A growing body of research has linked the five most commonly used chemicals to a whole host of health conditions, including cancer, sexual problems, and behavioral issues.
“Thanks to the spoils of the industrial revolution, your body is now home to a growing cocktail of chemicals,” says Dr. Joseph Mercola, founder of Mercola.com, the most visited natural health site on the Internet.
Here are the five pervasive toxins published in a CNN report, and how to protect your children from them:
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
BPA is “a building block of a lightweight, clear, heat-resistant, and almost unbreakable plastic called polycarbonate.” It’s also used in epoxy resins. Several studies suggest that it poses a potential cancer risk and may disrupt the endocrine system–the extremely sensitive chemical signals in your body.BPA can be found in water bottles, baby bottles, reusable food containers, plastic tableware, infant feeding cups, and dental sealants, among others.
What you can do: Buy stainless steel bottles and glass food containers. Switch from canned to fresh or frozen vegetables. Check the bottom of the plastic product you buy.
A plastic-softening family of chemicals, phthalates are considered endocrine disrupters. Research has also shown that they can disrupt reproductive development.What you can do: Avoid shampoos, conditioners, and other personal care products that list “fragrance” as an ingredient.
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, also called C8)
PFOA is used to make Teflon and other non-stick and stain- or water-repellent products. It causes cancer and developmental problems. PFOA is linked with thyroid disease.
What you can do: Avoid cooking with Teflon and similar types of potentially harmful non-stick cookware. When heated, they release PFOA’s into your environment. You can reduce your potential exposure by choosing safer alternatives, such as ceramic cookware.
An ingredient in resin, formaldehyde acts as a glue in manufactured pressed-wood products. It is a known human carcinogen that can cause respiratory or gastrointestinal tract cancer.Formaldehyde is also used as an embalming agent.
What you can do: If you have wood products containing formaldehyde, increase ventilation, reduce humidity with air conditioning or dehumidifiers, and keep your home cool.
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
These are a group of chemicals used as flame retardants. According to toxicology tests, PBDEs may damage your liver and kidneys and affect your brain and behavior.
What you can do: Use products without PBDE flame retardants. “Another common source of PBDEs is your mattress, and since you can spend up to a third of your life in bed, this is a significant health concern. Look for 100 percent wool, toxin-free mattresses,” suggests Dr. Mercola.
Rather than making an endless list of things to avoid, teach your children better health and lifestyle choices. Feed them raw, fresh foods as often as possible and steer clear of processed foods. Use only natural personal and home cleaning products.
You could also boost their overall health with a natural krill oil supplement. Rich in DHA and other omega-3 fats, krill oil supports growth and brain power.* It enables learning and concentration in school, helping children through their rapid development years.*
Read more articles on krill oil, child safety, and optimal health in this blog.