Health experts announce 5 ways to protect children from toxic chemicals

Friday, June 17, 2011 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: children, toxic chemicals, health news

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(NaturalNews) Imagine parents who would put their children in danger, placing them in situations that could cause serious health problems and distress such as difficulty breathing or a disruption of their male and female hormones -- or even shorten their kids' lives. We must be talking about psychopaths, right? After all, most moms and dads would do anything to protect their offspring.

Unfortunately, without realizing it, countless parents who wouldn't consciously do anything to hurt their youngsters are unwittingly exposing their children to dangerous, toxic chemicals in the home. The result could be health problems now and when the youngsters are grown, too.

As NaturalNews has extensively reported, you can't rely on the government to make sure the products you use in your home are safe for you or your kids, either. In the U.S., for example, the FDA has done little except finally express "concern" over the powerful hormone disrupter bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in a host of household goods, toys and food containers (

Instead of feeling helpless in the face of so many household toxins that can threaten the health of children, the Canadian Partnership for Children's Health and Environment (CPCHE), a coalition of Canadian environmental and health experts, has announced it's time for parents to get serious about the potentially dangerous chemicals found in too many homes. And the good news is you can take five simple actions to avoid a chemical-laden home and safeguard your children's health -- by keeping dust levels down, avoiding plastics, saying no to mercury containing fish, using only green cleaners, and keeping pregnant women and youngsters away from home renovation areas.

"If parents take simple actions in these five areas, they can significantly reduce their children's exposures to toxins -- and even save money," Erica Phipps, CPCHE Partnership Director, said in a media statement.

Dust from lead paint and chemicals including pesticide residue can be brought inside the home on shoes and clothes, get into the air and into the lungs. But frequent wet mopping, vacuuming and dusting with a damp cloth can go a long way to keep toxic substances out of the home.

"House dust is a major source of children's exposures to toxic substances including lead which, even at very low levels, is known to be harmful to the developing brain," Prof. Bruce Lanphear of Simon Fraser University, a world-leading expert on children's environmental health who serves as an advisor to CPCHE, said in the media statement.

The CPCHE experts also urge parents to go green when you clean. You'll save money, too, by getting rid of toxic chemical cleaners and switching to simple, non-toxic cleaners including baking soda and vinegar. Also important: avoid the use of air "fresheners" and use fragrance-free laundry detergents. Chemical "scents" used in these products have been linked to the disruption of normal hormone function in youngsters. In addition, the CPCHE panel also advises against the use of antibacterial soaps.

Renovating your house? The CPCHE says it is crucial to keep pregnant women and children away from areas being renovated to avoid exposure to contaminant-laden renovation dust and toxic fumes from products like paints, caulking and glues.

Another important way to protect health: avoid plastic products, especially when it comes to serving and storing food. In fact, the CPCHE warns against using plastic containers or wrap in the microwave, even though the label reads "microwave safe", because chemicals in the plastic can migrate into the food or beverage.

The group also calls for eating fresh and frozen foods whenever possible. this will reduce exposure to BPA which is used in the lining of most food and drink cans. BPA is associated with a wide range of health problems, including harming the developing brain and disruption of endocrine function.

PVC, commonly called just plain vinyl, contains a class of chemical plasticizers known as phthalates that should also be avoided, especially by kids. Even though phthalates are now banned from some children's toys, many other vinyl products are still on the market in some bibs, shower curtains and children's raincoats. The safest solution? Throw away older toys and teething rings made of soft plastic.

If you serve your youngsters a lot of fish, you may also be serving them mercury, which is toxic to the brain. The CPCHE urges parents to do their homework and only serve varieties of fish that are low in mercury -- such as Atlantic mackerel, herring, rainbow trout and wild salmon.

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