by Sandy Zimmerman
(Photos by the Swedish Chemicals Agency)
The Swedish Chemicals Agency found, “Over the last 50 years, global chemical production has increased many times over. Today, the world has around 145,000 registered chemicals. Current research now suggests that chemicals previously considered risk-free and that have been in free circulation are capable of affecting development in the womb and can give rise to long-term effects on health.”
Their most recent research shows startling news, “Chemicals previously considered risk-free and that have been in free circulation are capable of affecting development in the womb and can give rise to long-term effects on health.”
Chemical’s composition changes with climate and other factors and with today’s knowledge they have provided some safety tips:
- Let newly redecorated rooms air for a few weeks before a child sleeps there.
- Choose eco-labelled paint or wallpaper without a plastic coating.
- Use glass and china in the microwave or heat food in a saucepan. Endocrine disruptors like bisphenol A can leach out when plastic is heated in a microwave.
- Use a cast-iron pan. The Teflon in modern frying pans can leach perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOA, into food.
- Glass containers and Tetra Pak cartons are better than food tins and beverage cans, whose inner coating leaches bisphenol A.
- Many chemicals cling to dust. Areas where children spend time should be kept clean. Swab regularly.
- Soft soap is a good alternative to more chemical-based floor cleaning products.
- New textiles can contain many different chemicals. Wash new textiles or buy them second-hand.
- Avoid PVC flooring, which can give off harmful plasticisers.
- Place televisions and computers in a well-ventilated room for a week after purchase. Flame retardant seeps out when they get hot and mostly when they are new.
- Make sure all plastic toys have been manufactured in the EU after 2007. Newer plastic toys have a lower content of some endocrine disruptors.
European Chemicals Agency, ECHA as well as in the United States provide lists of chemicals suspected of being dangerous.
Scientists explain, “Some chemical substances do not degrade but accumulate in the bodies of human beings and animals. Some chemical substances are harmful in that they give rise to problems such as allergies. Researchers have found over 300 substances in human blood samples and breast milk, some of which can interfere with the hormone system or nervous system.
Children and young people are more sensitive to chemicals than are adults. This is partly because their bodies, including the brain, hormone system and immune system, are not fully developed. This may mean life-long consequences if damage occurs during childhood.
Chemical products can be acutely toxic, which means they may cause damage such as corrosive injuries straight away. They may also harm the environment. A chemical substance contained in an article can be absorbed by human skin, accumulate in the dust we inhale, or end up in the natural environment.