“All that natural stuff is just marketing.”
“You’ve gotta die of something.”
“My kids eat/use/wear that, and they’re fine. Why don’t you live a little!”
I hear these things every day, along with so many others I won’t bother listing. When you make choices that are different than those of your friends and family, life can be…annoying. Tiring. You can feel a little isolated, unsupported. Tempted to throw in the towel.
And then you see something like this, and it all becomes clear again.
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to attend a conference call with some folks from Seventh Generation and Healthy Child Healthy World, and I was reminded of the many, many reasons why I made the commitment to live a more natural, healthy lifestyle. I spent the hour drinking in the inspiration, the enthusiasm, the support and the power, and I left recharged and ready to double my efforts (all while shouting, “I AM NOT ALONE!”)
This nation’s children are riddled with health issues. ADD, ADHD, childhood obesity, diabetes, autism spectrum disorders…the list is long. And while I can’t say that I have any of the answers, I can say without a shadow of a doubt in my mind that some of these problems are being caused by environmental factors. It’s not just one big coincidence that the numbers have spiked during the very same time in history that environmental chemical exposure starts happening in the womb and persists throughout childhood. Children’s face paints, toys and jewelry are testing positive for lead. Flame retardants and bisphenol-A are being found in breast milk. Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are widespread in bath products for babies and kids, including baby lotions, shampoos and bubble bath.
“My kids are fine.” That’s the argument. But to me, it doesn’t hold a drop of water. There hasn’t been enough time to know if ANY kids are fine at this point, so the point can’t be made. There are 80,000 chemicals in use today, and we know the effects for less than 5% of them.
What we DO know is this:
- 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.
A few eye-opening facts:
- 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 the European Union (EU), 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.
- Cancer is now the leading cause of child-related death in the U.S., exceeded only by injury.
But What Can YOU Do?
Knowledge IS power, and you can make a difference. If you put your child in a car seat and baby proof your home, you’re already doing it. But there are further steps you can take to further ensure your family’s longterm health, like opening your windows, taking off your shoes at home, and eating more whole foods. For more easy, affordable steps that make a big difference, visit the Easy Steps Library at HealthyChild.org.
Want to do even more?
- Host your own Healthy Baby Home Party on your blog or in person. Apply today and help spread the word!
- Urge Senators to strengthen and pass the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA).
- Support brands that support your priorities, like Seventh Generation. They take a precautionary approach, because all chemicals are guilty until proven innocent! (Especially when it comes to protecting children.) When uncertainty exists, Seventh Generation’s commitment is to err on the side of caution.
Seventh Generation believes in taking early precautions: All chemicals are guilty until proven innocent!
“When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”
Tweet with us!
- When: November 14 at 1 p.m. ET
- Follow the conversation using hashtag: #HealthyBabyHome
- Prizes: Join the party to win a month’s supply of baby diapers and wipes!! Five lucky winners will be randomly chosen from the U.S. participants who answer the Twitter party trivia questions correctly.
- Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TheMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann