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  • 10 Ways to Clean Indoor Air to Keep Baby Safe

    Any expectant or new parents should consider the indoor environment their new baby will inhabit.

    Indoor air quality is often far worse than outdoor air quality, despite attention given to air pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, source of indoor air pollution can include: "combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution."

    Deirdre Dolan, co-author of the Complete Organic Pregnancy and one of The Daily Green's Ask an Organic Mom bloggers, included this list in her latest post, on what renters can do to create a safe, nontoxic environment for

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  • Do Your Kids Get Enough Vitamin D?

    You might think rickets--the bone-softening disease caused by vitamin D deficiency--is a thing of the past. But vitamin D deficiency is not.

    Vitamin D deficiency is more widespread than commonly thought, and as a result the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that it is doubling the amount of vitamin D it recommends for infants, children, and adolescents to 400 IU a day, according to The Boston Globe.

    Dr. Catherine Gordon, director of the bone health program at Children's Hospital Boston, is quoted in the article: "I don't know of another vitamin that has effects on multiple tissues like vitamin D. As pediatricians, we're still doing research on health outcomes, (and) the relation between vitamin D deficiency during childhood or adolescence and outcomes later in life like osteoporosis, cancer risk, and risk of developing multiple sclerosis. But there are compelling data in adults suggesting an association."

    While the Academy still recommends breast milk as the overall best

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  • Why 3 States Want This Chemical Out of Baby Bottles

    The Attorneys General of three states -- Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey -- have asked baby bottle manufacturers to voluntarily stop using plastics made with Bisphenol-A, a chemical that has been linked to a range of health problems due to its similarity to the female hormone estrogen.

    baby bottlebaby bottleBisphenol-A isn't found only in baby bottles. It's commonly used to make many hard plastics, such as those used for water bottles, food storage containers and others, and is also found in the lining of cans. Because it can leach out of plastic baby bottles, however, they are seen as a worrying source of exposure for vulnerable babies and toddlers.

    As with most chemicals, they are more potent to developing children and fetuses, because organs are still forming and lower doses have, when compared to adults, disproportionately higher effects, because children have lower body weights.

    The Food and Drug Administration is working on a new assessment of Bisphenol-A's safety. It has resisted conclusions

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  • Top 3 Tips to Green Your Nursery

    Since your little one will be spending a ton of time in his new nursery, you'll want to take extra precaution with what you stick in there. Though Alexandra Zissu, one of the Ask an Organic Mom bloggers, likes to remind inquisitive mothers that all a baby actually needs is "a boob, a diaper, and a swaddling blanket," eventually that newborn will move to a crib and the babe will play with toys. There are several safety factors to think about in a nursery, and non-toxic alternatives to consider.

    You should stay away from harsh chemical fumes during your pregnancy, and so should your baby outside the womb. While lead is no longer a concern in new conventional paint, you should be concerned about volatile organic compounds (VOCs)--the toxic fumes that off-gas from common household items such as paint or a new vinyl shower curtain. Use low- or no-VOC paints and make sure the room is well ventilated.

    Check out these vibrant low-VOC paints. For more information on the risks of paint

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  • 7 Recipes for Safe, Eco-Friendly Fish Dinners

    Anyone who pays attention to health knows fish are a perennial favorite -- rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, lean and -- if one's tastes allow -- delicious.

    But anyone who pays attention to health probably also knows that choosing the most healthful fish means making a careful selection. Why? Pollution from factories and power plants have contaminated many fish -- particularly some of the most popular species, like tuna, that are predators. Fish at the top of the food chain consume all the contaminants accumulated by those fish lower down on the chain, and because many contaminants -- mercury and PCBs being the most common and concerning -- aren't excreted, they build up in the fats of the fish.

    Mercury and PCBs both can lead to permanent learning damage if fetuses or infants are exposed at the wrong stage of their development. And both chemicals have been linked to a range of other health problems, including cancer and reproductive problems.

    And chemical contamination is only part of

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  • 16 Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals Found in Teenage Girls

    A small study has found that adolescent girls in the United States have 16 different chemicals from four chemical classes in their blood and urine that might disrupt the normal functioning of their hormonal systems.

    These endocrine disruptors -- phthalates, triclosan, parabens and musks -- are associated with cosmetics and body care products, which teen girls use in higher doses than other segments of the population, according to the Environmental Working Group, which conducted study. Further, because young women are going through rapid development, their longterm health, particularly their reproductive health, could be at risk.

    The health risks of the chemicals is not definitively understood, but each has been the target of efforts by consumer, health and environmental advocates who view independent scientific findings as justification for limiting or eliminating exposure.

    girl putting on makeupgirl putting on makeupBecause these chemicals mimic hormones, they may cause effects at very low levels, just as hormones act

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