Are You a Protective Parent Trying to Navigate Our Chemical World?

Lullaby 11/16/2012
Our world is very different from the one our parents and grandparents grew up in - and not just because of things like smart phones and electric cars. Our stores are bursting at the seams with millions of products made from thousands of chemicals that we know little about. Consider some facts:
  • Roughly 80,000 synthetic chemicals are registered for use in the marketplace, (most of which did not exist before the 1940s) and more than 1500 new chemicals are introduced annually.
  • Few have been fully tested for health impacts on vulnerable populations like babies and none have been tested for effects when they interact with one another, yet we’re all exposed to hundreds of them on an average day.
  • More than 200 industrial chemicals have been found coursing through umbilical cord blood.
What’s a protective parent to do? For most of us, it means diligently reading labels and revising our shopping lists. For others, the detective work gets a bit more extreme. One of these more ambitious researchers is father, Ed Brown. In “Toxic Dangers: The Plight Of A Protective Parent In A Chemical World,” Lynne Peeples writes about his journey: “...Brown’s concerns were initially personal. After his wife miscarried for the second time — between the births of their two healthy kids — he became suspicious of environmental exposures… Each new bit of information triggered more questions, and soon Brown’s investigation into today’s complicated chemical environment became about more than protecting his own family. He grabbed a video camera and, between shifts waiting tables at a small town Pennsylvania restaurant, visited 78 environmental experts and advocates — from Vermont to California — in search of answers. (Industry groups and government agencies refused to meet with him.) His resulting documentary, Unacceptable Levels, will be available for community screenings starting in January.” We’re sure the documentary will be a real eye-opener, but even the article reveals some unsettling truths about what we do and don’t know about this chemical world we’ve created - as well as the shocking lack of regulation. We encourage you to click-through and give it a quick read. And, since we believe in offering solutions, here are a few resources to help you create a safer home for your family: What sources do you turn to for living a life less toxic?