TOXIC CHEMICALS AND OUR
As parents we are concerned for the safety and
well being of our children. We try to ensure their well being as
infants and growing children. Yet every year millions of
household poisonings occur. Many of these poisonings are fatal
and most are children. The tragedy is, using safer
products in the home could have prevented these poisonings!
Have you ever thought your toddler was safe in
his room playing only to find him in the bathroom under the
sink? Have you ever been on the phone, lost track of time
and find your child ... but not in the room that you left her?
Read more here: Toxic Ingredients In Your Everyday Household Products
Childproof our homes.
- Put protective plugs in
- Install child locks on
- Remove poisonous
household chemicals from children's reach.
- Be aware of all products
in your home that pose a potential hazard.
Did you know that cosmetics are second only to household
cleaners in poisonings of children?
We've addressed the risks involved when swallowing or
ingesting a toxic household product. Did you realize that
inhalation and absorption through the skin are two more ways
that toxins enter the body? Many experts believe that
absorption and inhalation can be more debilitating than
ingestion of a toxic substance. When toxins are ingested
the stomach immediately begins to break them down. When a
hazardous chemical is absorbed or inhaled the toxins travel
directly to the major organs through the blood stream within
CHILDREN ARE VULNERABLE TO TOXIC SUBSTANCES
IN THE ENVIRONMENT
The US has seen a worrisome increase in certain childhood
diseases, and researchers are working hard to determine whether
this increase is linked to environmental exposures.
As noted, childhood
asthma has increased by more than 40% since 1980, affecting more
than 4.2 million children under the age of 18 nationwide.
The incidence of two
types of childhood cancers has risen significantly over the past
15 years: acute lymphocytic leukemia is up 10% and brain tumors
are up more than 30%.
Although there are no
registries for learning disabilities and attention deficit
disorders among children, there has been growing attention in
recent years to an apparent increase in both.
In 1997, President
Clinton issued an Executive Order addressing protection
of children from environmental health risks.
The Food Quality
of 1996 and the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996 both require
consideration of infants and children in risk assessments used
to determine acceptable levels of environmental contaminants in
food and drinking water.
In 1996, Administrator
Browner issued a report entitled Environmental Health Threats to
Children and set a Children’s Agenda for EPA, calling for
consideration of children’s risks in all Agency actions and a
greater emphasis on research to support children’s risk
assessments." (Children's Vulnerability To Toxic Substances In
The Environment Science to Achieve Results Program: 1999
Research Grants National Center for Environmental Research and
Quality Assurance/ US EPA.)
A child's system is continually developing. The ratio of
child intake rate to child body size is greater than that for
adults for some routes, including the skin.
Physiological differences influence the amount of
chemical absorbed into the body. Children have a greater surface
area to body weight ratio than adults, which may lead to
increased dermal absorption. Comparisons of absorption through
the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract between children and
adults are complex and could lead to either increased or
decreased risk depending on the physicochemical properties of
the toxic chemical.
There are several interconnected factors that may
contribute to increased
vulnerability for children, depending on the toxic substance
under consideration and the age of the child. Children's
tissues, organs, and biological systems are still developing,
with several stages of rapid growth and development occurring
from infancy to adolescence.
This rapid development and immaturity of body organs &
systems predisposes children to potentially more severe
consequences within certain age ranges and windows of
vulnerability. Another factor that can influence a child's
vulnerability is that circulatory flow rates are generally
higher in children, which may increase a child's susceptibility
to toxic effects.
A child is not an adult, but most toxicological data are
based on occupational exposures for adults. More and
more, scientists and doctors are discovering that there is a
connection between toxic chemicals found in our households and
chronic conditions such as attention deficit disorder (ADD),
asthma, cancer, central nervous system (CNS) disorders, birth
defects, infertility and others. Birth defects are the leading
cause of death in children one to four years old. Cancer is the
leading cause of death in children over the age of five. Asthma
afflicts three times as many victims than just 20 years ago. And
the number of children diagnosed with ADD runs in the millions,
but according to Dr. Doris Rapp, as many as 2/3 of these cases
may be environmentally related and removal of certain chemicals
or a change in diet would show dramatic improvements...without
the need for powerful narcotics.
It's important to repeat, again, that only 10% of the
chemicals found in household products have been tested to
determine their effect on the nervous system. And nothing is
known about the effects of long-term exposure.
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