There are hundreds of articles out there covering the topic of chemical exposure and toxins. Often these articles focus on babies and young children, because for many of us that is the first time we are so closely responsible for another living being that we start to look closely at our habits. The information can be daunting, overwhelming and just plain confusing.
How far is to far, but how far is "enough?"
This is the question posed in The New York Times article Going to Extreme Lengths to Purge Household Toxins. The article is worth a read, and there are several helpful links. However, if you do not have time to read the article then bookmark this page: TOXNET Toxicology Data Network, administered by the US Library of Medicine. You can enter the name of any product or chemical and find lots of helpful information and read case studies if you are the type, like me, that enjoys a good scientific read.
My mantra was simple.
There is so much that I do not know my kids are exposed to, when I do know about something I need to do something.
I need to do something to the best of my ability [and budget*] to minimize their exposure. I might be a bit more radical than most, for those of you that read about My Path to IPM. But I also believe in being the change that I want to see, and modeling change for others.
I have two kids, they are now teens, finishing high school and ready to move on to college and out into the world. Controlling what they are exposed to is not so easy anymore. I urge you to explain your choices to your child as they grow up. Share what you learn as they begin to understand the world around them. It was tough being voted "the strictest mom ever" when my now 18 year old was in 5th grade. But they will begin to understand, in fact, at some point they will come back and tell you something that you taught them, like it was the very first time they were ever exposed to the idea. Let them. Give them the power to teach you too.
* if you have questions about budgeting green or making your own cleaners please email me or leave a comment below. I am fully aware that "Green" is often marketed with a price tag.