During the years we didn't have it hung, my body would crave the quiet, peaceful feeling it had provided. Last year, my husband surprised me and re-hung it while I was away. The first time I used it on that crisp fall night, it felt like "coming home." Often as I'm swinging, I think of my little friends with autism, as they too know the many benefits of swinging.
Recently, I was sitting on my swing enjoying a beautiful summer day, when I noticed a popular chemical company spraying our neighbor's lawn. I began thinking back to when my husband and I were also first-time homeowners and had looked into those services. Unfortunately, after doing careful research, we still had safety concerns, and decided having a perfect lawn was not worth the possible health risks. As I watched our neighbor's two young children (under the age of 3) sitting in grass 24 hours later, I questioned how comfortable we have become, as a society, with the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to everyday. After reading Brita Belli's book, I've question it even more.
"The July 2011 study from California indicated that in 58% of identical twin pairs, one sibling has autism and the other does not, despite the fact they share identical genetic information. Dr. Michael Merzenich, a neuroscientist (University of California), says: "Because autism is strongly inherited and because there is clearly an increase in incidence, the environmental factors that are contributing to the rise in incidence must be pretty widely out there in virtually almost every kid's environment."
According to the author, there are over 80,000 chemicals registered in the U.S., 3,000 of which are produced at a rate of more than one million pounds per year. Although it's impossible to avoid all of the toxins in our environment, we can begin to reduce our family's intake by making educated decisions. Here are just a handful of tips from the author:
- Avoid antibacterial soaps (chemical triclosan is an endocrine disruptor)
- Avoid BPA - found in shatterproof or plastic cups, baby bottles, food storage containers, etc. - (hormone disruptor)
- Avoid phthalates -plastic toys, food packaging, detergents, textiles, the coatings on pills, including some aspirin, and many other products (endocrine disruptor)
- Switch to fresh fruits and vegetables, or frozen foods vs. canned or foods packaged in plastic to avoid BPA exposure
- Avoid nail polish containing the toxic trio - dibutyl phalate, toluene, formaldehyde, and lead in lipstick
Have you found easy ways to eliminate the toxins in your home? We'd love it if you'd share them with us! Don't forget to include your name, so you get credit for your great ideas!
Until next time,