I was talking with someone on Linkedin shortly after my first post “How to Create An ADHD-Friendly Home,” and she commented about the effects of neurotoxins found in common household products on ADHD. It’s a topic well worth exploring further, and one that may actually shock you, so prepare yourself.
Are you sitting down? Ok, good.
Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health revealed in 2014 the top ten neurotoxins that cause ADHD and Autism. According to the report, “These chemicals are not just carcinogens that lead to cancer in adult humans, these chemicals also lead to neurological changes in children that drastically change their lives…the neurotoxicants ‘contribute to a “silent pandemic” of neurobehavioral deficits that is eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviors, and damaging societies.’ ” Lead, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) are the top three, and are lurking in products that may surprise you.
Damaging neurotoxins are not limited to the ten listed by Harvard, and they are found in products we use every day in our homes. Unfortunately, the list of toxins we purchase at the store and bring home to our families is too extensive to talk about in one article. I do want to call your attention to the prevalence of neurotoxins and encourage you to explore other options, particularly if you or a loved one deals with ADHD or Autism.
Here are some prominent neurotoxins to be aware of:
- While Congress enacted laws prohibiting lead in the manufacturing of toys in the US, many toys are manufactured in China, where lead content is not regulated.
- Lead is also found in our drinking water via improper wasted disposal and many plumbing systems.
- Mercury is in the majority of our fish supply, including omega supplements. While product packaging is not going to reveal this little fact, your safest bet is to use products that guarantee that mercury is NOT an issue. Silence can be deadly in this instane.
- Mercury is in many vaccines. Ask your doctor for the vaccine insert the next time you are in. Look for thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative.
- PCB’s are deeply embedded in the “circle of life,” thanks to improper disposal of hazardous waste. PCB’s are often found in food, drinking water and fish. That’s a double-whammy if you are taking omega supplements.
- Fluoride is intentionally added to our water supply, and is also found in some antibiotics, toothpaste, mouthwash, medicines, teas, processed foods and drinks. Fluoride does occur naturally as a mineral; HOWEVER, the fluoride we are contending with as consumers is a chemical and a powerful neurotoxin.
- Aluminum is another culprit in the increasing diagnosis of neurological disorders, including ADHD and Autism. Aluminum is found in many common products such as deodorants and antipersperants; baby formula; self-rising flour; a number of vaccines, including Gardasil, Hepatitis A and B, as well as the DTaP vaccine; and a number of cosmetics, shampoos, lotions and sunscreens.
- Most products that we use in our homes every day contain fragrance, one of the biggest offenders and hardest to nail down. Product labels are required to list “fragrance,” but don’t have to list what is in the fragrance. Toluene is the most prominent neurotoxin used in artificial fragrances, from dryer sheets to perfume. This powerful neurotoxin causes loss of muscle control, brain damage, headaches, memory loss, and problems with speech, hearing, and vision.
- Check art supplies in your home. A number of ingredients, such as formaldehyde and xylene, powerful neurotoxins, are found in the most common ones, including tempera paints, permanent markers and finder paints. Safe use mitigates much of the risk; however, no matter how hard we try, it is difficult to keep paints and markers off of our children’s skin.
My daughter and I both have ADHD; subsequently, I have researched this topic quite heavily. Many “nontoxic” or “natural” products aren’t, they just have loopholes in labeling requirements and the definition of toxic that allows them to market their products as such.
I have made many of my own products in the past; however, that became too time-consuming, so I found a company that delivers what it promises. So much so, in fact, that I started my own business with them. If you are serious about your family’s health and wellbeing, contact me at email@example.com and I will be happy to share with you more about our company and it’s commitment to wellness.
I would not hit the panic button over occasional exposure to any of these ingredients; however, most of us are regularly exposed to these toxins and more on a daily basis. Combined, they are the perfect recipe for toxic chemical soup.
Next month, I will continue this discussion by talking about diet issues and ADHD.