During the holidays I took the kids to a local children’s hospital to donate some handmade plushies to the pediatric cancer ward. The hospital floor was decked out in a lively jungle theme with so many fun holiday details to make the treatment center and waiting areas feel like Christmas. The ladies on staff gave us a short, informative tour. My kids listened attentively with wide eyes, soaking in a new reality… children who must regularly visit the hospital to survive. On the way home Aria (7) and Liam (almost 5) had lots of questions about cancer. How bad is it? Can it be fixed? Do lots of people get it? And, most importantly in my opinion – What causes it?
That’s the question most grown-ups don’t want to ask. What causes it? They’re afraid, we’re afraid because the causes are everywhere in everyday products and it doesn’t seem possible that we’re really choosing something so awful, willingly for ourselves and our little ones.
Today an article from Healthy Child Healthy World caught my eye:
Last week the Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer States released a study that found 80% of new baby and children’s products tested positive for chlorinated Tris (TDCPP), a chemical voluntarily removed from children’s pajamas in the 1970s because it was found to cause cancer.
The report tested 20 products and found this cancer-causing chemical in nursing pillows, changing pads, bassinet pads and car seats. Starting from day one, millions of loving parents in our country surround their children with a chemical so obviously dangerous that US companies removed it voluntarily in the 70′s. The seventies!
This reality is truly outrageous. Someday generations are going to look back and shake their heads at our folly. Meanwhile, said millions of parents continue to bury their heads in the sand. And 50% of all Americans get cancer.
But no problem is too big, too hard that you can do nothing about it. When Aria voiced these hard questions I was so encouraged to be able to connect the dots for her, to explain that all the “odd” choices we make about eating real food and using natural products are precisely the way to prevent cancer. I could see her eyes light up. And, I’ll confess, my heart was filled with thankfulness that I could give her this hope.
Lately our family has had to make some sacrifices due to financial challenges. We can’t always afford to buy organic foods anymore. But I won’t let those little defeats to change the course of our lifestyle. We will continue to strive for natural, healthy living. How could I choose anything else for those I love?