Monday, November 24, 2008

Part Two of Children and Cleaning Chemicals

Did you know that by the year 2006, over 80,000 new chemicals had been registered with the EPA? And did you know that less than 20% of these have been tested for toxicity even now? Amazing, huh? And, this is what really gets my attention: hardly any of these have been tested in conjunction with one another. (Sources: U.S. EPA, New Chemicals Program; Landrigan, P.J., et al, (2006).)

What will the cumulative effect of all of these toxins be? Our children are at great risk here. They are more likely to have earlier and more prolonged exposure to these new-fangled chemicals than adults. Pediatrician Herbert L. Needleman said, "We are conducting a vast toxicologic experiment in our society, in which our children and our children's children are the experimental subjects."

"Children are highly vulnerable to chemical toxicants. Pound for pound of body weight children drink more water, eat more food and breathe more air than adults. The implication of this is that children will have substantially heavier exposures than adults to any toxicants that are present in water, food or air." (Source: Landrigan, P.J. & Garg, A. (2002). Chronic effects of toxic environmental exposures on children’s health. Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology, 40(4), 449-456.) Children have more immature metabolic pathways for detoxifying and excreting toxins, while they also have an increased metabolic rate which speeds up the absorption of chemicals. This puts them at increased long-term risk.

Infants and toddlers are even more vulnerable because they have a greater percentage of fatty tissue in which to store these toxins, they crawl on the floor where pesticides and other chemicals are tracked in from outside, and they put their toys in their mouths.

And this isn't even the tip of the iceberg! I enjoy science and research, but many of you may not. I want to keep this blog light yet thought-provoking reading. So, if you are interested in reading more about the science behind our children's exposure, email me:

ae at healthbeginswithmom dot com

I will send you a 12 page pdf file that is chock-full of all the nitty-gritty facts. Just put "12 Page PDF" in the subject line...

And, lest you think I am going to leave you hanging, I will post a Part Three to this series so that I can tell you a simple, cost-effective way to replace ALL the hazardous chemicals in your home. Part three will not be the end, though... I will revisit this topic often as it is a hot-button for me. The way I see it, we can't really do a lot about how much toxic exposure our kids are getting from outdoor air pollution or hazardous cleaning products in their schools and preschools. BUT, we can create a safe, clean home for them where their bodies can rest from the toxic overload they experience.

Until then, take a tour of your home to see what toxins may lurk in your cabinets.

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