Creating a Non-Toxic Environment
Please note that this section contains my personal notes from my readings on this topic.
“Child development is a precise, delicate process. Kids between one and five eat three to four times more food per pound of body weight than the average adult; by the same measure, the air intake of a resting infant is twice that of an adult. Children absorb more nutrients and, consequently, more toxins than we do. Because their metabolic systems are still developing, their ability to detoxify and excrete harmful chemicals differs from that of adults, often leaving them more vulnerable to substances we all encounter. What’s more, children and babies are more likely than adults to come in contact with these contaminants in the first place, since they spend more time on or close to the ground, indoors and out. And infants explore by putting everything into their mouths.
Just like the absorption of good nutrients, initial exposure to bad chemicals start early, at conception (or even before): Some chemicals in a pregnant woman’s body can cross the placenta and affect her growing baby during critical stages of development. Indeed, the harm posed by some chemicals is much greater during pregnancy than at any point in the human lifespan. With adult-scale chemical quantities transported to a tiny fetus, our offspring end up shouldering a far larger share of today’s increasing chemical legacy, or “body burden,” than adults do. Meanwhile, childhood diseases, from asthma to cancer, are on the rise. While the causes of these chronic conditions are complex, the role environmental exposures play in these illnesses has become increasingly apparent.”
– Healthy Child Healthy World (2008) by Christopher Gavigan, page 3