Smart Speech SLP

Expert to Parents: What's Under Your Sink

Household Cleaning Products Linked to ADHD, Asthma and Allergies


Bronxville, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/15/2013 --Earlier this year, research from the enters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that cases of deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are on the rise, with one out of every five high school-aged boys diagnosed with hyperactivity, as reported in New York Times. Currently, it is estimated that 1 in 10 children between the ages of 4 and 17 are being diagnosed with ADHD. Additionally, one out of every 13 school-aged children has asthma. The numbers of children with allergies are also on the rise. Could there be a common denominator for all three conditions?

According to many experts, household cleaners give off fumes that may increase the risk of children developing asthma, as well as exacerbate hyperactivity symptoms in children. “Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), or gases emitted from various cleaning products, have a long rap sheet of nasty side effects- ranging from eye and nose irritation to central nervous system damage. These VOCs remain on “cleaned” surfaces long after the product has been used. In addition, Clorox/bleach, a cleaning product most commonly found in schools and daycare centers is among the worst of the culprits, being the chemical most frequently involved in household poisonings in the United States,” says speech and learning expert, Meghan Ryan, M.S. CCC-SLP, a Westchester County, NY-based speech-language pathologist.

So what exactly does this really mean for our kids and the how they learn? “Think of it this way: At the very least, if a kid is sitting down trying to complete a task or focus on a new skill, whether in school or at home, the presence of these cleaning compounds can get in the way of his learning process. Allergies in and of themselves are distracting,” advises Ryan.

Children with a pre-existing diagnosis of ADHD are even more sensitive to environmental toxins than others. Many studies have even shown that for these kids, mere exposure to Clorox or Lysol can send kids into a frenzy. “So the more you can ‘clean up’ your child’s environment, the better your child will focus,” suggests Ryan.

So, what can you do as a parent to set-up a toxin-free environment so that your child is able to focus and learn? Here are a few simple tips that everyone can follow:

- Switch out any toxic cleaning products you have in your home with safer, non-toxic products. This includes dish detergent, laundry detergent, and surface cleaners. There are many non-toxic solutions on the market today.
- Avoid exposure to pesticides, insecticides, anything containing formaldehyde, aerosol sprays, lighter fluid and air fresheners
- Use non-allergenic soaps, detergents, linens and glues
- If you feel the need to harbor one or more of these products in your home, keep out of reach of children and dispose of them according to the manufacturer’s directions.

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