The choice to move my family toward chemical free was not sudden or overnight. It has been a gradual and ongoing shift. I am not a doctor or scientist, but I wanted to share what things influenced my decision and practical ways to implement no tox items.
It all started with sunscreen. A friend of mine shared an article about how research is now showing that chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream. If research continues to prove this, that means that LOTS of things can effect our children, especially daily sunscreens. The more I dug, the more I found that chemicals often found in sunscreen are linked with low testosterone levels in boys. As a boy mom, this raised a red flag; I would never want to have a negative impact on my child's long term ability to have future children.
Please hear me loud and clear: skin cancer is nothing to be messed with. If sunscreens with oxybenzone are what is standing between your child and potential skin damage and cancer PLEASE use whatever protection you have available.
The FDA still allows these chemicals to be used because although they recognize that while they may have misjudged their overall "safeness," they are still effective at preventing skin cancer. That said, sunscreen was the first eye opening thing for me to help me realize that not everything the FDA approves is the absolute best for my family. Not to mention the best for the environment and coral reefs. Earth Mama sunscreen has been a great all natural sunscreen for us. It keeps my kiddo from burning and I know what every ingredient is in it.
After we switched to mineral sunscreen I looked at bug spray next. The world's most dangerous creature is actually a mosquito. I definitely want to protect my family from them, but I also want to avoid a cloud of poisonous deet. I've found that every natural bug spray we've tried has worked effectively for us... natural remedies not working is a complete myth.
Photo by Stephanie Riggs, PanBam ambassador @sosimplysteph
*Please remember that eucalyptus is not recommended for young children,* although it is a great insect repellent for older kids and adults. PanBam offers a few bug spray options both with and without eucalyptus. I also wouldn't feel right without mentioning that if you are in an area or visiting an area that is prone to mosquito carried diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, please seek out additional medical advice and potentially bug spray with deet. The health risks that come with those sicknesses are no joke and some potential chemicals are the lesser evil in those situations.
Cleaning with chemicals is something that comes second nature to me. I remember the first time I cleaned with bleach... I love the sanitary feel of it, and I love how quickly it cleans up stains. I still have bleach in my home but I use it WAY less now. There's something about little hands and tongues touching and licking everything that has made me reevaluate what chemicals I am putting on surfaces and what fumes I am putting into the air.
Chemical free cleaners, or even organic chemical cleaners (such as vinegar and baking soda), clean and often sanitize just as effectively as toxic cleaners. PanBam has a few options available and is always searching for different chemical free cleaning solutions, particularly ones which have a refill system to reduce plastic waste.
A bonus is that my son LOVES to help me clean and when my products are chemical free I feel like I can include him and let him help. He carries around our cleaner and loves to help me wipe surfaces and now I don't need to worry.
Lastly, it is easy for me to make chemical free decisions in regard to my son, but I've recently been challenged to make the switch for myself as well. I am the only mom that my son has, so I want to make sure that I am around to raise him and support him and give him the most time I can with his mama. For me this has meant also using the chemical free sunscreens and bugs sprays along with all natural deodorant, chemical free skin care, and more.
Every home is different and every mom is different, but we are all motivated by the well being of our children. The more I learn about chemicals, the more I am convinced that a chemical free (or even chemical reduced) home is the safest environment for my always exploring and touching and tasting one and a half year old.
Check out PanBam's chemical free and no tox options and remember to use code NIKKI to save on an order!
What ways is your family reduce chemicals in your home? What convinced you to switch and what things have you learned along the journey? Let us know in the comments!