The TOXIC BABY: TED talk by Penelope Jagessar Chaffer and Tyrone Hayes and further information on baby´s exposure to harmful chemicals

I will shield my little one and the whole family from harmful toxic substances to the extend I can and I want to share this information with you, so you can take conscious decisions as well.

The reality is scary, but I think it is better to be scared than not to know the facts.

I would like to present a talk on TED to you that refers to all the harmful chemicals your baby is exposed to already in the womb. Did you know that our bodies contain between 30,000 and 50,000 chemicals that could not be found in the bodies of our grandparents? In this modern world we are surrounded by harmful chemicals and only discover gradually how toxic they really are for us and especially for our babies and children. Many developmental disorders, malformations and other problems can be the consequence. There are toxic substances in our food, the clothes we wear and other textiles we use, in cosmetics, toys , cleaning products and many more products we use every day.

The group of chemicals that is most harmful to our children consist of chemicals that act like hormones. Part of this group is Bisphenol A, which mimics estrogen and until recently it was one of the chemicals used to produce plastic baby bottles. Since 2011 it is forbidden to produce baby bottles ans sippy cups with BPA in the European Union and since last year it is banned in the United States. Yet there are still many other products like toys (eg plastic teether toys), beverage bottles and food containers produced with BPA and since recently there is growing evidence that even the new generation of BPA-free plastics leaches synthetic estrogens. The only way to be sure that your baby is not exposed to synthetic estrogens is to use glass bottles and stainless steel sippy cups and containers (this is what we did)… Take into account as well that using plastic containers to heat in the microwave increases the leaching of chemicals. Only use glass and chinaware made of porcelain.

Another substance of the same group is the herbicide Atrazine , Phthalates as group of plasticizers  and Paraben preservatives . When the twins were born it was almost impossible to buy cosmetics for babies that did not contain Paraben. It was used (and in many cases still is used) in products like baby wipes, gels, shampoos, etc. When I asked at the pharmacy, if a product contains parabens or phthalates they looked at me as if I were from Mars… Since then I lost confidence in the mass market cosmetics brands that use these chemicals to make products that are harmful for vulnerable babies and the whole family and we only use cosmetics made of natural ingredients since then. For example the brand Mustela contained not only one but several types of Parabens in almost all baby products. Now they produce products without Parabens and claim it  and I am glad they changed, but still I do not have any confidence in this brand anymore. Thankfully consumers are more conscious now and it is more common to find a number of cosmetics without toxic ingredients.

Note that everything you put on the skin is almost like eating it, but many people are not aware of that! Think about how nicotine patches or other medicinal patches work …

In Toxipedia you can research more on toxic chemicals and toxicology issues in general.

A key phrase of the talk is that often only a parent´s awareness stands between chemicals and our vulnerable children. If you know the damage a number of products can cause to your little one, you will probably take conscious decisions not to use them, because all parents want the best for their children. Example: As a consequence you would not give a toy bought at the Chinese corner store to your child, which was  manufactured in China with questionable substances, because your child will bite it and swallow toxic substances.

Here is the TED talk of Penelope Jagessar Chaffer and Tyrone Hayes.

Penelope Jagessar Chaffer is multi award winning documentary filmmaker. She made the documentary Toxic Baby. She began researching the topic after having an abortion that maybe was the consequence of high levels of toxic substances. Penelope fights for a healthier and toxic free world.

Tyrone Hayes is a biologist and research scientist. Professor of University of California, Berkeley and studying the effects pesticides have on frogs and other amphibians.

Did you find the talk  interesting? Did you know about the topic yet?

What steps will you take to shield your child from exposure of so many harmful toxics?


{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Penelope Jagessar Chaffer March 17, 2014, 1:17 pm

    Miriam, thank you SO MUCH for posting our TED talk! We are so happy to be featured here. Thank you for raising awareness about toxic chemicals and our kids. It is the most important environmental issue we face. And yes ECO is CHIC!

    • babyecochic March 17, 2014, 10:01 pm

      Dear Penelope, you are my hero! Let us altogether work on raising awareness and transform the world to a better and healthier place!

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