Archive for the ‘creating a healthy environment for kids’ Category

Experts Say Everyday Chemicals Can Cause Autism – and Some of Them are in Crib Mattresses

Sunday, May 6th, 2012


chemicals suspected of causing autismIn decades past, we rarely heard of children having autism, but now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of one in 110 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Many causes have been suggested but, still, most autism is considered idiopathic – which means, basically, that no one knows what really caused it. However, some experts believe it to be caused by heavy metals and environmental and household chemicals – some of which are even in crib mattresses.

Dr. Philip Landrigan, professor and chair of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York, compiled a list of 10 heavy metals and chemicals that are highly suspect.

Here’s the list:

• lead
• mercury
• polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – EPA studies say everyone (literally) has them in their body
• organochlorine pesticides like DDT – DDT is banned, but other, similar, chemicals are still around
• automotive exhaust
• brominated flame retardants – found in furniture, electronics, household dust and even certain sodas and sports drinks
• polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – these are in some driveway sealants, in anti-dandruff shampoos, cigarette smoke, mothballs and meat cooked on the barbeque
• organophosphate pesticides – these pesticides have been banned for residential use, but they are still used on our fruits and vegetables
• hormone-disrupting chemicals – these include phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA) and are in hundreds of products we use every day, everything from soaps and cleaning products to air fresheners
• nonstick chemicals – these are used in cookware, as well as in stain protection for furniture and carpeting

According to Dr. Landrigan, “It’s now possible to connect early exposure to problems in childhood.” Problems such as autism, ADHD and learning disabilities. But a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group also found 300 chemicals, some of which are on this list, in newborns. So, while early childhood exposure is a pivotal factor, chemicals are also being transferred from mom to baby while baby is still in the womb.

What steps should you take to reduce the potentially dangerous chemicals in your environment? Some things are obvious, and you might even know about them already – furnish and decorate your nursery with an organic crib mattress and other organic products whenever possible, switch to natural household cleaning products and personal care products for both yourself and baby. And there is more.

For a full rundown on where the suspect chemicals are found and how to avoid them, check 10 Suspect Causes of Autism & Learning Disabilities for a very informative slide show that also features related articles that give you even more information.

Everyone may not agree that heavy metals and chemicals are a problem, but do we really need everyone to agree? After all, many experts think there is ample evidence that these chemicals are highly suspect and, when it comes right down to it, do we really want to take chances with our babies?

Nominate a Mom for Healthy Child Healthy World’s Annual Award

Monday, January 23rd, 2012


Three years ago, Healthy Child Healthy World started their “Mom on a Mission” awards. Every month from January to August they choose one mom as a finalist, and the winner is announced in November. The winning Mom on a Mission gets a prize. For 2012, the fourth year of the awards, the prize is a special event in New York City. How does Healthy Child find these wonderful moms? From you: You submit your nominations to Healthy Child.

What’s Mom on a Mission all about? In the words of Healthy Child: Mom on a Mission is about “Celebrating special and inspiring American parents who are dedicated to creating healthier and happier environments for children and families. Our 4th Annual Mom on a Mission campaign is designed to shed light on those who put our words into action.”

Last year’s winner was Tamara Rubin. Tamara’s children were diagnosed with acute lead poisoning – the result of a painting contractor’s use of unsafe paint removal methods. Tamara not only got into action, she was even instrumental in the passing of a new law – The Federal EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. Read more about Tamara’s fascinating story.

Many moms, and dads, started their education about the relationship between toxins and health when they found out they were about to have a baby. They went looking for a crib mattress, did a little research, and wound up buying organic. Naturepedic is proud to have been the top choice for many. From there, parents continued to educate themselves and some even got more involved in making big changes. Some are even be actively changing laws, like Tamara Rubin.

We might not all be able to change laws, but what each of us does, no matter how little, makes a difference. Or, as Healthy Child puts it: No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

We all want a healthier environment, and boy do we need it! Public acknowledgment of the work being done towards achieving a healthy world is important, It educates more people, and it inspires them to do as much as they can to create a healthy life for their children, themselves and every one of us.

So, pick a mom who’s doing something – maybe it’s even you, or your mom – and get her info to Healthy Child.