The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Follow the Leaders
In the June/July 2008 issue, we shared the stories of five moms whose pregnancies inspired them to go green and stay green, and how you can follow in their footsteps. Here's some useful information to help green your life, from composting instructions to a glossary of some common green terminology and chemicals to avoid. For even more green stories, product suggestions and lifestyle tips, go to fitpregnancy.com/goinggreen.
Bisphenol A (Bpa): an organic compound used in the production of polycarbonate plastics (used in food and drink packaging, including canned foods) and epoxy resins; mimics estrogen and may be an endocrine disruptor in humans; for a Q&A on BPA from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (a division of the National Institutes of Health), go to niehs.nih.gov/news/media/questions/sya-bpa.cfm#14
closed-loop products: products that are recycled and remanufactured into new recyclable products
Composting: controlled decomposition of moist organic materials (such as fruit and vegetable remnants, grass clippings, manures, cotton rags, cardboard rolls, coffee grounds and filters and more) into a rich soil known as compost; the process returns valuable nutrients to the soil; for more information go to epa.gov/compost
Methyl Paraben: a preservative and fungicide often used in personal care products; studies have shown it to be an endocrine disruptor
Nitrosamines: a family of chemical compounds shown in animal studies to be mutagens (chemicals that change DNA) and carcinogens
Parabens: Methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben; preservatives used in cosmetic, food and personal care products to keep bacteria and fungus from forming; mimics estrogen and possible encocrine distruptor
Pesticides: any substance or mixture of substances used to prevent, destroy or repel pests such as insects, rodents, fungi, and microorganisms including bacteria and viruses; includes insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and more. Some pesticides affect the human nervous system, some irritate the skin and/or eyes and some may be carcinogens. For more information, go to epa.gov/pesticides/health/human.htm
Phthalates: chemicals made from oil, commonly used in plastics; potential reproductive and developmental toxins
Zero-Waste: products that are designed to be continually reused, creating no waste