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Friday, November 19, 2010

Infants and Children are at Greater Risk for Chemical Exposures

Environmental Health Hazards

SprayChildren are particularly susceptible to environmental hazards that are surfacing in everyday environments. Potentially toxic chemicals show up in our food, as contaminants in air and water, in common household and personal care products, in packaging, and in furniture. It has been estimatedthat the average home may contain 1,500 compounds that may be eroding our vitality and increasing our health costs. Although children should be the first to be protected from environmental hazards, the truth is they are at the greatest risk for chemical exposures. As parents and caregivers, we need to do a better job of screening and choosing household and personal care products to reduce our children’s exposures.

Infants and Children are at Greater Risk for Chemical Exposures

It’s no secret that infants and children are highly vulnerable to chemical toxins. Infants and young children spend a lot of time putting things in their mouths, raising their risk of ingesting chemical residues. Pound for pound, children drink more water, eat more food, and breathe more air than adults.
So children are likely to have substantially greater exposures than adults to potential toxins in the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe.

And yet, so many of the popular and most trusted brands of household cleaners, personal care products, and even baby care products continue to include harsh chemicals.
An immature immune system and metabolic pathways affect a baby’s ability to metabolize, detoxify, and excrete chemicals and counteract toxic challenges. In an adult, a blood-brain barrier insulates the brain from many of the potentially harmful chemicals circulating through the body. But in an infant, that barrier isn’t fully developed, so early exposures may be especially risky. Children also have more time to develop chronic diseases triggered by early chemical exposures. Some diseases related to environmental toxins may require decades to develop, so exposure during childhood may increase health risks later in life. Some scientists also believe that a mother’s exposure
to toxic chemicals during pregnancy can have developmental consequences on the fetus. Because growth is so rapid at this time, early toxic exposures may have a significant impact on development.

Information taken from Shaklee Corporation, "Superwellness For Super Kids"
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