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Healthy Children, Safe Homes a Winning Combination
Date:1/16/2012

nol-A (BPA). These chemicals can leak out of everyday products into children's bodies. Studies have shown these chemicals can have a negative effect on brain development and reproduction. Exposure to phthalates and BPA can be avoided by choosing plastics #1, 2, 4, 5. Avoid heating plastic. Microwaving food in plastic containers or plastic wrap is a common way for chemicals to leak out of plastic and contaminate your food. Also avoid putting plastics in the dishwasher and do not pour warm liquids into plastic containers.
  • Avoid lead paint. Children who come into contact with lead dust can ingest it easily. Even minimal lead exposure can result in severe brain damage. If your home was built before 1970, have your paint tested for lead. If lead is detected it must be removed by an expert, when children or pregnant women are not present.
  • Check the water. Water can also contain lead, particularly if the plumbing is more than 10 years old. Test your pipes for lead. To avoid lead exposure, you should also run the water for several minutes if it hasn't been used for a while and use cold water for cooking.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking cigarettes is the most common cause of indoor air pollution. Secondhand smoke can trigger asthma attacks and cause respiratory problems in children.
  • More information

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more tips for a healthy home.

    -- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

    SOURCE: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, news release, Jan. 9, 2012


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