Green and (almost) free: Living without toxic chemicals

Think it's not easy being green? Think again. As the understanding of how pervasive phthalates and other toxic chemicals are in our children's everyday products grows, the urge to chuck it all in favor of glass bottles and wooden toys grows as well. But that's an expensive undertaking, isn't it? Not necessarily. I've learned a few tricks as the mom of three boys. Read on.

I was almost shaking as I listened to the piece on NPR in which the authors of Slow Death by Rubber Duck explored the book's subtitle, "The Secret Dangers of Everyday Things." Rick Smith, who along with co-author Bruce Lourie exposed themselves as part of an "adult science fair project" to the things most adults, and kids, do in their (yes) everyday lives. BPA in microwavable plastics; phthalates in shampoos, soaps, pajamas, rubber duckies; Teflon in cooking pans. The results were sobering: the levels of these synthetic chemicals in their bodies rose, sometimes 10 or more times the baseline.