by Tracy Rohland
The last fifty years have seen an alarming increase in the variety of synthetic chemicals in our everyday environments. These chemicals have inundated our food supply, personal care products, clothing, housewares, as well as the foods and products that we give to our children. It is the effect of these chemicals on babies and children that is most pertinent to address.
In a 2002 report shown on PBS’ “NOW with Bill Moyers,” Moyers states that “most of these chemicals have never been tested for their toxic effects on children. And scientists are concerned that recent increases in childhood illnesses like asthma and cancer, as well as learning disabilities, may be related to the environment — to what kids eat, drink and breathe1.” In fact, The Environmental Protection Agency does not require chemical manufacturers to conduct human toxicity studies before approving their chemicals for use in the market. A manufacturer simply has to submit paperwork on a chemical, all the data that exists on that chemical to date, and wait 90 days for approval2.
According to Dr. Leo Trasande, assistant director of the Center for Children's Health and the Environment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, “children up to six years old are most at risk because their vital organs and immune system are still developing and because they depend more heavily on their environments than adults do (2).” For this reason, it is important for adults to be aware of the products and substances that their infants and children are exposed to.
The majority of baby products on the market today are filled with preservatives, dyes and artificial flavoring. Furthermore, very few of them are organic, so even if a product has natural ingredients, they are most likely tainted with toxins. This includes not only food, but creams and soaps that are readily absorbed into their gentle skin, plastic toys they play with as well as the carpets and couches on which they lay. The environment is filled with virtually unavoidable chemical toxins.
As a parent, the health of your baby is always a concern. It is clearly not practical to eliminate all environmental toxins surrounding our babies, but we can at least make efforts to reduce their exposure.
Fortunately, there are more and more products being produced these days with organic consumers in mind. Down to Earth carries a wide variety of organic, all natural baby products. We also carry natural detergents and cleaning products so you can reduce the toxins in babies clothing and around the home. Any small steps you can take to reduce the amount of toxins your baby is exposed to can make a difference in the health of their delicate bodies and minds.
- NOW, with Bill Moyers. “Kids and Chemicals”
- “Tests reveal high chemical levels in kids' bodies”