After the CDC lowered the threshold at which a child is at risk for lead poisoning by half last week, the number of children under six who are now considered at risk jumped from 77,000 to 442,000, according to the Huffington Post. The article quoted Dr. Phil Landrigan, Healthy Child Honorary Board member and chairman of the department of preventative medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City: “There is no safe level. Lead is toxic to the developing brain at low levels. Prenatal exposure causes brain damage. Exposure to an infant or toddler causes brain damage.” Safety steps to take include “removing old leaded windows, repairing paint that is chipping or peeling, using a HEPA vacuum and keeping kids’ hands washed.”
Flame Retardants Tip the Balance
The Chicago Tribune broke the story and now Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times is picking up the thread. Could news about flame retardants be the tipping point we need to push chemical management reform? From the Trib opinion pages: “We’re talking about the safety of people in their own homes. Products that were sold as protecting them instead can harm them. Anger? That’s too mild. This is outrageous.”
Fewer Chemicals in Breast Milk
A new article published by the Best for Babes organization summarizes new facts about breastfeeding, including the good news that levels of some toxic chemicals in breast milk, including PCBs and DDT, are in fact going down.