According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “The U.S. needs to do a better job protecting children and pregnant women from toxic chemicals.”
Kids’ Are Growing
Children’s brains and bodies are developing, making them more susceptible to toxins. If you’re pregnant, the same applies to your unborn baby.
Many children’s advocates say they’re concerned toxic exposures could be fueling the recent rise in early puberty in girls and a variety of chronic diseases, such as autism, allergies, asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
The current law has been used to regulate only five chemicals or chemical classes out of the 80,000 chemicals used by businesses, said Jerome Paulson of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., lead author of the statement.
You can see why Tristan’s toys are BPA-free…they all go into his mouth!
Although companies are required to notify the EPA about new chemicals, they aren’t require to test chemicals for safety. Only about 15 percent of these notifications include health or safety test data, according to the Government Accountability Office.
The current law is so weak that the Environmental Protection Agency wasn’t even able to use it to ban asbestos, says Sarah Janssen, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Of the top 3,000 chemicals produced in the USA, only 12 have been “adequately tested for their effects on the developing brain,” Janssen says.
Parents Ultimate Advocates
While it’s good news that pediatricians and other child advocates are looking for stricter regulation of toxic chemicals, you are your child’s ultimate advocate. Avoiding processed foods is a big step in the right direction. Food isn’t the only way we are exposed to chemicals. Take a look at the following list of harmful chemicals and do your best to avoid them.
Toxins to Avoid
Environmentalists say these chemicals are so harmful they should be restricted or banned:
Asbestos. Linked to lung cancers and lung disease. Still found in many products, from brake pads to some kinds of cement.
Bisphenol A (BPA). Linked to prostate, brain and behavior changes in children exposed before and after birth. In countless products, including plastics and linings of metal cans.
Formaldehyde. A known carcinogen in construction materials, couches, countertops.
Hexane. Linked to nerve damage. A solvent in craft paints, spray glues, stain removers.
Hexavalent chromium. Linked to several kinds of cancers. Found in soil, water.
Methylene chloride. Can cause poisonings and death. Found in wood-floor cleaners, water repellents, spray shoe polish.
Phthalates. Linked to hormone changes and birth defects. Used to soften plastics and bind fragrances to products such as perfume.
Flame retardants. Linked to altered brain development resulting in loss of IQ points; some linked to cancer. Used in polyurethane foam in couches, nursing pillows, children’s sleepware and strollers.
Tricholoroethylene. Linked to cancer in animals and birth defects. Used in rug cleaners and spot removers.
Vinyl chloride. Linked to liver disease in animals. Used in polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, and in flooring, car interiors and children’s toys.
Source: Natural Resources Defense Council
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