Research Report

baby mouthing somethingChildren and Toxic Chemicals in the Home

Researched and Written by Brenda Templin

Many Melaleuca Marketing Executives have discovered that an effective way to introduce people to Melaleuca products is to make them aware that the products they are currently using may be extremely hazardous and unhealthy. Most people are unaware that there is a problem with typical grocery store brands. Once they are made aware of this problem, they are often open to hearing about safer, healthier alternatives like Melaleuca's EcoSense® Cleaner Product Line.

We have several great publications that should be helpful in making people aware of this problem. Our booklet, written by respected author, Debra Lynn Dadd, focuses on children and toxics. It's entitled Let's Stop Poisoning Our Children! You'll find that parents are often more open to this type of information, and this booklet is written especially for them.

"Now we know what we have suspected for years, that toxic chemicals are bringing anguish to thousands of families in this country."
-- Larry Silver, M.D., President,
Learning Disabilities Association of America,
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry,
Georgetown University Medical Center

This report is not intended to scare, but to educate you so that you can be more selective in choosing products that you bring into your home. It is YOUR responsibility to replace the products in your home with safer products for the protection of your children. It is YOUR responsibility, as you become more informed, to tell your friends, neighbors, and relatives to stop using products that contain dangerous chemicals that are hazardous to both their health and the environment.

We hope that you will take this information as a wake-up call and take the necessary steps to remove the toxins from your home. Your children are at the highest risk. Make your home a safe haven for them by using safe cleaning alternative such as EcoSense® and teach them to do the same so that future generations will be better informed and at less risk.

Brenda Templin

Children and Toxins Fact Sheets

A Challenge to Health-Care Providers - Changing Patterns of Disease: Human Health
and the Environment
shows an increase in birth defects, behavioral disabilities and serious illnesses in children as the production of synthetic chemicals has increased. over the past half-century.

In the article, Environmental Health Threats to Children: A Look at the Facts, Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, widely recognized as one of the nation's foremost experts on children's diseases and environmental exposures, notes that children's exposures to newly developed chemical toxins in today's society have replaced classic infectious diseases with chronic, complex, handicapping conditions that affect multiple organs. He says that in children, these diseases are largely unknown and have not been adequately studied, but environmental factors are strongly suspected to play an etiologic role.

In an interview with E Magazine, Dr. Philip J. Landrigan expresses concern that a "whole range of chemicals have the potential to get into the developing brain and cause damage. Chemicals can be toxic to the brain at a pretty low level." Details of the interview can be found in the article A Prescription to Better Serve Kids
(Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., M.Sc. is a pediatrician and the Chair of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He also holds a Professorship in Pediatrics at Mount Sinai, and is Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Children's Health and the Environment. Dr. Landrigan is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, is Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine and previously was Editor of Environmental Research. He has chaired committees at the National Academy of Sciences on Environmental Neurotoxicology and on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. Dr. Landrigan's report on pesticides and children's health was instrumental in securing passage of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, the major federal pesticide law in the United States.)

Chemicals in the Home

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has put together a great tool for educating children on the hazards of chemicals in everyday household cleaning products. Learn About Chemicals Around Your House is interactive, fun and very informative for adults too!

Be sure to read Table 2 of this article from American Family Physician. It gives some interesting statistics about the most commonly ingested poisons by children less than six years of age.

The article The 10 Most Dangerous Toxins in Your Household lists the 10 toxins and where they might be found in your home. This article was published in October 1998.

In this article, Are Diet and Toxic Substances Linked to Attention Deficit Disorder?, the author mentions that Dr. Doris Rapp, author of the book Is This Your Child's World? and the video Environmentally Sick Schools, "demonstrates a decline in writing and drawing skills when children are exposed to toxic chemicals, as well as to certain foods, dust, mold and pollen. Children did poorly on tests after applications of cleaning chemicals or insecticides, or after exposure to common allergenic substances".

Aerosols Linked With Baby Illness reveals the effects of aerosols on pregnant women and babies.

Children are at Highest Risk

The report, In Harm's Way, authored by Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, links chemicals widely used by industry and commonly found at home to learning, behavioral and developmental disabilities. This link takes you to a list of key findings in the report where you may also download an 8-page Executive Summary or the entire report. (Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility is an affiliate of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), a national organization of over 15,000 physicians, health care professionals and supporters. PSR was formed in 1961 to address the health consequences of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. It has since broadened its mission to include the health consequences of environmental pollution and degradation, and also the reduction of violence and its causes. PSR's international federation, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, was awarded the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to translate the abstract concept of nuclear war into medical and personal terms.)

Children's Special Vulnerability To Environmental Risks is Chapter 2 of the Natural Resources Defense Council's report, Our Children At Risk: The 5 Worst Environmental Threats To Their Health . Although I've chosen to highlight this chapter here, the entire report may be read on the website. (The Natural Resources Defense Council uses law, science, and the support of more than 400,000 members nationwide to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things.)

According to the Center for Children's Health and the Environment of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, as explained in the article The Coming of Age of Environmental Pediatrics, children's environmental disease has been recognized as significant for more than one hundred years, but infants and children's special vulnerabilities and unique exposures to environmental toxins are only beginning to be understood. (CCHE's mission is to promote the health of children by conducting environmental health and policy research.)

Protect Our Children

The article below, by the Center For Children's Health and the Environment, appeared in the New York Times and is endorsed by Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc and many other environmental health experts. This eye-catching article is a "call to action" plea in support of legislative initiatives that safeguard against potential environmental health hazards to children.

pdf More kids are getting brain cancer. Why?


Comments From Your Editor

Exclusively using Melaleuca’s EcoSense® line of cleaners in your home will certainly reduce your childrens' exposure to harmful synthetic ingredients as researched in this report. Please also remember to properly store your household toxins like paints and thinner well away from baby's room, and to check the age of your house for the possibility of lead based paints still on the walls. When children start going to day care and school, they will most likely be exposed to harsh industrial cleaner residues there, and we have a research report on that. See Children and Chemicals Outside the Home: Melaleuca's EcoSense line of cleaners .

I would love to know what you think about Children and Toxic Chemicals in the Home. You may contact us with any suggestions or comments about this report.


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