The West Australian reports that common household chemicals can damage the lungs of unborn babies and predispose them to childhood asthma.
Professor Peter Sly of the World Health Organization says, “We have evidence that everything from the pesticides used on roses to the bleach in the bathroom impact badly on the developing lungs of unborn babies.”
This evidence, however, has not changed the behavior of most pregnant women.
“We need some strong public health messages around this so parents realize what they are doing,” says Sly.
While most pregnant women strictly avoid cigarettes and alcohol, many do not realize that air pollutants and household chemicals can be just as harmful.
A British study published earlier this year shows that everything from hair sprays to oven cleaners can make unborn babies vulnerable to asthma later in life.
Sly urges mothers-to-be to avoid toxic chemicals just as they avoid drinking and smoking: “Natural products your grandmother would have used, like [baking] soda, lemon juice, and vinegar, are going to be much better for developing fetuses.”
Dry vapor steamers allow expectant mothers to toss out many harmful cleaning chemicals. These efficient cleaning machines use only water and steam to kill germs.
Air purifiers will quietly remove airborne toxins in your environment.
If you are expecting a child, also see Sylvane.com President Steven Hong on Creating a Healthy Nursery.