One of my first and best bloggy friends (we've even skyped! i recommend it...it's kind of like a first date!) has agreed to write for me about a topic near and dear to her heart. While I've been leery about all of these plastics for awhile, Brooke was the first person to really ACT on it in my life. I thought you'd be interested to know her counter-cultural choices about living life without Phthalates. So, here's Brooke's thoughts!
Phthalates: Hard to Pronounce, Harder to Digest
Hello dear readers of The Tiny Twig! Brooke here, of Pure and Noble. I was thrilled when Hayley asked me to do another guest post for her. This time around she asked me to cover a topic that is quite disturbing as well as very near and dear to my heart. Phthalates. Many of you may have never even heard of this danger that lurks in possibly every room of your home. Some of you may be very aware. Read on if you can stomach the truth.
I first became aware of Phthalates while watching an episode of 60 Minutes with my husband. As I watched, I sat there in shock. Mouth dropped. And then… the tears came streaming down my face. Phthalates are a family of compounds whose primary use is as a vinyl softener. They can also be found in cosmetics, lotions, shampoos and more. These chemicals and other toxins found in plastics, and the like, have a history of seeping out. That “new car smell”? Chemicals. That strong odor you get when hanging a new vinyl shower curtain? Chemicals. Please note that I am NOT a scientist. I do NOT know all the facts. I’m quite sure I only know just a tiny, tiny bit. What I have learned was enough to scare this mom of two young boys into action.
Phthalates have been linked to some defects in the male reproductive development while in utero that have skyrocketed in the past decade or so. One of which is hypospadias. My youngest son has this. It’s a very mild case, and for that I am so very grateful. However, my maternal instincts have been kicked into overdrive. Protect! Protect! Protect! I have since been determined to rid my home of these toxins. The ongoing gameplan looks like this:
- No more ziplock baggies. I am making my own “ziplock” fabric baggies for toys and food. Soon to be sold at my etsy shop.
- No more soft plastic toys like beachballs and blow-up toys (pool floaties and the like).
- No more perfume. Delicious wonderful essential oils instead.
- No more lotion. I have found these wonderful hard lotion bars and a recipe to make them if you happen to be a go getter!
- No more plastic food storage containers. I am scouring the thrift stores and estate sales for old glass pyrex containers. I recently found this amazing site where you can find amazing food storage solutions in steel! Genius! And if you just have to have plastic for the kiddies, Pottery Barn Kids has pieces that are BPA and Phthalate free.
I guess the main takeaway for me has been to educate myself as much as possible without removing myself from society, living on a farm where we grow and make everything ourselves, no further commercial product consumption and complete isolation of my family from this crazy world we live in today. I know we can’t do that. But, I can do my part where I think it will make the most profound difference for me and my loved ones. What will you do? How do you handle this cheaper, faster, bigger, at all cost machine we’ve created? xo