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Every Parent Should Avoid These Household Chemicals Which Lower Children’s IQ

Every Parent Should Avoid These Household Chemicals Which Lower Children’s IQ

Household chemicals adversely affect human health, especially children. They disrupt human glands, including those that produce thyroid and testosterone hormones. A recent study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health reports that a child exposed to elevated levels of two common household chemicals may suffer a significant drop in IQ.

Household Chemicals Containing Toxins

Common household products contain chemicals that are toxic and contribute to a variety of ailments people, especially young children, suffer from. Di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) is a synthetic chemical found in many familiar household products: nail polish, glue, hair spray, insect repellent, and carpet backing, to name a few. Most people are exposed to low levels of this chemical in the air. In addition, people become exposed to DnBP through foods packaged and stored in materials that contain this toxic chemical.

Di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP) is an additive used to help keep plastic flexible. DiBP is used in everyday products many of us use: cosmetics, printing inks, perfumes, shoe-soles, flooring, wall coverings, cables, tubing, and wiring.

According to the recent Columbia University study, children of mothers who were exposed to concentrated levels of DiBP and DnBP during pregnancy had IQs 6.6 to 7.6 points lower than children of mothers exposed to lower concentrations of these common household chemicals.

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Pam Factor-Litvak, PhD, lead author and associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School said the following about the results of their recent study:

“Pregnant women across the United States are exposed to phthalates almost daily; many at levels similar to those that we found were associated with substantial reductions in the IQ of children.”

Senior author, professor of Environmental Health Sciences, and Deputy Director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the Mailman School, Dr. Robin Whyatt had this to say:

“The magnitude of these IQ differences is troubling. A six- or seven-point decline in IQ may have substantial consequences for academic achievement and occupational potential.”

Dr. Factor-Litvak added more on their findings:

“While there has been some regulation to ban phthalates from toys of young children, there is no legislation governing exposure during pregnancy, which is likely the most sensitive period for brain development. Indeed, phthalates are not required to be on product labeling.”

Reduce the Risk of Exposure to Harmful Chemicals

It is practically impossible to avoid exposure to dangerous and toxic household chemicals. However, concerned individuals, families, parents, caregivers, and pregnant women can take precautionary steps to reduce exposure to these toxins.

Toxic levels of phthalates are their highest in new products. Children chewing on some plastic toys may be exposed to toxic household chemicals, as well.

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In addition, avoid microwaving food in plastics in order to avoid potential exposure.

Moreover, scented candles, dryer sheets, air fresheners, and recyclable products labeled 3, 6, or 7 should also be avoided.

This last September, researchers reported a link between prenatal exposure to phthalates and risk for asthma in children. These recent findings confirm earlier studies that suggest an association between prenatal exposure to DiBP and DnBP and a child’s motor and cognitive development and behavior at the age of three.

Phthalates have been an important ingredient used in the creation of plastics and other materials. They have many uses, which include consumer products, medicine, and other industries. However, national and international organizations are continuing their review of the environmental and health effects and risks of exposure to phthalates.

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Recent reviews claim phthalates in toys pose a risk. Additionally, researchers suggest exposure to phthalates in workplaces should be reduced.  In the United States, several phthalates have been banned from children’s toys and other childcare articles since 2009.

However, steps to protect the developing fetus by alerting pregnant women to possible exposures have not been enforced. For that matter, in the U.S., phthalates are hardly ever listed as ingredients on products in which they are used. Nevertheless, concerned individuals and families should be aware, exercise caution, and heed the scientific advice pertaining to household chemicals to avoid.

Featured photo credit: U.S. Customs & Border Protection via tribwgntv.files.wordpress.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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