Are you afraid your child will develop autism? Well, you can’t catch autism; it isn’t like a cold. A child doesn’t get it from others and it certainly doesn’t develop based on how you raise your kids. There is definitely some link between certain chemicals and autism and that is how kids get it. But before we delve further into this, let’s first understand what autism is.
What is Autism?
Autism is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s social behaviour, interaction skills and learning abilities. So, how does it occur? Scientists believe that it has to do with genetics and chemical influences. And, living in a world that feeds pollution, there are all kinds of poisonous chemicals around that could result in this disability. These chemicals affect fetal formation neurologically, causing a child to react differently to what may seem normal to most people, in terms of sights, smells, sounds and touch. Expressing themselves becomes difficult and so also determining how others feel and think.
Alcohol, medication and pesticides that enter the system during pregnancy may also result to autism.
Avoiding Chemicals that May Lead to Autism
The moment you know about your pregnancy, here are a few things you should do to avoid coming in contact with chemicals linked to autism.
1. Swap Beauty Product
Change up your personal beauty care routine when pregnant by not using creams, lotions, perfumes, body washes and other products having artificial components and overpowering scents. Instead, switch to natural and organic lotions, soaps and body washes that are fragrance-free. This will ensure chemicals are not present in your cosmetic and beauty products.
2. Fresh Foods
Consume large amounts of fresh foods when pregnant. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vital minerals and vitamins, making them way better than processed foods and ingredients. Ready-made meals are packaged in materials that are way more harmful than their food contents and microwaving or baking them will only make matters worse, releasing phthalates and BPA, which are dangerous chemicals, into your food. Avoid code #7 plastics,
3. Keep Away from Cigarette Smoke and
Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol during pregnancy because the chemical substances found in these are toxic and hamper fetal development. These chemicals have been linked to autism, and are also known to cause other abnormalities of the brain and the body. They also lead to low birth weight, which is a serious problem for a newborn.
4. Avoid Nonstick Cookware
Cookware made with nonstick coating does make cooking easy. However, this is at the risk of your health. Pots and pans with nonstick surfaces have chemicals in them likely to harm you internally. The moment you notice chips and scratches it’s time to get rid of the cookware. Replace them with cast iron or steel that isn’t chemically treated altogether for a better outcome. Carpets and water repelling fabrics also have the same substances as nonstick chemicals.
5. Limit Exposure to Pesticides
Pregnant mothers living close to farmlands are likely to have large amounts of pesticides in their bodies, endangering their baby’s development. Stop the use of chemical infused pesticides like organochloride and organophosphate. Use more natural substances to drive pest away from crops. Also, make sure to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them. Turning to organic produce is more advisable for soon-to-be mothers.
6. Reduce Contact with Lead
Lead is a highly toxic chemical, capable of damaging and slowing the growth of the nervous system, ultimately restricting proper development of the brain. Paint originally contained lead in it, so houses constructed prior to 1978 should be tested for lead. Do not use paints with lead in them, if you are renovating your old house. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should stay away from the site. Avoid scraping walls too when children or new mothers are present in the house. Drink only safely treated water, as untreated water may contain lead. Also, maintain a diet full of greens and low fats to limit the effects of lead exposure.
7. Prevent Exposure to Mercury
Mercury finds its way into our bodies due to pollution. The effluents from factories and industries are let out into water sources like lakes and rivers. If the water from these sources is not consumed by us, it is by the fish living in it which we then eat, bringing about multiple diseases and deformities in new babies. Minimize exposure to mercury by eliminating or reducing fatty fish from your diet when pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Large fish like tuna and shark have mercury and lead present in their bodies, amassed from polluted water bodies.
Also, be sure to use thermometers that do not contain mercury in them to avoid mercury poisoning which prevents normal brain maturity.
Polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs disturb the body’s regular functioning when it comes to between nerve cells and calcium signals. This is said to set off autism. Eating meats with low fat is essential because they have low PCB content. This will prevent you from exposing your developing baby to PCBs.