Today we live in a world of full of environmental toxicity and potential toxic exposures. Every inch of the planet has been exposed to some human tampering that has affected the air, water, soil, climate, food supply, homes, and businesses. There is no doubt that Americans live in a toxic world, on a scale never seen before in human history.
The most vulnerable members of our society, our children, are beginning to show this toxic burden through the development of terminal and chronic illnesses.
Toxins Harm Cells and Tissues
There are two main concerns with children’s exposure to environmental toxins. First, certain toxins can be extremely harmful to cells and tissues of the body.
For instance, mercury, ubiquitous in our environment, is a known neurotoxin that can cause neurodevelopmental delays and dysfunction. It is in our air, our water, and even our soil and food.
Children with chronic illnesses have been found to have high levels of heavy metals, petroleum-based chemicals and a variety of other damaging toxins in their bodies.
Toxins Harm the Gastrointestinal System
Second, many toxins act directly on the gastrointestinal system, harming the colonies of good bacteria in the gut. For instance, mercury, fluoride, and chlorine are all known to adversely affect the good bacteria in our gut. The good bacteria are an essential part of our bodies’ detoxification process. Friendly bacteria, for example, help to demethylate mercury (make it less harmful) in our bodies.
When environmental toxins assault these good bacteria, they are essentially compromising the immune system of their host, leaving them vulnerable to further toxic and infectious assaults.
Toxic exposure can result in significant immune dysregulation (often seen as autoimmunity), combined with cellular and tissue damage.
Some of the most common toxins include:
Since the time of the industrial revolution, progress has polluted our environment to the point that now not only our environment has been severely and tragically affected, but also our most precious legacy: our children.
Environmental toxicity has had a direct impact on the physical and neurological development of our children today.
It is, therefore, no surprise we have “canaries in the coal mine” and unheard of epidemics such as autism spectrum disorders, asthma, diabetes, allergies and so on which were rarely seen 50 years ago.
How Does Environmental Toxicity Affect Our Children?
It is a well-known fact that children experience a much stronger impact from environmental toxicity than adults.
- The blood-brain barrier in a child is much porous than adults, and therefore, more vulnerable to having chemical exposures reaching the developing brain. Children also have lower levels of some chemical binding proteins which allow more toxins to affect their organs. Many children exposed to environmental toxicity at an early age and/or in utero may have their neurological, immune, sensory and nervous systems affected which now becomes a more complicated and complex process such as autism spectrum disorders.
- Many children carry a genetic variant defect called MTHFR which results in reduced glutathione. Glutathione is the master antioxidant in the body which aids the body in excreting toxicity to keep a healthy body, mind and spirit. Children carrying the genetic mutation MTHFR would carry far greater risks to environmental toxicity than children without.
Researchers now know that exposures to environmental contaminants are cumulative and may have generational effects still to come.
What Can We Do to Protect Our Children?
- Green your home: Buy organic produce, meats, fruits and free-range non GMO (genetically modified organism) without pesticides and growth hormones to feed your family.
- Buy only wild fish, not farm raised; avoid fish with mercury and use pure fish oil without mercury as well.
- Avoid all process and prepackaged foods and eliminate all artificial sweeteners, dyes, MSG, aspartame, toxic preservatives and eat freshly cooked or raw foods.
- Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic and avoid plastic wrap and canned foods that have BPS and BPA.
- Use a water filter for drinking water and even for your shower or bath.
- Clean your home with natural cleaning products.
- Buy natural brands of toiletries, shampoos, toothpaste, deodorants, cosmetics and soaps.
- Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, dish washer cleaners and synthetic fragrances – use essential oils instead.
- Replace your non-stick and aluminum pots and pans and replace with glass, ceramic, and other natural cookware.
- Use natural pesticide and insect repellents.
- Reduce the usage of drugs and medication: choose natural supplements, homeopathy, herbs and essential oils for your children’s health and wellness.
- Reduce the toxic electromagnetic smog in your house – shut off your WiFi.
- Review our checklist for greening your home.
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