Crunchy & Curious

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The unfortunate truth is that all people are exposed to environmental chemicals - there is no corner of the planet where...
05/01/2024

The unfortunate truth is that all people are exposed to environmental chemicals - there is no corner of the planet where people are unexposed.

And, not everyone has equal exposure.

Some people are more exposed because of the jobs they have - factory workers, auto mechanics, airline crew, agricultural workers, etc.

Other people are more exposed because of where they live - typically low-income neighborhoods that have polluting industries, or waste processing plants, as well as rural areas abutting agricultural farms.

Two of the main factors that determine the degree of exposure are race and socioeconomic status.

Research from Harvard found that Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Latino populations have higher exposure to harmful PM2.5 air pollution.

We also know that women of color have higher levels of exposure to beauty product-related toxins, regardless of socioeconomic status. For example, the cancer-causing effect of hair-relaxing treatments, which often contain formaldehyde, disproportionately affects Black women.

The topic of environmental health isn’t just about swapping our cookware, or skincare - it’s also about social justice issues, racism, poverty, politics, and policy!



References:
PMID: 35022594
PMID: 28822238
PMID: 36245087

For decades the prevailing thought about overweight and obesity was that it was due to too much food, and not enough exe...
04/30/2024

For decades the prevailing thought about overweight and obesity was that it was due to too much food, and not enough exercise - the old calories in/calories out model.

But we now know that obesity is far more complicated than that!

In fact, there’s more and more research suggesting that exposure to certain environmental chemicals may be part of the rising rates of obesity across the world.

There’s an entire class of chemicals referred to as “obesogens” - these are substances that may promote obesity by disrupting the body's normal regulation of fat metabolism, appetite, or energy balance.

Unfortunately, many obesogenic chemicals are ones that we are exposed to every day! While we can’t avoid exposure to all obesogenic chemicals, we can work to minimize them.

Swipe through to learn about the environmental chemicals that are linked to obesity and what you can do to lower your exposure.

We are all exposed to chemicals in our environment every day. But not all populations are equally vulnerable! The most v...
04/29/2024

We are all exposed to chemicals in our environment every day. But not all populations are equally vulnerable!

The most vulnerable population is babies in the womb 👶

We used to think that the placenta protected the baby from outside exposure - like a safe bubble, but that’s not actually the case.

A handful of studies have shown that many environmental chemicals - things like heavy metals, pesticides, PFAS, and microplastics pass through the placenta into the developing baby.

One study found 8 out of 59 chemicals tested in more than 90% of both material and cord blood samples. Another study found that over 90% of maternal cord blood samples had levels of certain PFAS chemicals.

While not all environmental exposures are avoidable, individuals who are pregnant, or planning on conceiving should ideally work towards lowering as many exposures as possible. Some of the best ways to do this include:

✅ Prioritizing organic food consumption
✅ Using safer personal-care products, free of endocrine-disruptors
✅ Switching to safer household cleaners & laundry products (fragrance-free to start)
✅ Using safer cookware
❌ Minimizing plastics that have direct food contact
❌ Limiting highly processed, packaged foods
❌ Ditching the scented candles, air fresheners, plugins, etc.
❌ Minimize consumption of large fish species like tuna, swordfish, and mackerel

There’s definitely a balance between doing what we can, and not panicking or becoming anxious about these things, but the good news is that safer products are far more available and accessible now than ever before!

What questions do you have about this?

References:
PMCID: PMC6681912
PMID: 27142700


Let’s talk menopause!Menopause is a normal phase of life, but one that can be rife with challenging to navigate symptoms...
04/29/2024

Let’s talk menopause!

Menopause is a normal phase of life, but one that can be rife with challenging to navigate symptoms like:

🔴 hot flashes
🔴 mood swings
🔴 night sweats
🔴 vaginal dryness
🔴 difficulty sleeping
🔴 changes in s*x drive
🔴 trouble concentrating
🔴 hair loss and more

Menopause typically kicks in somewhere between 45-55, but about 1% of women experience premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) or premature ovarian failure, also known as early and premature menopause.

This is characterized by ovarian failure before age 40.

Several lifestyle factors may contribute to early-onset menopause, including genetics, lifestyle factors like smoking, and, as it turns out, exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals!

Chemicals linked to early menopause include:

❌ PFAS
❌ PCBs & Dioxins
❌ Certain pesticides
❌ Phthalates
❌ BPA

Research into this category of exposures suggests that they can accelerate reproductive aging thereby shortening reproductive lifespan (meaning: they are also linked to infertility). Early onset menopause often means that those unwanted symptoms start earlier and last longer. No, thank you.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, early menopause is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, osteoporosis, and early death!

The goal isn’t to stop this transition - it’s totally natural, but we ease the transition by minimizing symptoms. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats, getting regular exercise, managing stress, and getting optimal sleep are the basic interventions.

Working to minimize exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals is another big part that’s often overlooked. If you’re looking for support in this area - I got you! Shoot me a DM, or reach out via my website, and let’s chat!

References:
PMID: 35103957
PMID: 36864843

According to Cancer.org, in the US, there are over 310,000 newly diagnosed cases of invasive breast cancer in women each...
04/27/2024

According to Cancer.org, in the US, there are over 310,000 newly diagnosed cases of invasive breast cancer in women each year.

It’s also the 2nd leading cause of cancer death among women and in recent years, the incidence (this means new cases) of breast cancer has been creeping up by 0.6% annually.

Much of the emphasis on breast cancer is on treatments, which are obviously needed, and absolutely save lives! AND there needs to be more focus on *prevention*.

Did you know that only a small percentage of breast cancers can be attributed to genetics - around 5-10%?

Some percentage of cancer diagnosis really is just down to chance, but the rest are considered "environmental" - things like diet, alcohol consumption, to***co use, obesity, and… exposure to toxic chemicals.

Recent research has identified over 900 chemicals as potential breast cancer carcinogens. Among these are familiar foes like parabens, phthalates, and PFAS, which are pervasive in our environment and daily lives.

Here are some key ways you can lower your exposure to some of these chemicals:

1️⃣ Prioritize organic foods which will lower pesticide exposure
2️⃣ Avoid fragranced items (laundry products, home fragrances, personal care products, etc)
3️⃣ Look for and use personal care products without parabens
4️⃣ Avoid non-stick coated and stain-resistant products which likely contain PFAS
5️⃣ Regularly wet dust & vacuum your home to remove lingering chemicals

Focusing on lowering our exposure to chemicals linked to cancer is a preventative step that we can all integrate into our daily lives!

Which of these are you already doing?
Which of these do you want to tackle next?

references:
PMID: 18626751
PMID: 38197648

Let’s talk about a little-known aspect of gut health! You likely already know that gut health is an enormously important...
04/26/2024

Let’s talk about a little-known aspect of gut health!

You likely already know that gut health is an enormously important part of our overall health and that a healthy gut microbiome is likely to be protective against a whole host of health issues.

In fact, poor gut health has been linked to:

🦠 poor immune health⁠
🦠 autoimmune diseases⁠
🦠 skin issues⁠
🦠 hormone-related disorders⁠
🦠 GI disorders⁠
🦠 cardiovascular disease⁠
🦠 cancer⁠
🦠 and even mental health issues⁠

Here’s an interesting twist: a healthy gut microbiome might also be an ally against environmental toxins! Emerging research is starting to show that a healthy gut microbiome may temper some of the potentially toxic effects of chemicals we’re exposed to.

For example, a specific Lactobacillus probiotic strain in mice was shown to block lead absorption reducing its levels in the body. Other studies, like those involving Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, suggest that probiotics might help protect against toxins like BPA from our diet.

The hard truth is that we are all exposed to many environmental chemicals, including ones directly linked to serious health issues. Our first step will always be to minimize exposures, but since we can’t avoid them all, optimizing gut health is one way we can become more resilient to them.

Simple ways to optimize your gut health:
✅ Eat a diverse array of foods - variety is key, including fiber
✅ Include fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, etc)
✅ Stay hydrated!
✅ Get optimal sleep
✅ Minimize stress
✅ Minimize sugar & processed foods.

How many of these things are YOU doing? Let me know in the comments

References:
PMID: 18540113
PMID: 22684513

🐟 🍣 🍤 Is seafood a good choice or not? We’ve got toxic contaminants like mercury, pesticides, and microplastics on one h...
04/25/2024

🐟 🍣 🍤 Is seafood a good choice or not?

We’ve got toxic contaminants like mercury, pesticides, and microplastics on one hand, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein on the other. ⚖️

Like so many topics related to health, nutrition, and toxic exposures, the answer is nuanced!

THE GOOD:
🐟 Many types of seafood can be an excellent source of lean protein, and heart & brain-healthy nutrients. And for many communities, seafood is a mainstay of the diet and an important part of their culture.

THE BAD:
🐟 Many types of seafood (mostly larger, ocean-dwelling species including tuna, king mackerel, Chilean sea bass, and swordfish) are contaminated with toxic chemicals like methylmercury, PBCs, and dioxins. In fact, seafood is our primary source of exposure to toxic PCBs.

🐟 Increasingly, microplastics have been measured in nearly all types of seafood. Although we don’t yet know what the implications of this are, we do know that microplastics can act as a sponge for other toxic chemicals in the water, including PCBs.

🐟 Imported seafood (depending on where it was caught/raised) can contain highly toxic chemicals, including banned pesticides. Only a tiny fraction of seafood is actually inspected upon entry into the US.

🐟 Many species have been overfished to the point of collapse.

While you might look at that list and think 🤔”hmm, way more bad than good reasons” - it’s not that simple!

For people who CHOOSE to eat seafood, the balance is in finding species that are both HIGH in nutrients, while being LOW in contamination and LOW in overfishing issues.

But which ones fit the bill?

Generally speaking, Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines, and Herring tick those boxes. These are referred to by the acronym SMASH.

These species are smaller, shorter-lived, and therefore safer to consume (larger and longer-lived species have more toxic burden). These species are typically more abundant - although salmon stocks are being depleted in many areas.

No one HAS to eat seafood, but if you do, consider prioritizing SMASH fish.

Healthy kitchens aren’t just about whole, nutrient-dense foods - we should also consider the items in our kitchen that m...
04/24/2024

Healthy kitchens aren’t just about whole, nutrient-dense foods - we should also consider the items in our kitchen that might expose us to health-harming chemicals.

To create a truly health-supporting spacing, we need to choose materials that are safer for us & better for the planet.

🛎️ Want to hit the easy button on swaps? Comment "kitchen" and I'll send my favorites right on over to you!

Here are my top swaps for a low-tox kitchen and why these are important:

🍳Swap non-stick for stainless steel, or cast iron: While non-stick pans are convenient, & make clean-up a breeze, they are made with PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals” because of how long they stick around. PFAS exposure has been linked to everything from increased cholesterol levels to cancer. Scratched non-stick has been found to release around 2,300,000 microplastics & nanoplastics. No, thank you.

Stainless steel & cast iron are better, safer choices that will last a lifetime.

🫙Swap plastic food containers for glass: plastic containers leach chemicals like phthalates & BPA into your food, especially if you heat it in plastic, or if the food is oily or acidic.

Glass containers are both inexpensive and will last a long time. Plus, they don’t hold odors or stains like plastic can!

🥫Swap canned foods for jarred, frozen, or dried: Canned foods contain an epoxy lining made with bisphenol chemicals (like BPA, BPF, etc), which migrate out into the food itself. Canned foods are a staple, so do your best here - it’s not about perfection! More & more companies are packing things like soups and beans in jars and let’s not forget frozen, which are just as convenient.

👩‍🍳Swap plastic cooking utensils with wooden or stainless steel. Most kitchens have those cheap black plastic spatulas & ladles that are often melted at the edges, which isn’t ideal. Instead, use wood or stainless steel utensils - they’re more durable, will last longer, & will not expose you to harmful chemicals!

We don’t need to have a *perfect* kitchen, but these swaps can help us create a healthier one!

References:
PMID: 36030853

What do symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation have in common? Aside from them being ve...
04/23/2024

What do symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation have in common? Aside from them being very unpleasant that is!

They are all common symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. According to aboutibs.org, this condition affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States, 2/3rds of which are women.

April is IBS Awareness Month, so let’s talk about one potential contributing factor that often gets overlooked: environmental exposure.

Right now, we don’t know *exactly* what causes IBS, but it’s likely to be a combination of factors, including things like an altered gut microbiome, issues with the gut/brain axis, and possibly even a genetic component.

Triggers for IBS symptoms can vary from person to person and may include certain foods, alcohol, stress, hormonal changes, medications, and environmental chemical exposure.

Chemical exposures from things like air pollution, food additives, pesticides, heavy metals, and industrial chemicals have been implicated in contributing to gastrointestinal symptoms similar to those experienced by people with IBS.

In addition to the standard practices to minimize IBS symptoms - things like identifying and avoiding triggers, managing stress, staying hydrated, limiting alcohol and caffeine, it may be help to also lower exposure to environmental toxins!

Top ways to lower exposure:
✅ Prioritize organic food consumption
✅ Minimize consumption of canned foods
✅ Say “no thank you” to cash register receipts
✅ Switch to safer personal care products without fragrances, parabens
✅ Avoid the use of scented candles, air fresheners, and other fragrances in the home
✅ Minimise the use of plastics in the kitchen
Which of these are you already doing? LMK in the comments!

References:
PMID: 36754128
PMID: 33485121

Outdoor air pollution from factories, vehicle exhaust, and smog are a major threat to human health. 🏭🚙🤒But did you know ...
04/05/2024

Outdoor air pollution from factories, vehicle exhaust, and smog are a major threat to human health. 🏭🚙🤒

But did you know that INDOOR air can very often be even MORE polluted than air outside?! Yup! The EPA has found that indoor air can be 2-5 and even up to 100x worse than outdoor air.

Here’s some of why:

🏠 Since the 1980s homes in the US have been constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This is great for saving energy and money, but bad for air quality because it means less fresh air in the home.

🛋 Many of our home furnishings and even building materials have become more toxic over time, leading to the off-gassing of chemicals into these enclosed spaces.

🧽 Cleaning products are laden with harmful chemicals, including excessive levels of fragrances

🧴 Personal care product use contributes to poor indoor air quality, in large part due to the fragrances in them

🕯Regular use of scented candles and air fresheners also contributes to indoor air pollution.

Thankfully, there’s a lot we can do to easily and in many cases, inexpensively clean up our indoor air!

Top Tips For Cleaner Air:

✅ Open your windows! This is the easiest way to improve your air quality, weather permitting. This simple act can help dilute indoor pollutants, making the air we breathe healthier.

✅ Take your shoes off! Wearing your shoes indoors tracks in things like pesticides, pollen, and car exhaust chemicals, along with the things most people think of - dirt and dog p**p.

✅ Stop buying and using scented products like candles, plugins, room sprays, etc, as these are a constant source of exposure to things like phthalates and VOCs, which are both harmful.

✅ Clean up your cleaners. Most household cleaners are made with an array of toxic chemicals and can also constitute ongoing sources of chemicals like formaldehyde, VOCs, phthalates, and more.

✅ Dust & Vacuum more often - this will cut down on allergens.

Which of these are you already doing? LMK in the comments!

Healthy kitchens aren’t just about whole, nutrient-dense foods - we should also consider the items in our kitchen that m...
04/03/2024

Healthy kitchens aren’t just about whole, nutrient-dense foods - we should also consider the items in our kitchen that might expose us to health-harming chemicals.

To create a truly health-supporting spacing, we need to choose materials that are safer for us & better for the planet.

Here are my top swaps for a low-tox kitchen & why they're so important:

🍳 Swap non-stick for stainless steel, or cast iron: While non-stick pans are convenient they are made with PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals” because of how long they stick around. PFAS exposure has been linked to everything from increased cholesterol levels to cancer. Scratched non-stick has been found to release around 2,300,000 microplastics & nanoplastics. No, thank you.

Stainless steel & cast iron are better, safer choices that will last a lifetime.

🫙 Swap plastic food containers for glass: plastic containers leach chemicals like phthalates & BPA into your food, especially if you heat it in plastic, or if the food is oily or acidic.

Glass containers are both inexpensive and will last a long time. Plus, they don’t hold odors or stains like plastic can!

🥫 Swap canned foods for jarred, frozen, or dried: Canned foods contain an epoxy lining made with bisphenol chemicals (like BPA, BPF, etc), which migrate out into the food itself. Canned foods are a staple, so do your best here - it’s not about perfection! More & more companies are packing things like soups & beans in jars & let’s not forget frozen, which are just as convenient.

👩‍🍳 Swap plastic cooking utensils with wooden or stainless steel. Most kitchens have those cheap black plastic spatulas & ladles, that are often melted at the edges, which isn’t ideal. Instead, use wood or stainless steel utensils - they’re more durable, will last longer, & will not expose you to harmful chemicals!

We don’t need to have a *perfect* kitchen, but these swaps can help us create a healthier one!

My top picks can be found in my Amazon shop & "discount codes & links" page!

References:
PMID: 36030853

Want my list of top favorites? Comment “baby laundry” below and I’ll get it right to you!👇🏼One of the first things I swi...
04/03/2024

Want my list of top favorites? Comment “baby laundry” below and I’ll get it right to you!👇🏼

One of the first things I switched over when going “non-toxic” was my laundry soap. Why you might ask? Well, because we wear our clothes all day and night, which means whatever chemicals/ingredients are used to wash them touch our skin and we breathe them in for long periods of time.

Conventional laundry detergents (even those marketed for babies) have ingredients that can post significant health hazards. Did you know that Dreft scores an “F”, meaning they are of the highest concern, in the EWG database?! Many other free and clear options do as well. Ouch.

Additionally, I wanted to have a detergent that was good to go for the whole family. No trying to figure out what is “safe” for the baby and what isn’t. All about ease of use over here.

Here’s what I look for in a detergent:🌿 Artificial Fragrance-Free (I prefer fragrance free altogether, though)
🌿 No harsh chemicals (sodium borate, ethanolamine, diethylene glycol, etc.)
🌿 No artificial colors or dyes
🌿 Paraben-Free
🌿 Non- GMO
🌿 No optical brighteners⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
🌿 Chlorine bleach-free
🌿 No SLS/SLES
🌿 Free from 1,4 dioxane

My top recommendations are linked in my bio in the laundry detergent post!

Want my list of top favorites? Comment “baby laundry” below and I’ll get it right to you!👇🏼

We’re living in a toxic world, and there’s good evidence that it’s making us sick! 🤒While many things can lead to weaken...
04/01/2024

We’re living in a toxic world, and there’s good evidence that it’s making us sick! 🤒

While many things can lead to weakened immune health (poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, being sedentary, etc), an often overlooked factor is exposure to environmental chemicals.

Here are some of the ways that exposure to environmental chemicals can impact our immune health:

❌ Disrupting normal immune function: many chemicals have been shown to alter the production & activity of immune cells, including cytokines, which can impair our body’s ability to mount an effective immune response against pathogens, thereby increasing the risk of infection.

❌ Increased inflammation: many chemicals can trigger inappropriate inflammatory responses, leading to chronic inflammation, which can in turn weaken the immune system, contribute to inflammatory conditions, and trigger autoimmune disease.

❌ Immune suppression: Some toxic exposures have been shown to suppress normal immune function, leading to increased risk of infections, poor wound healing, and even reduced vaccine response.

❌ Allergic & Autoimmune Reactions: Some chemicals can trigger allergic reactions and autoimmune responses in susceptible people. There is strong evidence that asthma, allergies, and autoimmune diseases have a significant environmental component.

❌ Altered Gut Microbiome. Many toxic exposures can disrupt the balance of the gut microbiota, which plays an enormous role in regulating a healthy immune system. Gut dysbiosis can weaken the immune system, lead to inflammatory conditions, and trigger autoimmune flares.

This is just part of why I make a point of talking a lot about environmental chemical exposure - it’s a hugely important topic to address!

References:
PMID: 27044635
Dietert RR. Effects of Endocrine Disrupters on Immune Function and Inflammation. 2015

🥫 Nearly every pantry contains at least a few canned foods (including mine!). Canned foods are a staple for millions of ...
03/29/2024

🥫 Nearly every pantry contains at least a few canned foods (including mine!). Canned foods are a staple for millions of people: they are inexpensive, convenient, and they last a long time. Many people rely on canned foods to keep them and their families fed.

Unfortunately, canned food consumption is also our primary source of exposure to bisphenol-a, or BPA.

BPA is a well-established endocrine-disrupting chemical that has been detected in more than 90% of people sampled. Our exposure to this chemical is ubiquitous.

Bisphenol chemicals are used to line most food cans, creating a barrier between the food and the metal, which is important to prevent the can from breaking down and potentially allowing bacteria to enter. Most canned foods are heat-packed - meaning the food is hot as it goes into the can. Heat, along with acidity and time can increase the leaching of these chemicals into the food.

One study found that eating canned soup over a 5-day period (admittedly more frequently than most people consume canned soup) resulted in a more than 1000% increase in urinary BPA levels. 🙀 Another study found that eating 1 canned food item, vs none, was associated with 24% higher urinary BPA concentrations.

BPA has been linked to numerous chronic health issues, from behavioral problems in children to hormone disruption to metabolic disease.

While canned food isn’t our only exposure, it is our primary one, so working towards minimizing exposure may be helpful.

The good news is that BPA is metabolized and excreted (meaning, we p*e it out) very quickly - in as short as a few hours. This means that if we actively lower the amount coming in, we can very quickly lower the levels in the body! 👏🏼

Aim for fresh, frozen, jarred, or dried!

References:
PMID: 25645382
PMID: 34132197
PMID: 22110104

You’ve probably heard about endocrine-disrupting chemicals in things like plastics, personal care products, & household ...
03/27/2024

You’ve probably heard about endocrine-disrupting chemicals in things like plastics, personal care products, & household goods.

Here are 5 reasons why these chemicals matter SO MUCH & why they deserve our attention! 👇🏼

📌 Low doses can be hugely impactful to our health:
While the prevailing belief is that only large exposures are harmful, when it comes to chemicals that interfere with our hormonal system decades of research have shown that very tiny doses actually matter a lot, and can often be more impactful than larger exposures.

📌 In utero exposure can lead to permanent effects:
All people can be affected by exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, but in utero are the most concerning. Exposure during this time people may interfere with normal fetal development & can lead to an increased risk of developmental issues, & chronic disease in adulthood. In some instances, exposure can lead to birth defects & permanent changes to brain development.

📌 Exposure is linked to a long list of chronic health issues:
Because our endocrine system regulates nearly all functions in the body (metabolism, growth & development, s*xual function & reproduction, heart rate, blood pressure, appetite, & body temperature, to name a few) exposure has been linked to dozens & dozens of health issues from obesity & cancer, to ADHD & autoimmune disorders.

📌 They are not well regulated:
The vast majority of chemicals in commerce have not been evaluated for safety. Those assessed are often tested at extraordinarily high levels, & rarely for endocrine effects. They aren't tested at levels reflecting real-life exposure, despite decades of evidence suggesting harm at these lower levels.

📌 They are everywhere:
Over 1000 chemicals, both man-made & natural, have been identified as being endocrine disruptors. Everyone is exposed to dozens of these every single day, multiple times a day.

Learning about where exposures happen is key because you can focus on LOWERING those exposures. Make sure you’re following me, so you can catch upcoming posts on this topic!

References:
PMID: 32707118

03/25/2024

Raise your hand if you hate dusting! 🙋‍♀️

Most people think house dust is just unsightly or that it’s made up of dead skin cells (yuck), pet dander, and dirt.

Well it’s both of those things, but that’s not all. House dust is also a receptacle for chemicals in the home. 🫣

Many harmful chemicals are released from the materials they are used in - whether it’s flame retardants in your couch, PFAS chemicals from your carpet, or phthalates found in scented products - and they settle in the dust in your home.

Let’s look at house dust through the lens of one of these: phthalates.

Phthalates are a class of chemicals that are used in the majority of fragrance formulations… think: laundry detergent, dryer sheets, air fresheners, room sprays, scented candles, personal care products, household cleaners, etc. (They are also found in other items as well, like some types of soft plastics.)

When you do laundry, clean, light a candle, etc, the phthalates in those fragrances don’t just vanish into thin air. They settle on surfaces and end up in house dust.

In fact, in a meta-analysis of dust studies across the US, phthalates were measured in 100% of samples!

This is a concern because phthalates are well-established endocrine-disrupting compounds that are linked to health issues like:

👉 Type II diabetes and insulin resistance⁠
👉 Overweight/obesity⁠
👉 Breast cancer
👉 Asthma⁠
👉 Reproductive issues in men and women⁠
👉 Altered male reproductive development⁠

What can we do about this?

1️⃣ Start phasing out the use of all fragranced items in the home. I know, I know, who doesn’t love a good-smelling candle or that fresh laundry scent? But opting for fragrance-free or naturally scented products can really cut down on those phthalate levels.

2️⃣ Wet dust & vacuum often. Wet dusting is simply using a damp cloth to dust (wash & reuse!) instead of something like a feather duster. And vacuuming can help cut down on dust in the home.

Reference: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.6b02023, https://www.mdpi.com/2305-6304/7/2/21

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