Deborah Jones Barrow / Founder, The Daily Green
Toxic toys. Hormones in milk. Leeching baby bottles. Adding to traditional parenting problems like colic and chicken pox are a full complement of new 21st century concerns that never worried yesterday's moms and dads. The headlines this summer are filled with news about five issues for parents of the very youngest of children.
These new worries are mainly man-made and are related to very modern issues such as globalization and environmentalism and their ultimate resolution will involve the titans of corporate boardrooms and congressional hearing rooms. But while the powers that be ponder, parents are left to wonder what's worth worrying about. Increased education and awareness of new evidence connecting a whole host of toxins with certain diseases and conditions has created a new breed of parent on toxin patrol; moms and dads on the alert to avoid items their own parents never gave a second thought to.
Typical concerns of today's parents are fueled by the headlines and focus on what's fixable...or better yet...avoidable...for the typical American family. Off-gassing Paints in Nursery, Kids' Rooms: Indoor air quality, especially in rooms where the kids sleep is a new concern. VOCs, as in volatile organic compounds that off-gas toxins into the air, is the issue here. One way parents are addressing this is the use of one of the new "low-VOC paints" on the market.
Manufacturers such as Benjamin Moore and Sherwyn Williams are responding with new paint introductions targeting such concerns. Bisphenol-A in Plastic Baby Bottles - Many common baby bottles are made with BPA, a substance that has been shown to leech into liquids such as milk or formula that comes in contact with them.
Concerned parents are seeking alternatives such as glass baby bottles. rGBH in Milk - And about the milk in that baby bottle...unless the store container says "rGBH-free," the cows who produced that milk were probably given growth hormone, a compound banned in Europe, but legal in the US. Concerns about this substance has led major retailers such as Kroger to announce that their milk will be rGBH-free in the coming months.
Meantime, alert parents are checking labels. Toxic Toys - Lead paint on toys made in China and marketed by leading manufacturers such as Mattel has caused a tsunami of parental concern. Lead poisoning is a serious condition that can cause irreversible learning and behavioral disorders.school busses School Bus Particulate Matter: Idling school buses, and the particulate matter children inside and outside the bus are exposed to, is a growing concern among parents on toxin patrol.
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