Take action to protect your health. Here are some ways you can reduce your exposure to carcinogens.
- Don't smoke. Quit or don't start and encourage your family members to quit. If you're having trouble quitting, ask your doctor to refer you to a smoking cessation program.
- Eat healthy. Eating low-fat foods, primarily fruits, vegetables, and grains, helps decrease exposure to persistent organic pollutants. Eating high-fiber foods may also help reduce your risk of getting cancer.
- Reduce your contact with pesticides. Eat organic food as much as possible. Wash your hands before eating and avoid areas sprayed with pesticides.
- Reduce the use of pesticides and other chemicals on your lawn and garden and in your home. Limit your use of toxic chemicals such as paint thinners and varnish removers, and always dispose of them properly -- never down the sink or in the street; call (800) CLEANUP to learn about safe disposal. Use natural cleaning products, such as vinegar and baking soda.
- Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation and electromagnetic fields. Get X-rays only if medically indicated. Avoid using electric blankets, don't spend time near the sides and backs of televisions or computer monitors, and keep a few feet away from clock radios, toasters, and other appliances.
- Decrease your exposure to toxic solvents. When refueling your car, step away from the pump -- gasoline contains the harmful chemical benzene. Don't dry-clean your clothes if you can wash them instead (or they don't really need it). When you do dry-clean clothes, air-dry them outdoors, if you can, before putting them in closets. Alternatively, look for a "wet cleaner" that uses environmentally friendly methods to clean clothes. You'll find wet-cleaner listings on the Greenpeace website.
- You'll find lots more Bay Area green-living tips in our Green Gate Green Guides. And to keep informed and take action on the latest issues affecting the Bay Area and the rest of California, join NRDC's California Activist Network.