It was not until my youngest son was born that I began to question the products I was using inside of our home, and on my toddler and newborn. When I realized that many of the "natural" personal care products we had been using included 50%-90% synthetic ingredients, most of which were toxic chemicals, I was shocked! How could product companies be so misleading? Like many young moms, I had no idea how to pronounce most of the chemicals that were listed on the labels of the products I was using every day. Worse, I did not understand, until I had done much research, all of the potential side effects that those chemicals could have on my family's health. I was alarmed to learn that there has been very little formal testing on humans regarding the adverse effects of the chemicals found in everyday products.
When my son was born with health issues, we sought out doctors and specialists all over the country. We were specifically concerned with his brain development, due to the fact that by the age of 18 months, he had never completed one full sleep cycle. After various medications, tests and procedures, with no real answers or solutions, I found myself researching online, desperate to find anything that might offer some direction.
A prayer later, I found an article written by Linda Chaé about the damage the chemicals in shampoos can cause to our health. As a woman, I frequented salons, but I had no idea salon workers have the second highest autoimmune disease diagnosis. I had never considered that the baby shampoo I was using on my children could contain formaldehyde, among various other hazardous chemicals. I simply didn't know that the products I used daily could be a problem. If this truly was a threat to my child's development and overall health, why had no one warned me?
In shock, I desperately turned to our friend Dr. Jon Meliones who runs Duke University Pediatric Critical Care.
He pointed out some very alarming statistics. For example, DID YOU KNOW that children today are born with over 200 chemicals in their cord blood? This means those chemicals were coursing through their veins throughout pregnancy and remain after they enter the world. And DID YOU KNOW that as you are reading my story, you very likely have over 300 chemicals coursing through your veins RIGHT NOW?
A study done by The Environmental Working Group proved that there were numerous chemicals found in products we use to clean our homes, our bodies, our children, and in a newborn's cord blood. These chemicals didn't just magically appear inside the cord blood, they got there because of the mother's exposure during pregnancy. DID YOU KNOW that some of these chemicals have been found in breast tumors too?
In addition to the increased use of chemicals, there's been a tremendous rise in childhood developmental issues and diseases. In fact, there has been an astronomical rise in children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Now, approximately 1 out of 68 kids, according to the Center for Disease Control, are born somewhere on the spectrum. When I was growing up, I had not heard of autism. Only 10 years ago, 1 in 150 children were diagnosed. It is now the fastest growing developmental disability.
Had we unknowingly exposed our child to some terrible toxins while he was developing in my womb and during the early months of his life?
I had carefully watched what I ate during pregnancy and had followed all of the rules. For years prior to pregnancy I had believed as long as I was eating the food pyramid, getting my fruits, veggies, whole grains, proteins and some vitamins, that I was living a healthy lifestyle. But I was washing my dishes and silverware in the dishwasher with some of the most toxic chemicals and rinse agents. I did not realize it was harming me as I ate healthy foods.
I had also (unknowingly) taken synthetic vitamins, eaten my share of processed food, consumed food dyes and produce saturated in pesticides, wheat that had been treated with roundup prior to harvest, and meat and dairy filled with antibiotics, growth hormones and who knows what else. What this meant was that I was pumping myself full of food dyes, genetically modified foods, chemicals and various hormones and medications that are given to many animals. The synthetic vitamins I was taking were causing chronic, and ongoing kidney infections and stones, as well.
That doesn't even skim the surface.
Also, before pregnancy I had been an avid consumer of what I thought were the top of the line skincare products. I had kept a spotless home, routinely sanitizing with products such as bleach, and other well-known cleaners. I squeezed alcohol based sanitizer on my hands and both my son's hands multiple times a day when hand washing wasn't convenient. Often, we ate immediately after the fact without me giving any thought to the potentially (deadly if consumed) chemicals inside of the sanitizer. I used fabric softeners, and dryer sheets on all of my family's clothing to keep everything soft, static free, and freshly scented. In other words, I was literally bathing my home, myself and my children in toxic chemicals on an hourly and daily basis.
I was just a drone consumer, believing our government was protecting us and that the products that companies were selling were safe for our use. DID YOU KNOW that there are thousands of chemicals found in products we use every day that are unregulated? UNREGULATED! It sounds crazy but it's the truth. I wondered how one of the largest industries in the United States could let this happen, and worse, how our government could allow this. DID YOU KNOW that worldwide, the chemical industry is at over $5 trillion in revenue and the US is the largest producer of chemical products? In 2002 the industry worldwide was $1.78 trillion and in 2014 it was $5.4 trillion. In just a little over 10 years it nearly tripled in size.
Our government is supposed to protect us, and instead they have turned us into Lab Rats. I suppose like in so many other areas of our world, money speaks volumes, especially in Washington D.C. In short, we have all allowed, and worse, we have paid companies to perpetrate the largest unnatural disaster in human history upon us and our families. But, if the government and product companies are not doing their job to protect us, who will? We must be our own advocate.
Who do you know personally, close to you— perhaps a family member, cousin, friend, neighbor or business associate—that has or has had cancer?
My husband and I toured around the country and asked this very question to countless audiences. We were shocked to discover that nearly 100% of the people from New York to California and everywhere in between raised their hand. People of all races, religion, social status and backgrounds. When I was a child, cancer was a foreign word, and in my grandparent's time virtually unheard of.
What has happened to cause this terrible disease to touch almost all of our lives in some manner?
Our world has made leaps and bounds in technology and medical science. Yet even with all the advancements in modern medicine, one must ask, "Why are we the sickest generation that has ever lived?" It's because we're exposed to many things in excess that our ancestors never experienced—man-made chemicals being a serious one. We are looking at over 80,000 different varieties of chemicals in use in the US alone and thousands of those are BANNED overseas.
DID YOU KNOW that you are exposed to over 200 chemicals each day in your home before you walk out the door and for women that number is much higher, even up to 400?
We have chemicals in and on our food, in our water and all over our homes— chemicals that didn't exist, and certainly not to this extreme, even 50 years ago. We have electronic devices, computers, phones, microwaves, routers and much more throughout our homes spewing out EMFs (Electromagnetic Frequencies) passing through our bodies and brain. You can't control what is outside your home, but you can control what goes inside your home, in and on your body.
A year after I discovered an article by Linda Chaé and began my ToxicFree® journey, I was introduced to Linda by Dr. Meliones and was able to share my personal story with him. He encouraged me to share my story with others. By combining my own research, and joining forces with Linda Chaé, Dr. Meliones and a host of other specialists, like nutritional experts Sean and Tylene Loomer, I began a journey to help share the ToxicFree® mission across this nation.
On February 5th 2016 Griffin and I tested the lowest chemical exposure of any of my natural doctor's patients. This is my testimony that Living ToxicFree® really does work!