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Sodium Hypochlorite, methylene chloride, naphthalene….purely toxic substances and environmental hazards known to cause kidney, liver and reproductive damage.

Who would even think of touching these dangerous chemicals?

You and I do.

These are products found in our very own closets, sinks and garages. More than 83,000 chemicals are used in our homes and offices everyday.

We inhale them, ingest them and absorb them through our skin. These chemicals may pose a risk to the developing baby in your tummy.

One such chemical currently in the limelight is BPA.

Bisphenol A (BPA) has been receiving much attention lately because of its hormone-like effect on the body. BPA is found in plastic food containers, infant feeding bottles, “sippy” cups and canned goods. It has been correlated to diabetes, neurodevelopmental delays, asthma and even cancer.

Researchers argue that the amount of BPA in household products are small enough that it can be flushed out of the system of older children and adults. The concern now is the effect of BPA on the brain and the reproductive system of a developing fetus.

Currently, the FDA has banned the use of BPA on infant feeding bottles and drinking cups. Yet, there are still no guidelines against its use on canned goods and other plastics which pregnant women encounter on a daily basis.

Until more studies are completed to prove that BPA can cause no harm to a pregnant mother and her baby, special precautions, such as the following, have to be observed:

1. Make sure to read the label of everthing. Avoid using plastic containers with #7 or the letters PC (polycarbonate) printed at the bottom.

2. Do not eat canned foods. Aside from BPA exposure, processed foods are also very high is preservatives and nitrates which can harm the pregnancy.

3. Do not heat plastic food containers in the microwave, dishwasher or keep them out in the sun or heat. Leaving your lunch in a food container inside the car on a hot summer day is a no-no.

4. Use glass containers whenever possible.

5. Buy toys and bottles for your children made after February 2009 to assure you that it is BPA-free.

Lastly, pregnancy is a very sensitive period. Many of the foods, medications and chemicals you are exposed to today may affect your child 10-20 years from now. Try to go as natural as you can … it’s better for you, your baby and Mother Earth, too.

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