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Harmful chemicals are found just about everywhere in our lives. Some of these chemicals are known to lower your fertility, hurt your health, and harm your baby when you’re pregnant. You can banish some of the worst offenders from your life through simple changes. Each change you make can help your body reduce its toxic load, improve your fertility and create a safe environment in your body for a future pregnancy to thrive.
Here are the 5 worst offenders and how to banish them from your life:
- BPA: Bisphenol A (also known as BPA) is found in hard plastics, resins, and receipts. BPA has been shown to lower fertility in both men and women. To start your BPA detox:
- Avoid plastic food packaging. Instead, opt for unpackaged foods from the bulk aisle or buy glass jarred foods (or frozen foods) when possible.
- Avoid canned foods. Avoid canned foods and try glass-jarred foods, dried foods or fresh foods.
- Avoid thermal paper receipts. Ask your store to go thermal-free, get an email receipt, or go receipt-less.
- Phthalates: Phthalates are called the “everywhere chemical” because they’re not only found in soft plastics, but also processed foods and in the fragrances of many cosmetics. Phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) can disrupt women’s periods, lead to infertility, and lower men’s sperm quality and sperm count. To start your phthalate detox:
- Avoid processed foods. Try not to consume packaged products or processed meats.
- Avoid soft plastics. You should especially avoid products made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
- Avoid cosmetics containing these ingredients: “fragrances”, “BzBP”, “DBP”, “DEP”, or “phthalates”
- Pesticides: Some pesticides can disrupt women’s periods and lower men’s sperm quality. Pesticides aren’t just found on conventionally grown produce. They can also make their way into the fat tissue of animals, including meat and dairy products. To start your pesticide detox:
- Buy organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible and thoroughly wash your produce before eating it.
- Cut fat off meat (or buy naturally lean meats) and eat large fatty fish sparingly (once a month or so).
- Use dairy alternatives like cashew or almond milks.
- Chemical Flame Retardants (PBDEs): PBDEs are chemical flame retardants found in upholstery, mattresses, and many plastics. PBDEs can damage sperm and make it harder for couples to conceive. To start your PBDE detox:
- Replace old upholstery, mattresses, car seats, and carpet padding. Products that were made before 2005 will contain PBDEs, which were used widely at the time.
- Make sure any baby products that you buy don’t contain chemical flame retardants.
- Vacuum regularly using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter to clear out household dust containing PBDEs.
- Stain-resistant and Nonstick Treatments (PFCs): Found in stain and water treatments and nonstick cookware, PFCs lower testosterone in men and lower women’s fertility.
- Replace your nonstick cookware and use stainless steel, ceramic, cast iron, or glass cookware instead.
- Avoid chemical stain treatments on your carpets and furniture.
- Be careful about the food you eat. Avoid fish from chemically contaminated lakes, and avoid fast food served in grease-proof wrappers.
- Avoid waterproof clothing and shoes, especially those made with Gore-Tex.