From flame retardants to fossil fuels, newborn babies are exposed to chemicals passed on by his/her mother in utero. Although this is not new information, I was shocked to learn that there are actually 300 chemical compounds in a newborn’s umbilical cord!
Those pure little beings aren’t so pure at birth, and as a mother and a human being, I find this level of contaminants alarming.
According to the LA Times:
Virtually everything we buy, breathe, drink and eat contains traces of toxic substances…Every day, about half a dozen chemicals are added to the estimated 83,000 already in commerce. In the United States alone, about 42 billion pounds of chemicals are produced or imported daily.
If we start with 300 chemicals in our bodies, imagine the bioaccumulation that occurs over our lifetimes. Some parents have gone so far as to have their whole family’s body burden tested. The results of one Oakland family were shocking. The children had chemical exposure levels seven times those of their parents proving children are more susceptible to the chemicals in our homes. The children’s father Jeremiah Holland explains, “[Rowan’s] been on this planet for 18 months, and he’s loaded with a chemical I’ve never heard of. He had two to three times the level of flame retardants in his body that’s been known to cause thyroid dysfunction in lab rats.” Our children are at risk, and once again I wonder if we are laboratory rats for the chemical industry. Dr. Leo Trasande, assistant director of the Center for Children’s Health and the Environment at Mount Sinai Medical Center expresses my concern:
We are in an epidemic of environmentally mediated disease among American children today. Rates of asthma, childhood cancers, birth defects and developmental disorders have exponentially increased, and it can’t be explained by changes in the human genome. So what has changed? All the chemicals we’re being exposed to.
We can’t rely on the EPA to protect our children who are at greater risk from chemicals, because their vital organs and immune systems are still developing. Manufacturers are not required to conduct human toxicity studies on chemicals before the EPA approves their use. This policy really needs to change to protect our children’s health. Babies should not be born with 300 chemicals already present in their little bodies!