Top 10 Toxins and How to Protect Your Family

What can you do to protect your family from everyday toxins? Plenty, writes USA TODAY health reporter Liz Szabo, in Fresh: Women’s Health Guide, a new USA TODAY publication that hits newsstands today. (I’ve also contributed a feature for Fresh on how to “Be Cheap, Be Green.)

Here’s Szabo’s list of the toxic 10, in no particular order, with ideas for avoiding them.

Lead — potent neurotoxin that can cause brain damage, even in low doses.

Although it was taken out of gasoline three decades ago, it’s still found in many homes, especially those built before 1978….When renovating an older home, use only contractors who are trained in lead-safe work practices. If you do the work yourself, consider taking a one-day class in lead safety.

Phthalates — these chemicals, often used to soften plastics, can interfere with the hormone system.

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