Environmental Toxins and Your Children

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					?HREF="">Energy toxins; you can't feel them, you can't smell them, nor can you see
them, but they are lurking in and around most of our homes and
they seriously threaten our families. Studies indicate we are exposed to well over
20,000 of these toxins, with exposure linked to insidious diseases such as cancer,
Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and others. Of particular concern is the effect that toxins
have on children, since
their small, developing bodies are more vulnerable than adults. For example, studies
have reported that in homes contaminated by pesticides, children's blood samples
showed twice the amount of toxin than that of adults living in the same home. Also,
since a child's ability to detoxify is not fully developed until about seven years of age,
they tend to retain a greater amount of harmful toxins in their bodies.


You would hope that our government, or perhaps industry, would protect us from
substances that may seriously damage our health. Sadly, however, of the 80,000
chemicals used in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has only
banned five. Why so few?
When the U.S. government is alerted to a possible environmental toxin, they like to be
absolutely sure of the link between that substance and disease. While this kind of
certainty sounds wise, it can be quite elusive since diseases can take decades to
develop after one is exposed to a toxin. There are countries, however, that take action
quickly when they suspect their citizens are exposed to serious risk. They follow what
is known as the "precautionary principle."


Mark Schapiro, author of "Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products"
(2007), explains that the European Union practices the precautionary principle when
their citizens are potentially in danger from environmental toxins. Therefore in
Europe, if they suspect a chemical is a health threat, they can quickly ban that
substance before it causes damage to the population, thereby taking action much
faster than America, which waits indefinitely for a causal link to be proven.

As a result of the European approach, many of their toxic substances have already
been banned. What has America's response been to Europe's strong moral stance and
"go-green" leadership? American Lobbyists are frantically traveling to Europe in an
effort to stop or slow their "green" initiatives. Why? It's all about dollars; American
companies want to make sure they can still export their products to Europe.

Before looking at specific environmental toxins, consider the following frightening
facts:

?   Pediatric cancer is rising at 1% per year
?   About 1 in 6 children have a developmental disability
?   In a 2004 study, the Environmental Working Group found 287 toxins in the
umbilical cord blood of babies, 180 of which were linked with cancer
? Autism rates have recently risen from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 166
? 5 million children now have asthma, which rose tenfold in the past 10 years
? Rheumatoid arthritis is now the third most common disease in infants
? Over 100 million Americans reside in cities that violate federal smog restrictions
? Most municipal drinking water contains approximately 700 chemicals
? 25% of municipal water facilities violate federal standards for drinking water

Are you concerned yet? After reading these facts I hope you will agree it is foolish to
rely on the American government or industry to protect our health; we must protect
ourselves and our families with accurate information and a proactive posture against
toxins. Now, here are the
environmental toxins that may be threatening your family.

Pesticides

Pesticides are toxins formulated to destroy weeds, insects, and molds. The problem is
they contain substances that may cause cancer, Parkinson's disease, and other diseases
in humans.
The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that over 50% of herbicides are
linked to
cancer, about 25% of insecticides, and approximately 90% of fungicides may be
carcinogenic as well. The "Safer Pest Control Project," a non-profit organization in
Chicago, points out some compelling statistics: children are 50% more likely to
develop leukemia if their mothers are exposed to pesticides; and children under two
years old are ten times more likely to develop cancer after pesticide exposure.

Dr. Charles Benbrook, of the Northwest Science and Environmental Policy Center in
Idaho, has stated that fruits and vegetables are the most likely foods to contain
pesticides, with about 50% containing pesticide residues and approximately 40%
containing more than one type of residue. Dr. Benbrook recommends limiting your
exposure by thoroughly washing
fruits and vegetables, eating a diverse diet, and purchasing organic
foods.


Chlorine
Dr. Konrad Kail, co-author of "Allergy Free" (2000), explains that chlorine is a skin
irritant, it can harm the good bacteria or acidophilus living in our intestines, it can
cause cancer related
compounds to form, and it can deplete the body of vitamin E. Used for bleaching and
disinfecting, chlorine is often involved in industrial injuries. In 2000, poison control
centers reported that chlorine injured a staggering 18,000 children. Deirdre Imus,
author of "Green
This" (2007), explains that we can effectively disinfect household surfaces with
distilled white vinegar. She also recommends the use of chlorine-free alternatives
when purchasing paper towels, napkins, and tampons.

Mercury
Mercury is a metal that exists in several forms. It can be a shiny, silver colored liquid,
an odorless gas, and it can combine with various elements to form salts. It also
combines with carbon to make methylmercury, a form of mercury which can
accumulate in the environment. The EPA has stated that methylmercury is a possible
carcinogen. Mercury exposure can harm developing fetuses, it can harm the kidneys,
brain, and lungs, and it can cause short-term harmful effects such as stomach distress,
rashes, and vomiting.

We can be exposed to mercury by eating contaminated fish, by inhaling it in the form
of a vapor, or through dental work (mercury fillings). A newer threat is compact
fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs, thousands of which are now sold in stores throughout
the U.S. These bulbs contain
mercury which can leak into the environment if broken or if disposed of in regular
trash containers. To reduce your exposure to mercury, handle thermometers carefully,
dispose of CFL bulbs properly, try to eat fish that have the lowest levels of mercury,
and do not vacuum a mercury spill since it will expose you to dangerous vapors.


Freon
Dr. Hulda Clark (The Cure For All Diseases, 1995) has thoroughly investigated how
pollutants affect people. She found that all the people she tested were contaminated
with freon, whether they had cancer or not. In cancer patients specifically, Dr. Clark
found that the Freon was primarily focused in the cancerous organ. Where did the
freon come from? According to Dr. Clark, it came from leaks in refrigerators. Parents
should note that children may inhale higher amounts of Freon since they have a
relatively greater lung surface area than adults. Also, since freon has a high vapor
density, children may be exposed to greater amounts because they are smaller and
there are greater vapor levels close to the ground.

Dr. Clark recommends protecting your loved ones by getting a refrigerator with a
newer refrigerant called forane, and she also recommends performing a kidney and
liver cleanse to help draw freon from your body.

Phthalates
Phthalates are plasticizer chemicals that make things bend and they also make
fragrances stronger. They are used in nail polish, toys, cosmetics, and paint.
Phthalates are also used in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is a component of shower
curtains, food containers, and
teething rings. The danger is, phthalates are toxic to the reproductive system and they
are most likely a carcinogen. The European Union has placed tight restrictions on the
use of phthalates, but in America it is "buyer beware!" PIRG, the New York Public
Interest Research Group,
strongly proposes a ban on the use of phthalates in children's products. It also wants to
see a national health advisory that will warn the public about the dangers of phthalates.
Meanwhile, to avoid contamination, do not store food or microwave food in "number
3" plastic containers. In addition, don't cover food with plastic wrap in the microwave,
and be cautious about bath toys, baby bottles, teething rings, and other plastic items
that your child may put in his mouth.

Teflon
PFOA is a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon pots and pans. Dupont states
that Teflon is safe when used at temperatures up to 650 degrees Fahrenheit. The
Environmental Protection Agency, however, has stated that PFOA is a likely
carcinogen. The implications of this are
serious when you consider that in 2001, a study indicated that 96% of children's blood
samples tested positive for PFOA. In a recent display of sound judgment, the EPA
issued a 17 million dollar fine against Dupont in a case involving the exposure of
workers to Teflon chemicals. Limit your exposure to PFOA by cooking in
well-ventilated areas, by avoiding high heat with Teflon, and by staying clear of
clothing and carpeting containing stain resistance and water resistance.

Benzopyrenes
These are cancer causing hydrocarbons that come from vehicle exhaust, charbroiled
food, burnt toast, and tobacco and wood smoke. Raymond Francis, radio host of "An
Ounce of Prevention" on KEST in San Francisco, explained that benzopyrenes can
damage a human gene that protects us from cancer. He also explained that you can
ingest this
chemical even through a raw or natural diet, if your food is grown near exhaust fumes
or a facility that produces asphalt. In her book "The Cure For All Diseases," Dr. Hulda
Clark explained that foods cooked at high temperatures in microwaves can produce
benzopyrenes. She recommends taking the vitamin supplements niacin and vitamin
B2 to help
your body detoxify this dangerous chemical.

Formaldehyde
Dr. Gary Ginsberg, co-author of "What's Toxic, What's Not" (2006), calls
formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds "the most ubiquitous indoor air
contaminants;" they are present in every home and every place of employment. A
known cancer causing agent, manufacturers use formaldehyde in cleaning products,
permanent press materials, nail
polish, wallpaper, furniture, and even mattresses. In the 1980s, formaldehyde
insulation was banned in the United States, but it is still used in the products above,
and is especially used in pressed wood and particleboard. To protect your family, we
recommend that you purchase solid wood furniture, shelves, and doors instead of
pressed wood. Also, make sure you have plenty of ventilation when using nail polish.

Perchlorethylene
Perchlorethylene (perc) is an environmental toxin that has been listed by the EPA as a
hazardous air pollutant. It is used by many dry cleaners even though it is a cancer
causing agent that can affect the liver, kidneys, and vision of its victims. It is
estimated that perc is
present in up to 50% of U.S. groundwater, and it has even been found in mothers'
breast milk. Although there are safe alternatives to perc that dry cleaners can use,
about 75% still use this harmful chemical on a daily basis. Since perc takes a while to
vent from clothes after dry cleaning, we recommend that you let your clothes air-out,
outdoors, for several hours.

About The Author: Bob Fioravante is a professional educator and counselor who is a
enthusiastic proponent of natural health, alternative medicine, and protecting the
environment. His web site at AllergyEscape.com is a complete resource for allergy
information, including energy-based treatment methods you can perform yourself in
order to eliminate your own allergies.