Sure, we’d like that to be true… Our precious little babies are born untouched by a toxic environment. Their blood is 100% pure. It’s a great way to start a healthy life.
But it isn’t working out that way. I learned this unpleasant fact years ago when I found a study titled: Body Burden: Pollution in Newborns. It’s from the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit group I respect that works to reduce toxic exposures.
This study the EWG published in 2005 had the purpose to investigate which industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides might be found in umbilical cord blood. Whatever toxins were in the umbilical cord blood had passed into and out of that rapidly-developing baby.
The authors of this study noted that scientists had previously believed that fetuses were protected from environmental toxins because this blood that fueled their growth was filtered through the placenta. Sadly, that’s not the case. Those chemicals and toxins the mother was exposed to were passed along to the baby. They referred to this onslaught of toxins as the body burden.
To make this investigation, the umbilical cord blood of ten babies born in August and September 2004 was intensively scrutinized to detect the presence of hundreds of different contaminants. Very briefly, here’s what these researchers found.
- Lab tests revealed an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants present in these babies’ blood.
- A total of 287 different chemicals were found.
- One hundred eighty of these chemicals cause cancer in humans or animals.
- More than 200 are toxic to the brain and nervous system.
- More than 200 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.
These babies swim in this toxic soup for nine months until they are born. If they have the bad luck to be born in a hospital, they are immediately assaulted with more chemicals in the medications, blankets, IV tubes, plastics, soaps, disinfectants, eye ointments and much, much more.
What were some of these pollutants found in umbilical cord blood?
- Breakdown products of Teflon, Scotchguard, carpet protectors. (9 found)
- Pesticides such as DDT, chlordane and others. (21 found)
- Flame retardants used in computers, televisions and furniture. (32 found)
- Preservatives and varnishes for wood, lubricants. (50 found)
- PCBs, industrial insulators and lubricants. Banned in 1976. (147 found)
Exposure to these toxins is far more severe for a developing baby than it is for an adult. There’s many reasons for this, including the fact that a baby’s brain and organs are developing rapidly, so any chemical assault at this time has more impact.
We have many issues to be concerned about in this tumultuous world of ours. However, because I have recently been immersed in the world of toxic chemicals (through research, not literal immersion!), I wanted to bring this matter to more people’s attention.
We need to resolve many problems in this country and this world but sooner or later, we’re going to have to face the massive poisoning occurring daily. For a project I’m working on, I just compiled a list of 600+ chemicals of concern and in this list, cancer is listed as a possible or likely effect of a chemical in 150 cases. It’s no wonder that childhood cancer has increased 27% since 1975. It’s now the #1 disease killing kids.
Chemical companies and chemists are going to have to answer for their crimes against humanity some day. Sooner is better than later.
To read this study from EWG, click here.