The Nonstop Chemical Bombardment
If you’ve been following my blogs and/or other health advocates, no doubt you’ve been bombarded with the latest news that links the thousands of chemicals found in our environment to human health risks. This message of urgency is spreading fast, as many of us believe we are at a true tipping point for our planet and our wellness.
The situation we have been handed is a real-life, modern day horror film. Thankfully, sprinkled in the doomsday news are safe, actionable solutions.
Dr. Mercola states:
- Of the 13,000 chemicals used in cosmetics, only 10 percent have been safety tested; manufacturers are tasked with testing the safety of their products but do not have to release the testing data to the FDA
- The number of adverse events from exposure to personal care products is likely underreported, as found by the FDA in 2014 when 127 event reports came to the agency about WEN haircare, but the company received over 21,000 complaints
- Since manufacturers are not mandated to share adverse event reports publicly or with the FDA, you can protect yourself by using the EWG database to find safe personal care merchandise
How Did We Get Here?
Federal and State regulations have largely ignored the precautionary principle and took a “safe until proven unsafe” viewpoint on chemical manufacturing. The result? We are backpaddling in a sea of sludge, and it’s getting muddy!
In a 2014 report to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission by the Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) on Phthalates and Phthalate Alternatives, animal, human, and developmental data was presented related to concerns for harm with the ubiquitous presence of these chemicals. Of the 16 phthalates and 20 alternatives tested, CHAP recommended additional research should be implemented to ensure the safety of all the phthalates, set stricter limits on some, and continued to enforce the current banned list.
Most concerning in this report, and there was plenty to be worried about, was the high levels of phthalates found in pregnant women and children. Personal care products made up the largest proportion of exposure for women. For infants, the greatest sources of phthalates, in descending order, were their food, toys, and personal care.
The (Toxic) Risking of Lives of Innocent Children
The fact that these pervasive, harmful substances continue to poison our children was made even more evident by the latest unveiling of “Mac and Cheese: The Wholesome Box of Plastics.”
If you haven’t heard about this, let me move you through the “cheesy” headline and get to the bottom line. Serving boxed Mac and Cheese for family dinner means that you are most likely handing each of your loved ones a whole bowl of phthalates!
This is only one of many examples that indicates food as “Our Daily Poison.” The very “sustenance” we are using to support life has been tainted with toxins, and many largely go unnoticed for generations!
Unless our population starts making different choices, the sustainability of our future generations and planet is not looking great. However, awareness is key. This “bombardment of toxic information” serves a purpose. We are propelling change!
For example, the knowledge that our little ones are suffering the unintended consequences of previous generations is becoming well-known, even in mainstream medicine.
In a CDC Expert Commentary Series on Medscape, Dr. Weiland, a toxicology fellow and physician, reported on the need to start incorporating a thorough environmental exposure history due to the fact that, “the rapid and widespread development of industry and its use of newly developed chemicals over recent decades has led to an increasingly contaminated environment…”
Now, new specialty units for children are popping up in the United States to be proactive and protect them from harm. In the commentary, Dr. Weiland specifically highlighted the PEHSU, Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units. It is “an interconnected system of specialists located throughout North America who respond to questions from public health professionals, clinicians, policy makers, and the public about the impacts of environmental factors on the health of children and reproductive-age adults.”
The Good News- Safer Options
By choosing organic foods and buying our products from companies that support the wellness of our planet and its inhabitants, we can positively impact the current health trajectory of our world.
Being an enthusiastic essential oils doc, I have always believed that their safe use is a wonderful way to support our little ones’ well-being. By incorporating essential oils into our homes, we can nurture their bodies and protect them from exposure to toxic alternatives that could cause them harm. An example of a calming blend for little ones would contain lavender, coriander, bergamot, ylang ylang, and geranium, is just that. It is soothing to their little nervous systems as it eases their bodies.
Lessons Learned on My Ingredient Cross-Check
All the oils in the calming blend are rated as low evidence of harm on the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s SkinDeep website. Ylang ylang, listed as a fragrance, has the “highest” score of 3. Although still rated as low concern, I did some digging. I realized this was likely due to ylang ylang’s varying levels of purity, as evidence by its classification into four grades.
In fact, EWG listed it on the website as “Function(s): Fragrance Ingredient; MASKING.” Research error! I went back to check the actual oil, it was listed at a 1 (ONE)!
Interestingly, when I was cross-referencing the more toxic fragrance studies of concern, I found in one study that, after an unintended imbibing, the little one returned to normal physical and lab findings. Bottom line: even with an overdose of an impure fragrance, this child was okay. Not true for many alternatives.
I’ve provided more resources on safety of essential oils in children from my database and some additional studies below for your review.
Feel free to post your comments and feedback!!
Resources from my Database
Children (2 years)
- Children and Safety Article 1
Children and Safety Article 2
Children and Safety Article 3
Children and Safety Article 4
Children and Safety Article 5
Additional Studies with Oils and Children:
- Effectiveness of the essential oils lavender and ginger in promoting children’s comfort in a perianesthesia setting.
- Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants.
- EEG asymmetry responses to lavender and rosemary aromas in adults and infants.
- The effectiveness of aromatherapy massage using lavender oil as a treatment for infantile colic.
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.
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.)
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