Everyone is at risk from chemical overload, but children are at risk the most. Over 100,000 human-made chemicals surround us in daily life. Another 1,500 chemicals are produced yearly. All these chemicals are increasingly making their way into our environment and posing health problems for our kids. In recent years, diseases such as type II diabetes, asthma, developmental and reproductive problems, and diet-related cancers have more than doubled. Leukemia, brain cancer, behavioural problems and obesity have also increased.
Children’s growing bodies don’t yet have the ability to detoxify and excrete chemicals the same as adults, so chemicals and toxins remain in their bodies longer, causing a lot of damage in the short and long term. Kids are also closer to the ground, so they are exposed to more fumes and chemicals at ground level, such as from cleaners and pesticides, etc. Unborn babies also absorb chemicals from their mother’s perfumes and cosmetics. Chemicals enter our bodies in three ways: inhaled, absorbed through skin and ingested in food and drink.
What can we do?
- Eliminate household chemicals and use natural products.
- Have indoor plants around your home.
- Opt for fresh air and essential oil burners instead of chemical air fresheners.
- Choose natural, organic foods and drinks without artificial preservatives and additives – better still, grow your own!
- Be extra fussy and strict if you are pregnant, avoiding all fumes and exposure to anything unnatural.
For more info please visit www.chemicalfreeparenting.com and grab a copy of Dr Sarah Lantz’ book Chemical Free Kids: Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World. Sarah is a child health researcher at the University of Queensland.
Every change you make to be greener, however small, makes a difference to your planet and your health.