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How to Minimise Babies Exposure to Chemicals?

Healthy Baby

You’ll want to take action after reading the Environmental Working Group’s latest cord blood report, released today, just days after the Washington Toxics Coalition report about chemicals in the pregnant women. The results are devastating but not surprising. I urge you to read them at length.

The EWG tested the cord blood of 10 minority newborns. (Cord blood is the blood remaining in the placenta and umbilical cord after birth. EWG would have liked to do more, certainly, but it’s about $10,000 per baby and their pockets aren’t that deep.) They tested for some of the same offenders they tested for in 2005. And they tested for some new ones, including:

Bisphenol A, a.k.a. BPA, a ubiquitous ingredient in plastics and coatings that’s been linked to a range of health problems, including cancer. (The Food and Drug Administration, which has to date sanctioned the use of BPA as safe, was to release a new safety report on the chemical this week, but delayed its decision.)
Perchlorate, a rocket fuel component and, according to the EWG, a potent thyroid toxin that can disrupt production of hormones essential for normal brain development.

The results?

BPA was found in 9 out of 10 samples.
Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), a toxic flame retardant chemical called that permeates computer circuit boards, synthetic fragrances (Galaxolide and Tonalide), and common cosmetics and detergents, was also detected for the first time.

What’s a parent to do?

I told Dr. Anila Jacob, EWG’s senior scientist and co-author of the report, that reading it made me feel like the only thing parents can really do is get political.

“That’s accurate,” she said. “There is no way to shop yourself out of this 100%. That’s why we need good strong federal legislation. But there are some individual actions they can take to decrease the exposure. When Mom is pregnant she can decrease the use of canned foods, she can not microwave in plastic. Once she has her baby she can use a BPA-free baby bottle.” I prefer glass. “Breastfeeding is best but if you’re using formula, we recommend powder versus liquid canned infant formula. She should check with her pediatrician.”

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Jun 02, 2011 | Category: Health and Beauty, Raising a Green Baby | Comments: none | Tags: , ,

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