Do You Worry About Environmental Toxins or...Not So Much?
Posted by Leah Mann
This sounds terrible, but I have a hard time getting riled up about environmental toxins. I let my son play with toys stamped “Made in China,” I live in a 100-year-old house that’s probably full of lead, and I pretty much don’t buy organic anything unless it’s on sale.
When the word went out that products containing bisphenol A (BPA) were potentially harmful, I made sure I bought baby bottles that were marked BPA-free (or were glass), which was actually pretty easy, since everything else had been pulled from the shelves. What I’m saying is thank goodness the FDA and similar agencies try to regulate this sort of thing, and that consumers who are more concerned than I am demand responsibility of companies when the FDA doesn't regulate their products.
I guess my issue is that whenever I hear that X or Y has been linked to some long-ranging health issue like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, I can’t shake my disbelief that science can prove any connection more significant than a “link” when there are SO MANY factors out there that cause these often devastating conditions. The way I see it, life causes health problems.
But of course that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do what we can to keep ourselves healthy and protected.
On the list of health issues that might affect our children, eczema certainly isn’t the worst, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem worth solving. So many of my parent friends have kids who suffer from the condition (symptoms include severely itchy and dry skin) that I paused to read this article about a recent study concerning eczema’s link to a household chemical called butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP), which is similar in some ways to BPA. The chemical is often used in vinyl flooring, artificial leather and other materials commonly found in homes, and researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health have shown that prenatal exposure to BBzB is a risk factor to children later developing eczema.
You can read more about the study here, but I’m most curious about where you stand on the issue of environmental toxins in general? Do you try to avoid anything that might be a potential danger to your child, even if that means buying only expensive organic products and foods? Or are you more laid-back about it, like I am (although maybe secretly wondering if you should perhaps be more concerned…).
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