We live in a consumeristic culture that encourages us to buy numerous products we don’t need, many of which are filled with dangerous chemicals. We are constantly exposed to toxins because they’re hidden in our food, body products, “medicine,” household items, and even the air we breathe.
Many of these products have misleading labels that read “naturally inspired,” “safe for children,” and “made with organic or natural ingredients.” Many of these things are also recommended by doctors, other authoritative figures and government organizations, so people mistakenly assume that they’re safe for usage. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry maintains that children are often more susceptible to environmental hazards and recommends pregnant women and children take precautions to avoid exposure to toxins and chemicals. Numerous chemicals can be detrimental for brain development, particularly in regards to children, yet they are still approved and used to formulate many consumer products.
The following items are hazardous to the body and should be avoided as much as possible. Not only do these products pose a threat to your health, but they may pose a greater threat to children’s health as well!
Dental Amalgam Fillings
Commonly referred to as “silver fillings” in the North American dental industry, these fillings are made primarily of mercury, silver, copper, and tin. The mercury passes through cell membranes, across your blood-brain barrier and directly into your central nervous system, which can cause serious psychological, neurological, and immunological issues. Metal fillings pose a grave threat to children in particular because their brain’s are still developing. Many European countries have banned the use of these fillings and Canada has issued warnings discouraging these fillings for pregnant women and children. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) still haven’t addressed this issue sufficiently (source). Check out this Dr. Mercola article regarding alternatives to mercury fillings and the many countries that use them.
Thanks to Big Pharma paying off doctors and releasing false advertisements, ADHD over-diagnosis has become a significant issue in the US (read our article about it here). Even though many drug advertisements state that ADHD medication is “safer than aspirin,” these drugs can have significant side effects and are actually considered to be within the same class as morphine and oxycodone due to high risk of abuse and addiction. Instead of simply handing a child a prescription, many countries such as France use alternative treatment methods such as behavioural therapy, family counselling, and all-natural remedies (read our article about that here).
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine” Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (source)
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
A common food additive known for its ability to enhance flavours, MSG is less well-known for being an excitotoxin. In other words, MSG can overexcite your cells to the point of damage or death and has been linked to brain damage, learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more (source). The FDA recognizes the dangers of consuming MSG and has warned the public that it can cause neurological damage and Alzheimer’s disease.
Processed Foods & Meats
Fast food is often processed, fried, homogenized, hydrogenated, and filled with chemicals and additives. Conventional milk is often processed and contains tons of puss, blood, antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals. Milk is also usually homogenized in North America, which can be dangerous for our heart health. Processed meats have been directly linked to cancer, as the WHO classified them as “carcinogenic to humans.” An easy way to avoid processed foods is to purchase only organic products, read labels, and/or pursue a vegetarian or vegan diet, which has been proven to prevent and treat heart disease, cancer, and many other health-related issues.
Toxins in Personal Care Products
It can be difficult to recognize most of the ingredients listed in many of our personal hygiene products. For example, hairspray and nail polish usually contain phthalate, which is linked to shortened attention span and impaired social interactions in children. Toothpaste often contains fluoride (a neurotoxin) and shampoos and other children’s body products may contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate (harsh chemical and allergy trigger), 1,4-dioxane (known animal carcinogen), Formaldehyde (neurotoxin and developmental toxin), and perhaps the worst of them all, Fragrance/Parfum, which is a potential mixture of 3,000+ harsh chemicals that aren’t legally required to be disclosed. To avoid these chemicals, check out this list of Dr. Bronner’s children’s body products or any other all-natural, organic alternative.
The regulation process for these personal care products is next to nothing. Companies can basically put anything they want inside of their product without the appropriate safety testing.
Toxins in Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergents often contain phosphorus, enzymes, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, and sodium nitilotriacetate, all of which can cause rashes, itchiness, dryness and sinus problems. These chemicals are easily absorbed through your skin from your clothes and bed sheets. In addition, many conventional detergents contain artificial scents and “Fragrance,” which is a code name for a sweet cocktail of hazardous chemicals. My favourite all-natural detergent is doTERRA’s On Guard Laundry Detergent, which is advertised towards families.
Toxic Cleaning Products & Air Fresheners
Most families have an entire shelf filled with toxic cleaners because corporations convince consumers they need different products to clean specific surfaces. Even though most of these products have toxic warning signs on them that clearly state they’re poisonous and/or corrosive, people continue to buy into this corporate propaganda. Not only are they breathing in these fumes while cleaning, but so are any of their household visitors and/or children. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, some of the common chemicals found in household cleaning products include 2-BE (causes reproductive problems), ammonia (associated with kidney and live damage), coal tar dyes (causes cancer and harms nervous system), and the infamous “Fragrance.” Air fresheners usually contain Fragrance as well, which can easily be replaced with some essential oils and water. For an all-natural, all-purpose household cleaner, check out Dr. Bronner’s.
Pesticides can be found everywhere now: in our homes, the environment, and the food and beverages we consume. Monsanto’s RoundUp is most commonly used and the main active ingredient in it is glyphosate, which is a known carcinogen and can actually suffocate human cells (read more about this here). The best way to avoid pesticides is to buy everything organic: from the food you eat to what you wear on you and your children wear on your bodies. Glyphosate is especially threatening to children’s health as it’s known to cause autism and seizures.
Sodas have a high amount of phosphoric acid, which is linked to hypocalcemia in children. Soda consumption can cause cancer, obesity, diabetes, and early onset of puberty in young girls according to a Harvard University study (you can read more about that in our article here). Sodas often contain different types of artificial sweeteners, sugars, aspartame, and other harmful ingredients. If you’re looking for an all-natural alternative for yourself or your child, try Zevia or kombucha.
Artificial sweeteners such as Splenda can be found in many consumer food items and are linked to cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure and strokes. Artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and cause metabolism dysfunctions. Researchers at Yale University discovered that there is a positive correlation between children consuming artificial sweeteners and obesity. If you’re looking for more alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners (such as coconut sugar and dates), check out our article here.
Plastic Food Containers & Bottles
In a German study, researchers discovered that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were present in bottled water products from 18 different popular brands. EDCs can interfere with our hormone systems, causing cancerous tumours, birth defects, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders and other developmental disorders. Other frequent ingredients in plastic food containers and bottles include bisphenol-A (BPA) and bisphenol-S (BPS), both of which can hinder brain development, and phthalates. Use glass containers or mason jars instead!
Gummy vitamins are marketed as an easy way for parents to ensure their children are getting the vitamins they need. However, most parents are completely unaware of the harmful ingredients hidden in the “vitamins,” which are anything but nutritional for children. For example, the Flintstones vitamin, one of the top-selling multivitamins in the United States, contains numerous genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), sugar, aspartame, aluminum, petroleum-derived artificial colours, and other questionable ingredients. You can view the entire list of ingredients here. If you’re looking for an all-natural multivitamin for kids, check out Rainbow Light’s here. Read our article about the dangers behind children’s vitamins here.
Many baby powders are talc-based, meaning that they contain high amounts of talcum powder. According to the American Cancer Society, talc in it’s natural form, which contains asbestos, can cause cancer. One of the most popular baby powders used produced by Johnson and Johnson is talc-based. The company has been sued many times and has paid millions of dollars to those who claimed their baby powder caused their cancer. The most recent case against Johnson & Johnson involved a California woman who was awarded more than $70 million in her lawsuit against the company, as she claimed their baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson, like many other companies, fail to disclose the dangers of using their products. Although there are many all-natural alternatives available, here’s a link to a DIY Natural recipe for baby powder.
Fluoride can commonly be found in drinking water all over the world, despite the fact that it is a known neurotoxin. Harvard University found links between fluoridated water and ADHD and mental disorders. The fluoride added to our water isn’t even the natural element, it’s hydrofluorosilicic acid, which is a toxic waste substance created from the production of aluminum, fertilizer, steel and nuclear industries (read more about that here). Arsenic, another common chemical found in drinking water, has been linked to reduced cognitive function in children (source). Stick to natural spring water or purchase a water filter!
Children’s toys often contain harmful ingredients including toxic flame retardants and formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer. Some of the more well-known companies that use toxic flame retardants in their products include Michael’s (in bedding and doll furniture), Target (in toy vehicles), and MGA Little Tikes (in outdoor play equipment). Formaldehyde has been found in some of the toys at Build-A-Bear (source). If you’re looking for better toys for your kids, look for ones that aren’t made out of plastic or check out these tips from Toxic Free Future!
Even if you don’t have a child, this list still clearly pertains to you. Both the Earth and our bodies represent our homes, we should treat them with care by avoiding the use of chemicals and toxins. We should strive to make the world a better place for future generations, regardless of if we’re parents or not. By avoiding toxins and other harsh chemicals, you can help create positive change on this planet!
Glyphosate & Colorectal Cancer in Young Adults
- The Facts:
This article was written by By Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, President of Children’s Health Defense.
- Reflect On:
How did our federal health regulatory agencies ever approve something so dangerous and damaging to human health?
In Part I, “The Disturbing Increase in Colorectal Cancer in Young Adults,” we called attention to the steep rise in colorectal cancer incidence in young people in their twenties and thirties and discussed the risks associated with viral vaccines. In Part II, we discuss glyphosate as another plausible culprit in the colorectal cancer epidemic.
Gut bacteria play a pivotal role in shoring up brain health and overall health. This fact has become a widely acknowledged talking point in scientific circles as well as in the popular press. The reverse is also true—when diet or environmental factors produce gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of the microbes that reside in the gastrointestinal tract), the imbalance can “impact the pathologies of many diseases.”
Colorectal cancer has increased by 51% in Americans under age 50 since the mid-1990s, and researchers suggest that “early life exposures…may be contributing to the rise” in that age group. A leading hypothesis is that gut dysbiosis is playing an active part—perhaps by disrupting young people’s immune response and triggering overactivation of cell signaling proteins in the colon. Some researchers have even posited a “bidirectional self-feeding relationship” between the gut microbiome and colorectal cancer, with gut dysbiosis contributing to colorectal cancer growth and progression, and tumor growth in turn disturbing the gut microbiome.
Autism investigators have been at the forefront of research on the gut microbiome. They point to environmental toxins and antibiotic use as two influences that can shift the gut’s microbial composition in an unfavorable direction. Scientists attribute up to 85% of colorectal cancers to environmental and microbial factors. Glyphosate (the leading ingredient of Roundup) is both an herbicide and a patented antimicrobial. Could the upward trend in glyphosate usage that began roughly three decades ago have something to do, therefore, with the skyrocketing incidence of colorectal cancer in young people? Although recent court cases linking Roundup to cancer have focused mostly on other types of cancer such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the evidence that glyphosate wreaks havoc with gut bacteria has led many researchers to suspect that the answer is yes.
Glyphosate in the air and everywhere
These days, glyphosate exposure affects everyone, not just farmworkers. Newsweek reported in 2016 that the world is “awash in glyphosate,” with a fifteen-fold increase in Roundup use since the mid-1990s. American agriculture sprays glyphosate on at least 70 food crops. As a result, glyphosate residues are now rampant in the U.S. food supply, including in the processed Cheerios, Doritos and Oreos so frequently gobbled up by children and adolescents.
Studies have documented concerning levels of glyphosate in Americans’ urine and breastmilk. One study of U.S. adults found that average glyphosate levels in urine increased by a factor of thirteen over the two-decade period between 1993–1996 and 2014–2016—and seven out of ten study participants had glyphosate levels above the limits of detection. Mean levels of a glyphosate metabolite called AMPA measured approximately 36 times higher in the second time period. Moms Across America has reported high levels of glyphosate in three out of ten breastmilk samples tested.
Glyphosate and the gut
A variety of in-progress clinical trials are exploring the link between the intestinal microbiota and colorectal cancer. Completed studies have already shown that individuals with colorectal cancer “display instability in the composition of their gut bacterial communities when compared with healthy controls” and have elevated levels of unfavorable bacterial species. Several of these species exhibit “pro-inflammatory and pro-carcinogenic properties, which could consequently have an impact on colorectal carcinogenesis.” In fact, researchers suggest that measurement of these out-of-whack bacterial populations could have “potential value as a marker of colon cancer.”
Shifts in microbial compositions due to selective pressure by glyphosate may have contributed to the proliferation of plant and animal pathogens. …[W]e hypothesize that the selection pressure for glyphosate-resistance in bacteria could lead to shifts in microbiome composition and increases in antibiotic resistance to clinically important antimicrobial agents.
Researchers Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff have written extensively about glyphosate in a series of papers elucidating “pathways to modern diseases.” They note that in animals, glyphosate “has been shown to disrupt gut bacteria…, preferentially killing beneficial forms and causing an overgrowth of pathogens.” Overgrowth of opportunistic pathogens can lead to a breakdown of the gut lining and the development of “leaky gut” syndrome. Researchers describe “the loss of gut barrier integrity” as “an early event which contributes to chronic inflammation,” and they have observed both gut dysbiosis and a dysfunctional intestinal barrier in colorectal cancer patients.
Turning a blind eye
Far from sticking up for American consumers, U.S. regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have largely turned a blind eye to concerns about glyphosate safety. The environmental website EcoWatch reported in 2016 that although the FDA routinely tests foods for pesticide residues, it had never tested for glyphosate residues until that year; EPA critics believe that the agency “has been unduly influenced by the agrichemical industry.” EcoWatch also observed that U.S. regulators allow a much higher “acceptable daily intake” of glyphosate than is permitted in other countries.
In July, 2019, Children’s Health Defense filed a lawsuit against Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, asserting that the company’s labeling and marketing practices “deceive parents who seek to be mindful of what is contained in the baby foods they provide to their infants.” Independent laboratory testing identified multiple synthetic pesticides, including glyphosate, in Beech-Nut’s “Naturals” line of baby food. Children’s Health Defense and Chairman and Chief Legal Counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. take the health of our most precious resource—our children—very seriously and are at the forefront of legal efforts to challenge fraud and free children from exposure to toxic chemicals.
The rising toll of colorectal cancer deaths in young people who are in the prime of life points to the urgent need to reset regulatory priorities and put people before profits. Glyphosate’s deleterious effects on the gut microbiome—just one of many problems associated with the herbicide—are one more nail in the coffin for a toxic product that is well past its use-by date.
Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.
Johnson & Johnson Found To Have Knowingly Allowed Asbestos In Their Baby Powder
- The Facts:
Johnson and Johnson have recently lost lawsuits for negligence in knowingly allowing carcinogenic substances in their talc-based hygiene products.
- Reflect On:
Are we starting to turn the page on an era where human health and safety are not the prime considerations in the manufacturing of consumer products?
We are starting to awaken to the fact that it seems to be the rule, and not the exception, that large Western corporations put profits above human health considerations. The only time they seem to give any regard to human health concerns is when their forecasts of potential lawsuits down the road would likely exceed the cost measures needed to ensure the safety of their product.
Johnson & Johnson is just one of a long line of corporate perpetrators who believed that covering up and lying about known health concerns would make better business sense than taking the time and resources to actually address those health concerns within their products.
Contaminated Baby Powder: The Height Of Indignity
One would think, regardless of an understanding that the bottom line is a priority for most private companies, that the health and safety of a nursing mother and her newborn child would be sacrosanct for any industry. The reality is that this is simply not the case, even though J&J could have mitigated this problem from the start.
Companies that mine talc are required to take extra steps to ensure the absence of asbestos in their talc. Instead, J&J allegedly went to great lengths to fake it.
Not only did the company know about the asbestos contamination, evidence suggests, but J&J also failed to warn its customers about the link between Baby Powder and cancer or replace its talc with a safer alternative. As a result, J&J guaranteed its customers’ exposure to asbestos.
The Testimony of Scientist James Webber
Baby Powder’s contamination with asbestos (a mineral that naturally occurs near talc) has long been the subject of lawsuits. But only in recent years has evidence begun to unravel J&J’s defense – that the company had no idea – and threatened its success in lawsuits to come.
In March, a California jury awarded $29 million to Terry Leavitt, a woman who said that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-powder-based products caused her terminal mesothelioma. Environmental scientist James Webber testified in her high-profile California trial and made these observations:
During several hours on the stand, Webber explained how he ran tests that showed “clear” evidence of asbestos contamination in the mines from which J&J sourced talc.
“The testing I have seen [shows] that it was present at least as early as 1971 and up through the late 1990s,” said Webber, who ran an asbestos laboratory in New York state.
Despite denying it publicly, J&J had observed this contamination in internal memos. Its notes dismissed the amount of asbestos in its talc as “but a trace,” Webber alleged. But that was just an optimistic interpretation of superficial testing, he said: the tests used methods too weak to detect microscopic asbestos fibers. Webber insisted the actual tests results revealed there could be millions of asbestos fibers per gram of talc.
And J&J’s inaccurate reports were allegedly only the tip of the iceberg. In some instances, Webber said, photos attached to J&J’s reports revealed that “they had been seeing it and not reporting it.” (source)
And It’s Getting Worse
The $29 million verdict, in California Superior Court in Oakland, was the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate facing more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide. And things may be getting even worse for J&J, according to ZeroHedge:
Johnson & Johnson shares are down over 5% after Bloomberg reports that, according to people with knowledge of the matter, the U.S. Justice Department is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether Johnson & Johnson lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder…
Now, a grand jury in Washington is examining documents related to what company officials knew about any carcinogens in their products, the people said.
It seems as though corporations have long been willing to take the calculated risk of short-cuts and denials instead of ensuring that their products are safe for public use. My suspicion is that a part of our collective awakening process will be issuing in a new business paradigm in which human health and safety become paramount.
Prescription Infant Formulas Found To Be Contaminated With Aluminum
- The Facts:
Multiple brands of prescription infant formula were found to contain high levels of aluminum.
- Reflect On:
Should we be questioning the quality of products that come from pharmaceutical production? Do we veer away from natural methods of raising children more than we should? At what cost?
You may not think aluminum is a big deal, but it is. For anybody who has looked into aluminum toxicology, it’s quite clear and apparent that it has no place inside of any living biological organism. Putting it simply, it wreaks havoc on our biology. High amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, with experts in the field believing that aluminum brain accumulation may be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s also been discovered within the brains of MS patients, and some of the highest aluminum content ever recorded in brain tissue has also been discovered in people with autism. Aluminum is associated with several diseases. But an adult body can do a great job of flushing out aluminum.
Despite the fact that aluminum has no place within earth’s biota, it’s still present in many of our medications, our food, and even in the water that we drink due to contamination since the industrial revolution. Aluminum inside the body is a new phenomenon and still understudied. Again, there is a threshold, and aluminum that is injected via vaccines doesn’t exit the body–there is strong evidence that it remains inside the body and ends up in distant organs and eventually inside of the brain. If you want to access more studies on that topic, you can read this article I published that provides them and goes into more detail. You can also watch this interview with Christopher Exley, where he also points to that fact.
A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has shown that multiple popular infant prescriptions are contaminated with aluminum. You may be asking how much aluminum, but the authors make it a point to stress that there are no safe amounts of aluminum levels that can be inside of a human body, let alone a newborn baby. That being said, the amounts found are listed within the abstract of the study:
Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low birth weight, allergy or intolerance and medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency. The aluminium content of these prescription infant formulas is measured here for the first time. We obtained 24 prescription infant formulas through a paediatric clinic and measured their total aluminium content by transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave assisted acid/peroxide digestion. The aluminium content of ready-to-drink formulas ranged from 49.9 (33.7) to 1956.3 (111.0) μg/L. The most heavily contaminated products were those designed as nutritional supplements for infants struggling to gain weight. The aluminium content of powdered formulas ranged from 0.27 (0.04) to 3.27 (0.19) μg/g. The most heavily contaminated products tended to be those addressing allergies and intolerance. Prescription infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium.
Another very important point made right off the bat by the authors:
Human exposure to aluminium is a serious health concern. Aluminium exposure in infants is understandably a burgeoning issue. While infant exposure to aluminium continues to be documented, its consequences, immediate and in the future, have received only scant attention and research is required to understand the biological availability of aluminium through formula feeding. For example, how much aluminium is absorbed across the neonate gut and its subsequent fate, including excretion.
There is already too much aluminium in infant formulas and herein we have measured its content in a large number of prescription formulas, products which are fed to vulnerable infants in their first months of life. Many of these products are heavily contaminated with aluminium.
As for the specific infant formulas, you can refer to the study. The researchers obtained 24 prescription infant formulas via the Paediatric Clinic of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, United Kingdom. The ready-to-drink and powdered products were new, ready-to-be used and unopened samples. These formulas are for babies with some sort of growth restriction, like for preterm infants or infants who have poor weight gain. There were also powdered formulas for allergies and intolerances and powdered formulas with additional amino acids.
The authors contacted each manufacturer and expressed that they denied knowing that there was any aluminum in their products, which means it’s still a mystery as to their source. The authors hypothesize on a number of ways that aluminum could be entering into the formulas.
In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that:
Where possible, breast milk feeding should be prioritised, as the aluminium content of breast milk is invariably an order of magnitude lower than in formula feeds. Where infant formulas are the only source of nutrition for many infants in their first weeks and months of life, aluminium ingested in formula feeds will be the major contributor to their body burden of aluminium. The last thing that vulnerable infants fed specialised formulas for their specific nutritional/medicinal need is additional aluminium in their diet.
There is a lot of information out there on how a person can detox from aluminum and other heavy metals. There are multiple studies, and based on what I’ve looked into, water with high amounts of Silica are effective in draining aluminum out of your body and brain. Herbs like cilantro and substances like chlorella and spirulina are also great for removing some metals. The information is out there, so be sure to do your research.
It’s concerning to think about what these corporations are doing. Again, aluminum should hold no place in our society, it should’ve remained well below our surface as part of the Earth’s crust for a reason. It wasn’t until humans began digging it out and using it for a number of things, irresponsibly I might add, that we started to see the health implications which still go largely ignored by the medical community.
In fact, heavy metal accumulation and detoxification of aluminum haven’t been addressed at all, which is odd given the fact that heavy metal accumulation is linked to a variety of diseases.
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