Chemicals and Young Children

One of DiseaseProof’s major issues is childhood exposure to hazardous chemicals during and after pregnancy—whether it’s from eating contaminated seafood, pesticides on playgrounds, or anything else—according to Dr. Fuhrman it’s bad. In Disease-Proof Your Child he points to scientific findings that are difficult to ignore:
  • Children whose parents work with pesticides are more likely to suffer leukemia, brain cancer, and other afflictions.
  • Studies show that childhood leukemia is related to increased pesticide use around the house.
  • Nine studies reviewed by the National Cancer Institute showed a correlation between pesticide exposure and brain cancer.
  • Exposure to week killers in childhood increases asthma risk by more than fourfold.
And all this is just from eating produce treated with pesticide! Dr. Fuhrman encourages parents to be wary of other commonly used chemicals as well. More from Disease-Proof Your Child:
We must be careful not to expose our children to chemical cleaners, insecticides, and weed killers on our lawns. Chemicals used in pressure-treated wood used to build lawn furniture, decks, fences, and swing sets have also been shown to place children at risk. When young children are around, we must be vigilant to maintain a chemical-free environment.
So, if you haven’t already realized, this is kind of a big deal. And perhaps an issue that often goes overlooked—except when it hits us in the face, like right now. According to Reuters new research reveals exposure to industrial chemicals in the womb or early in a child’s life can impair brain development. And what’s worse is only a handful of these chemicals are controlled to protect children. Reporter Patricia explains:
"Only a few substances, such as lead and mercury, are controlled with the purpose of protecting children," said Philippe Grandjean of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts and the University of Southern Denmark.

"The 200 other chemicals that are known to be toxic to the human brain are not regulated to prevent adverse effects on the fetus or a small child," he added.
Come on, you’ve got to be astounded by this. In this day and age where information is everywhere—does no regulatory agency think this is important? Reaney adds that even though millions of children may have been harmed by toxic chemicals, only lead, methylmercury, and polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs) have been adequately studied and regulated. Pretty concerning if you ask me. Makes you wonder if this will ever change.

For a list of things Dr. Fuhrman advises women should avoid during pregnancy, check out this previous post: Precautions to Take When Pregnant or Nursing
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