Working Parent Parenting & Child Care by Stage Child Development Education Family Health Family Life In the News

When Will It End?

Going green can take a lot out of you. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. It’s easy to cut down or eliminate paper towel use or use BPA free baby bottles, but where do you draw the line? I’ve actually been kept awake at night thinking about the number of disposable diapers I throw out, the fact that my child does not have an organic mattress, or how much money I will have to spend before I find a dishwasher or laundry soap that works as well as the non-green versions. Just when I think I have things figured out, a new day brings new information.

Many children’s vitamins and prenatal vitamins contain lead. Out of the 324 vitamins that were tested, only four did not contain lead.

Since I am pregnant and currently taking prenatal vitamins, I immediately contacted a chemistry teacher friend and asked her to explain. Basically, on their own, the vitamins don’t contain large enough quantities of lead to be harmful; you would have to consume massive amounts each day to ingest harmful lead levels. However, it’s the continued exposure that worries me. If there is lead in our water (from the pipes), in food (from the soil), in vitamins, in toys, in who knows what else, it is all adding up. Each individual piece may not contain harmful levels, but grouped together and consumed day after day, the levels add up.

Something else to keep in mind; many foods containing high fructose corn syrup also contain mercury. Despite recent advertising claiming it’s not that bad because it’s made from corn, I’m sure many of us try and avoid high fructose corn syrup. This may be an extra good reason to do so. Here is a great, more detailed blog entry about this.


  1. Anonymous February 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Unfortunately, the only place my son gets high fructose corn syrup is at his Bright Horizons center. The center provides his snacks, and his daily sheet features such healthy snacks as ‘Nilla Wafers with Cool Whip’. I’m not sure how to protect him from toxins without being ‘that mom’ at the center.

  2. Anonymous February 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    To the first commenter, I’d say you should never worry about being “that mom.” Speak up and let your director know about your feelings about the snacks. I am a Bright Horizons employee and a Bright Horizons parent. Our center used to have snacks similar to what you describe, and when a new director came in, she made it part of her mission to change things. It was simple. They may not be able to serve exactly what each parents wants, but they can offer better options. Different centers offer different snacks, so it’s a very easy change for your director to make. Just let her know her feelings and the feelings of others.

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