Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ten Simple Steps to Reduce Body Burden: Step Five

I'm getting back to the subject of reducing Body Burden today. Remember, Body Burden is the total amount of chemicals and pollutants present in our body at any given time. Our goal here is to try to reduce the toxins we have control over... without becoming obsessive about all the ones we don't. We need to think about our children's futures. They will come into contact with all sorts of toxins. But we can reduce the cumulative effect of these toxins by making smart choices now. If you haven't yet, I recommend taking the Body Burden Quiz and reading the first four steps in reducing Body Burden.

Here's step Five:

Pay attention (without freaking out) to the toys you buy for your kids. Avoid lead paint and soft plastics that contain phthalates.

Didn't this one fall in a timely manner? Read here about one way to look at the CPSIA. I totally agree that children need to be protected from the proliferation of toxins in their toys, clothing, high chairs, and so on. But, I do see some faults in the proposed government regulation.

That being said, what should we parents be doing? Well, my favorite idea is to reduce the amount of toys the children have... plastic or otherwise : ) I see my children greatly benefit from an afternoon outside, totally free from toys of any kind. Given enough practice, children will come up will all sorts of pretend games. And, they'll even find the props they need to enliven their games. Creativity takes practice, but it breeds bright, content children as well. And, then there are books! My favorite job as a parent is reading aloud from exciting and stimulating children's literature.

A second idea is to search for locally-made or hand-made toys. The internet is replete with small eco-friendly toy businesses. Or, you could shop your local craft fairs.

In looking for toys, check to see what is made in the USA. We really enjoy Melissa and Doug products. (See our faves in my Amazon Store.) They make everything from Tool Sets to Puzzles, Dollhouses to Jewelry Kits. Really, you could keep your children entertained for their entire childhood just with M&D toys! Even when Thomas the Train was recalled for lead paint, M&D had a safe option. Read their Toy Safety Statement.

What's so bad about phthalates? Read about it on EWG's enviroblog.


Martha said...

Wow fascinating blog, I will definitely add you to my reading list!! Psst, you followed me on Twitter and I just had to pay you a visit :) (my username is MerelyMom).

I have a personal blog at but I recently made an accountability blog at regarding weight loss and health issues. It's brand new and it would be great if you could put your two cents in :) keep up the good work and you'll be hearing from me soon!

momishome2 said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! Your choice of calendars sounds beautiful! I will definitely be revisiting your blog - I love the whole concept of being healthier. I'm trying (well, off and on) to move in that direction.