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  • Why I Keep Up To Date With Healthy Child Healthy World

    Amy Brenneman: Like many of you, to me, the words "toxic" and "toxins" conjure up images of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Superfund sites. What is surprising is that a large number of the most harmful toxic chemicals ever created are found right in our own backyard, indeed in our very kitchens, bathrooms, and garages.

    As a mother, I am always looking for practical and meaningful ways to keep my children out of harm's way. What I love about Healthy Child Healthy World is that they try not to scare you with portents of gloom and doom, but rather aim to empower you to create a clean and healthy home for yourself, your children and your pets. It is Healthy Child's main intent to continuing to supply you with useful, encouraging and impactful information.

    There are harmful chemicals inside your home, but some of the important places to first consider eliminating toxic substances are:

    • in your cleaning products
    • in fruits, vegetables, and water
    • in personal care products
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  • Healthy Child Recipe - Chicken and Veggie Meatballs

    Each week we highlight one of our stellar recipes from Eat Healthy - try one today and get your family eating right!

    This week our recipe, Chicken and Veggie Meatballs, is from Mambo Sprouts.

    What kid doesn't love meatballs? They're bite-sized and delicious, but the secret here is the big portion of veggies your kids are getting too!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Food Image Courtesy of jshj / CC BY-SA 2.0

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  • Up in Smoke: How Flame Retardants are Causing More Harm Than Good

    Generally, I'm a strong advocate for prevention. But what happens when your method of prevention creates its own set of risks? This is increasingly the case with flame retardants - chemicals put into everything from couch cushions to televisions. We're exposed to them everyday and they're building up in our bodies, but are they doing more harm than good?

    There are over 175 different types of flame retardants, according to Brominated Fire Retardants: Cause for Concern?, which are generally divided into classes that include the halogenated organics (usually brominated or chlorinated), phosphorus-containing, nitrogen-containing, and inorganic flame retardants. But, the halogenated flame retardants are currently the largest market group because of their low cost and high performance efficiency.

    While halogenated flame retardants may be reducing fire-related risks, there is increasing concern that they introduce a wide spectrum of other risks to our health and environment that outweigh

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  • The Explosion of Autism

    The well researched January cover story of E Magazine, "The Search for Autism's Missing Piece: Autism Research Slowly Turns Its Focus to Environmental Toxicity" by Brita Belli, spotlights environmental factors that might contribute to autism; the fastest-growing, most horrifying developmental disability in America today now affects 1 in 100 children according to the CDC. The explosion of autism in one generation screams for an explanation past genetics, but research to date has primarily been centered only on genes. Current research fails miserably to provide answers to halt autism's continuing rise or to treat those already affected. In fact, some question whether definitive research proving the cause, or causes, of this national crisis will ever come due to money and politics.

    Belli's article discusses the medical community's reluctance to investigate and identify sources of chemical toxicity affecting children. She explains, "The nonprofit Environmental Working Group, in a detailed

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  • Toxic Teeth - BPA Dental Bonding

    After having dental bonding on her three front teeth, Sally felt as if she was in chronic PMS. This symptom would have been easily dismissed as such, but she was in post-menopause. Aware that the plasticizer in dental bonding can be made of the synthetic estrogen bisphenol A (BPA), she called her dentist to investigate the material used, and sure enough BPA was a main ingredient.

    There has been a lot of news coverage about plastics and epoxies containing BPA in recent years, focusing especially on its presence in baby products such as bottles, nipples, and toys. The New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof wrote an informative overview of BPA in "Chemicals in Our Food, and Bodies", and the suspected health problems those 92 percent of us share who have been found to have BPA in our urine. Kristof discussed how the lining in food cans contains BPA, among other sources.

    In early 2010, the Food and Drug Administration voiced "some concern" about BPA's safety on the brain, behavior

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  • Which Has More Germs - A Restaurant Tray or a Park Sandbox?

    I know this headline awakens the germaphobe in most of us, but before you start pulling out the hand sanitizer, I want to make something clear: Germs are generally benign. In fact, according to Scientific American:

    "Most bacteria are well-behaved companions. Indeed, if you are ever feeling lonely, remember that the trillions of microbes living in and on the average human body outnumber the human cells by a ratio of 10 to one. Of all the tens of thousands of known bacterial species, only about 100 are renegades that break the rules of peaceful coexistence and make us sick."

    With that said, let's return to the initial question: Do you think a restaurant tray or a park sandbox has more germs? Initially, I thought a restaurant tray. Public + food = germs, at least in my book. I worked in restaurants for 10 years and saw the unsanitary behaviors of both the staff and the patrons.

    My assumption was wrong. These are the numbers according to recent NSF International Swab Testing:

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  • What's Wrong With Natural Deodorants?

    Well, the real answer may be that many people find that natural deodorants just don't work as well. But that isn't what I was going to talk about in this post. Instead, I wanted to talk about what is in what many consider to be the most natural of all the natural deodorants - the crystal rock deodorant.

    Now, some people switch to natural deodorants because they want to avoid aluminium. Aluminium is present in many conventional anti-perspirants, although it isn't typically found in conventional deodorants. An increased amount of aluminium is found in the brains of many Alzheimer's patients. Aluminium is a neurotoxin at high doses. However, aluminium in anti-perspirants has not been shown to cause Alzheimer's, and the absorption of aluminium from anti-perspirants may be low although it does occur. While some animal studies have shown that high doses of the same aluminium salts used in anti-perspirants have detrimental impacts, The Alzheimer's Society concludes that the evidence does not

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  • Make Friends With Microbials

    Manufacturers of antibacterial products prey on parents' fears and they've been remarkably successful. A substantial 76% of all liquid soaps and 29% of bar soaps now contain bacteria-killing chemicals, such as triclosan. Antibacterial agents have also been added to lotions, cutting boards, toys, toothbrushes, toothpastes, even socks and underwear.

    Surprisingly, many of the 5,000 EPA-registered antimicrobial products sold don't actually kill infectious bacteria - the invader that everyone's so afraid of. Often, these products restrain growth of algae, odor-causing bacteria, bacteria which cause spoilage or deterioration, and microorganisms infectious only to animals.

    Living With Microbes

    In truth, most of the microbes on and around us are harmless and many are even beneficial. Bacteria naturally inhabit our skin, digestive tract, the soil, and our homes, helping to maintain a balance in both our internal and external environments.

    There's even mounting evidence that exposure to

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  • New Study to Link Environmental Chemicals with Autism

    If prevention is, in fact, the best medicine, then we need to pay much closer attention to the role chemicals in the environment play in the rise of disease, related health care costs, and human suffering.

    In last week's New York Times, Nicholas Kristof highlights the issue in his column "Do Toxins Cause Autism?"

    As a new parent I can tell you: that is an attention grabbing headline. But if you read the column, you will see that scientists and the medical community are paying attention to this area of inquiry for very real reasons. Policy makers and parents need to be paying attention, too -- parents because children are particularly vulnerable to toxic chemicals -- and policy makers because evidence that harmful chemicals are contributing to disease suggests prevention imperatives that need to be a part of the health care debate.

    Policy makers and parents need to be paying attention, and soon they will be.

    Right now the growth in awareness and concern about the connections between

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  • Fluffy Gluten-Free Pancakes and Crushed Berry Syrup

    Each week we highlight one of our stellar recipes from Eat Healthy - try one today and get your family eating right!

    This week's recipe, Fluffy Gluten-Free Pancakes and Crushed Berry Syrup, is from Kristin O'Connor, founder of Nourish This.

    Gluten-Free has never tasted so good! These pancakes are so easy to make and make for super leftovers when topped with nut butters or jam. The Crushed Berry Syrup is full of nutrients, lower in sugar than traditional syrup and makes for an irresistible pancake topping!

    Try out a new breakfast - Kristin makes gluten-free cooking simple and delicious. Enjoy!

    Healthy Child Healthy World is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit inspiring parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals. Learn more at

    Image Courtesy Of Kristin O'Connor.

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