorite DIY cleaning recipe for the same, squeaky clean finish!
2-Butoxyethanl:This one isn't required to be listed on labels, so it's a bit tricky to find. However, 2-butoxyethanol is found in most brand name and generic window and multipurpose cleaners. Inhaling too much of this sweet-smelling ingredient may lead to sore throats, pulmonary edema, and liver and kidney damage.
Healthy alternative: A diluted white vinegar spray and microfiber cloth will do wonders for your windows and surfaces. Plus, it's super cheap! Win-win.
Perchloroethylene (aka "Perc" or Tetrachloroethylene):A neurotoxin and possible human carcinogen, Perc is found in laundry stain removers, and carpet and upholstery cleaners.
Healthy alternative: Choose non-toxic laundry spot cleaners like Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Stain Remover or DIY solutions that use simple ingredients like white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.