Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cleaning Products and Your Health: What You Should Know

Have you ever sat down and wondered what gives with the increase in learning and behavioral disabilities over the last twenty five years? As a mom of a now adult son diagnosed with learning problems, I know I have. ADD, ADHD, autism, dyslexia, behavior problems and on and on; these terms have become household descriptives for kids born in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. Is it that the medical and education professionals have become more adept at screening for and diagnosing these disabilities? Or, could it be that in our quest for a more perfect body and environment that we've become toxic from the overuse of chemicals to the point of self-destruction?

A Look at the dismal facts
More children have been diagnosed with ADD, autism and other genetic disorders than ever before in our history. Such genetic disorders were rare in previous generations. Sadly, the increased use of chemicals in our environments, on-and in our bodies, i.e. prescription drugs, food coloring and preservatives and chemicals in our homes could be a likely culprit.

Further, the food that we eat is laden with pesticides and has been genetically modified or GMO (genetically modified organisms). Household cleaners contain lethal ingredients which can cause sterility, breathing problems, rashes, cancer and other illnesses. Repeated use of such dangerous chemicals can result in genetic changes that can affect future generations.

Health and beauty aids are also loaded with dangerous chemicals such as ethylene glycol, methylparabens, petroleum, phalate producing plastics and sulfates. It is surprising that we're still breathing - and we all know how polluted our air is. (Dr. Mercola, "The Surprising Toxin that can Lead to Genetic Defects and Miscarriages")

The Genetic Factor

Science is demonstrating that such disorders may possibly be a result of the depression of certain genes that affect learning and behavior. And, these chemicals are known to accumulate in the body over decades. Those who are particularly vulnerable are pregnant women and small children whose bodies are particularly susceptible to the effects of the chemicals.

Chemical additives also disrupt the body's absorption of vital minerals and vitamins; for example, Vitamin D and the spectrum of B Vitamins whose role has been found to be essential in many body functions such as in blood pressure control, colon health and in the normal development of the fetal brain. Without such essential nutrients our bodies are open prey to the effects of chemicals and other toxins.

What can we do?
An educated consumer is the best consumer. Read the labels and become familiar with the names of common chemicals and preservatives and avoid them. And, as an educated consumer, demand full disclosure regarding GMO foods. (Ask questions where you shop and write letters to Washington to encourage legislation making disclosure mandatory). Shop at supermarkets where foods are certified organic, or at least pesticide-free. Patronize the stores that sell locally grown produce.

Read the labels on foods and be wary of foods with long lists of chemicals and preservatives. Avoid canned and boxed foods which are high in preservatives, salt, fat and sodium. Avoid eating large quantities of fast-foods, which are nutritionally void and loaded with. preservatives.

When it comes to health and beauty products, avoid the long, pronunciation-defying chemicals. Most are known to cause birth defects and cancer. These chemicals are also known to disrupt hormones in the body. Instead, use paraben and sulfate-free products. A rule of thumb is if you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin.

Avoid over-exposure to the sun and to other pollutants and dangerous chemicals. And, if this is not possible, use the appropriate personal protective equipment to limit dangerous exposure to chemicals that might cause health problems years down the road.

Good health to you.

Dr. Mercola, "The Surprising Toxin that can Lead to Genetic Defects and Miscarriages"
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