From the food our families eat, to the sand our kids play in we are surrounded by pesticides, chemicals, genetically modified food, and environmental pollutants. Part of protecting our families is simply just knowing the risks, how we are affected and what we can do to protect ourselves against our polluted playground.
As most any parent would agree, sandbox play is a dusty and dirty mess – but kids love it so we let them play in it. Unfortunately, what a lot of people don’t know is there are can be tiny particles of toxic microcrystalline silica entering you child’s lungs. Although, there has not been extensive research of prolonged exposure to such known cancer causing agents, the Environmental Protection Agency does warn of its’ potential health risks.
Is Your Sandbox Safe?
The solution; make your sandbox a safe one. You can purchase silica-free play sand – such as Kid Safe Sand which contains no known harmful substances.
You might also consider filling your sand box with a material other than sand; Rice, Dried Beans and Legumes, Corn Meal or Fish Tank Rocks. Think “outside the box” – if you are unable to replace the silica play sand, I recommend keeping it a bit moist to lessen the likelihood that dust particles will be inhaled.
We are all exposed to pesticides in a variety of forms – from cleaning products, insect repellant and lawn care products, to various rodent control substances. Children are especially at risk due to their still developing organs and immune systems. They also may be exposed to certain pesticides in greater quantity due to their daily habits and routines.
An infant that is crawling on the floor or outside at the playground and putting objects in his/her mouth for instance is at greater risk of ingesting a great deal of pesticides- where as, most adults are not crawling around on the floor directly being exposed to floor/carpet cleaners or lawn care products.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency – “Americans use more than a billion pounds of pesticide each year” whether it is for eliminating pests on farm land or simply cleaning the home – a billion pounds any which way you cut it is a cause for concern.
Pesticide Precautions You Can Take to Better Protect Your Child
- Use bate stations when trapping small rodents and unwanted pests.
- Buy organic produce.
- Keep pregnant women, small children, and babies away from the home if spraying is necessary.
- Instead of spraying harmful chemical on your garden – make it a family affair and pull weeds with your children.
- Use all natural cleaning products – water, vinegar and baking soda can clean most any surface.
Whether we want to hear it or not, pollution is among the biggest problems facing us today. Pollution is the contamination of our air, water and soil by introducing unnatural substances into a once pure and natural environment.
What are some of your biggest concerns regarding our toxic playground? What can we do to help prevent it?