So, I’ve decided that we live in a weird, weird time. “Franken-Time,” if you will. We have hit so many technological advances that it’s near baffling to think how far we’ve come in a 150 years.
Cars, Jets, Rockets, Year-Round Food (as opposed to only seasonal items), Vaccines, X-Rays and MRIs, The Computer, The Internet …
We’ve achieved a lot.
But with our advancements and focus on convenience items, there has come a price. Our obesity rates are at an all-time high as we get farther and farther away from active lifestyles and REAL food, our environment and wild-life is being endangered (or, in some cases, eradicated), and pollution isn’t just showing up in our air … chemicals are entering our home.
And they are doing it through some of the most innocent products.
Did You Know? (I didn’t)
Earlier this week, I was invited to attend a Virtual Healthy Baby Home Party; the purpose was to discuss chemical exposure with the folks from Seventh Generation (who most of us know as the “green” home and baby supply company).
I knew chemicals were bad. I knew that I should be avoiding them. But, honestly? I also like sweet smelling and strong cleaners, perfumes, shampoos and soaps. While turning to real food has been my focus for awhile now, I’ve not made a chemical free home a priority.
Now? I’m not so sure my convenient and easy smelling products are such a good thing.
Here’s Where We Stand in the U.S.
- There are more than 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S. — comprehensive pre-market safety testing of these chemicals is not required under any federal law.
- The primary U.S. law that regulates chemicals in every day products hasn’t been updated in more than 35 years.
- In Europe, 1,328 chemicals have been banned for use in personal care products. In the U.S., only 11 chemicals have been banned or restricted by the FDA.
- Scientific evidence continues to point to the chemicals we are exposed to in our daily lives as causing or contributing to the rise in childhood behavioral disorders and diseases.
- Studies have shown that children begin environmental chemical exposure while still in the womb and persists throughout childhood
- In a study of 10 children’s face paints, all 10 tested positive for lead.
- Studies have found flame retardants, bisphenol-A and other environmental chemicals in breast milk!
Some of the Results of exposure?
- A study from The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting showed that children with the highest DEHP levels had nearly five times the odds of being obese compared with children who had the lowest DEHP levels.
- Researchers at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center found that children with high urinary levels of parabens were more sensitive to environmental allergens like pollen and pet dander, compared to those with low paraben levels.
- Research from CDC showed that 97% of people had the chemical sunscreen Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) in urine, which is related to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. Also, mothers with high levels of oxybenzone in their bodies were more likely to give birth to low birth weight baby girls.
Yeah — kind of scary, isn’t it? Our modern, high-tech, convenience driven lifestyles seem to have a price. And I don’t want to pay it.
Knowledge Is Power
There are very few parents out in the world who don’t work every day to ensure their children are safe and free from harm. We seek out the safest car seats, remind busy kiddos to put on their bike helmets and we spend money and hours covering electrical outlets. The more I learn of the immense danger of chemical exposure, the more it seems that protecting children from unnecessary chemical exposure should also be at the top of our “Mommy Radars.”
5 Easy Steps To Start Limiting Chemical Exposure
- Take off your shoes at the door: 85 percent of the dirt in our homes is tracked inside on the bottom of our shoes. It’s not just dirt, but toxins like lead, pesticides, gasoline residue and more. Keep your home safer by taking off your shoes. It’s the public health equivalent of washing your hands.
- Buy safer body care: Children are exposed to an average of 27 care product ingredients on a daily basis that have not been found safe for developing bodies. Protect your family’s health by avoiding products that ingredients like parabens, synthetic fragrances, triclosan and more. (For a list of the most toxic offenders, you can download a free eBook, “Easy Steps to a Healthy & Safe Nursery”)
- Open a window: People spend about 90 percent of their time inside, but indoor air is typically far more polluted than outside. So, open those windows! Even a few minutes a day can improve indoor air quality.
- Eat more whole foods: Processed foods may be convenient, but they’re also loaded with sweeteners, artificial flavors and colorings, and synthetic preservatives. These lack nutrients and many are also linked to health issues like ADHD and even cancer. Reduce by eating more whole foods.
- Ban the can: Bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone disruptor that has been linked to everything from obesity to cancer, is in the plastic resin that lines most canned goods—from soups to sodas. Avoiding canned food for significantly lowers exposure. Look for foods packaged in glass or eat fresh, dried, and frozen options.
You can also take this further by switching cleaning products for ones that are plant based. And, if those are two expensive, normal house-hold items like hot water, soap, baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide all do a great job of cleaning surfaces without introducing harmful chemicals!
Learn More (and win!)
If you’re interested in learning more about ridding (or lightening) your home of chemicals … or learning more about Seventh Generation and their natural baby and home products, then join the upcoming Twitter Party!!!
When: The Seventh Generation Twitter party is on November 14 at 1 p.m. ET. You can “rsvp” by here.
What: This will be a fun, informative Twitter party to talk about all-natural baby product options! We’ll also talk about the Healthy Baby Home Party which give moms an interesting and engaging way to educate friends and family on topics like creating a healthy environment for the next generation.Hashtag: #HealthyBabyHomePrizes: Join the party to win a month’s supply of baby diapers and wipes!! Prizes will go to five lucky winners, all chosen randomly from the U.S. participants who answer the Twitter party trivia questions correctly.Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TheMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann
I participated in this program on behalf of Seventh Generation and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own