Glossary

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Budgetwise Solutions

  • Be especially careful to avoid hair products containing estrogens, placental extracts or other hormonal additives.
  • Limit the amount of personal care products used, especially lotions and cosmetics.
  • Help adolescent daughters pick safer products before personal care habits are set. Young girls are especially susceptible to the damage done by these chemicals. Early intervention can have a vast impact.
  • If your health or response to menopausal symptoms is leading you to consider HRT, talk with your doctor about the lowest dose and shortest duration of treatment possible. If you are concerned about increasing your risk for breast cancer, you should consider taking estrogen only supplements or exploring other lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) that may ease your transition into menopausal years. Remember that menopause is a normal, healthy phase of life, one that is celebrated by many women [Hvas, 2001].
  • Before having a mammogram, check that the center where you are having the test is fully licensed and the equipment has been recently inspected. Ask your technologist how much radiation you will receive a s a result of your mammogram. If the technologist doesn't know or the answer is above 0.2 rads, consider finding another place to have your test done.
  • If you have a young child whose medical condition requires radiation for either therapeutic or screening purposes, talking with the child's medical team about alternative approaches or ways to minimize radiation exposure.
  • Always insist on wearing a lead, protective coat when receiving X-rays, even of areas that seem to be a distance from your breasts and abdomen (arms, feet, teeth, etc.).
  • Including soy and other phytoestrogen-rich vegetables in the regular diets of very young girls and adolescents may have a protective effect on later development of breast cancer.
  • In order to reduce the amount of PCBs consumed, filet fish by removing as much fat as possible. Also cook using methods such as baking or broiling.
  • To limit the exposure to dioxin from food sources contaminated with the chemical such as meat and dairy products, eat less animal fat by choosing low-fat meats, such as chicken and turkey, and choosing low-fat or no-fat dairy products.
  • Maintaining a balanced diet can reduce the amount of cadmium taken into the body from food and drink. This also ensures the proper intake of beneficial elements, such as selenium and zinc, which counteract some of the cancer causing effects of other heavy metals.
  • In the home, store substances that contain cadmium safely and keep nickel-cadmium batteries out of reach of young children.
  • Avoid smoking and breathing in tobacco smoke whenever possible to reduce cadmium exposure (as well as exposure to other toxic substances).
  • Avoid taking large quantities of soluble forms of aluminum such as aluminum-containing antacids and buffered aspirin to reduce exposure to aluminum.
  • Homemade cleaners can serve as less toxic and less expensive alternatives to many commercially available products. Most common household cleaning can be accomplished with: baking powder, pure soap (without scents, colors or other additives), washing soda (sodium bicarbonate), and plain white vinegar.
  • Practice safe microwaving. A microwavable or microwave-safe label only means that the product will not melt, crack, or fall apart when heated. These labels do not guarantee that the containers will not leach chemicals into foods when heated. It is best to heat foods in ceramics or oven-proof glass dishes with lids instead of plastic.
  • Know your numbers and the least toxic plastic alternatives. Often found on the bottom of plastic bottles, other containers, and shopping bags, the numbers and letters shown with the chasing-arrows "recycling" symbol mean the following:
    • 1. PETE or PET (polyethylene terephthalate): used for most clear beverage bottles.
    • 2. HDPE (high density polyethylene): used for "cloudy" milk and water jugs, opaque food bottles.
    • 3. PVC or V (polyvinyl chloride, vinyl): used in some cling wraps (especially commercial brands), some "soft" bottles. Contains plasticizers (phthalates and DEHA). Avoid Use.
    • 4. LDPE (low density polyethylene): used in food storage bags and some "soft" bottles.
    • 5. PP (polypropylene): used in rigid containers, including some baby bottles, and some cups and bowls.
    • 6. PS (polystyrene, styrofoam): used in foam "clam-shell"-type containers, meat and bakery trays, and in its rigid form, clear take-out containers, some plastic cutlery and cups. Made from styrene and P-nonylphenol, both suspected endocrine disruptors. Polystyrene may leach styrene into food it comes into contact with. Avoid Use.
    • 7: Other (usually polycarbonate): used in 5-gallon water bottles, some baby bottles, some metal can linings. Polycarbonate can release its primary building block, bisphenol-A, another suspected hormone disruptor, into liquids and food. Avoid Use.
  • Find out what is in your water. Public water systems are tested regularly, following federal and state drinking water standards. These test results may be obtained from your supplier.
  • If you receive your water from a public supply, urge your supplier to test for endocrine disrupting compounds. These chemicals are often not targets for testing, as there are few standards regulating them.
  • For pest problems use less toxic alternatives including boric acid, silica gels and diatomaceous earth, insect and rodent baits, pesticides made with essential oils, and insecticidal soaps.
  • Use pesticide free flea-prevention regimens for your pets.
  • Kill weeds without toxic herbicides. Some methods include dousing with boiling water or spraying with soapy water, vinegar, or alcohol.