We are all exposed to toxins daily, and if we are healthy, eat lots of natural foods and exercise, our bodies can flush most toxins out without difficulty. Children, however, are more vulnerable than adults to toxins because essential body systems are still developing. Too much exposure to toxins can interfere with the normal development of a child’s respiratory, digestive and immune systems, leaving the child more vulnerable to respiratory, immune and allergic disorders. Not only are children at higher risk from traffic pollution and cigarettes, but they can also inherit the genetic consequences of toxins on their parents or grandparents.
A 2005 Stockholm study involving 4000 children concluded that children exposed to traffic pollution during their first year of life have a 60% higher risk of developing asthma, and increased risk of respiratory allergies.
Car exhaust fumes such as Carbon Monoxide disrupt childrenâ€™s developing immune and nervous systems. Carbon Monoxide (also found in cigarette smoke) robs the brain, muscles and body tissue of oxygen.
Diesel exhaust from trucks and busses contains carcinogenic chemicals such as Benzene, Arsenic and Formaldehyde. Diesel exhaust from school buses can sometimes escape inside the bus, especially in older buses, exposing children to alarmingly high levels. The very fine particles in diesel exhaust can easily make their way deep into the lungs, causing allergies or asthma, or worsening respiratory conditions. And this can have long term effects on children whose lungs and respiratory systems are still developing.
Children are particularly susceptible to traffic pollution because they breathe faster and inhale more air for their body weight than adults, and are lower to the ground where most exhaust fumes settle.
Children are also seriously affected by secondary cigarette smoke, the toxic additives and pesticides in their food, and ordinary household toxins.
Whatâ€™s more, recent research found that an environmental toxin can permanently reprogram genes. That means that children can inherit the adverse effects of toxins their great grandmothers were exposed to!
So give your child a cleaner environment: Use natural instead of chemical clearners; reduce use of processed foods; avoid hand sanitizers and those automatic bug sprays like the plague, and make sure your child gets enough exercise, fresh filtered water and raw (not cooked) fruits and vegetables to help keep the body flushed clean of toxins.