We all know how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle. For example, making healthy food choices, keeping active, getting adequate rest, reducing stress, and avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and drugs reduces your risk of illness. Taking precautions to avoid harmful environmental substances before and during pregnancy can also limit potential risks to the fetus.
Exposure to chemicals can happen when you are eating, drinking, breathing and/or touching. This can affect your respiratory, nervous and endocrine systems.
The chemicals in cleaning products such as detergents, polishes, degreaser and disinfectants can interfere with the body’s normal function. They have been linked to decreased fertility (for all individuals – regardless of gender), abnormal sexual and neurological fetal development.
Higher exposure equals an increased impact to your reproductive health and fertility.
7 tips to lower your risk:
- Check labels and avoid cleaning products that have corrosive, poisonous, flammable or irritant labeling. Short term or single uses are unsafe.
- Choose unscented detergents for cleaning clothes and dishes.
- Read labels and choose alternative safer products labelled non-toxic or safe. Contact the manufacturer if you have questions.
- Use cream based cleaners versus aerosol sprays or powders.
- Try making your own household cleaners. Mixing vinegar and water creates a natural, all purpose cleaner.
- Use baking soda and water to make a paste that can be used as a scrub and abrasive.
- When necessary, use the smallest amount of commercial cleaner, wear gloves and ventilate the room.
If you are unsure about the use of a product and its safety, don’t use it. Be cautious and aware of day to day activities that may affect you or your unborn baby. After all, you and baby want to be safe…and have a clean home too!
Chat with our Public Health Nurse for more info on how to limit your exposure to harmful chemicals.