Growing Amidst Toxins and Poisons

In the recent past millions of toys have been recalled globally because of the alarming level of toxic chemicals permeating into the colorful toys. But toys are simply the tip of the conglomerate called “toxic world”. With more than 70,000 synthetic chemicals at our disposal, we can imagine the potential risk that we face as adults. The plight of children is best left to the imagination. Their life begins with mother’s breast milk and baby food which is no less a repository of toxins ! It should be a matter of concern for everyone and particularly parents need to steer his child’s growth and development amidst utmost care and caution.

Despite so much of hue and cry, we still find shops selling dangerous toys that pose risks to children. Unfortunately, our children are paying the price for the failure of the government to take action on toys laced with chemicals. People are worried about long-term exposure to ‘Phthalates’ that comes in everything from cosmetics to toys. Phthalates are not bonded to the plastic and this means it can leach out of it overtime and reach the children’s mouth. There are several phthalates that may be used in PVC but the most common are diethyl hexyl phthalate(DEHP), di-dodecyl phthalate(DIDP). Specifically, they are concerned about diisononyl phthalate or DINP that goes in making of products such as teething rings and soft squeeze toys.

Testing has revealed that some of the children’s teething and other toys contain as much as 40 % phthalates. Throughout its lifecycle – from production to disposal, PVC releases toxins into the environment and threatens the health of children. Other hazardous additives to PVC include lead, cadmium, and organotin compounds.

Organotins have been shown to create birth defects in rats. PVC does not degrade easily and so builds up in the environment. Lead affects the body nervous and reproductive systems and in children can result in brain damage. Unfortunately, once a child has absorbed a dangerous amount of lead, there’s no quick way to make the lead go away. There is a growing body of scientific evidence linking low levels of exposure to these chemicals to serious health impacts.

Studies have linked phthalates to impact reproduction, to rodent cancers, good parenting In the recent past millions of toys have been recalled globally because of the alarming level of toxic chemicals permeating into the colorful toys. But toys are simply the tip of the conglomerate called “toxic world”. With more than 70,000 synthetic chemicals at our disposal, we can imagine the potential risk that we face as adults. The plight of children is best left to the imagination. Their life begins with mother’s breast milk and baby food which is no less a repository of toxins !

It should be a matter of concern for everyone and particularly parents need to steer his child’s growth and development amidst utmost care and caution. It is tightly regulated in Europe. BPA, another building block for polycarbonate plastic used in shatter-resistant baby bottles, is linked to hormone disruption in rats, to increased breast cancer and prostate cancer cell growth, to early onset puberty and obesity. Prefer buying toys made of other materials like wood, metal or fabric. If at all you need to buy plastic, look for non-chlorinated plastics like polyethylene or polypropylene.

Disposable diapers are now de rigueur but be warned that it comes with the toxic tag as well. They are composed of chemicals like chlorine, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and dependence which have been liked to the disorder of the nervous system and cancer. Besides emitting toxins, these so-called ‘disposables’ take more than 500 years to bio-degrade.

Diapers have appeared as an alternative ecological breakthrough that takes just 53 days to be completely absorbed by the soil and within a year, it is completely decomposed. Another plus is that it can be flushed.

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