Those concerned with the health of children or the elderly should read this entire page, as there is logic to such a mutual examination, and thus the contents of this page pertains to both groups. The logic exists because both groups find themselves with similar health vulnerabilities, in part, because 1.) each has an immune system that is not fully functional, and 2.) neither group possesses full physical capacity in areas such as perception (hearing, smelling, taste) and muscle operation (carrying, pushing, ambulating, i.e. walking or running). Thus, whether because of incapacity of internal mechanisms such as the immune system or the senses, or external mechanisms such as the skeleton or musculature, individuals in both these groups often cannot properly identify a condition of danger or injury or respond to it.
In certain respects the health picture is worse for the elderly, as they often develop any of a number of explicit physical conditions and illnesses, some of which can be fatal. Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of cognitive decline are examples.
Parents, did you know that children's disorders such as ADHD, asthma, allergies, diabetes, obesity, spectrum disorders such as autism, learning impairment, and hearing impairment are all on the rise in this country? Moreover, if you wish your infant or young child to grow up with healthy lungs, brand new research results on airborne particulate matter (tiny invisible particles in the air) must be taken seriously. I believe that a careful review and adoption of the perspective and subsequent suggestions at this website, however, will help you sidestep these disorders and dangers, or minimize their adverse impact.
The Elderly and other Aging Persons
The two great dangers for aging persons caused by pesticides and related chemicals are Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases; the link between pesticides and the latter is well-established, and the link between pesticides and the former has now just been established more strongly than ever before, through the new and important Threats to Healthy Aging study.
The immune system of the older person is not what it used to be; as every part of the body, it will likely perform at lesser efficiency. More time and bodily energy will be required to fight and eradicate foreign invaders. Moreover, older persons will have accumulated many years of toxins in their body, further degrading bodily function and creating an internal landscape amenable to disease. Thus, elderly and aging persons must exercise caution to remain as healthy as possible for their remaining years. "Caution" definitely means keeping pesticides and related chemicals out of their environment.
At present, content at this site is principally organized by "Key" to Good Health, including air, water, stress, noise, chemicals, food, and twenty-two others, not by particular subtopic. So, for example, if you seek information on baby, child, or family health, such information will likely be part of a section discussing a larger theme applicable to all age and gender groups, with content specific to one group discussed separately within that section, as required, and often linked to its own subject page when content is extensive.
What this means as a practical matter is that to ensure that you acquaint yourself with all my information on children (and the elderly), you must read, at a minimum, my home page (the main page you first encounter when arriving at this site), as well as the page you are reading at this moment.
Please click your desired topic from the list below; order of topics is not weighted for importance. Better yet, scroll slowly down this entire page for acquaintance with every topic.
Please click your desired topic from the list below; order of topics is not weighted for importance. Better yet, scroll slowly down this entire page for acquaintance with every topic:
Pregnancy & Pre-Polluted Babies
Most people are unaware of the concept and modern reality of the pre-polluted baby. Anne Underwood, writing in the February 04, 2008 issue of Newsweek magazine, states:"...scientists have detected antibacterial agents from liquid soaps in breast milk, infants' cord blood and the urine of young girls. And in 2005, the Environmental Working Group found an average of 200 chemicals in the cord blood of 10 newborns, including known carcinogens and neurotoxins. "Our babies are being born pre-polluted," says Sharyle Patton of Commonweal, which cosponsored "Is It in Us?" "This is going to be the next big environmental issue after climate change."
Thus, if you're pregnant and using such products as Pledge furniture polish or Lysol cleaning agents, consuming non-organic food or milk, shampooing your hair with Prell or any standard commercial shampoo, drinking water from plastic bottles or eating coldcuts or other foods sold in plastic, or treating your lawn with standard commercial pesticides and herbicides, whether purchased yourself or applied professionally by companies like TruGreen/ChemLawn, Davey, or Lawn Doctor, you are accumulating those 200 chemicals in your body and pre-polluting your unborn child.
In my own neighborhood I observe many homes under renovation, inside or outside, while the mom of the house appears pregnant. If you have your living room painted while pregnant, studies reveal that one or more of the component ingredients in the paint (even in so-called "low VOC" paints), will likely end up in your baby. And if you have TruGreen/ChemLawn, Davey, Lawn Doctor, or a similar company treat your lawn, one or more of their pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or other materials will likely end up in your baby, as well. Needless to say, if you smoke cigarettes while pregnant, one or more of the 500 chemicals in a cigarette will end up in your baby, too.
At least one study confirms that whatever paints, finishes, outgassing plastics or other chemical products used in these activities will likely end up in your baby, turning your infant into what is now called a "pre-polluted" baby. And multiple studies confirm the same thing in regard to air pollution, as described on this page and elsewhere at this site.
I also routinely see pregnant mothers continuing to allow use of unnecessary lawn equipment on their property such as gasoline-powered lawnmowers and leafblowers; these machines use an internal combustion engine just like a motor vehicle, and produce the same kind of toxic and polluting airborne emissions as a motor vehicle that end up in your baby. Such pollutants can cause or lead to cancer or other acute or chronic injury; in "Air Pollution May Affect Babies More than Moms," by Debra Wood, RN, it is stated:
"Fetal susceptibility to DNA damage from air pollution, including motor vehicle emissions and secondhand smoke, has important implications for cancer risk and developmental problems."
Note that gas-powered lawn equipment such as leafblowers as lawn mowers have standard internal combustion engines, which means that these devices produce motor vehicle emissions just like a car, bus, or diesel truck. In fact, many leafblowers 1.) have small two-stroke engines, 2.) lack sufficient pollution controls, and 3.) are often not regularly and properly maintained by their owners or operators, which means that not only do these devices produce standard motor vehicle emissions, but these emissions are released in even greater quantities and are of a more polluting and toxic composition. In sum: moms and dads, you don't want gas-powered leafblowers or lawn mowers used in your environment. If you're pregnant, you absolutely don't want them used.
Electric leafblowers are somewhat better in that their engines are not polluting, but they, too, kick up clouds of proven injurious dust and debris into the air. Some of this microscopic gunk remains suspended in the air riding on invisible droplets of moisture, where you and your children will breathe it in, creating ill-health and disease now and later.
No matter how you twist and turn it, for healthy lawncare you simply must rely on tried-and-true "old-fashioned" tools and implements such as a rake and broom; these produce zero air pollution and zero noise pollution, both of which are revealed as killers by scores of studies. If your landscaper refuses the transition to manual tools, bid them a respectful goodbye. Find another landscaper, hire a local high-schooler, or turn the work into an enjoyable weekend family activity that can bring parents and children together in a salubrious way.
Further information, detail, and recommendations are found under Key to Good Health #2, "Air," on my home page, and on my Lawn, Garden, Pest page, link at top left.
You may be aware of the explosion in autism in America. A brand new report dated April 2012 reveals that an incredible 1 in 88 children in America suffer at least one autism spectrum disorder. The New Jersey ratio is actually far worse: believe it or not, in the Garden State an incredible 1 in 49 children suffer such a disorder. Another recent body of research suggests that children whose mothers lived near applications of the pesticides endosulfan and dicofol during the first trimester of pregnancy are at significantly greater risk for developing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
As partially suggested by the pesticide study mentioned above, the cause of this dramatic rise is likely to be found in our physical environment and our food supply, as our bodies are forced to try to process pathogens, toxins, chemicals, and a sea of various synthetic or otherwise engineered materials and agents that we've never encountered during our millions of years of evolution, and hence simply cannot process. Compromised function and outright disease such as autism is the inevitable result.
What would happen if you put chocolate pudding into your gas tank, instead of gasoline? Your car would likely not work, and if it did, it wouldn't work properly. Your body is no different--it must have the fuel it was designed and built for; anything else will compromise or even terminate its operation.
But what if you're not pregnant, and have no immediate plans to become so? Should you continue to apply conventional pesticides or allow use of toxin-generating machines such as leafblowers? Of course not; what about the health of your next-door neighbor? Or your neighbor down the street? Once these chemicals are applied they do not simply lie there in place. Like everything else from plant spores to the odor of broccoli cooking, they float and spread all over the place; in the case of chemical pesticides they volatilize (i.e. vaporize) first. Then, they're all over the neighborhood.
Babies Born and not-yet-Born
You must also ensure, especially while pregnant, that any lawn care products such as fertilizers applied to your property are OMRI Listed. If not, by law they can and usually do contain large amounts of a class of material called "bio-solids" or more casually "sewage sludge," which is actually human waste, components of items flushed down people's toilets, and an assortment of toxic and potentially toxic materials such as heavy metals and pharmaceuticals. There have been reports of illness whose cause is suspected to be such standard fertilizers. Accordingly, you do not want this waste in your environment, spread all over your lawn, while pregnant (or any other time, ideally).
You must also refrain from use of conventional household sprays, cleaners, solvents, polishes, and other chemicals (409, Lysol, Endust, Glade, etc.) while pregnant; all-natural or, better-yet, organic brands are safe if you've selected them carefully; use this website as a guide, especially its growing Links page. Search the Web as well.
In sum, it is imperative that women whose pregnancy has, or is about to, begin, scrupulously avoid:
Regarding standard leafblowers and lawn mowers, you must avoid their use on your property even if your children are already-born, since these devices introduce a raft of toxic elements into your air, including particulate matter large and small. Consider the article above by Debra Wood, RN, as well as this recent article:
ScienceDaily (July 23, 2009) — Stephania Cormier, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has shown for the first time that early exposure to environmentally persistent free radicals (present in airborne ultrafine particulate matter) affects long-term lung function. She recently presented her latest research data at the 11th International Congress on Combustion By-Products and Their Health Effects at the Environmental Protection Agency Conference Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
Thus, terminate all such practices, products, and activities while pregnant and just afterward, or to continue while pregnant, transition to green and healthy alternative products and processes. Wisest of all, make this a permanent transition for optimal lifelong health and happiness for you, your family, and your neighbors. The information at this website can assist you.
If you're in the habit of feeding your family and yourself food purchased in cans, such as soups or vegetables, stop. And if pregnant, it is especially important that you terminate purchase of such items.
Aside from the often poor nutritional content characteristic of food in such containers, the enamel lining in the cans, themselves, is increasingly suspect as a very serious toxin.
Individuals struck that these guidelines and recommendations are "too extreme" should consider the following simple question: how healthy would you like your baby to be? Upon birth and through their years?
Almost healthy? Basically healthy? Mostly Healthy? 90% healthy? 95% healthy? Which of you does not want your baby to be 100% healthy?
In a world that is still very polluted and toxic, 100% health in a baby, or any individual, will simply not happen by accident. It will happen only by hard work, in the form of deliberate and permanent attention paid to what products and practices you permit into your environment.
The Chemicals Within
By Anne Underwood | NEWSWEEKFrom the magazine issue dated Feb 4, 2008
The Five Worst Environmental Threats to Children's Health
In the United States, these five threats affect more children than any others.
According to a 1997 report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), growing evidence points to a link between pollution and childhood illnesses. In the last 50 years, more than 75,000 chemicals have been developed and introduced into the environment. The overall incidence of childhood cancer increased 10 percent between 1973 and 1994. In the 1980s, asthma rates tripled. While the NRDC report does not establish a direct link between exposure to chemicals and the increase in children's illnesses, it does point out growing scientific evidence of such a link.
Children are at greater risk from these exposures than are adults. Because children breathe more air, drink more water, and consume more food relative to their body weight than do adults, they receive higher doses of contaminants present in air, food, and water. Also, children are more susceptible because of the immaturity of their biochemical and physiological functions. Organs that are not fully developed are vulnerable to injury.
Some material in this section above was culled from this web page.
Infant Inhalation Of Ultrafine Air Pollution Linked To Adult Lung DiseaseScienceDaily (July 23, 2009) — Stephania Cormier, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has shown for the first time that early exposure to environmentally persistent free radicals (present in airborne ultrafine particulate matter) affects long-term lung function. She recently presented her latest research data at the 11th International Congress on Combustion By-Products and Their Health Effects at the Environmental Protection Agency Conference Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
Mt. Sinai Children's Center says Leafblowers Hazards Worse for Children
Doctors affiliated with the Mt. Sinai Children's Environmental Health Center in New York City signed a letter submitted on April 22, 2010 by the Mt. Sinai Hospital, supporting restrictions on leaf blowers.
The letter stated that children are the most susceptible to the hazards of leaf blowers because "…they breathe more air per pound of body weight per day than adults and thus inhale more of any pollutants that are thrown into the air by this equipment."
The letter also stated that children's vulnerability to the health effects of blowers "is further magnified by the fact that they are passing through the stages of early development, and thus their lungs, ears, eyes, and other organ systems are inherently more sensitive to environmental hazards than the organs of adults."
Autism out of Control in N.J. - Why?
Moreover, while 1 in 88 children in America suffers, incredibly, at least one autism spectrum disorder, our New Jersey ratio is actually far worse: in the Garden State 1 in 49 children suffer such a disorder.
The cause is thought to lie in the environment, referring to our physical environment and food supply, as our bodies are forced to try to process pathogens, toxins, chemicals, and a sea of various materials and agents that we've never encountered during our millions of years of evolution, and hence simply cannot process. Compromised function and outright disease is the result.
Steps to Take
Accordingly, parents, do NOT permit use of gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers, mulching machines or other gas-powered tools and devices around your home. These machines pollute the air with many sorts of chemicals and contaminants, including the kinds of ultrafine particulates cited above as responsible for later lung damage. Insist that your landscaper use old-fashioned manual tools such as the push mower, rake, and broom, or simply do the job yourself this way. Don't take "no" for an answer!
Moreover, if you live in 1.) a high-traffic neighborhood, 2.) a region with factories nearby, or 3.) the vicinity of a dry-cleaning establishment, gas station, or other business on whose property or in whose surrounding air contaminants are likely to be found, plan immediately to move your family to a more pristine location that is likely to have cleaner air. Research such locations first so you'll be sure.
I also suggest that you discuss this web page and the above article with your neighbors, and urge them to make these changes, as well. Give them the URL (i.e. the name) of this web site and print out this page for them. It does you little good to cease the air pollution of your property, if your neighbors on either side of your property continue it. Air is common to all our properties, and what each of us does affects the others.
Isn't the Government Protecting Us
No. Or so minimally that the protection is negligible. For example, it wasn't until as recently as 2002 that the EPA 1.) finally required additional studies on the effects of pesticides on children, and 2.) finally began serious scientific examination of the effect of pesticides on the endocrine system of children. The EPA states:
For the first time, EPA is requiring additional studies on pesticides to better understand their effects on children specifically (developmental neurotoxicity, acute and subchronic neurotoxicity).
EPA is undertaking a screening and testing program to address concerns expressed by scientists in recent years that chemicals might be disrupting the endocrine system -- the glands and the hormones they produce that guide the development, growth, reproduction, and behavior of human beings and animals. Disruption of the endocrine system may result in reproductive disorders, birth defects, immune suppression, and other harmful effects.
Child Leukemia and other Childhood Cancers
A child raised in a home where pesticides are used, either indoor or outdoor, has a 600% increased risk of leukemia or brain tumor (Source: 1993 study, Risk Factors for Brain Tumors in Children). Let me repeat this:
A child raised in a home where pesticides are used, either indoor or outdoor, has a 600% increased risk of leukemia or brain tumor.
(More: in the last three decades testicular cancer has risen 60% in men over thirty years old and 75% in men under thirty years old. This would be exactly the same time frame as the mushrooming lawn chemical industry. And isn't it predominantly men who apply lawn chemicals? Moreover, in the last 15 years the male sperm count has dropped dramatically. The recognized, likely, or at least suspected cause: pesticides and herbicides.
Source: Peter Jennings, ABC News 11/25/97 and 1/21/99.
Last: dogs and cats that live in homes where lawn chemicals are used also have much higher rates of malignant tumors.)
We've simply got to protect our children, ourselves, from this threat to health, and the inability of the government to stop, or even fully monitor, this threat. This website gives you gratis all the tools that you need. I recommend that you read, absorb, and act on every word, here.
Why Natural Cleaners
All material below was culled from this web page.
Many conventional cleaning products contain toxic ingredients that aren’t properly regulated or disclosed. These toxic ingredients include chemicals, fragrances, and dyes that can be irritating to our eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. Many experts believe repeated low-level exposure to these chemicals can cause asthma, allergies, and cancer.
An Unhappy Planet
Besides being hazardous to our health, these chemicals are also tough on the environment. The manufacture, use, and disposal of these products release dangerous amounts of toxins into the air, land, and water. Because many of these chemicals biodegrade so slowly, they can remain in the soil and water for hundreds of years. The result is a long string of damaging effects on our ecosystem.
If these chemicals are so bad, why aren’t they banned?
They should be, but unfortunately, there aren’t enough government safeguards in place. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that most chemicals used in consumer products have never undergone federal safety review. In fact, the EPA has required testing for fewer than 200 of the 62,000 chemicals used in commerce since the agency began reviewing chemicals in 1979.*
(A Consumer Reports website)
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