What You Don’t Know Might Hurt You
by Abby Vizelka
I am a mother of 3, two boys and one girl. My oldest son is 11 years and I took an 8 year break before having my daughter and then my second son was born 2 ½ years after her. I have always been environmentally conscious and wanted to cloth diaper my first born. I chickened out with him when I looked at doing a diaper service, thinking that was my only option, when I discovered it would cost me as much to do it and I’d have dirty diapers with pins and plastic pants hanging out for a whole week. With my daughter I thought about it again and again chickened out. With my last son, I decided I was going to go for it and bought a stash of cloth diapers. If I was going to do it, I was all in. Between my first two children I went to college studying environmental policy and planning, environmental science, and biology. While doing that, I learned so much about endocrine disruptors and the chemicals that we find in everything from the products we purchase to the water that we drink. It’s amazing to think about how many things we are exposed to and we don’t even think about it. I also did lab studies on the effects of estrogen on cancer cells, in which showed the rate of which they divide increased with the amount of estrogen present. Also we looked at reports from other studies in regards to behaviors of male rodents that were born surrounded by females compared to other males born by males. That was interesting to see the more feminine traits associated with those by the females, like being less aggressive. This makes me think about how that affects our males and the fertility issues that seem to be becoming more prevalent because of the estrogen and its mimics that we are all exposed to even through our drinking supply. Anyways, the more I’ve learned, the more I’ve become interested in changing the levels of exposure of many chemicals for my children. It has progressively gotten worse, or better depending on whom you ask, since I’ve started cloth diapering. I really want my kids to be the best they can be which includes putting as little into/onto their bodies as possible. My younger kids both have eczema so we try to look for as few ingredients in products as possible. I make my own toothpaste and cook lots of things from scratch. I have recently purchased my first half cow and half pig to know where our meat comes from and ensure no added hormones. I hope that my children grow up with an appreciation for everything around them and that they won’t have to look so hard for “clean” products to purchase from stores. There is lots our government can do to make that possible but they need to make companies prove the safety of their products rather than just prove their products aren’t toxic on a large scale.