Published by
Stanford Medicine

In the News, Pediatrics

Home can be a toxic playground for babies

baby.jpg

Ugh. As a mom of an almost-one-year-old who constantly zips around the house, that was my reaction to a USA Today article on babies’ exposures to toxins in the home. Liz Szabo writes:

Infants may take in two to five times as much household dust as adults, even though they weigh only one-eighth as much, says Alan Greene, a pediatrician at Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Because of that dust, babies are more likely to be exposed to pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals inside the home than outside, he says.

Children younger than 2 are also more vulnerable to toxins than adults because they’re still developing, Greene says. On average, children that age who are exposed to a carcinogen are 10 times more likely than an adult to develop cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“It’s a sound assumption that we should be 10 times more careful with children,” Greene says.

Though this sounds terribly depressing, it turns out being that careful doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. Greene recently provided tips on reducing a baby’s exposure to toxins. Among his (simple) suggestions: use eco-friendly cleaning products, get houseplants (which can remove pollutants in the air), avoid products with BPA and use mineral sunscreen for your child.

Photo by jeremyrufo

Comment


Please read our comments policy before posting

Stanford Medicine Resources: