Dr. Greene Answers Your Questions: Part 3

To celebrate reaching the 1,000 fan mark, Dr. Greene answered three questions posed by our Facebook Fans. I’ll post each question and answer. We’ve answered Ashtyn and Harmony’s questions. Today, Elizabeth!

Dr. Alan Greene

Elizabeth

There seems to be an overwhelming amount of information about creating a healthier and safer lifestyle for our family. I realize that I couldn’t change everything overnight. If I were to choose one thing to concetrate on first, what would you recommend?

Dr. Greene

Hi Elizabeth!

It may be easier than you think to make big impact with small changes. My recommendation for the “one thing” is to reduce your family’s exposure to unhealthy chemicals. There are only three routes of exposure to unhealthy chemicals: what goes into the mouth, what goes on the skin and what is inhaled. Although I have a handful of recommendations for each of those areas, I consider these small transitions a critical part of the “one thing.”

What Goes into the Mouth:

The food we eat and the containers they are served and stored in make a huge impact. My Organic RX [http://www.drgreene.com/article/dr-greene’s-organic-rx] lists the top organic choices a family can make to reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals and to keep our environment cleaner.

The list is in order of importance, so start with the most important change and work your way down the list as your budget and food preferences permit. I also recommend every family make the switch to BPA-free food containers, both for storage and microwaving (See Know Your Plastics [http://www.drgreene.com/blog/2008/06/11/know-your-plastics]).

What Goes on the Skin:

Choosing the right sunscreen can make a big difference to your level of exposure to harmful chemicals. When purchasing sunscreen, select a mineral sunscreen (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) with an SPF of at least 15, preferably greater. Reach for the labels that say “broad-spectrum” – these sunscreens provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays. See more tips for choosing sunscreen here… [http://www.drgreene.com/tip/tips-avoiding-damage-sun-exposure], or use the Cosmetics Database to find great products [http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/].

What We Breathe In:

We tend to think of our homes as a safe bubble that protects us from chemicals in the air, but the opposite is true. Our homes trap chemicals emitted from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harsh chemicals, such as the ones in many common cleaning formulas. I recommend making the switch to cleaning products that use all-natural ingredients.

Choose a brand the commits to disclosing all of their ingredients on the label. (Or check out my homemade cleaning recipes here[http://www.drgreene.com/blog/2009/04/21/eight-natural-do-it-yourself-household-cleaners]). I also love how beautiful green house plants will not only make your home more beautiful but will also filter the indoor air, making the home safer for everyone. Click here for a list of the best air-filtering plants [http://www.drgreene.com/tip/top-ten-air-filtering-plants].

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