5 Tips for Avoiding Pesticides In & Around Your Home

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When talking about limiting pesticides, I’ve been accused of sounding like a broken record.

But the reason behind my rant is so important: Pesticide exposure has been linked to asthma, allergies, neurological disorders, autism and even cancer—which is now the leading cause of death by disease for American kids.

Want to decrease the pesticide load in your house? Follow these tips:

1. Wash Your Hands with Soap and Water

The FDA says soap and water is just as effective as pesticide antibacterials like triclosan in fighting germs. Can’t get to a faucet? Look for alcohol based sanitizing products that depend on natural ingredients to keep hands clean on the go.

2. Plan an Organic Weekend

Most of our pesticide exposure comes from the foods that they eat—but just one day of eating USDA Certified Organic can completely remove many pesticides from their bodies.

3. Try Natural Pest Repellent

Tricks like red pepper flakes for ants and soapy wine traps for fruit flies to deal with pests. Keeping your counters and cabinets crumb-free helps to deter bugs in the first place.

4. Choose Safer Fumigation

Ask the company for a written description of the chemicals that are used in their fumigation process and do your own research on what’s involved, then add a several more open-window days to the recommended “airing” time before you move back in, especially if you are pregnant or have small children.

Listen to my Green Divas At Home podcast segment about safe fumigation…

5. Kill Weeds with Boiling Water, not Roundup.

In 1987, the National Cancer Institute found that the risk of childhood leukemia increased more than six times when garden pesticides were used at least once a month. Your garden can grow without them!

Get more healthy lifestyle tips without judgment at MommyGreenest.com, where you don’t have to be a scientist to raise healthy kids.

About the author / 

Green Diva Rachel

Better known as “Mommy Greenest,” Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff is a journalist, consultant, sustainability advocate and former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World who was editor of Children magazine—before she had three of her own. Rachel was featured in Los Angeles and Lucky magazines and appeared on “The Today Show” and “CNN Headline News,” among others. The author of The Big List of Things That Suck, Rachel also publishes MommyGreenest.com, sharing advice about healthier living with less judgment, because you shouldn't have to be a scientist to raise healthy kids. Follow her @RachelLSarnoff and at YouTube.com/RachelSarnoff.

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  1. urbannaturale@gmail.com'
    Deborah Davis June 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Rachel,
    Thank you for sharing this vital information! Believe me, I have been accused of sounding like a broken record as well–by my own family, in fact, however, this is such a critical issue to raise awareness of. As you so aptly clarified, “pesticide exposure has been linked to asthma, allergies, neurological disorders, autism and even cancer—which is now the leading cause of death by disease for American kids.” Such a warning should definitely make moms take notice! We have been lulled into a false sense of security by engaging advertising and marketing campaigns. I have begun to make my own home care and cleaning products to avoid toxic exposure. I buy organic food, use castile soap and avoid antibacterial products.

  2. info@mommygreenest.com'
    rachel June 19, 2014 at 4:20 pm -  Reply

    Oh that’s so great, thank you for sharing! Please take a look at http://www.MommyGreenest.com for more info like this. I’ve spent the last eight years building up the library, so there’s a LOT to read up on–but it sounds like you’re already on top of most of it! Thanks again for commenting, I really appreciate it :-) Rachel

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