Pesticides and Food: Why Children May be Especially Sensitive to Pesticides
Infants and children may be especially sensitive to health risks posed by pesticides for several reasons:
For these reasons, and as specifically required under the Food Quality Protection Act (1996) , EPA carefully evaluates children's exposure to pesticide residues in and on foods they most commonly eat, i.e., apples and apple juice, orange juice, potatoes, tomatoes, soybean oil, sugar, eggs, pork, chicken and beef. EPA is also evaluating new and existing pesticides to ensure that they can be used with a reasonable certainty of no harm to adults as well as infants and children.
The digestive system starts to grow from day one, but it still needs helpNourished and protected by your placenta in the womb, your baby’s digestive system and excretory system start to work on their own as soon as she is born. However, her gastrointestinal (GI) tract is still developing and will need essential fats, proteins, carbohydrates, hormones, vitamins, and minerals in order to grow for the first six months to a year.
Quick stomach growth, one tiny feeding at a timeYour baby’s stomach is roughly as large as a small marble at birth and, after a few days, will grow to about the size of a ping-pong ball — a capacity between 1.5 ounces and 2 ounces. Until she’s about 4 months old, your baby’s stomach can hold only small amounts of milk at a time. This is one of the main reasons why you have to feed her so often early on — up to 10 times per day at first.
Because her esophagus is still developing (in fact, the opening at her stomach does not close completely yet), she might spit up during or after feedings. It is not painful, and she might not even realize she has done it. If your baby is healthy and gaining weight, it is just part of the development process; however, if your baby spits up more than a tablespoon at a time (or if the spit-up is associated with respiratory symptoms such as choking, coughing, or wheezing), ask your health care professional if there is a reason to be concerned. Learn more about how to tell if it’s spit-up or vomit, and what you can do about it.
Your baby’s immune system will need to be nourishedYour baby’s immune system does not fully develop until she is 4 or 5 years old. Breastfeeding your baby as long as possible, especially during the first 12 months, can help prevent infections and illness as the immune system matures. This can be aided even further by choosing the proper nutrition while you are breastfeeding to help provide the antibodies and beneficial bacteria your baby’s immune system needs to protect against viral infections, fungi, and parasites — most notably during the first six months. This added protection, in addition to vaccinations, allows her immune system to “catch up” and begin producing its own antibodies.
A woman who breastfeeds will burn around 500 to 700 more calories a day than a woman who does not. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, calcium-rich dairy products, and lean protein (meats, fish, and legumes) will ensure that you get a balanced amount of essential nutrients.
The following nutrient- and energy-dense foods can deliver the calories, vitamins, and minerals you need to support your baby’s nutrition needs and to help you breastfeed consistently and effectively:
What to eat when breastfeeding:
In general, breastfeeding mothers can eat the foods they enjoy. Some foods might flavor the breast milk, but babies rarely react to this. If your baby is fussy after you eat a certain food or spice, try avoiding that food for a while, and then try it again later to see if the same reaction occurs. Limit empty-calorie foods with solid fat and added sugars.
Get your DHA if you are breastfeedingDocosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a fat found in fish oils. It is classified as an Omega-3 fatty acid, and has been found to be beneficial to your baby's brain and eye development. DHA can be directly passed to your baby through your breast milk by adding just two servings of fish, such as salmon or tuna, to your weekly diet. Continue to avoid certain fish, such as shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel, due to their high mercury content.
Drink plenty of fluids when you are breastfeedingNursing mothers need enough fluids to stay hydrated. Most experts recommend drinking approximately 13 cups of water and other beverages per day. A general rule to follow is to drink twice as much water as it takes to quench your thirst. Also note that it doesn’t always have to be water. Liquids such as milk, juices, and soups also can provide the vital fluids you need.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, drinking a moderate amount (2 to 3 cups a day) of coffee or other caffeinated beverages is fine. Most breastfeeding babies can tolerate that amount. More than that amount can cause your baby to fuss or to not sleep well.
Medications in breast milkCheck with your health care provider before taking any medications. Also, do not stop taking any prescribed medication without first speaking to your doctor. The guidelines for what medications you can safely take while pregnant or breastfeeding are similar, but not identical.
Are Pesticides Causing Your Food Allergies?
New research about chemicals in your tap water and on your lawn could cause you to break out in hives.
By Emily Main
No one knows what causes food allergies—they're one of the great mysteries that science has yet to solve. But it's doubtful that any allergist had suspected that your lawn, or your tap water, could be the cause.
That could change, based on the findings of a new study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The authors found that a breakdown by-product of a pesticide used on genetically modified crops, lawns and golf courses, and of chlorine-treated drinking water, was associated with higher rates of food allergies.
Food Allergy Costs Top $500 Million Annually
The authors used data collected from 2,548 people who had been tested for specific environmental and food allergies and for levels of these breakdown by-products, called dichlorophenols. Based on their analysis, the higher the levels of dichlorophenols in a person's urine, the more likely that person was to have an allergy to milk, eggs, peanuts, or shrimp. They didn't find the same relationship to environmental allergens, such as dogs, cats, ragweed, or grass.
Because the study simply found a relationship between the chemicals and food allergies, she says, it's difficult to say if one causes the other. But she says her results play into the "hygiene hypothesis" that we're scrubbing ourselves clean of good bacteria and, in doing so, are weakening our immune systems' ability to protect us against foreign substances.
Dichlorophenols have been found to kill bacteria, says lead author Elina Jerschow, MD, MSc, assistant professor in clinical research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, "and it's been found that anything that decreases the bacterial load in our environment is associated with more allergies."
Dichlorophenols are breakdown by-products of chemicals that contain chlorine. One of the biggest sources of those chlorinated chemicals in our environment is the herbicide 2,4-D, the second most widely used herbicide in the U.S., which degrades into 2,4-dichlorophenol in soil and water. It's one of the most commonly used lawn weed killers on the market today, but it's also used as an herbicide on wheat and it's frequently sprayed on farms between rows of asparagus, apples, peaches, almonds, pears, strawberries, cherries, cranberries and potatoes.
Dichlorophenols are also breakdown by-products of the chlorine compounds used to disinfect tap water, which is currently one of your major exposure sources. They can infiltrate your home's indoor air through mothballs and room deodorizers as well, both of which contain a compound called dichlorobenzene, and through chlorine bleach or other cleaning products that contain chlorine. "As long as you have chlorine in your environment, you might get exposure to these chemicals," says Dr. Jerschow.
What's more concerning is that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is on the verge of making a decision that could expose Americans to extremely high levels of dichlorophenols in our food supply. The agency is expected to approve a new variety of genetically modified corn bred specifically to resist 2,4-D within the next few months and a 2,4-D-resistant soy not long after that. Those crops directly convert 2,4-D into 2,4-dichlorophenol, one of the dichlorophenols associated with food allergies in this study, and that would increase the public's exposure to the chemicals through food, says Bill Frees of the nonprofit Center for Food Safety. That group estimates that the approvals of both crops would increase the use of this potent herbicide from 27 million pounds a year to more than 100 million pounds.
The Biggest Food System Threat of 2012
What You Can Do
It might be difficult to eliminate all exposures to chlorine breakdown products in your home, but here are a few ways you can cut down on what's getting into your system:
• Demand organic. Not only will you be limiting your exposure to chlorinated pesticide residues, but you'll also be supporting farmers who don't plant genetically modified crops, which are banned under organic standards.
• Ban the bottle. It's hard to say whether typical household water filters will remove dichlorophenols from tap water, says Dr. Jerschow, because they dissolve so well in water. But don't assume that bottled water is any safer, she cautions. Roughly 50 percent of bottled waters on the market are simply filtered tap, so they too could contain dichlorophenols. A standard household filter will remove chlorine, and that will prevent chlorine breakdown products in your indoor air.
• Make your own cleaners. Rather than resorting to chlorinated commercial cleaners, make your own with white vinegar, which Consumer Reports recently declared was The Best Cleaner Ever. Need some ideas? Check out these Homemade Cleaners that Really Work.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is the public health arm of the United Nations. According to its website, they “provide leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.” In other words: they are a big deal. So when they warn that chemicals we all use could be having disastrous effects on our health, we should probably weigh the evidence they offer.
Beware of Chemicals in Everyday Products
Though the WHO is far from sincere and as helpful as it should be, the organization released an insightful report that links chemicals we all use, touch, and breathe with hormone disrupting effects.
According to the report, The State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, endocrine disruptors (EDCs) can occur naturally, but those synthetic varieties are the ones that we should be most worried about. The agency says these chemicals, like bisphenol-A and phthalates, which are found in numerous everyday products, could lead to:
– Undescended testicles in boys
– Thyroid cancer
– Breast cancer
– Prostate cancer
– Nervous system effects on young children
Even more frightening than the effects of these substances is how pervasive they are.
The WHO says these EDCs are found in pesticides, plastics, personal care products, cosmetics, electronics, and even in our food. And we know BPA is found in plastics, food can linings, and on receipts.
The WHO is calling for greater research into EDCs (like BPA and parabens) and their possible alternatives.
“Investing in new testing methods and research can enhance understanding of the costs of exposure to EDCs, and assist in reducing risks, maximizing benefits and spotlighting more intelligent options and alternatives that reflect a transition to a green economy,” said UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
The fact that these chemicals are in our products should really come as no surprise. The natural health world has been crying out for attention to be paid to the numerous studies that have linked these chemicals to endocrine disruption for years. The issue, however, is that there is big money behind their use. After all, there has to be some reason the FDA ignored the numerous studies linking BPA to negative health effects, and refusing to ban the substance.
Source: Natural Society
We do not wish for something that is not possible. Could you imagine a world where we learning new ways to help our soil achieve it's highest level of potential, and from that soil we eat the food and bring something into our bodies that immediately begins to heal and nourish because our body recognizes and can use every part of the foods concentrated nutrition. It does not have to first initiate toxic containment and have to use all of it's energy to deal with the foreign chemicals