If you or anyone you know is preparing to have a baby, you might want to listen up. This should be a magical time. And indeed, it is a very special time when the rest of the world seems to slow down and you can simply focus inward and marvel over the changes in your body, how you feel and at last, begin to prepare the nest!
But preparing your "nest" isn't as simple as it seems. A new report published by the UN and WHO calls Endocrine Disruptors a "global threat" that needs to be addressed.
What does this have to do with you?
Endocrine Disruptors are suspected of impacting male and female infertility, cancer, obesity, brain development and more. Exposure can begin with conception, some studies argue even earlier. This latest report finally provides a governmental call to action. There are over 850 known endocrine disruptors listed in the Endocrine Disruption Exchange list.
In addition, turns out that Endocrine Disruptors aren't the only toxic chemicals affecting babies. What infuriates me is this: products marketed for babies and children are NOT mandated to be chemically harm-free the way they are mandated for so-called "safety." Eighty percent of baby products contain harmful so-called flame retardants, according to Fast Company. Yet these so-called flame retardants don't actually work in fires (although they do produce a nasty thing called toxic smoke, which can be lethal in and of itself.) Worse, the everyday off-gassing from these and other invisible chemicals are so powerful they've been linked with cancer, hormone disruption, reduced IQ, hyperactivity and obesity!
And that's just the beginning of the toxic wrapping that I found encases so much of our lives. The problem is that kids (and I should note pets too) are more susceptible to these chemicals. Because babies and children breathe in more air than adults (two times as much daily on average), they are getting twice the dose of toxins. Given where and how babies play (on the floor, with their hands and mouths), exposure to toxins, which generally land on the floor in the form of toxic dust, is expected to be even higher. In essence, our precious children are thus ingesting more of these chemicals at a developmental age when the risks are greater.
As a parent who only wants to do the very best for her kids, this is so frightening it can almost make you want to stop breathing. Freeze in your tracks. Bury your head in the sand and never come out. But what good does that do you if you're trying to set up your nursery? And what if you already have kids and you're just learning this now?! Can you undo what has been done?
The answer is mostly that we don't know if things can be undone because there are so many factors at play based on an individuals genetic predisposition as well as what the exposure was, the duration of it and even at what point it occurred in development. However, we do know that minimizing exposure matters.
We must stop the chemical flood in our own homes. And we must start now. Today.
While I'm a huge advocate of governmental regulation and am glad for this urgent calling from the UN and WHO. I refuse to wait. In fact, I've taken matters into my own hands and created Veritey, a resource for people to find safe products for healthier living. Our ingredient database contains thousands of chemicals -- including all of the ones on the Endocrine Disruption list -- and we make sure that products listing them aren't on our website. At Veritey, we treat chemicals as guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around. Our products are truly safe, truly good goods.
We can stem this chemical tide. And we can turn it. It starts with you and every single purchase you make from this moment forward. Tell your politicians that toxic reform is imperative. But demand change by voting with your dollars for products that will protect your children, yourself and your entire family starting now.
To find products for a non-toxic nursery (and home) visit www.veritey.com.