Household Hazards Effecting Expecting Mothers| HEALTH

A Closer Look at Household Cleaning Hazards

Formaldehyde, phthalates, dioxane, petroleum distillates, glycol ethers – these are the names of some of the chemicals that dr. Rapp says pose a definite dangerous threat to pregnant women. “Some of the most dangerous groups of chemicals to pregnant women are found in household cleaning products,” says Dr. Rapp. “Two highly toxic chemicals, particularly during pregnancy, are petroleum distillates and glycol ethers, which are found in furniture polish, floor cleaners, air fresheners, glass, leather and upholstery cleaners and other formulas. Both petroleum distillates and glycol ethers can have the same effect on the developing fetus as regularly imbibing alcohol, depressing the nervous system.” She adds that human and animal studies have shown that these chemicals cause adverse reproductive, developmental and blood (hematological) damage via inhalation, skin absorption and ingestion. “The central nervous system, blood and blood forming organs and reproductive system are major targets in acute and chronic poisoning,” she adds. In an article[I] in the July-August 2002 issue of Archives of Environmental Health, researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center conducted a clinical evaluation of 41 offspring of 28 females exposed to glycol ethers at their jobs for an average duration of 4.6 yeras. six offspring of five women wo were occupationally exposed during pregnancy exhibited characteristic dysmorphic (malformation of face or body) features that were not observed in 35 off spring of 23 women who worked in the same facility but who were not pregnant at the time of the exposure.

According to Dr. Rapp, some of the dangers of exposure to chemicals toxins in the home include the following:

  • Lower birth weight
  • Smaller head size and developmental delays
  • Movement, mental and behavioral problems
  • Increased or decreased activity levels
  • Slowed thought processing and “less bright” appearance
  • Lower reaction times
  • Compromised nervous systems

{T}Although, this may seem like a scary subject to approach, it is of best interest that we do. Today we face many challenges including a world filled toxins and poisons that slip into our daily lives. However, the healthy life we seek can only be defined by the efforts we place into finding the path to those answers. For sometimes I hear excuses from people regarding health and wellness.  Always implying that what they are looking for, they can find. My question to them is always, “Have you looked? Really looked?”. The answers for which you seek are usually the equivalent to the effort of your search. In the name of good health in this toxic world, I must suggest that the search may be tiresome. Is this search worth the effort? In the interest of your child (in the case of the above article), this is a nonsense question. For the search for clean air, a healthy supportive bodily organism, and brilliant birth outcome, the answer is instinctive. The job of understanding your surrounding environment is not that of one reserved just for the scientist. In this case, this understanding is your duty. The learning of this knowledge in regards to products you use and the resulting effects of your inhalation of these products is a learning of love. Just like you learned how to breath correctly for the birth. Just like you attended classed to know how to relax with your body as you enter into labor. Just as you have done all these preparations – this to is a clean preparations towards a healthy family.{T}

Thomas McGregor

Continuing Information:

This is a link to a website that promotes clean air and clean living. You will find an article listed there for which a study depicts further results surrounding adverse effects on children due to pollution and chemical intake via air inhalation.

Stressed Parents + Air Pollution = Kids with Asthma

“The study took a close look at the selected group of children, paying particular attention to parental stress levels and the air pollution of the area in which they lived. In terms of parental stress, this was gauged based on interviews with the parents; those who cited unmanageable, unpredictable and chaotic lives were deemed to be more stressed than those who seemed to have a better handle on things. Air pollution rates were based on traffic air pollution in the local area; things like whether or not the mother smoked during her pregnancy were also taken into consideration.”

*[I]July-August 2002 issue of Archives of Environmental Health

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