5 Household Items that are Hazardous to Children

When it comes to approving products and services for humans, children are often lumped into the “adult” category of what is safe and acceptable for human consumption.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal revealed that children are at greater risk of developing cancer after exposure to medical examinations that emit radiation.[1. http://healthland.time.com/2013/05/22/to-scan-or-not-to-scan-largest-study-to-date-links-childhood-cts-to-increased-cancer-risk/?iid=hl-main-belt] Some of these seemingly routine tests include computed tomography (CT scans) and magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. This data is in comparison to that of an adult who is exposed to the same treatments. Unfortunately, medical exams aren’t the only seemingly harmless processes posing threats to children.

Before bringing them home from the store, here are five specific household products you should definitely think twice about.

Infant Formula

It’s terrifying that this is even a threat to children but it’s the unfortunate truth behind the food industry today. The well-known pesticide, fungicide and herbicide cupric sulfate is being used in most infant formulas.[2. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/why-pesticide-used-ingredient-infant-formula] This ingredient, among others which are not exactly safe for the little ones, make a cocktail that is known to cause at least 50 adverse health effects.

Today, breastfeeding isn’t customary to every new mother. Infant formulas were developed to help new mothers transition into providing nutrients for their newborn babies. While the concept is convenient, the threats outweigh the benefits (if any) that mass produced formula can offer.

Caffeine

Caffeine can be found naturally in some products. This substance becomes an issue, though, when we purposely increase the amount of caffeine we consume. More concerning is how much caffeine we synthetically create and cram into specialty energy drinks and food products.
One specific source of excess caffeine has caught the ire of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on more than one occasion. After Monster Energy drinks were linked to a handful of 2010 deaths, the “moved to block the addition of caffeine in alcoholic beverages.” [3. http://www.biospectrumasia.com/biospectrum/news/191741/us-fda-caffeine-children-s-foods-dangerous/page/2#.UfAEMI03tq0]

Further concern occurred when, in 2012, the high-caffeine energy drinks made by Monster Energy were once again associated with deaths related to caffeine toxicity.

Despite these concerns, the FDA is growing increasingly more worried about the addition of caffeine to food products. The products of concern are items such as gum and jelly beans that are not only available to children but specifically designed to appeal to them.
In April, Wrigley released a gum product that contained the same amount of caffeine as four cups of coffee. While Wrigley claims the gum is intended for on-the-go adults who need an extra boost, it’s still within reach of the little ones.

Vitamins

One of the leading children’s vitamin brands, Flintstones, has been found to be loaded with harmful chemicals and ingredients.

The struggle to live healthy extends beyond the dinner table for children, too. The vitamins and nutrients we miss out by skipping vegetables can (and should) be replaced through daily supplementation.

In particular, Flintstones Vitamins—which claim to be “pediatricians’ number one choice” in children’s vitamins—are loaded with ingredients that increase toxicity. Items such as:

  • Aspartame. An artificial sweetener linked to fatigue, anxiety, headaches and more.
  • Cupric oxide. A copper supplement deemed unsafe for human and animal use.[4. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/129/12/2278.full]
  • Coal tar artificial coloring agents. Synthetic dyes linked to ADHD.[5. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/top-us-brand-childrens-vitamins-contains-aspartame-gmos-other-hazardous-chemicals]
  • Sorbitol. A sugar alcohol known to cause a range of digestive problems.

Flintstones Vitamins, loaded with both sugar alcohols and man-made chemicals, are not the safest way to get your children the vital nutrients they need.

Bath Products

In a 2009 study released by Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, it was discovered that many children’s bath products contain hazardous ingredients. In the study conducted, it was found that out of the 28 products in question, 23 of them contained formaldehyde. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), formaldehyde is a probable carcinogen to humans, which is linked to skin allergies and cancer.[6. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-03-12-formaldehyde_N.htm]

BPA

Bisphenol A (BPA), is a man-made chemical that is “one of the highest-volume chemicals produced worldwide.” [7. http://www.bami.us/Environment/BPA.html]
Primarily used in the creation of plastic and as an additive in other consumer products, BPA is raising concerns as to how much is acceptable for human consumption. Mounting evidence, however, is showing that BPA leads to birth defects and developmental problems in children.  Just as troubling, BPA has also been linked to a handful of serious conditions, including:

  • Attention-deficit disorder (ADD)
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes

Millions of products are produced and consumed by the masses each day. While we may have agencies like the FDA and EPA to help protect our consumption of the products created by scientists, their power extends only so far. Furthermore, the acceptable levels of the ingredients in question are often measured in terms of adult consumption and not necessarily that of a small child. To keep our children safe from unnecessary toxins, it’s crucial to research products before distributing them to kids.

Reducing Toxicity Around the House

These examples represent just a few of the toxic substances many Americans unknowingly stock in their homes.

To better protect the health of your family, learn more about how toxicity can damage your immune system and increase your risk of illness.

The 5 Essentials of Maximized Living were designed to address common threats to our everyday lives. Essential #5 specifically targets and reduces toxicity. Tackle this often overlooked health hazard today.