How to Limit Your Child’s Exposure to 80,000 Toxic Chemicals

by Dagmar Bleasdale on January 6, 2013

Green parenting, green living, DagmarBleasdale.com

I’ve been wanting to write about the very shocking numbers I learned about when I went to the Healthy Child Healthy World’s Moms on a Mission event in December.

It was wonderful to be in the same room with so many women who are just as passionate about green living, and when I hear these statistic I want to scream them from the rooftop and do what I can to get more people to realize the magnitude of the problem of toxic chemicals in our everyday life.

Here are just three facts:

There are more than 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S — and none of them have been tested for children’s safety!

Babies are now born with 200+ chemicals in their body.

In the last 20 years, there has been a

  • 400% increase in food allergies
  • 300% increase in asthma
  • 400% increase in ADHD and
  • 1,500% increase in autism!

Coincidence? No!

Do you want to avoid those toxins but don’t know where to start? Here are a few tip:

Buy natural and organic products whenever possible — produce, juice, milk, household cleaning products, skincare products like lotions and shampoos, etc.

You don’t think you can afford organic food? I wrote a post about finding coupons for natural and organic products and how I save a lot of money on them.

If you eat meat, cut down your consumption and use the money you save to only buy grass-fed, organic meat once in a while. Conventional meat is pumped full of hormones and antibiotics because of how the animals are fed (GMO corn instead of grass, which makes them sick) and kept (in pens that are too small that don’t let them move.)

The next time you need toothpaste, a bottle of shampoo, or lotion, go to the EWG’s Database first, click on the category you want, and find the products that are not toxic.

These products will be more costly and might not be easily available, but I finding my organic/natural products — and get a really good deal on them — on drugstore.com.

For cleaning products you can’t go wrong with making non-toxic cleaners yourself with ingredients you already have in the home, like vinegar and baking soda, or Shaklee cleaning products. Their products will last you for years because they are so super concentrated and you just add water. One bottle of ttheir organic Basic H2 concentrate makes 48 gallons of safe all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, and window cleaner.

Avoid junk food, TV dinners, and basically the inside aisles of the supermarket with all the mass-produced, pre-made, boxed items like chips and crackers (most are made with gene-manipulated ingredients that are full of pesticides) and big-name cereals (full of high fructose syrup, which is GMO and terrible for your health).

My rule of thumb: if it’s made by a huge company that’s in every store (Pepsico, Kraft, Nestle, General Mills, Kellogs, Campbells, etc.) I know it’s junk because it’s made with GMO and/or full of pesticides, sodium, preservatives, and dyes. Eighty percent of all th food in supermarkets are made with GMOs.

If you just cut out buying those empty-calorie items like chips and crackers, you’ll free up money for more healthy, whole foods that make you feel full longer.

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If you have a Trader Joe’s store nearby, you’re in luck: all Trader Joe’s label products are non-GMO and affordable, plus they have a great selection of organic products.

Babies and small children are especially susceptible to toxins, so only buy plastic toys if they are BPA free. Same goes for bottles and liners, etc., anything your baby comes into contact with and puts into his or her mouth. Don’t let your baby play with your keys — aside from all the germs on them you have to worry about lead exposure.

Plastic, high-absorbing diapers are full of toxins your baby will be exposed to 24 hours a day. A much better option that has become convenient and trendy is cloth diapers. They are non-toxic and much cheaper than throw-away diapers, plus you’ll keep thousands of plastic diapers out of the landfills.

There are so many different cloth diaper makers out there nowadays, you’ll find one you’ll like the best. If cloth diapers don’t work for you, I recommend getting non-toxic diapers from another HealthyChild.org supporter, Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company. I met Jessica at her Honest launch, and she offers a free trial of her diapers and skin products.

If all of these suggestions seem too much to follow, just pick one and start with that small change. Small changes do make a difference — being exposed to less toxins does make a difference to our children’s health.

Healthy Child Healthy World empowers parents with information and resources to protect their children from harmful effects of toxic chemicals, so if you have a question, it’s the site I would recommend you check for up-to-date information and statistics about healthy living.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly Bonanno (@Savvysuburban_) August 20, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Excellent read. So true about the big companies. The FDA simply does not protect our health. Europe bans 1,342 toxic chemicals while the U.S. only bans 9! Ava Anderson Non Toxic also has excellent personal care & household items, there is a link on my site.

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Tiffany (NatureMom) March 15, 2013 at 11:47 AM

I have two boys with autism. This is such a scary epidemic and I highly suspect environment and exposure to toxins is at the root of it. Thanks for addressing this important issue.

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Dagmar Bleasdale March 15, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Hi Tiffany, thanks for your comment!

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CelloMom March 9, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Thanks for a great list! I would like to add: keep your children (and yourself!) out of your car as much as practically possible: car interiors are full of toxins. That “new car smell”? unremitting bad news.

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Anne January 10, 2013 at 1:30 AM

Agreed! Parents are on their own to do their homework about these important consumer issues….especially as long as our public policies do little to nothing to protect our children.

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PragmaticMom January 9, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Yikes!! That many?! So scary! I had no idea!

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Karen January 8, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Yup, we at least don’t have to worry about food dyes, and also the GMO thing is less here, because they HAVE to label foods with GMO in it, so we don’t buy things labelled with that.
We cloth diaper. Turns out both my kids are both allergic to the ingredients in disposable diapers. I didn’t realise what toxic stuff was in them, until I had to research alternatives when we found out my daughter couldn’t wear them. I changed to Mama cloth too, after that, old fashioned, maybe, but I’d rather not have those chemicals near me, thanks.
Useful information! Thank you!

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Lindsay January 8, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Great post, thanks for sharing this great information. Healthy Child is part of our national coalition working to get better laws on toxic chemicals so consumers don’t have to deal with this insane headache! You can take action and find out more info at http://www.saferchemicals.org. Also if you’re interested in joining our blogger network, please let me know! info @ saferchemicals.org

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Rebecca January 8, 2013 at 5:03 AM

Good morning Dagmar, thank you for this highly informative post. I’m going to share it with our readers on facebook.

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Jeanne Medina January 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Thank you, Dagmar. This is an excellent post that I will share on my Facebook page and bookmark to refer to later on when I need to shop!

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Dagmar Bleasdale January 7, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Hi Jeanne, I’m glad you found it helpful! Thanks for sharing!

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Trisha January 7, 2013 at 12:18 AM

They have banned food dyes in the U.K. and Austrailia. Why not here? Makes me sick. My daughter has an allergy to them. Thank you for your article.

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Dagmar Bleasdale January 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

I grew up without food dyes in Germany. There is absolutely no reason for them and people need to start demanding that companies stop using them. Things can be colored with fruit and vegetable colors naturally. The best way to pressure manufacturers is by voting with your pocketbook and not buying items with nasty dyes.

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