Last year, I shared the importance of choosing sustainable, green products in order to protect our planet and to decrease the burden of toxin and chemical accumulation on our bodies. Many assume that if merchandise is on the market, it is safe. Unfortunately, this is not true. With very little oversite on safety, the FDA allows the use and release of products that are mostly deemed “innocent until proven harmful.”
The 2010 Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals by the CDC, is continuously evaluating the impact and exposure of chemicals in humans. This report detailed 212 chemicals that can negatively impact human health, and the list is continually updated with additional substances that are being biomonitored in participants blood and urine.
In a study done in collaboration with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Commonweal, researchers tested 10 babies’ umbilical cord blood to assess for chemicals. They found an average of 200 industrial substances and pollutants in little ones born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. According to their summary:
Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.
This was in 2005. Can you imagine how many chemicals little ones are born with now!?
The “Hits” Keep Coming
Newer studies are continually revealing the dangers of environmental toxicants. Their results provide unsettling evidence that now is the time to take to the precautionary principle and implement measures to mitigate exposure. This is in order to prevent the negative long-term health effects that are being associated with continual low, or high, dose exposures. (source, source)
Being mindful of avoidance of unnecessary chemicals is especially relevant for pregnant moms and infants. Little ones have less ability to detoxify and have smaller, more delicate systems. Furthermore, there are critical stages of development, and during these windows, determinantal substances can create negative epigenetic imprinting or genetic defects that are hard or impossible to reverse. (source, source, source)
For example, The Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) is an ongoing epidemiological study that focuses on how various chemical and biologic exposures, susceptibility factors, and their interactions affect phenotypic variation (different observable characteristics from gene inheritance) among children with autism. Several studies have been released as a result of this trial, including linking autism to maternal chemical exposures, health status, and nutritional levels.
There is GOOD News- Phew!
Thankfully, there are steps to decrease our exposures. These include eating organic foods with less pesticides, filtering our water, purchasing natural, nontoxic household and personal care products, and keeping our mind and body at optimal health with essential oils. I wrote more about how to safely navigate the sea of toxins here. I also have a whole post on how essential oils support our body’s natural defense from chemicals, which you can find here.
Essential oils are unique in that they calm the body and mind from stress, both psychological and physical, act as antioxidants, and promote resiliency, all important aspects when we are swimming in a soup of toxins on a daily basis.
Wiping Away the Stress of “Toxic Overload!”
Next week, I will reveal to you how one product, all-natural, essential oil-diffused baby wipes, exhibit how with one, tiny, product swap, we can have a big health impact. Furthermore, these scent-sational travel companions are not just safe for mamma’s-to-be and babies to use. They can be used as a makeup remover, bathroom wipes for grownups, hand sanitizers during sticky barbecues, and more.
I’ll also provide a comprehensive list of safety information for oils in infants and pregnancy from previous posts.
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*Safety reminder: Please be extra sure to check with your doctor if you have a seizure disorder. The Epilepsy Society of the UK lists certain essential oils implicated for their antiseizure effect as well as those that have stimulating properties.
For additional safety and medical information, please be sure to visit my essential oils database. This includes a full category on how to use essential oils safely and potential drug interactions that can occur.
If you and/or your physician are interested in consulting with me to assist with supporting the integration of essential oils safely into a therapeutic protocol, essential oils consultations are available.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.