There is growing evidence to suggest that children are born with a chemical load that is having an effect on their overall health. Environmental Defence in Canada tested the umbilical cord blood of three anonymous newborns in Ontario hospitals. They tested for PBDEs (flame retardants), PCBs (a banned chemicals), PFCs (found in non-stick coatings), Organochlorine pesticides, dioxins and furans, mercury and lead, which are chemicals that are known to be pervasive in the environment and are linked to serious health problems. A total of 137 toxic chemicals were identified in the umbilical cords, ranging from 55 to 121 different chemicals in each one.
They also stated in the report many of the chemicals are linked to serious health conditions: 132 are reported to cause cancer in humans or animals; 110 are considered toxic to the brain and nervous system; and 133 cause developmental and reproductive problems in mammals.
At the moment there are over 80,000 different chemicals on the markets in a range of the products many of us use on a daily basis and there is limited or no regulation around the safety of such products.
So what can you do about it?
- The Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. They have a great resources page with practical household tips: http://environmentaldefence.ca/issues/resources
- US’s Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. They have a great collection of consumer guides: http://www.ewg.org/consumer-guides
- Keep it simple, keep it natural: Apply this principle in all aspects of your life and you will be off to a very good start.
- Use classical homeopathy: Homeopathic remedies are non-toxic, natural, and safe for the entire family including babies and pregnant moms. Some basic education from a qualified homeopath can put you in good stead to treat a variety of ailments at home. In my practice, constitutional treatment seems to improve and support the developmental process in my little patients. Also, research has been done which indicates that classical homeopathic remedies could also protect us from toxic loads in the environment and reduce overall levels in our body. More research is needed but it is an relevant and timely avenue of scientific inquiry as we are exposed to more toxins then ever before and need effective approaches to de-toxing.
1. PRE-POLLUTED: A report on toxic substances in the umbilical cord blood of Canadian newborns (Environmental Defence, June 2013)
2. VIDEO: 10 Americans (EWG): Watch EWG president Ken Cook share shocking information about how babies are born pre-polluted with as many as 300 industrial chemicals in their bodies. One of the most entertaining and sobering presentations that you’ll see about the health effects of environmental pollution.
3. Research analysis of phthalates and their health risks (The Guardian, Feb 2015): http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/10/phthalates-plastics-chemicals-research-analysis
4. Major new study reveals maternal exposure to toxic chemicals, in particular BPAs and phthalates (June 2014): http://environmentaldefence.ca/blog/major-new-study-reveals-maternal-exposure-toxic-chemicals, original study: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412014000609