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Babies – Take Steps to Protect Their IQ and Brain Development
by Linda Chaé

Babies…adorable, precious, innocent, dependent. They’re little miracles and totally dependent on us for their care. To be a parent is the greatest opportunity and an assignment that comes without training.

As parents, we all want our children to be smart and grow up to be successful. We hurt when our child doesn’t learn easily or has difficulty in school. Most parents ask why this happens and are frustrated when they aren’t able to fix the problem; sometimes the answers are not easy to find.

If the following information was more publicly known, there might be fewer children experiencing some form of learning disorder or memory impairment.* What’s hard on everyone (parent AND child) are emotional problems that accompany learning problems. The child is confused about their inability to stay focused and embarrassed / angry when a teacher scolds them for daydreaming.

Maybe certain problems that we understand … as attention deficit disorders, hyperactivity, the inability to pay attention, aggressive and violent behaviors, might have their origins during those windows of vulnerability during pregnancy … including the intensity of exposure according to Dr. Sandra Steingraber, a biologist at Cornell University.

A baby’s intelligence starts with DNA coding. This is the base line for IQ: the ability to learn, problem solve, memorize, have memory recall. There are other influences on brain development while in the womb and as the child grows.

Overview of the developing brain.

The brain begins with a nucleus of specialized cells. If any of these cells are damaged or chemically influenced, the damaged cell continues to reproduce millions more with the same damage. During fetal development, the brain is much more vulnerable to harmful effects of certain chemicals, including some contained in mother’s topically applied beauty and hair care products. “No young person alive today has been born without some in-utero exposure to synthetic chemicals that can disrupt development,” commented June Russell in Medical News Today of June 2004. A PBS documentary presented a study completed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, GA, which found that: “Not a single child today is born free of synthetic chemicals”.

So what can be done to protect the developing brain during pregnancy? Avoid exposure to these two areas and you could make all the difference in the world to your baby.

"… exposures during development can have lifelong impacts," said Schettler, a primary care physician and science director for the nonprofit Science and Environmental Health Network. Recommendations: Avoid lead based paints … Avoid alcohol, nicotine during pregnancy and while nursing. Avoid … fish until they are identified free of mercury.

Avoid certain chemicals in personal care products. University of North Carolina School of Public Health researcher, Dr. Steven Zeisel, reminds us they’re learning DEA, MEA, TEA compounds have the biggest effect on the developing brain during pregnancy and the first few years of life. Just the amount absorbed from washing your hair twice a week could cause abnormal brain development in baby, affecting intelligence levels later in life.” There are products without these ingredients, so read labels and buy wisely.

DEA, MEA, TEA Ingredients may be contained in shampoos, sunscreens, bubble baths, cleansers, lotions, etc. They can be easily absorbed by the skin and have been found to accumulate in body organs, even the brain. Sometimes these ingredients are written on a label by their full names: Diethanolanmine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), Triethanolamne (TEA).

How do chemicals from skin or hair products get into the body or womb? We used to think the skin provided a barrier to chemicals. Your skin absorbs far more than you think. Recent studies by dermatologists at the Univ. of California and a multiple university cooperative team confirm that skin absorption is the major route of entry. Chemicals absorbed topically are undiluted, unchanged by the digestive process and readily lodge in lipid [fat] tissue.

“A basic tenet of human health is once you’ve found something harmful to human beings, stop exposure.”
-- National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

*NOTE: Data cited in the following report indicate that nearly 12 million children (17%) in the United States suffer from one or more learning, developmental or behavioral disabilities. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities affect up to 6% and 10%, respectively, of schoolchildren.

In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, authored by Ted Schettler, M.D., M.P.H., Jill Stein, M.D., Fay Reich, Psy.D., and Maria Valenti, with additions from David Wallinga, M.D., examines the contribution of toxic chemicals to neurodevelopmental, learning and behavioral disabilities in children. Schettler told Psychiatric Times that the report, available online at, has sparked requests from National Institute of Environmental Health Services.

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Reprint rights granted. Please share the content of this article with your friends, family and colleagues. All reprints must include an active link to Content may not be altered and articles must be used as distributed by Chaé® Organics, Inc.
Copyright © Chaé Organics, Inc. 2007

About the Author: Linda Chaé is a prominent researcher, formula consultant, educator and consumer advocate. She has met with many Congressional Leaders and Health Committee Members in Washington D.C., fighting for ‘Your Right to Know’ legislation, and to protect the public from unsafe chemicals in products. Check out the natural organic skin care products Linda has created that are guaranteed to improve your appearance in 30 days! To read more about issues mentioned in this article, visit Chae Organics, Inc.



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