I’m not exactly a “green” type. Anyone who knows me would definitely not call me a tree hugger of any kind. I’m the lady at the grocery store who requests plastic bags. And every week, everyone glares at me and I want to yell, “Sorry! I forgot my green bags, okay? The kids are dressed and wearing matching shoes and that’s as much as I can handle today!”
The point is, I’m usually very ANTI-organic, natural, blah blah. However, I recently got to listen to someone talk about toxins in our household products. Even though I can be a bit stubborn about green products, she told me one thing that really shocked and angered me. Did you know there is formaldehyde in Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo? http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-03-12-formaldehyde_N.htm ) I had no idea. Formaldehyde can cause cancer and I hate the idea that I’ve been washing my kids’ naked little bodies in formaldehyde all this time. Apparently the FDA regulates food but not personal products.
As a result of this lack of governmental oversight, there is actually a lot of bad stuff in the products we use every day. When you think about pesticides, you probably think of fruits and veggies. However, pesticides are actually found in all kinds of cleaning products and actually 80% of our pesticides intake is from household products, NOT fruits and veggies. Since this strange trend began of using pesticides in cleaning products, childhood cancer has increased by 28% and there is research out there linking pesticides to childhood cancer http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090728102306.htm! Bleach is a really bad one. Did you know that it can cause childhood asthma? Some schools have even banned the use of bleach (http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/schools-avoid-bleach-to-limit-coughing-asthma-symptoms/1055840). Even though I think green products are often just a big racket and a waste of money, if I could do something to prevent the kids from getting asthma I definitely would.
I’m sure there are lots of green companies out there, so I welcome you to do your own research. My friend introduced me to this company, http://www.melaluca.com/ . They make products that don’t have pesticides. They have a cleaning solution that is a good alternative to a 401-type spray that has been shown to kill all the bad bugs, even H1N1, flu, etc. However, it doesn’t have bleach so it won’t cause asthma! They have baby shampoo and soap that doesn’t contain formaldehyde. Even though I wouldn’t normally do this kind of thing, I’m definitely going to try it because:
1. I really trust my friend and she’s a big believer in this
2. It’s actually cheaper than the stuff you would get at Target. I have no idea how, but I compared the prices
3. I feel like I owe it to my kids to at least try to prevent cancer and asthma. I have to buy shampoo, cleaners, vitamins, anyway. Why not buy them without pesticides??
I still wouldn’t call myself a tree hugger, but you can now picture me in an akward half-hug with a tree. It’s definitely the hips out, one-armed hug that makes you cringe, but a hug nonetheless.
Katie Mullen is the busy Mom to two toddlers, ages 3 and 1. She works full-time doing sales to support her husband through medical school and beyond. Katie’s husband is a surgeon in training, which means he is often gone and works grueling hours, leaving Katie to be a single Mom for much of the week. Despite this, Katie is a big believer in always looking for the positive in life and writes about how she does this in her blog, Mommy with Selective Memory. Katie is a former athlete and is still active in running and training. Her husband is an orthopedic surgery resident and has a special interest in triathalons and is even doing clinical research on barefoot running. The happy but very busy family resides in the Mid-west where they enjoy being outdoors.