Archive for the ‘toxic chemicals in pregnant women’ Category

Fire Retardants Linked to Developmental Problems in Children, Study Says

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011


I can’t help but notice a real concern with the toxicity of fire retardants when I’m reading other’s blogs, articles, online consumer reviews and comments about crib mattresses and other children’s products. The concern is often focused on PBDEs, commonly used toxic flame retardant chemicals that are in just about everything. Should we be concerned? According to a unique study conducted by The Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the answer is a very definite yes.

The researchers on this unique study analyzed the cord blood of 210 infants and then followed up for the next six years. The children were tested at 12, 24, 36 48 and 72 months for psychomotor development, mental development, performance IQ, verbal IQ and full-scale IQ.

The results showed that children with PBDEs in their cord blood scored significantly lower on the later tests. In fact, the higher the prenatal exposure to PBDEs, the lower the scores. Scores on some tests were as much at 10.9 points lower than the scores of children with less prenatal exposure.

PBDEs are widely used flame-retardant chemicals that are in everything from carpets, upholstery and drapery fabrics, children’s clothing, mattresses and furniture to appliances, insulation, building materials, computers and other electronic equipment.

How do PBDEs get into our system?

Because they are added to the products rather than chemically bound to them, they can be released into the air, lodge in dust, and anywhere else they happen to land, where they can be inhaled and even ingested.

PBDEs also don’t break down easily; once they’re in the body they tend to stay there. This also means they accumulate in the body with additional exposure and the levels just keep going up.

What can you do about it?

As the PDBEs in your home can be airborne, it’s important to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. But the most important step you can take is to phase out PBDEs in your own home. Instead, choose products that do not contain “PBDEs”, “brominated fire retardants” or “Deca.”

Many furniture manufacturers and stores, like Ikea, are conscious of the dangers of PBDEs and offer PBDE-free furniture.

For textiles – draperies, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and so on, look for fibers that are naturally fire retardant – organic cotton and wool are good examples. And always check with the manufacturer if there is no information on the label. All of our Naturepedic crib mattresses and other products are made with organic cotton and free of PBDEs and any other harmful chemicals, so that’s a good place to start in protecting your children.

If you’d like to read the full study, it’s available on the Environmental Health Perspectives website.

Anyone who is a potential father or mother should start getting rid of PBDEs and other harmful chemicals right now. Your child’s future depends on it.

Chemicals in Mom’s Body Can Pass to Babies – Even If You Switched to Organic Some Time Ago

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011


detox before pregnancyMany women stop eating certain foods, smoking, drinking alcohol, and so on, after they find out they’re pregnant. They want to make sure they’re doing the best for their baby. But chemicals that we ingest, inhale or absorb can actually stay in the body long after mom has started making healthier choices. Sometimes just changing your lifestyle isn’t enough.

Here’s the story of Molly Gray: After several miscarriages, Molly switched to organic food, avoided fish high in mercury, stopped using plastic food storage containers, and switched to non-toxic cleaning products. But despite these radical changes, high levels of 13 toxic chemicals were found in her blood when she tested during pregnancy.

In fact, some of these chemicals could stay in your body for your entire life. And there may not even be a big difference in how much is in there over very long periods of time – many years.

So, what can a mom-to-be do about this?

Really, the best solution is probably a detoxification program. Detox programs flush toxic chemicals, and a few other things you don’t want, out of your body.

There are many different detox programs. They use different methods, different substances, and some focus on specific parts of the body. It’s important to do the right one(s), in the right sequence for your particular situation. So, really, the only right way to do a detox is with the help of a professional.

We checked with Debra Lynn Dadd, whose journey to Queen of Green started with her attempts to get rid of toxic chemicals in her home and her body, to find out which professionals really know about detox.

Here’s a list of the types of practitioners she recommended, along with websites where you can find out more about each type of practitioner and find someone in your area.

Note: Not all of these docs know about detox, but they are more likely to know about it than others. Ask them; they’ll tell you if they can help you.

A naturopathic doctor: Naturopathic doctors use diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and cutting edge natural therapies along with modern medical science to restore health. To learn more about Naturopathy or find a practitioner in your area check the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

A doctor who practices environmental medicine: Doctors who practice environmental medicine are medical professionals who treat illnesses that are related to toxic chemical exposures. See the American Academy of Environmental Medicine or Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics.

A doctor who practices functional medicine: Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what are sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques. Check the Institute for Functional Medicine for more information.

A doctor who practices anti-aging medicine: Anti-aging doctors use advanced scientific and medical technologies for early detection, prevention, treatment, and reversal of age-related diseases and a prolonged healthy lifespan. See the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.

A Certified Clinical Nutritionist: A Certified Cliniical Nutritionist uses nutrition to achieve normal physiological function. More info at The International & American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists.

A Chiropractor: Doctors of Chiropractic focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. However, many also offer other complementary natural remedies including nutrition and detoxification. Check the American Chiropractic Association or American Chiropractic Council on Nutrition.

A biologic dentist: Biologic dentists work closely with other healthcare professionals—nutritionists, chiropractors, bodyworkers, naturopaths, and environmental doctors—to reduce the toxic burden to the body as a result of toxic materials used in dental work. Check Consumers for Dental Choice, Holistic Dental Association, International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, or the International Association of Mercury Free Dentists.

I know that’s quite a bit of information, but if you’re concerned about what your baby will inherit from your body – which you should be; see more info on Molly’s story at US doctors say chemicals can cause cancer – check out getting tested for toxicity and the possibility of doing a detox program.