Help protect your child from harmful chemicals

Help protect your child from harmful chemicals

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That's part of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) latest advice to parents on limiting children's exposure to toxic chemicals added to food and food packaging.

There's growing evidence that certain food additives and chemicals found in plastic can interfere with children's hormones and affect how they grow. Kids are especially vulnerable to these chemicals because they're smaller than adults and still developing.

In a statement, the AAP said more than 10,000 chemicals can be added to food, and many are not adequately regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The physician's group called for better testing and oversight of food additives, and of chemicals that can leach from plastics into food. Here are some of the worst offenders, according to the AAP:

  • Nitrates and nitrites (frequently added as preservatives to meat products such as ham and hotdogs). They've been linked to various types of cancer.
  • Phthalates (used in plastic food packaging). Known to affect male reproductive development.
  • Bisphenols (used to line metal cans containing food). These have been associated with obesity and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Perfluoroalkyl chemicals, or PFCs (found in some grease-proof paper and packaging). They've been associated with low birth weight.
  • Perchlorates (found in plastic packaging). These chemicals can inhibit thyroid function, which is crucial for brain development and other key functions, according to the AAP.

Sounds pretty terrifying, right? Luckily, there are steps you can take to minimize your child's exposure. Here's what the AAP recommends:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Cut down on processed, packaged and canned food
  • Avoid processed meats, especially during pregnancy.
  • Don't microwave food and drinks (including formula and breastmilk) in plastic containers
  • Try to use alternatives to plastic for storing and cooking food, such as glass or stainless steel.
  • Don't put plastics in the dishwasher.
  • Wrap foods in wax paper instead of plastic wrap.

our site News & Analysis is an assessment of recent news designed to cut through the hype and get you what you need to know.

Watch the video: How to Protect Your Kids from Toxic Chemicals. Aly Cohen. TEDxCapeMay (August 2022).

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