In our last article regarding chemical sensitivities in children, we discussed the risks posed by toxic household cleaning agents and over-all air quality in the home. In today’s post, we would like to examine the three other areas of potential risk in the home: water quality, food, and toiletries.
Your tap water can contain agricultural chemical runoff, chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals and an array of other water disinfectant treatments often found in domestic drinking water supplies. Children who display symptoms of chemical sensitivity would greatly benefit from a purified water source. Use a tap filtration system or – even better- a couple a purification system with an ionized water treatment like EM-X Ceramics for water conditioning. The magnetic quality of EM Ceramics pulls the molecules apart and separates the clusters of foreign materials. For optimal performance, treat your natural ion purification ceramics with EM-1 microbial inoculant every 6 months.
Recent studies suggest that many children are sensitive to the synthetic chemicals and preservatives found in many processed foods, as well as natural preservatives such as salicylate found in certain fruits and vegetables. Sensitivity to food chemicals can result in very disturbing symptoms including reports of:
Learning and concentration problems
Sleeplessness and nightmares
Over-activity (primarily in boys)
Withdrawn behavior and lethargy (primarily in girls)
Crying or temper tantrums
While many of these symptoms could easily be attributed to simply growing up, if you notice a sudden and distinctive change in your child’s behavior – or struggle with many of the before-mentioned symptoms – it is worth exploring a more thoughtful, chemical-free diet. Remove processed foods that feature artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Reduce the consumption of fruits and vegetables that naturally contain high levels of salicylate for approximately six weeks. You can reintroduce the higher salicylate produce over time, with careful attention to how it affects your child’s behavior. To learn more about which foods feature high salicylate levels, check out this amazing salicylate sensitivity food guide. If you discover that your child is sensitive to salicylate, be sure to also choose salicylate free tooth care products.
Everyday toiletries are also a common source for chemical sensitivity and irritation, specifically:
Scented lotions and sunscreen
Scented soaps, both liquid and bar
Fragranced shampoos, conditioners and other hair care products
If you fear your child is exhibiting symptoms of chemical sensitivity, select products that are fragrance and SLS free. Switch your child to a salicylate (SLS) and fluoride free tooth care regimen which is free of alcohol, parabens, SLS and fluoride. There are many dental products on the market including pastes and powders that are made with organic ingredients as well. Avoid products with petroleum-based carcinogens such as 1,4-dioxane, a substance banned in many countries yet found in a number of common toiletries in the US. While still debated in some circles, a 2008 study conducted by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that petroleum-based ingredients produced cancerous tumors in mice over the course of 20 weeks, while the same product sans petroleum-derived additives did not. Your best bet is selecting gentle, organic, petroleum and SLS free products for your children.
Eric Lancaster is Executive Vice President of TeraGanix, Inc., the exclusive North America distributor of Effective Microorganisms® and EM® Bokashi products. He is the technical expert on Effective Microorganisms® for the US market. Please visit www.TeraGanix.com for more information.