Our guest on the Creating a Family show yesterday did a great job of highlighting what we know and don’t know about how pesticides and everyday environmental toxins affect on fertility. What we don’t know is what scares me.
Dr. Tracey Woodruff, Director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of California San Francisco has seen all the research and conducted a lot of it herself. It is clear that toxic substances that we are exposed to everyday are affecting our fertility and increasing the risk of miscarriage.
While we don’t know exactly what pesticides, hormones, or environmental toxins are causing the increase in infertility and miscarriage, Dr. Woodruff gave specific suggestions of what women and men who are trying to get pregnant should do. One suggestion was to decrease your exposures whenever possible to pesticides. Dr. Woodruff’s suggestions from the show and her site:
- Eat local and organic food when possible. Check out this list of the top most contaminated produce in 2014.
- Wash all produce before eating.
- Limit foods with high animal fat content.
- Do not use tick and flea collars on pets.
- Do not use lindane treatment for lice or scabies.
- Avoid preventative bug treatments at your house.
What Should We Do
I try to avoid chemical, pesticide and hormone exposures for myself and my family, but it isn’t easy. We didn’t treat our pets for fleas (partly to avoid pesticide exposure and partly because I forgot), so we are now battling a flea outbreak in our house.
After much debate, we finally settled on a battle plan that mixed pesticides and non pesticides. We opted to treat the pets with pesticides, which are euphemistically called flea medicine (pill for dog, externally for cats). For the house we are vacuuming frequently, putting bowls soapy water under desk lamps in the affected rooms at night, and spreading diatomaceous earth on the carpet. (Warning to readers: The diatomaceous earth may have broken the vacuum cleaner.)
But still I wonder? By putting the flea “medicine” on the cat’s fur, how much have I exposed my family? Would it be better to give them the pills? Who in my family is brave enough to try to get my cats to swallow the pill?
What do you do to try to avoid chemical exposure? Or do you?