Green Nesting

Baby on the way?

Getting the nursery ready?

A few tips to make the nest green.

Before sanding or stripping paint, know if your house or apartment has been painted with lead-based paint. Contact your county lead program for information on testing and safely renovating. Contra Costa County’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Project information is here.

Same goes for refinishing old furniture. Test before sanding or stripping. Expectant mothers should avoid solvents and fumes. If it must be a mom job, select low VOC products. Know that carpeting and furniture made with pressed wood or fiberboard can off gas formaldehyde and other chemicals. Consider safer options.

For general cleaning, select safe products for the job. Check the Good Guide online here.

Inside and out, switch to safer practices to discourage and eliminate pests. UC Davis maintains an excellent site on identifying creepy crawlies and developing an integrated pest management plan here.

An excellent summary of simple steps to a healthier home for baby from Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Out of Harm’s Way project is here.

About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at,, and She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit
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