Approximately 4 million babies are born in the United States each year. As parents, we pray that our children will come into this world healthy and we take extra precautions to make sure our baby is safe. We have an expectation that the Federal government is also doing its job to ensure products are safe for our children. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Would it surprise you to learn that before they can take their first breath, American babies are often born pre-polluted with hundreds of potentially dangerous chemicals?
In studies examining the umbilical cord blood of newborns, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), found 287 chemicals, some of which have been linked to serious chronic illnesses and developmental disorders, including cancer, asthma, ADHD, autism, diabetes and obesity.
Of the 4 million babies born in the U.S., here are some staggering statistics_
1. Cancer- A newborn boy has a 1 in 300 chance (0.32 percent probability) of developing cancer by age 20 and a newborn girl has a 1 in 333 chance (0.30 percent probability) of developing cancer by age 20.
2. Asthma- One in 11 babies, nearly 10 percent, will develop asthma during their childhood. Approximately 1 in 26 children (3.9 percent) under the age of 18 have a food or digestive allergy.
3. ADHD- One in 6 babies born today - that's 17 percent - will have a developmental disability, such a speech and language disorders, learning disabilities and ADHD.
4. Autism- One in 110, or .9 percent of babies will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder by the time they are 8.
6. Obesity- One in 6, which is 17 percent, of babies born now will be obese by the time they are 6 to 11 years old.
7. Premature- One in 8 babies, or 12.5 percent, are born premature.
Clearly our nation's chemical laws are failing to protect the most vulnerable and our nation's most treasured resource.
Passed in 1976, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is the weakest of all the environmental laws today. Under TSCA, approximately 80,000 chemicals have been allowed to enter the marketplace with little or no safety data.
Recent news reports about toxic chemicals found in baby bottles, children's toys and in our water supply is a direct result of this broken federal law.
For decades, scientists have expressed concern that children are far more susceptible to the deleterious effects caused by chemical exposures, particularly during critical windows of development.
The Kid-Safe Chemicals Act was first introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in 2005, again in 2008, and is expected to be reintroduced soon.
Parents can do many things to reduce toxic chemicals exposures that threaten their children's health but government has a role and responsibility to protect our children too.
You can learn more about keeping kids safe at my Web site.
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Deirdre Imus is the Founder and President of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology (r) at Hackensack University Medical Center and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer. Deirdre is the author of four books, including three national bestsellers. She is a frequent speaker on green living and children's health issues, and is a contributor to foxnewshealth.com. For more information, go to www.dienviro.com