Mommy Knows Best

Healthy Baby, Toxic World
    Practical Ways to Protect Your Baby During Pregnancy and Infancy

by Melody Milam Potter and Erin E. Milam

New Harbinger, 1999 299 pp. $15.95, paper


The rationale for this handbook for parents on environmental toxic risks to developing fetuses and infants is a lack of good information for parents who are used to relying on parents’ magazines, occasional television spots, and ephemeral newspaper articles which either do not cover important risks in depth, gloss the issue or treat risks as overblown.

Healthy Baby, Toxic World is a repository of information about toxic materials at home and in the workplace, and how they can affect a fetus or growing child. The book also provides suggestions for safer products in the home, beneficial foods (including homemade baby food) and alternatives to certain prescription drugs. It answers questions about toxins and their cumulative effects, food additives to avoid, and warns of chemicals in crafts materials and personal hygiene products.

This is an earnest work, meant to inform rather than alarm, and the authors have been judicious in selecting material, principally from government chemicals data and well-accepted studies. The emphasis is on prevention of risk, and each chapter includes simple solutions: to reduce dioxin and PCB exposure; avoid aluminum exposure in food; to reduce formaldehyde outgassing; to avoid exposure to lead, chemicals in carpets, pesticides, and so forth.

The principal author, Melody Milam Potter, has a Ph.D. in environmental health and behavioral medicine psychology, and 14 years’ experience as a nurse.

This review first appeared in The Workbook, Spring 2000. 

© Copyright by POINT, 2000