Using clean, toxic free products in a family’s household is something that is important to many people. With great work from Sophia Ruan Gushee, author of A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures, she dives into tips for reducing toxic exposures in every day life. We did a short Q&A with Sophia, to learn more about her and her great achievement.
1. What inspired you to spread awareness and empower people by writing your book A to Z
I really disliked the way that I was learning about upsetting information that was important to my children: accidentally as I skimmed reading materials late at night, followed by hours of online research to see if credible sources could verify alarming claims; then hours more research to identify alternative products. After “conquering” the latest chemical of concern that I had learned about, like BPA, I would then feel defeated as I accidentally learned about another chemical of concern, like phthalates, parabens, and more. Feeling like the list of specific chemicals of concern may be endless, and tired of having no control over when I would learn more upsetting information, I became determined to take control of my education on this important topic. So I dived into the topic to empower myself with facts and to prepare myself as alarming headlines would surely populate the news.
Also, I started learning about this topic at a time during which I had an infant, with hopes of having more children. So I wanted to learn as much as I could to help my young, growing family.
Having a full-time job outside the home that I loved, I was really demoralized that there wasn’t an easier way for me to get informed about toxic exposures from within my own home. Studying this topic became my night job. Eventually, I decided to resign from a career that I loved (my day job), partially to be more involved in providing my children with a healthier childhood and to create a practical strategy to reduce my children’s unnecessary toxic exposures.
As I learned details about how interconnected we are, I became more convinced that I need to spread awareness to engage more people in this topic. There is so much that we, individually, can do to reduce unnecessary toxic exposures. However, we can only do so much alone. Significant positive change will come from more awareness and collective efforts.
It wasn’t until I became a mother that I cared about our environment because it seemed irrelevant to me. Now, especially as a mother, I understand how relevant it is to each of us because our inner environments reflect our outer ones.
2. Eight years of research is much dedicated time, how was it writing a book and juggling/raising a family during those eight years?
It was really hard. The past eight years have been an extraordinarily busy time in my personal life with three daughters that are now 8-, 5- and 3- years old. In addition, growing families in NYC usually involve expansion of real estate or renovation projects. Plus, there were several nursery school and kindergarten application processes to go through. Lots of other things going on too.
But, that context should communicate how important this book was for me to create. I was fascinated to discover a wealth of scientific studies on this topic that is relevant to everyone, especially children. I felt compelled to research it, organize it, and present in a practical reference book that will be useful for me and my family life. I hope it’s also useful to others.
3. How do you hope to promote your book? Will you be speaking around the city?
Above all, my goal is to create awareness, empower people with relevant facts, and to inspire change. So, I’m working in various ways to promote the book, including working with a PR firm to secure media coverage. I have a few select speaking engagements around the city and welcome invitations as stimulating productive dialogue is another key goal. People can visit my website to learn the latest news and events: NontoxicLiving.tips.
A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures is available now on Amazon.