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by Paige Miller

From the toxic coating on non-stick pans, to chemicals in plastics, and even to ingredients in our shampoo, learning about all of the toxins in our environment can get a bit overwhelming. With so much information out there, it can be hard to figure out specific actions we can take to make a difference in reducing our exposure to toxins.

That’s why WEN joined Swati Sharma, toxics reduction expert at the San Francisco Department of the Environment, in March to learn what the City is doing to reduce toxins in the environment, and to find out specific actions we can take as individuals to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Swati gave us the rundown on the various programs and resources that the department has for residents and businesses. The department’s toxics reduction team promotes toxics reduction through programs such as the Healthy Nail Salon program, Green Janitorial Training program, and Green Business program. They also help residents make safer choices by providing them with information on how to properly dispose of toxic chemicals and choose safer products and practices. RecycleWhere, an online recycling database, is another helpful resource which helps residents find out what to do with unwanted items.

Swati shared with us specific actions we can take as consumers to reduce our exposure to toxins, like choosing a wet cleaner over a dry cleaner and using stainless steel or cast iron pans instead of non-stick pans. Learn about everyday actions you can take to support a healthier lifestyle by checking out the Department’s Healthy Home Tips.

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