Autism and the Environment 101: Online Course 19

What Can We Do Every Day to Protect Ourselves and Our Children?

The first step in protecting ourselves and our children is to educate ourselves on environmental exposures expected to cause harm. Reading and absorbing this curriculum is a first step in that process.

As research proceeds, there will be information accruing about the singular and combined effects of many substances encountered in daily life. Reading about this ongoing work from reliable sources such as those quoted below is a measured way to balance this new information with appropriate precaution but not unnecessary fear. The following groups are applying rigorous standards to the interpretation of new science for the benefit of public health:

The Institute on Children’s Environmental Health: http://www.iceh.org/

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment: http://www.healthandenvironment.org/

The Environmental Working Group: http://www.ewg.org/

Healthy Legacy: http://www.healthylegacy.org/

Reading these sources is a way to stay current with suspected environmental toxins, reliable interpretations of risk, and reasonable recommendations for consumers and parents.

Another practical step readers can take to decrease their exposure to suspected harmful substances is to read food and product labels regularly. Learning the contents of products we ingest or apply daily is a step in avoiding those of concern. Developing a habit of checking product contents regularly helps us be informed about what we put close to us and our families. Suspected toxins listed on the label can be avoided by an alternative product selection.

Some of the websites above, like Healthy Legacy, offer specific product guidelines, such as which fruit skins contain less pesticides, which fish less mercury, which toys less phthalates, and list healthier consumer products for personal care for children under 15. Appreciating these resources and learning product content is a daily contribution to the welfare of your family.

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