Yourwellness Magazine Investigates Chemical Exposure’s Effect on Children

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With a new study finding that exposure to hydrocarbons is one of the top 10 causes of paediatric poisoning deaths in the United States, Yourwellness Magazine took a closer look at the harmful effects of pesticides on children, giving parents ways to reduce exposure.

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New research shows that hydrocarbons – chemicals found in gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid and some insecticides and cleaning supplies – are among the top 10 causes of paediatric poisoning deaths in the United States. The findings, which appear online this month and in the June print issue of the journal Paediatrics, show that, from 2000 to 2009, more than 66,000 calls were made to regional poison centres and more than 40,000 emergency-room visits were reported due to exposure to hydrocarbons among children under the age of 5.

Study co-author Dr. Lara McKenzie, at the Centre for Injury Research and Policy, commented, "Hydrocarbons sound like something you would not have in your house, but it is found in so many household items from cleaning products and gasoline to kerosene and lighter fluid. You do have these things in your house and they can be really dangerous when children swallow them. It can look like apple juice or a blue sports drink because of the colouring and can smell appealing – especially if it's not in the original container." (

With this in mind, Yourwellness Magazine reported on the dangers of child exposure to pesticides. Yourwellness Magazine explained, “Unlike adults, who rarely suffer ill effects from this type of exposure, pesticides can be dangerous to children, and the main source of the toxic chemicals is via the food that they eat…These chemicals are potentially also toxic for children, who are at an increased risk for certain paediatric cancers (such as brain cancer and leukaemia) when consuming even low levels of them.”

Yourwellness Magazine outlined ways in which parents can reduce their child’s exposure to pesticides:

1.    Consider buying organic produce, which is not treated with pesticides.
2.    Have an increased awareness of the foods with the greatest pesticide content. The top 12 of these are celery, peaches, apples, strawberries, grapes, cherries, potatoes, kale, bell peppers, spinach, blueberries and nectarines.
3.    Buy the clean 15, which have thicker skins that can resist pesticides. These are onions, sweetcorn, avocados, pineapples, sweet peas, mangoes, asparagus, cabbage, honeydew melons, cabbage, cantaloupes, aubergines, watermelons, sweet potatoes, grapefruit and kiwis.

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