Avoid PVC and BPA in baby toysIt can be overwhelming when you begin to learn about all the toxins that surround your child on a daily basis.   We truly believe that making a few small changes will make a profound impact on the short AND long term health and well being of our babies and kids.

If you are looking to make 2010 an even healthier year for you and your family, stick with us!   We are making resolute choices to do just that ourselves.  Our motto here is, “There is always a safer alternative!” We are here to offer those to you today, for a healthier and more vibrant tomorrow!

We totally understand that it isn’t easy, and not even 100%possible, to live completely free of toxins in this day in age.  I mean, we don’t wanna miss out on living and confine ourselves to bubbles, right? As a parent, we just have to make the best choices possible and allow those efforts to settle a sense of peace in our hearts and homes.

We highlight here our personal top 12 picks that your entire family should try to avoid when choosing what to bring into your homes.  Our little ones are especially vulnerable to these toxins because they are so small and their systems are still growing.  Avoiding these 12 toxins will greatly nurture your child’s immune systems, nervous systems, respiratory systems, digestive track and much more.

Toxins Children Should Avoid And Where They Hide

It would be much easier to keep our environments healthy if products truly labeled all the dangerous toxins included.   Truth-be-told, one must be a studied investigator to really understand the untold stories and the behind-the-scenes additives that make their ways into our homes, which are unknown to most.  For example, formaldehyde hides in many glues found in our children’s furniture, in the glues of wooden toys, and even used on our babies clothing.  You don’t see a label stating “warning, dangerous formaldehyde chemical added.”  It’s just there, discretely hiding from the unknowing consumer.  Unfortunately, the effects of our health are NOT hidden.  Allergies, autism, eczema, asthma, diabetes, and more disorders of great concern are on the rise with our children.

Know how to keep you families a little safer in 2010 by avoiding these 12 toxins (not necessarily in any order).  We have linked our favorite articles from the past years here, so that you can have a healthier year to come!  We understand that parents don’t have tons of time to spend online, and we praise that.  Spending more time with our children is one of the best things we can do for our families well-being. So, bookmark this page and keep coming back until you have read EACH and EVERY article linked to here. We have put in the latest of nights and almost every nap for 2.5 years doing what we do.  May it benefit you and your children GREATLY!

1. PVC and Phthalates

Hides everywhere from plastic toys, mattress covers, shower curtains, rain gear, lunchboxes and so much more. Alarmingly, a very healthy toy may even be packaged in PVC/vinyl, which leeches onto the “healthy” toy.

Phthalates are even found in skin care products!  This can be one of the 4,000 potential additives in any product that has the ingredient “fragrance” on the package.

A number of studies have also suggested a correlation between phthalates, PVC, and asthma.  But that is not all, please read these posts to learn how to protect your family’s central nervous system, skin, liver, immune system and reproductive systems, and choose SAFE ALTERNATIVES:

2. GMO: Genetically Modified Organisms

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) are a threat to our babies health and future.  GMOs can be hiding (unlabeled here in the USA) in infant formula, milk, candy, cereals, breakfast bars, pineapple, zucchini, chocolate and so much more.  The main GMO crops are corn, soy, cottonseed and canola. GMOs have had foreign genes forced into their DNA, the inserted genes come from species, such as bacteria and viruses, that have never been in the human food supply.  GM milk contains increased amounts of hormones and antibiotics and an altered nutritional content.

Children are three to four times more prone to allergies than adults and are at highest risk of death from a food allergy. Infants below two years old have the highest incidence of reactions, especially to new allergens encountered in the diet. Even tiny amounts of allergens can sometimes cause reactions.  One reason for this sensitivity, according to the EPA, is that an immature gut or permeable mucosal epithelium is more likely to allow a higher degree of macromolecular transport and access to the immune system than the intact barrier of a normal mature gut. The immune system must also be of sufficient maturity.  Find out more about this in these 2 articles.  THIS subject is very alarming!

3. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a popular “cheap” chemical used  in clothing, bedding,  shoes, furniture, fertilizer, paper, toys, cosmetics and food. Formaldehyde is a toxic gas that can be dangerous in our children’s environments for many reasons.

“These toxic fumes, even in small amounts, can cause nose and eye irritation (burning, itchy, tearing, and sore throat) in children as well as in adults.

Long-term exposure and high concentrations of formaldehyde can lead to cancer.  In animal studies, rats exposed to high levels of formaldehyde in air developed nose cancer. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that formaldehyde may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen.” 1

It is commonly used in the textile manufacturing industry as a stain resistant mechanism, to fix color to a fabric, to give a permanent press effect, to stop shrinking and to make fabric more flame resistant. Also, to prevent mildew, manufacturers use formaldehyde to treat clothes that have to be shipped a long way (Asia to the United States).

Find out how to steer more clear of formaldehyde here, because your babies PJ’s won’t come with a FORMALDEHYDE label inside:

4. Food Additives

Food additives include steroids, growth hormones, antibiotics and nitrates.

Sodium nitrates hide in many processed meats.  The color fixative and preservative has been linked to triggering migraines, pancreatic cancer and colon cancer. 2

Steroids, growth hormones and antibiotics are readily found in conventional meat and dairy products.  Go organic when possible!  Especially if this is something your family eats regularly. Choosing organic here may help lower the incidence of neurodevelopmental problems in children, perhaps including ADHD and autism. Abnormal neurodevelopment in children can be caused or made worse by pre-natal and early life exposures to pesticides and chemicals that contaminate our food.

The more we learn about “convenient foods” the less “convenient” they sound. Find out how to choose SAFE ALTERNATIVES here:

5. Pesticides

Synthetic pesticides are made in laboratories, and almost all have active ingredients that are derived from petroleum and include some combination of chemical elements, such as chlorine, phosphorous, nitrogen or bromine. The active ingredient is designed to kill the pest; pesticides also contain “inert” ingredients, which are included to help apply the pesticide.

Many chemicals are known to pass through the placenta and can affect the developing fetus during pregnancy. Depending on the timing, exposure to chemicals in the womb can cause serious damage when organs and systems are developing. Any reduction in this chemical load during pregnancy – like switching to an organic or mostly organic diet – can help protect the developing infant during this critical period.

Children are also especially vulnerable to the impacts of pesticides after birth, since all of their systems – their nervous system and reproductive systems, for example – are growing quickly, and exposure to certain chemicals at critical points in that development can have serious long term impacts. They also take in more food pound for pound than a full-grown adult, so their small bodies can actually be exposed to more pesticides.

Do you know where the most dangerous chemicals are hiding on the foods that you eat daily?  Please read these articles to be informed in choosing SAFE ALTERNATIVES:

6. Fluoride

Fluoride is in many of our public water systems, exposing our children in the water they drink and bathe in.  But that is not the only exposure our kids get to this dangerous chemical!  Fluoride is also present in many of the foods our children eat and their toothpastes.  Fluorosis, a disorder of the teeth due to an overdose in fluoride, seems minor when it comes to the other dangers of fluoride overdose.

The Fluoride Alert Organization also says, “Fluoride’s ability to damage the brain represents one of the most active areas of research on fluoride toxicity today.

Concern about fluoride’s impact on the brain has been fueled by 18 human studies (from China, Mexico, India, and Iran) reporting IQ deficits among children exposed to excess fluoride, by 4 human studies indicating that fluoride can enter, and damage, the fetal brain; and by a growing number of animal studies finding damage to brain tissue (at levels as low as 1 ppm) and impairment of learning and memory among fluoride-treated groups.”3

According to the US National Research Council, “it is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain.”

Do you know WHERE the fluoride comes from that makes its way into our children’s drinking water and bodies?  It is freaky!  Read and become informed:

7. Fire Retardants

Chemical fire retardants commonly hide in products that are in very close proximity to our babies and children:  mattresses, portable cribs, bassinets, infant carriers, strollers, walkers, backpack carriers, pillows, high chairs, play tent, baby/toddler seats and electronics.

These flame retardants have been shown to cause serious health disorders including endocrine disruption, cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption, reproductive and neurological disorders and learning disabilities such as ADHD, mental retardation, and hyperactivity.

Do you believe that a product (such as a mattress) that is labeled “ORGANIC” is safe of these chemical toxins?  The answer, sadly enough, is that certain products can be sold as organic and be riddled with harmful chemicals!  Find out how to choose the SAFEST ALTERNATIVES for your baby:

8. Parabens

Go have a look at the ingredients in the leading brand of baby skin care.  If you are aware of what many of those ingredients are, you would lose your breath at the thought of “washing” your baby in all those dangerous chemicals.

Parabens come in multiple names, so look for anything ending in paraben on your baby’s labels. This ingredient is often used as a preservative. Of the studies that have been done, one or more studies show reproductive effects at very low doses, organ system toxicity, and developmental/reproductive toxicity!  “One controversial scientific study reported that parabens were found in samples of breast tumors.” 4

We also have to mention that a baby’s delicate skin is even MORE ABSORBENT to these toxins than us adults.  They are just so vulnerable to all of this harmful exposure.  So please know what is being rubbed into those little bodies.  Oh yeah, many baby wipes contain PARABENS too!  Choose SAFE ALTERNATIVES:

9. Cell Phone/Wifi Radiation

Mostly the dangers of this exposure is unknown because our government has chosen to do zero research in this area. What we DO know is that radio waves is they penetrate a child’s head far more extensively than an adult’s head. One study has shown that when cellphone use first begins when a child was a teenager or younger there is a 420% increased risk of brain tumors compared to when cellphone use first begins when an adult was 20-39 years old, there was a 50% increased risk of a brain tumor.

Find out which cell phones emit the most and least radiation, what cell phone exposure may do to your fetus if you are pregnant and if autism is linked with radiation exposure here:

10. BPA / Bisphenol-A

BPA is a chemical used to make plastic.  It acts like an estrogen in the body and is toxic at even low doses.  A very sensitive time to be exposed to this toxic chemical is during pregnancy and very early in life.

BPA exposure has been tagged as a potential precursor to breast and prostate cancer, but that is not all.  BPA hides in toys, bottles and sippy cups, toothbrushes, canned food and the inner lid of all baby food jars, infant formula, and even on our receipts!   Find out how you can GREATLY reduce your exposure to this hormone disrupting chemical here:

11. High Fructose Corn Syrup

Lets just say this….  MERCURY and HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP should not go hand in hand.  Unfortunately, THEY DO!  And since Americans get 10 percent of their calories from High Fructose Corn Syrup, on average, it would be beneficial to read this:

12.  Petroleum

Petroleum is part of your everyday life whether you realize it or not. It is lurking in plastics, food containers AND possibly right in products you are rubbing onto your baby right now. Actually, according to Environmental Working Group, 40% of all baby lotions and oils contain petrolatum! Petrolatum is a non-renewable hydrocarbon made from crude oil.

An article in Positive Health Magazine outlines the dangers of the mineral oils further. “Mineral oil (classed as a petrochemical pollutant and xenohormone) can have negative effects on hormones and the skin’s ability to breathe, attract moisture and detoxify. It can also slow down cell renewal and be the second (after the sun) most likely cause of premature ageing. In fact sunscreens produced from mineral oil may promote skin cancer as well as colon and breast cancer.”

“Contaminants from petrolatum are being found in most breast cancer tissues which have been studied in recent times.” 5   Studies have shown that poorly refined mineral oil can induce skin and scrotal cancers after prolonged, repeated, and heavy direct contact with the skin. Australia’s NSHOC reports: “A number of studies have linked cancers of the skin and scrotum to mineral oil exposure.” Once the oil is absorbed, it is broken down by the liver, thus distracting the liver from other detoxifying chores. The liver helps your baby fend off sickness and toxicity.” 6

Scary stuff now that we know that before the age of 2 our babies have accumulated 50% of their life-time cancer risk.  The crazy thing about it is that petroleum is a known carcinogen and causes adverse health effects, but is still FDA approved!

We truly hope that you benefit from all we have done by taking a few nights to read what has taken us 2.5 years to research!  PASS IT ON and stay connected with us for a healthier 2010 full of SAFER ALTERNATIVES for you and your family!  Sign up for our newsletter and stay committed to making 2010 an even healthier year for you and your family!

1  http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts111.html#bookmark02
2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4465871.stm
3 The Fluoride Alert Organization
4 Darbe PD, Aljarrah A, Miller WR, Coldham NG, Sauer MJ, Pope GS, Concentration of Parabens in human breast tumors. J APPl Toyicol. 2004 Jan-Feb., 24 (1):5-13.
5 Geoff Goldie, http://www.health-report.co.uk/petroleum_petrolatum_health_concerns.htm, April 2, 2008.
6 Words Of Caution on Petroleum by-products, http://www.thestork.biz/mineraloil.html, April 2, 2008.