Everyone wants to know why. Why was my kid born with sensory stuff. Why is my kid allergic to every food on the planet. Why does my kid have ADD, horrible eczema, hyperactivity? Why, why, why? I’m not a doctor, and I’m only a research scientist in my own mind. But I’ve got a hypothesis to pose to you. Now, I urge you to read this with an open mind. Many of you have heard some all or none of what I’m going to say to you. But the big picture is this, you are the only one who can make a difference.
Think back to your childhood. How many kids did you know with food allergies? Sure you had that one hyper kid in class, but he wasn’t so bad. I mean everything didn’t have to stop to deal with him. And Autism, Aspergers? Really?
Now think about the things that are part of our everyday life that have changed so much since then. I can come up with a laundry list. But for this post I am going to focus on one thing, plastic.
For some crazy reason I kept an article I read on plastics, from USA Today on August 3, 2005. I was so surprised when I found it as I was researching, because that was 6 days before my son was born. I forgot how cuckoo I was about plastic even then, especially knowing how it could impact my developing child. Even then, almost 7 years ago, the cover story was “Are our products our enemy? Chemicals in everyday goods disrupt hormones
” (click on the link to see the actual article). The point
was this; Biosephanol-A, and other plastics, were inexplicably causing chromosomal abnormalities in the eggs of mice. And the best part is, you couldn’t see it happening! These man-made products mimic our own natural hormones, which is why they have been dubbed endocrine disruptors. This was a ground breaking discovery in 2005 the woman who discovered it became the first scientist to actually study this. Since then, they have linked BPA, phthalates, PVC and other chemicals to cancer, problems in reproductive organs and several other health problems.
Jump back to my point. How many of you have seriously researched the things that are effecting your children? I have. So far, everything I research about what effects my child, from Sensory Processing Disorder to Allergies, and what effects yours, from Autism to ADHD, points back to this. The generalized statement “Genetic Abnormality”. Hmmmm……genetic abnormality, you mean from a chromosomal abnormality in, oh I don’t know, the eggs that unsuspecting mommy was producing? Oh no, that can’t be it, because the government would never let that happen, right? Let me quote a 2008 Wall Street Journal article
“WASHINGTON — A panel of science experts challenged the Food and Drug Administration’s conclusion that a chemical widely used in plastic food containers is safe, saying the FDA should have paid more attention to studies suggesting the contrary.”
Now why, you might ask, would the government look the other way. Oh I don’t, know, maybe 350 billion dollars? That might do it. Look, like it or not, whatever they might say, the government is a business. Businesses run on money. Passing laws to protect us from toxins would cost the companies that contribute most to our “representatives” more than they want to even imagine.
Now, I have a personal relationship with plastic. My father was a scientist who owned his own “plastic” company beginning in the late 60’s. So I grew up well on the plastic bandwagon, but contrary to what we all learned in “The Graduate” plastics did not come on the scene in the late 60’s. This is an abbreviated version of how it grew into a multibillion dollar industry. For more go to this website; The History of Plastic
. Plastic has been on the scene for a while, but truly saw a boom during the Second World War. PVC became a truly hot item in the 50’s. Most of our parents were alive in the 50’s, maybe they were even getting married, thinking about it, or even having kids. Now you think
about this. In the 50’s PVC became commonplace, it was used in the “amazing” new product called Formica, a space-age indestructible product for dinnerware called Melamine was introduced and becoming commonplace, in the 1950’s 50% of all dinnerware sold was made of melamine!!
And then we had it, the most amazing invention ever, something every house-wife needed, Tupperware!
Let’s not forget, we weren’t only eating on plastic, storing our food in plastic and using it to bathe our babies in. We were also wearing it! Polyester, that miracle fabric was plastic too, and during the 50’s and 60’s polyester’s ease to care for and funky fashion possibilities made it a must-have for fashion consumers. Before the world could barely blink plastic was being used for everything. Now fast-forward to the 80’s and 90’s plastic was commonplace for packaged food, bottled water, bottled drinks, sandwich bags, you name it. You would be hard pressed to eat or drink something that at some point was not encased in plastic. And best, or worst, of all. Everything you needed for baby was plastic too! No worries, baby won’t break that bottle, because it’s made of plastic! Worried about those icky cloth toys that are hard to clean? No problem, baby toys are made of plastic now, and you can just soak them in toxic chemicals to clean them! And why buy a sterilizer? Just sterilize that plastic in the microwave!
And so, we unwittingly were poisoned by our parents, then we poisoned ourselves and our children. This miracle product turned out to be not so much of a miracle, if you allow yourself to pull down the veil of denial, it is more of a nightmare. But, let’s look on the bright side! Now you know! Now it’s up to you.
One more thing. You can’t undo the damage that is done. And truly, as part of the process of being a survivor, a mom, the amazing person that you are, this is the most important piece to get. Accept it, accept your child. Accept that your child is not a label but the most wonderfully unique individual you will ever know. Next, do everything you can for you and your child to protect the future of your bodies. To protect your children’s children. The damage done to our children’s DNA was done in our bodies. And for those of you who have developed premature cancers and reproductive issues, that damage may have been done by the 30 some years of over exposure or bio-load as they call it. Or it may have been done in your mother’s body. Imagine the toxin build up in our kids bodies? All you can do is be the place it stops.
Here’s my broken record statement, be the advocate your child needs you to be! Be the person who teaches your child to live a life with as little exposure to toxic chemicals as you can, including the toxic plastic numbers. Do you know if you just choose not to wear your shoes in the house you will limit your child’s exposure to harmful toxins like lead and mercury? Or simply stop using plastic in the microwave. Eat organic when you can. AND PLEASE do not use pesticides in or around your house or lawn! (I will touch on this later, but an EPA whistle-blower said they have linked Autism to pesticides)
My next post on this topic will list the many ways you can change the little things to make a difference. But please, feel free to comment with any questions you have.
In the meantime a great place to start is a website I have been using since before Isaiah was born. It is the Environmental Working Group
the largest not-for-profit lobbying group in the U.S. that’s mission is to protect our children from environmental toxins.
You can make difference, I know you can. It’s hard, and in a lot of ways it sucks. But you can do it! If you need me, I’m here 🙂 Jen
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