What can you do to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals?

Toxic chemicals are everywhere. In the food we eat, the water we drink, even the air we breathe. This list of resources will give you tips to avoid them, or at least reduce your exposure in your everyday life. This is a work in progress, please share and send us other useful websites to [email protected].

Food and food packaging

  • Reduce your exposure to pesticide by eating organic food and avoid the use of pesticide in your home and garden. For more information, consult the consumer guide on food where endocrine disruptive pesticides have been found.

  • Avoid food such as processed meat, sugar-free candies, refined vegetable oil, bread with potassium promate, etc.

  • Cook your own dishes out of fresh organic vegetables, participate in local food growing and avoid eating out too many times.

  • Do not use food packaging for purposes other than for what it was sold. For example, don’t microwave in plastic boxes that aren’t marked as microwave-safe, and microwave in glass if you can.

  • Limit your consumption of fish species with a high methylmercury content. See recommendation from the European Food Safety Authority, and the national recommendations in France, in the UK or in the US.

  • More on pesticides and food and on residue testing for products available in the UK.

Read more on CHEM Trust website.


Cleaning products

  • Make sure you clean your home frequently so that chemical compounds don’t accumulate in dust.

  • Use natural cleaning brands, in particular, look out for products with independent ecolabels such as the EU Ecolabel, the Blue Angel or the Nordic Ecolabel.

  • Make yourself safe home-cleaning products.

  • Avoid home air fresheners and use safe home-made alternatives.


  • Look for natural and organic brands for soap, shampoo, make up, toothpaste and other personal care products..

  • Prefer alternatives made up out of natural ingredients.

  • Read more on cosmetics use and concerns around some common ingredients. In the EU, all cosmetics must have an ingredients list, which makes it easier to avoid problem chemicals.

Women, pregnant women and babies

  • Use reusable menstrual products during your period, such as washable pads, menstrual cups, period pants or organic cotton tampons and menstrual pads. Read more on the environmenstrual campaign in the UK.

  • When pregnant and renovating your home to get it ready for your new baby, use water based and low emitting products and protective gloves and mask, if required, when doing the work, ventilate during and after renovation, choose water based paints, preferably with an ecolabel, avoid vinyl flooring and vinyl wallpaper. Read more on specific resources for pregnant women, about renovating your home, furnishing and living together with your new baby.


  • Buy fewer toys, aim for quality over quantity.

  • Avoid very cheap toys because they often contain more hazardous chemicals.

  • Do not buy a toy with a strong chemical or perfumed smell or if it feels uncomfortable to the touch.

  • Look for products from natural or organic manufacturers

  • Unpack any new toy and leave it outdoors to let some of the hazardous chemicals evaporate. Wash and air dolls and cuddly toys before use.

  • Choose wooden toys unvarnished and unpainted, with as few glued part as possible.

  • Choose natural rubber toys instead of synthetic and look for the label ‘PVC-free’ or ‘phthalate-free’.

  • Please note that the CE label does not guarantee safety.

Find out more in the Guide on safe toys by Women in Europe for a common future (WECF).


Find out about chemicals in the products you purchase


In Europe, you can always ask companies about the chemicals they have used in their products. Read more on the right to know under the REACH regulation here and here.

Use the applications that help you to find out about the toxics in the products you purchase:

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    Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.