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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let's Stop Poisoning Our Children! by Richard Barry

Why should 3 year old Jason Whitley have dies a lingering and horrible death after swallowing three ounces of hair conditioner>  Two weeks after drinking the liquid, which contains ammonia, the little boy died.
And why should 7-month old Adrian Gonzales have died?  He crawled through a puddle of spilled laundry bleach which gave him third-degree burns on 50% of his tiny body, and burned his lungs from the fumes as well.  It took him four agonizing days to due.  And why should little Peter Schwab have suffered so much?  When he was a year old he crawled over to the dishwasher to watch his mother unloading it.  Suddenly he put a finger into the detergent dispensing cup and ate a fingerful of wet but undissolved Electrasol.  In minutes his was red and blistered, and the inside of his mouth and his tongue were burned white.  Because of a series of lucky circumstances, Peter was in a hospital within minutes and he recovered in a few days.  Not so for the little girl across the hall in the hospital who (according to Peter's mother) ate some dishwasher detergent and required seven operations to reopen her scarred esophagus.  Or the 18-month old boy who had to eat and breathe through tubes for 5 months and at last count has had 30 operations.  Dishwasher detergent is what destroyed his throat too. 
Why must these children have suffered so?  if only they had never been exposed to such hazardous chemicals.  Every year five to ten million household poisonings are reported.  These poisonings are the result of accidental ingestion of common household substances found in just about every home.
The real tragedy is, accidents like these can easily be avoided.  Buy most parents aren't aware that there are effective products on the market that are much safer than nationally advertised brands and, in most cases, cost less.
This is simply meant to be a wake-up call for parents.  I think you will be shocked to learn about some of the health hazards your child is exposed to every day because of the cleaning and personal care products in your home. 

Household Chemicals - A Loaded Gun
The average home today contains more chemicals than were found in a typical chemistry lab at the turn of the 20th century.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined that cleaning products are some of the most dangerous substances in the home.  Go into your kitchen and bathroom and look under the sinks where you keep your cleaning supplies.  What have you found?  Window cleaner?  Bleach?  Laundry and dishwashing detergent?  Shampoo?  Mouthwash?  These products can be violent, lethal poisons with the potential to kill or seriously injure your child - or any child who may come into our home.
Would you keep a loaded gun under your sink?  Of course not!  What a silly question! Yet these products can be just as deadly.
Maybe you keep your cleaning and personal care products locked away or up high out of reach of children.  If you do, good!  But I ask you again.  Would you feel comfortable keeping a loaded gun there?  Would you bet your child's life that he or she could never get to that gun?  Of course not!  Yet more children under four die of accidental poisoning at home than are accidentally are killed with guns at home.  My point is this - why are these lethal products in your home at all?  Probably because you didn't realize how dangerous they can be.  And you probably weren't aware that there are products on the market that are effective, much safer and more economical than grocery store brands.  The fact is by using safer household products, you would no longer be taking unnecessary chances with your child. 

Long Term Health Hazards Of Household Products
Most poisoning happen slowly, over a long period of time, by daily exposure to toxins int he air and toxic chemicals that come into contact with the skin.  Household products are among the most toxic substances we encounter daily.  In one study conducted over a 15 year period, a woman who worked at home at a 50% higher death rate from cancer than women who had jobs away from home.
This study concluded that the increase death rate in the woman was due to daily exposure to the hazardous chemicals found in ordinary household products.  Also a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission on chemicals commonly found in homes identify 150 that have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and physiological abnormalities.  And a 1985 EPA Report concluded that the toxic chemicals in household cleaners are 3 times more likely to cause cancer than air pollution.  Obviously children are exposed to the same chemicals at home.  After day in day out exposure to these toxins they may suddenly respond with cancer, learning difficulties, allergies, lung problems or damage to the immune system.
With your child's long term health at stake, should the chemicals remain in your home?

Toxic Ingredients In Personal Care Products
Personal care products are made to put on your skin, in your hair or in your mouth.  But many ingredients used in personal care products are also toxic and can be either ingested during use (like some ingredients in mouthwash and toothpaste) or can be easily absorbed through the skin into the blood stream (like some ingredients in soaps, lotions, creams, cosmetics, shampoos, deodorants, etc.)
In 1989 a house subcommittee asked the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to analyze 20983 chemicals used in personal care products.  The results were as follows: 884 of the ingredients were found to be toxic.  Of these 778 can cause acute toxicity.  146 can cause tumors.  218 can cause reproductive complications.  314 can cause biological mutation and 376 can cause

Indoor Air Pollution
Are you concerned about the air your child breathes? You may be shocked to learn that according to an EPA report to congress on indoor air and the subcommittee hearings on the indoor air quality act of 1989 indoor air pollution is one of the nations most important environmental health problems, according to the EPA.  Most homes have airborne concentrations of hazardous and toxic chemicals that are 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors.  In one 5-year study the EPA reported that a number of homes had chemical levels that were 70 times higher inside the homes than outside.  One reason chemical concentrations are so high in some homes is that cleaning products and some personal care products release toxic vapours into the air when they are used - and even when they are stored.  This process is called out-gassing.  It's alarming that indoor air is so full of chemical vapours because most children spend 12 to 20 hours a day in their homes.  Physiologically children are most vulnerable to toxic vapours than adults because of their higher metabolic rate.  They require more oxygen and they breathe in 2 to 3 times as much air (and therefore toxins) relative to the body size than adults.  Children are more physically active.  This also increases the breathing rate and intake of toxins.  In addition children play close to the floor where heavier pollutants settle.  Airborne chemicals are a suspected cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which takes the lives of thousands of infants each year.  This may explain the documented higher incidence of SIDS in the winter time. During the winter windows are left closed, decreasing the ventilation, which increases the concentration of out-gased vapors in the home.  No one knows what causes SIDS, but why take unnecessary chances with your infant?  Fortunately parents can do something t reduce their families exposure to airborne toxins from household products.  They can simply switch brands.

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