Create a Chemical Safety Plan

Create a Chemical Safety Plan

We can give you advice on how to protect your family from hormone disrupting chemicals based on your personal concerns and the makeup of your family.

To give you your personalized recommendations, we need to ask you these quick questions.

Your Action Plan

We've created your action plan below, tailored to your concerns and how much time you can put into avoiding

BPA Big Picture:
You're exposed to BPA through Contaminated Food & Water

90% of our exposure to BPA comes from contaminated food or water.

There are two types of containers that expose us to BPA:

  1. Plastic containers, especially hard & clear plastic containers.
  2. Tin cans, like canned food, soda cans, and beer. Avoiding this can be hard, but we can give you some solid strategies.

How to Avoid BPA in Plastic

Hard and clear plastic container
  • The single most important thing: don't microwave plastic. Heating plastic is a huge source of exposure. Plastic is made by heating up petrochemicals and then cooling them back down. So when we heat plastic up again, it breaks down and releases the chemicals it's made of, like BPA.
  • Toss out old and scratched plastic containers, replace with glass. Even if you're not eager to replace your tubberware, once it gets old and scratched it has to go. It's best to get glass containers without plastic lids, which can be hard to find. However, we found a set that we recommend:

    Glass & bamboo container

    100% Clean Glass Container

    $14.99

  • Don't drink out of plastic. Instead, drink out of stainless steel, glass, or ceramic. Companies use BPA to make hard & clear plastic that looks a bit like glass, which means it's in a lot of water bottles. It doesn't do anything a safe alternative can't do better though. It can be especially hard to find safe, non-plastic drinkware for kids. If you'd like some bottles that are safe for children we've found some for you.

    We recommend these BPA free bottles

    If you're pregnant and you'd like to get this plastic free baby bottle (and other safe baby products) for much less money, we can help. We offer a huge discounts for pregnant women - so big we don't even make money when you use it. We do that because we've read the science and it's repeatedly said that the unborn are the most vulnerable. We want to do everything we can to keep your baby safe, and we're willing to back that up with our own money.

  • Don't let your little ones bathe with plastic toys. Plastic often contains BPA. If you put plastic into warm water it will release BPA (and other nasty things) into your kiddo's bath water. Then it'll get absorbed into their skin. To stay safe, use rubber or wood toys in the bath. If you're interested in rubber bath toys, we recommend these:

    Rubber bath toy - whale

    Pure Bath Toys

    $9.99

  • Give your little ones stainless steel forks and spoons instead of plastic. You can also just let them eat with their hands. Unlike some of the other suggestions, the safe alternative is usually pretty easy to find. However, if you do need some safe forks and spoons for your little ones we can offer you a high quality set.

    Toddler silverware set Toddler silverware set

    Plastic Free Toddler Silverware Set

    $9.99

  • Put plastic in the top rack of the dishwasher. Plastic starts leaking when it breaks down, and heat makes it break down. The dishwasher exposes plastic to a lot of heat. You can improve the lifespan of plastic by always putting them in the top rack. It's also a good idea to rinse plastic instead of doing a full wash when you can.
  • Don't put plastic containers in the dishwasher, hand wash them instead. Plastic starts leaking when it breaks down, and heat makes it break down. The dishwasher exposes plastic to a lot of heat, so it's better to handwash any plastic. Better yet, consider just not using it and getting a clean, glass replacement.

How to Avoid BPA in Cans

BPA and it's equally toxic substitutes are often added as lining to tin cans.

Canned food
  • Buy safe alternatives to canned food. When you can, try to buy dried food, bulk, fresh, food in glass jars, and frozen. Frozen food is very healthy even though it's usually stored in plastic. Plastic releases nasty chemicals when heated, but that means frozen food is much less likely to get contaminated. Plus, frozen fruits and veggies are often more nutritious, because they're frozen at peak ripeness.
  • Avoid beer cans. This one is pretty simple. Get glass instead.
  • Drink less soda. Soda is a huge cause of weight gain. Soda contains a lot of sugar, a lot of calories, and a lot of BPA. We encourage you to set a simple goal at first: one less a week. Then two. Then three. Think about times when you drink soda and then think how you can substitute a healthy alternative that you also enjoy instead. Keep going until you're drinking the amount that's right for you.
  • Get "BPA free", but do it carefully. Dishonest companies sometimes just substitute BPA with things like BPF or BPS, which are just as bad for you. Maybe worse. Choose "BPA free" from brands you trust, like Annies, to enjoy canned food while avoiding BPA

Special note: BPA is also in receipts. This isn't a huge source of exposure, but watch out if your job asks you to handle a lot of receipts and don't let your kids play with receipts.

Phthalates Big Picture:
Avoid Soft Plastics & Artificial Fragrances

Phthalates are an "everywhere chemical", which means they are in a ton of different things. However, the biggest sources of exposure to phthalates is either plastic or artificial fragrances.

How to Avoid Phthalates in Plastic

Plastic cling wrap on food

Companies use phthalates to make soft and bendy plastic, which unfortunately means they're in a lot of things that come into contact with your food.

  • The single most important thing: don't microwave plastic. This is the same as the BPA list. Microwaving plastic is terrible. It covers your food with petrochemicals like phthalates and microplastics. Remember: there's no such thing as "microwave safe" plastic.
  • Microwave your food in glass or ceramic. If you already have glass containers or ceramic plates, those are both 100% safe.
  • Buy a glass microwave cover. It's hard finding one of these. There aren't many out there. However, we did find an excellent glass microwave cover with a safe silicone trim that'll let you keep your food nice and clean in the microwave.

    Microwave Cover

    BPA & Phthalate Free Microwave Cover

    $39.99

  • Buy glass containers to replace plastic. Glass is 100% safe, it has nothing weird in it that can hurt your family. If you have a lot of plastic containers and you don't want to replace them all, prioritize replacing old & scratched plastic containers. Newer plastic containers don't leak as much. It's best to buy a glass container without a plastic lid. They can be hard to find, but we found a set of sturdy containers with safe, bamboo lids.

    Glass & bamboo container

    100% Clean Glass Container

    $14.99

  • Limit takeout and fast food. People who eat a lot takeout or fast food also have a lot more phthalates in their blood. This is because the food is often stored in plastic and prepared by people wearing plastic gloves.

    Takeout box - warning

    We know that doing this might be a pain. Takeout can be convenient. But think about this: staying away from testosterone lowering phthaltes is not the only benefit of avoiding takeout. Home cooked meals are less fattening and more nutritious, and they save you money. If you set a goal to eat takeout just one less time per week you'll easily save enough money to pay for the rest of the suggestions on this list.

  • Replace plastic plates and bowls. You don't want your kiddos to eat off of plastic. However, it's hard to avoid plastic because they toss their plates. The solution is to use silicone or glass that's enclosed in a protective cover.
  • Give your little ones natural pacifiers. You don't want your little ones to suck on plastic. Babies have far more microplastics in their bodies than adults, and plastic pacifiers are probably a big culprit. Unfortunately, nearly all pacifiers are plastic. However, there are a few made out of natural and safe rubber. If you'd like to try one, we've found them for you.

    Natural Pacifier

    Natural Pacifiers

    $8.29

    If you're pregnant and you'd like to get this pacifier (and other safe baby products) for much less money, we can help. We offer a huge discounts for pregnant women - so big we don't even make money when you use it. We do that because we've read the science and it's repeatedly said that the unborn are the most vulnerable. We want to do everything we can to keep your baby safe, and we're willing to back that up with our own money.

  • Buy natural alternatives to kitchen plastic. To really get plastic out of your food and away from your family, you'll want to avoid plastic food storage like ziploc bags & saran wrap, along with plastic sponges. Admittedly, this step isn't as important as some of the others on this list, but it's a very important thing to do for the environment. So if you want to keep your family and the earth safe, we recommend these non-plastic alternatives.
  • Don't let your little ones play with plastic toys in the bath. Plastic often contains phthalates. If you put plastic toys into warm water they will release phthalates (and other nasty things) into your kiddo's bath. Then it'll get absorbed into their skin. Instead, use rubber or wood toys in the bath. If you're interested in safe, rubber bath toys, we've found some great ones for you.

    Rubber bath toy - whale

    Pure Bath Toys

    $9.99

How to Avoid Phthalates in Artificial Fragrances

woman holding her nose

Companies put phthalates in artificial fragrances to make them last longer. They don't have to say their products contain phthalates on the bottle. They can hide phthalates in a catch all ingredient called "fragrance".

Most mass-produced toiletries are going to have an artificial fragrance, which will probably contain phthalates. When in doubt, toss it out.

  • The single most important thing: get products that are unscented or have natural fragrances. Products labeled "phthalate free" typically are safe. Products with "essential oils" or "botanical extracts" are also probably safe - those are both just fancy terms for a scent that comes from flowers. Best of all is any product that is phthalate free and lists all of the ingredients on the bottle, without trying to hide them in "fragrance". You can be confident those are safe.
  • Be especially careful about products that are supposed to be absorbed through skin like anti-perspirant or facial cream. They bypass your stomach and go straight into your bloodstream. That's a big problem when you're absorbing something toxic.
  • Be sure to check any bathroom product that your young boy uses. Phthalates are anti-androgenic, making them toxic to males. They're particularly damaging during key stages of development like the womb, early childhood, and puberty. You're going to want to make sure that any bathroom products your boy uses are phthalate free.
  • Don't use air fresheners. They release a toxic bomb of nastiness. Air fresheners that use "essential oils" or "herbal" scents might be ok, but even then we don't recommend them. Instead, we recommend air purifiers. They get rid of stinks and air pollution.

How to avoid phthalates: extra credit

  • The single most important thing: watch out for PVC and vinyl in the home. This can be a big source of exposure if it's in your flooring or your walls.
  • Get kid's toys made from natural materials instead of plastic. Wood is great, metal is generally safe as well. This is important when they're one or two and they're sticking everything in their mouth. It becomes less important afterwards.
  • Don't let your kids drink straight from a hose. Garden hoses are usually made from PVC, which contains phthalates. Not a big deal unless your kid drinks from them.

PFAS Big Picture:
Watch out for waterproof, stain resistant, and grease resistant.

PFAS is useful for creating anything non-stick, which means it's in non-stick pans, stain-proof furniture, and grease resistant takeout boxes or food wrappers.

  • The single most important thing: Eat less takeout & fast food. PFAS is often added to boxes or wrappers to make them grease resistant. Hamburger wrappers and pizza boxes are two of the most common places for PFAS, but they can even be added to innocent looking cardboard. Avoiding takeout and fast food is also a great way to limit how much phthalates you're exposed to. Plus, it saves you a lot of money. It might be hard to avoid completely, but if you can manage to do it just a little bit less it can make a difference in how clean your diet is and how much money you save.
  • Toss out scratched non-stick pots and pans. We know this one might hurt. Replacing non-stick pans can be expensive. But once the non-stick seal breaks the pan starts shedding PFAS into your food every time you use it to cook. scratched non-stick We recommend replacing it with carbon steel, cast iron, or ceramic pans. If you really like non-stick pans we recommend having some steel and some non-stick, so you can use non-stick when you really need it for things like eggs. But you can also skip non-stick when you're cooking something that doesn't tend to stick to the pan, like ground beef. If you do this, your non-stick pans will also last longer.
  • Watch out for waterproof cosmetics. Waterproof might be convenient, but anything waterproof usually has PFAS. You don't want your mascara to give you cancer.
  • Don't eat out of popcorn bags. They're typically lined with PFAS. Pop your own popcorn from kernels.
  • Look up your zipcode to check your water. PFAS is a 'forever chemical', which means it can pollute air, soil, and water. Some places in the US do have polluted water. You can check on the health of your tap water by visiting this website and entering your zip code.
    Map of sites in the US polluted by PFAS
    A map of places polluted by PFAS. You'll want to look up your zip code if you live near one of the dots, especially one of the blue dots.

PBDE Big Picture:
Fight dust to get rid of PBDEs

Original photo by Mika Baumeister

It's hard to avoid PBDEs entirely. You probably bought some furniture with them in it before you heard about PBDEs. That's OK, the solution is simple: get rid of dust. When you do, you'll also get rid of PBDEs.

  • The single most important thing: regularly vacuum with a HEPA filter. PBDEs shed from furniture and electronics and then get into our body through dust. Scientists recommend vacuuming with a HEPA once a week to stay safe. We know that might be a lot to ask of people with kids. However, if you have the money we recommend hiring cleaners to come do it for you. It'll protect your family from PBDEs and other nasty things from dust and science says it's one of the best things you can do to buy happiness.
  • Wash your kiddos hands before they eat. We're parents at Purely Family, so we know this can be pretty hard to do. We forget to do it sometimes. Still, young kids come into contact with the dusty floor and frequently eat with their hands. That makes it important to wash their hands before they eat.
  • Get air purifiers. If you don't have the time to vacuum regularly, an air purifier is a nice back up plan that gets dust out of the air without needing any of your time. Plus, they also protect you from smog, wildfire smoke, and other air pollutants.
    We don't sell air purifiers, but there are some that we use and recommend.
    • The Winix 5500-2 - our personal favorite. It can't cover a huge area but it's whisper quiet, has a HEPA, and it's very good at battling bad smells.
    • LEVOIT Core 300 - a small and relatively inexpensive air purifier. Good for a kid's room.
    • Coway Airmega 400(G) - this one is a solid option if you want to cover a very large space. Unfortunately, it's not cheap.
  • Buy furniture and carpeting made out of natural alternatives. Natural hardwoods, cottons, and wools are what you're looking for.
  • When you're ready to buy new furniture or carpet, look for "low VOC" labels. "VOC" stands for volatile organic compounds, which are things like PBDEs.
  • Avoid products with flame retardants. We know that avoiding flame retardants might make you hesitate, since fire is dangerous too. But the thing is, PBDEs are actually pretty bad flame retardants. They don't do much to slow down fires. So you're not really giving up anything by avoiding PBDEs.

Pesticides Big Picture:
Buy Organic - Especially for the "Dirty Dozen"

Some produce is much more polluted than others. In fact, they might be so dirty you can't wash them off completely.

Dirty strawberries

The Environmental Working Group regularly tests fruits and vegetables to measure their contamination. This is the list of most polluted produce, in order. For anything on this list, we recommend buying organic, either frozen or fresh.

  • The Dirty Dozen:

    • Strawberries
    • Spinach
    • Kale, Collard, & Mustard Greens
    • Nectarines
    • Apples
    • Grapes
    • Cherries
    • Peaches
    • Pears
    • Bell & Hot Peppers
    • Celery
    • Tomatoes
  • How to wash your fruits and vegetables to get rid of pesticides: the quick rinse under tap water is better than nothing. However, if you really want to get pesticides off your produce it's best to soak them in baking soda, salt, or vinegar - whichever does the least to mess with the taste. If you can't do that, then just rinse them in tap water for 20 seconds and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Don't use industrial pesticides on your garden, like Roundup. Think about it this way: would you have weeds or cancer? Use pesticides that rely on ingredients that have been around forever.

Stay Strong, It's Worth It

It can be frustrating trying to live cleanly because there's so much mass produced plastic and dirty products. It takes determination to avoid them.

It's 100% worth it though. Exposure to these chemicals lowers lifespans, causes infertility, and leads to weight gain. It's important to stay away from them so you can have a happy and healthy life. It's incredibly important for pregnant women to stay away from these chemicals. These chemicals pose the greatest danger during a sensitive time in a child's development. There is no more sensitive developmental period than when a child is in the womb. We've read the research on this subject and it repeatedly hammered that home. In fact, the science made such an impression on us that we offer a huge discount for pregnant women - so big that we don't even make money from an order when someone uses it. Why? Because we believe in what we do, and we strongly believe that we have to protect pregnant women and their babies. We're willing to put our money where our mouth is.With the pregnancy discount, you can keep yourself and your home clean at very affordable prices. The damage from these chemicals have been linked to a huge number of health problems in kids. Worst of all, they can be inherited by future generations. You'll be very glad that you took the time to avoid these chemicals today, because you're building a healthy future for your children and your grandchildren.

Stay strong, stay committed. You'll be so happy you did one day.

Until then, we wish you all the health and happiness the world can bring.

The author ("Brian Case") and his little boy Teddy

Brian Case, the owner of Purely Family, and his little boy Teddy, the inspiration for Purely Family.

 

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