|Avoid fast food and processed goods. Eating a diet focused on locally grown, ideally organic, whole foods cooked from scratch will significantly limit your exposure to a wide array of chemicals, including phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), synthetic food additives and pesticides.||Use natural cleaning products or make your own. Besides phthalates, avoid those containing 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME) — two toxic glycol ethers that can compromise your fertility and cause fetal harm.|
|Buy products that come in glass bottles rather than plastic or cans; be aware that even “BPA-free” plastics typically leach other endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are just as bad for you as BPA.||Switch to organic toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics.
EWG’s Skin Deep database31 can help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals.
Be aware that many dental flosses contain PFCs. Look for natural waxed floss instead. Some use beeswax rather than PFC-coating. Real silk floss will also provide glide without chemical additives.32
|Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap as it too contains phthalates that can migrate into your food (especially if you microwave food wrapped in plastic).||Replace your vinyl shower curtain with a fabric one or glass doors.|
|Use glass baby bottles and drinking bottles.||Replace feminine hygiene products (tampons and sanitary pads) with safer alternatives.|
|Filter your tap water for both drinking and bathing to avoid fluoride and disinfection byproducts, many of which are among the most toxic compounds known.
If you can afford to do only one, filtering your bathing water may be more important, as your skin absorbs contaminants.
|Look for fragrance-free products. One artificial fragrance can contain dozens of potentially toxic chemicals, including phthalates.
Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets, which contain a mishmash of synthetic chemicals and fragrances.
|If you have PVC pipes, you may have DEHP (a type ofendocrine disrupting phthalate) leaching into your water supply. If you have PVC pipe from before 1977, you will definitely want to upgrade to a newer material.
This “early-era” PVC pipe can leach a carcinogenic compound called vinyl chloride monomer into your water. Alternatives to PVC for water piping include ductile iron, high-density polyethylene, concrete, copper and PEX.34
|Consider replacing vinyl flooring with a “greener” material. Also avoid soft, flexible plastic flooring, such as those padded play-mat floors for kids (often used in day cares and kindergartens), as there’s a good chance it is made from phthalate-containing PVC.|
|Read the labels and avoid anything containing phthalates. Besides DEHP, also look for DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate), BzBP (benzyl butyl phthalate) and DMP (dimethyl phthalate).
Also be wary of anything listing a “fragrance,” which often includes phthalates.