These days, thanks to the efforts of green bloggers like Charlotte and organizations I work with like Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, parents are getting a much needed wake up call about the toxic chemicals in their children's lives. Parents are starting to understand the fact that harmful, toxic chemicals are lurking in the consumer products they purchase and use every single day.
Fortunately, it is becoming common knowledge to moms and dads alike that 80,000 potentially harmful chemicals are used in their consumer goods in the United States, while only a handful of those chemicals have ever been tested by our government for safety.
Feeling Confused And Wonder How to Protect Your Kids from Toxic Chemicals?
Although parent's are more aware of the toxic dangers lurking in their children's lives than ever before, many are still confused as to exactly how to reduce their children's exposure. Right now, without the government's protection, it is up to us to get informed and get the information we need to keep our kids safe from the chemicals in the products we buy. To help sort through the confusion, here are 5 tips to reduce toxic chemicals in your child's life.
5 Tips to Protect Your Children From Toxic Chemicals
Even though it is impossible to eliminate all of the toxic chemicals and their resulting health risks from your children's lives, this July and beyond, you can declare your child's independence from toxic chemicals by following these 5 tips.
- Reduce Your Children's Exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA) - BPA, found in many plastics and consumer products, is one of the most widely used chemicals of all time. It is probably circulating through your body right now as it was found to be present in 93% of 2,517 Americans age 6 and over, tested by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and it is found in the cord blood of newborns. Researchers have linked developmental exposure to BPA to reproductive harm, increased cancer susceptibility, and abnormalities in brain development and fat metabolism. A 2011 study in Environmental Health Perspectives says that even some consumer products listed as BPA free, still leach hormone like chemicals so to protect your children, choose as many stainless steel and glass containers as possible. Try also to reduce their intake of canned foods and drinks as BPA is still used in the lining of many cans. Since BPA is also prevalent in many cash register receipts made from thermal paper, never let your children handle them.
- Buy Organic as Much as Possible - When we talk about foods, organic refers to the way that agricultural products are grown and processed. In addition to meeting other strict requirements, organic foods are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and petroleum-based fertilizers which have been linked to cancer, immune system suppression, miscarriages, Parkisnson's disease and neurological illness - not to mention massive pollution and environmental decay. Please also remember that it is not only organic foods that you should strive to purchase. Look for organics in every area of your consumer purchases. For example, non-organic personal care, products like shampoo and dental floss, may contain Perfluorinated Compounds (PFC's ) which have been linked to cancer. And non-organic mattresses, baby products like car seats and furniture may contain toxic flame retardants (PBDEs) which have been linked to neurological and thyroid damage and may cause birth defects.
- Keep an Eye On Toy Recalls -
Believe it or not, heavy metals like lead are still being found in
children's toys, jewelry, art supplies, clothing, shoes and even candy.
Lead exposure causes health problems, especially for young children.
Lead exposure can affect children's developing brains and nervous
systems making them suffer from shorter attention spans and making it
more difficult for them to learn and read than their unaffected peers.
It is important to keep an eye out for the latest recalls due to lead on
the Consumer Product Safety Commissions (CPSC) website. You can even sign up for recall updates to be sent directly to your inbox.
- Get Rid of Indoor Air Fresheners - Amazingly enough, even though they cost a small fortune, the use of indoor air fresheners is on the rise. Unfortunately though, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "household products like air fresheners, release pollutants more or less continuously." Plus many air fresheners, including those advertised as “all natural” or “unscented", contain phthalates which are hazardous, endcrine disrupting chemicals known to cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, and reproductive problems. A 2010 report by the President's Cancer Panel [http://www.shaneshirleysmith.com/2011/02/why-41-of-americans-will-be-diagnosed.html] acknowledged that low doses of endocrine disruptors have health effects that contribute to the development of cancer. NRDC’s (Natural resources Defense Council) independent testing of 14 common air fresheners, none of which listed phthalates as an ingredient, uncovered these chemicals in 86 percent (12 of 14) of the products tested.
- Take a Stand and Call on Congress to pass the Safe Chemicals Act - If this list makes you nervous, it i time to do more than reduce exposure and worry. There is more that you can do to protect not only your children but children throughout the country. Contact your Senators and let them know that it is time for a new Federal law to protect American children and their families from toxic chemicals. Safer Chemicals Healthy Families makes it really easy and it literally takes less than 2 minutes to make a difference to help change the future health of American families. Do it now and continue to check back in to Safer Chemicals Healthy Families for updates on how close we are to making this important change for the health of our future.
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