Phthalates: Where Are They Hiding & How to Go Phthalate-Free

Branch Basics | Common Household Chemicals to Avoid: Phthalates

What are phthalates? Phthalates are a group of chemicals made from petroleum used in personal care products and are used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastics and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).1 Like harmful BPA, phthalates are considered stealth chemicals that are classified as endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and gender benders.2 Health effects of phthalates […]

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Nontoxic Air Fresheners: Remove Odors Naturally

Branch Basics | Nontoxic Air Fresheners

Nontoxic Air Fresheners Synthetic perfumes, air fresheners, plug-ins, scented candles, room sprays, and other artificially scented products often contain toxic chemicals like phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors. The chemicals used to make “air fresheners” have been linked to headaches, ear aches, depression, irregular heartbeat, and even diarrhea in babies. If you’d like to know more […]

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Hand Soap Versus Hand Sanitizer: Why “Antibacterial” Is a Dirty Word & 4 Steps to Healthy Hands


The Surprising History of Handwashing and Hand SanitizerS The history of intentional hand washing had an unfortunate beginning in the 1840s. When Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis proposed to fellow doctors that washing their hands before seeing each patient would reduce the transfer of infection, he was ignored, ridiculed, rejected, and ultimately dismissed from the hospital where he […]

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Is your car seat REALLY safe?

  When in the market for your baby’s car seat, you probably don’t put much thought into it besides, “Is this brand legit?” and “Does it look sturdy and safe?” And, perhaps most of all, “Do I like the fabric print?!”   But studies have shown we need to look beyond the obvious. In fact, […]

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Kids Food Allergies: What’s the Deal?

Peanut-free tables at schools, no nuts allowed on certain airlines, parents living in constant fear of cross-contaminated restaurant dishes. Why does it seem like every other child has some sort of food allergy!? And doesn’t it seem likely that this situation is only getting worse? A recent study done by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of […]

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