Toxic chemicals in the environment are a problem for everyone, but people with special needs are especially vulnerable. For half a century, American products and advertisements touted “better living through chemistry.” But today’s children are repeatedly exposed to a wide variety of harmful chemicals in the food they eat, the water they drink, the things they touch, and the air they breathe. Most homes are full of potentially damaging chemicals in food, cookware, plastic wrap, toys, and even shampoo. Environmental toxins are on walls, floors, furniture, under the kitchen sink, in the laundry room, and in the garage.
It’s impossible to completely avoid hazardous substances because they are found in small doses almost everywhere. But they can build up in the body over time, creating a toxic load that can have long-lasting neurological effects – especially for kids with special needs. The sensory issues faced by many children with autism and other diagnoses can be worsened by their inability to efficiently remove these toxins from their bodies. Neurotoxic chemicals can interfere with auditory, visual, motor, and physical sensory systems. They often disrupt the endocrine system, wreaking havoc with hormones and affecting brain function and development.
After reviewing nearly a hundred studies in medical and scientific journals, we’ve compiled a list of the 9 most hazardous household chemicals for people with special needs, including helpful information about where these chemicals are most commonly found, what effects they have, and how to minimize or eliminate exposure. Read more