|4 Common Childhood Toxins & How To Avoid Them|
|Written by Elizah Leigh|
Plastic in my lotion? Naah…impossible. Well, that’s just it – we’ve learned to trust our favorite brands, but it seems that we’ve given them far too much leeway because they continue cramming a whole bunch of funky business into products that, on the surface, seem totally beneficial. Profits have taken precedence over consumer safety and lax product guidelines have made it even easier for manufacturers to pull the wool over our eyes. While this is the current climate, we don’t have to accept it.
There’s a simple way to safeguard the health of your little ones, not to mention yourself and any other people that you care about. Okay, to be quite honest, it’ll take a bit of effort on your part, but this article will help to jumpstart the process. First, make a point of investigating what’s REALLY in the products that you commonly bring into your household. Then, take notes on what the worst offenders are. Locate human and planet-friendly alternatives courtesy of your favorite online search engine. Finally, write them all down in a notebook that you tote along on all future shopping excursions. Bada-bing.
The following list, while hopefully eye-opening, should really inspire you to conduct further research on the topic of chemical toxins because they’ve become such an omnipresent part of our lives whether we like it or not. The good news is that once you obtain a better understanding of the pervading substances to avoid, shopping for toxin-free items won’t seem nearly as daunting as it probably seems right at this moment.
What Is it? A heavy metal that occurs in nature (the soil in your backyard) as well as in a vast range of manmade products (such as pre-1978 house paint, water pipes and solder).
How Does It Impact The Body? Detrimental to both adults and children, even in minor amounts, this neurotoxin can compromise the blood, brain and nervous system, harm the kidneys, trigger miscarriages, inhibit cognitive ability and trigger weakness in the extremities.
What Is It Used For? Lead can be found in everything from pharmaceuticals, lead-acid battery electrodes and radiation shields at the doctor’s office to countless construction and architectural materials, ammunition, imported children’s products, longer-burning candle wicks, polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC), fishing tackle, decorative glass, artist’s supplies and Christmas lights.
How Can I Avoid It?
What Is it? You know that old-fashioned thermometer that your grandmother whips out when you’re feeling under the weather – the one with the liquid silver material within? That aqueous metallic substance is mined from the earth’s crust, but mercury is also commonly found in atmospheric emissions resulting from coal power plants, cement production, smelting operations, gold mining and various other sources.
How Does It Impact The Body? This extremely toxic compound can harm peripheral vision, inhibit coordination, weaken muscles, trigger skin rashes and limit one’s ability to talk, hear or walk properly. Children are particularly vulnerable, as development can be seriously compromised and permanent heart, lung, kidney and immune system problems can result.
What Is It Used For? It preserves cosmetics like mascara, extends the shelf life of vaccines, helps assorted fluorescent lighting devices to illuminate properly (including CFLs) and is used in a number of thermometer-thermostat type devices and car switches.
How Can I Avoid It?
What Is it? Yup, that now-notorious, plastic-derived compound that’s been in the headlines for the last several years is still at it. Any which way you slice it, BPA is up to no good when it floats around in our bodies.
How Does It Impact The Body? 90% of Americans carry detectable levels of this estrogen-mimicking menace in their blood, and in addition to the chemical messing with the reproductive system, it is believed to trigger cancer of the breast and prostate, plus hyperactivity in children
What Is It Used For? Thermal paper grocery store receipts, dental sealants, polycarbonate plastic food packaging, disposable plastic cutlery, water bottles, the linings in metal beverage/food cans, a whole host of children’s products (baby bottles, especially) and sunglasses!
How Can I Avoid It?
What Are They? Think of these chemicals as the key softening agents that make plastics pliable, durable and long-lasting. Oddly enough, they make a whole lot of other things flexible… things that we apply to our bodies and even consume. Yikes.
How Do They Impact The Body? Like BPA, phthalates cause all sorts of funny business in the reproductive system, from birth defects and hormone changes to obesity and liver damage.
What Are They Used For? Vinyl, insect repellents, food wrappers, jelly rubber sex toys, intravenous tubing, the coating of herbal supplements and pharmaceutical drugs, household caulk and paint, children’s toys, shower curtains, textiles, garden hoses, personal care products (including nail polish, moisturizer, hair spray, eye shadow and perfume), etc.
How Can I Avoid Them?
Image: Nanny Snowflake
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