Are you about to enter parenthood and the shopping tsunami that accompanies a new baby?
The list of baby ‘got to haves’ is never ending and the promotion of baby products is big business. With a healthy bottom line being the ultimate corporate goal, have these businesses really got your baby’s best interest in mind when they create all their baby product range?
We assume companies are accessing the latest science as a guide to choose the safest ingredients, especially for products used on babies. Unfortunately, nobody is watching, and companies are allowed to put ingredients into personal care products with no required safety testing, and without disclosing all the ingredients.
As early as 2009, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics conducted research and released a Report ‘No More Toxic Tub’ that shows, dozens of leading body care products for babies and children contain the toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. These two chemicals, linked to cancer and skin allergies, are anything but safe and gentle and are completely unregulated in children’s products. A follow up report was released in ‘Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic’ that caught Johnson & Johnson in a situation of double standards.
Harmful chemicals are no limited to baby care products, they sneak into baby clothing, bedding and toys as well. Many of these products tested also contained ingredients with known or suspected links to cancer or other serious health problems. More evidence is coming to light on the impact of technology which relies on Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) and its impact on young children. We will share more on these in a later blog.
No doubt you are familiar with the ‘BPA FREE’ marketing message splattered across most of the plastic products sold today. And your not alone if you have been suckered into buying those products, thinking you’re saving yourself and or family from potential ill health.
BPA stands for bisphenol A and is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. It has been linked with prostate cancer, infertility, asthma, heart disease and a number of neurodevelopmental disorders.
bisphenol S, or BPS, a common replacement for BPA in plastics, has also been linked to health risks. New UCLA-led research has demonstrated BPS is just as harmful as BPA. The study found that BPS speeds up embryonic development and disrupts the reproductive system in animals.
It remains that replacing all plastics in your home is still the safest action in minimise your family’s exposure.
It’s time to accept that, for the most part, industry and governments are not ensuring that the products and services available to you on the shelves of our retail stores are the safest options for your family.
You may have been convinced to buy BPA FREE products, thinking that you’re saving yourself and/or your family from potential ill health, if so BEWARE.
Why should we be more concerned for our children, than ourselves?
Firstly, children are not little adults. If chemicals are tested, testing is based on the impact on a mature adult and in isolation. The synergistic effects in combination with other chemicals are not tested. Children may have adverse health effects at lower exposure then are identified as safe for adults. For example:
- Nitrate – Prolonged exposure to tap water with 20 ppm nitrate can kill an infant, but will have no observable effect on an adult.
- Mercury – Exposure in the womb at 100 parts per billion will significantly increase the likelihood of learning deficits in childhood, same dose has no measurable effect on an adult.
- Radiation – Children exposed to radiation have a much higher incidence of cancer than adults exposed to the same dose.
- PCBs – Levels of fetal PCB exposure that cause learning deficits that persist through adolescence, have no measurable effects on adults.
- Ritalin – This commonly prescribed drug acts as a depressant and calming agent in children, but has the opposite effect in adults.
- Honey – Infants under one year of age can contract a potentially fatal paralytic form of botulism from eating honey. In older children and adults the digestive system is more acidic and it destroys the botulism toxins present in the honey.
- Lead – Doses at age 2 that cause IQ deficits throughout childhood produce no effect in adults.
Secondly, kids more vulnerable to harmful chemical than adults as they are not fully developed:
- They breathe more, digest more food per kg of body weight then an adult…
- Children in the first six months of life drink seven times as much water per kg as does the average adult.
- Children one through five years of age eat three to four times more food per kg than the average adult.
- Resting infants breathe twice as much air, kg for kg, as resting adults (Landrigan et al 1998).
- Children’s skin is more permeable than adults therefor absorbs more
- Children from birth to two years of age have more than twice the body surface area of an adult – an important factor for the many chemicals that can absorb through skin (EPA 1997).
- Detoxification systems are not fully developed
- Blood brain barrier the protects the brain is not fully developed
- They dwell closer to the floor where some chemicals are more likely to be concentrated (Landrigan et al 1998).
- They are exposed at critical time of critical development that may not be able to be repaired.
Children are being born pre-polluted
Research undertaken since 1968 has established that the placental barrier is permeable to toxic chemicals and that babies are now being born pre-polluted. Meaning they are born with hundreds of chemical in their tiny bodies. Some of those chemical found had been banned for decades.
Exposure to chemicals during pregnancy and early childhood:
“maternal exposures to toxic substances on a particular day of pregnancy might cause devastating effects to a baby, while exposures on the very next day would cause no discernible effects whatsoever”
“…if cells in the developing brain, immune system, or reproductive organs are destroyed by neurotoxicants, or if development is diverted by endocrine disruptors, there is high risk that the resulting dysfunction will be permanent and irreversible. Depending on the organ damaged, the consequences can include loss of intelligence, immune dysfunction, or reproductive impairment.”
Take the time to consider and evaluate each product you purchase and service you use. Arm yourself with some knowledge, question the marketing message – what are they not telling you.
The next generation deserves the healthiest possible foundation from which to start their lives.
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