Toxin overload and the relationship to childhood mental health epidemics

Toxins in our environment have a very large impact on the mental health of our children. Toxins create biomedical changes and effect the healthy functioning of a small child’s body. Its critical to understand toxin overload and the toxic storms causing the burden on our children. Dr. Mark Hyman M.D. has coined the phrase, “toxic storm” and the “broken brain”. Children’s brains are being affected each day by toxic overload. (His broken brain podcasts are a great resource.) You may have been in conversations where people ask, “why do so many children today have ADHD, Autism, Allergies, Asthma and learning disabilities?” “What is different today than our grandparent’s generation?” Undeniably there are differences in our society causing extreme challenges for our children. Dr. Christopher Shade Ph.D., expert in environmental metals chemistry, has reported that EMF exposure, mold in homes and pesticides have been large contributors to toxic exposures of today. Although our grandparent’s generation had toxic exposures, the burden was not as high as it is today for our children. You can learn about Dr. Shades understanding of mercury and glutathione chemistry by going to Dr. Shades online videos and products are a great resource for starting your child on a wellness and detoxification journey.

Toxin exposures have been researched in many studies and publications, but the information continues to take a back seat in main stream medical practices that treat children. Dr. Christine Schaffner N.D. of the Sophia health institute understands that children with Autism or ADHD should be screened properly for heavy metals or other toxic overloads. She reported that aluminum, mercury and lead screening should get careful consideration and attention. Heavy metal detoxification is especially critical for children with Autism and ADHD symptoms. American children are forced to deal with the toxic overloads of: mold exposures, EMF exposure (Wi-Fi, microwave usage, tablets, cell phones), pesticides, glyphosate, fluorinated water, polluted air, GMO foods, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, toxic food packaging, non-stick pots and pans, chemicals in personal care and cleaning products, medications and vaccines. The toxic burden placed on children is overwhelming. The children suffering from a neurologically based health concerns are on extreme toxic overload.

The childhood vaccination schedule has grown tremendously over the years. The more aggressive vaccine schedule has made children prone to severe autoimmune issues, allergies and asthma. It can be concluded from information and research presented by Dr. Toni Bark M.D. and Dr. Patrick Gentempo D.C. that, the vaccine schedule isn’t making children healthier, it’s making them more susceptible for serious neurological issues. There are essentially no large scientific studies that have tested “toxin overload” on children because it would be very difficult to accomplish. Small studies are currently being conducted by an organization called “epidemic answers”. Dr. Christine Schaffner stated that children today are born more fragile and more susceptible to a faster toxic overload. Newborns are carrying higher levels toxins from their mother and those toxins could already be causing a burden at birth. The number of children who are born drug effected grows each year. These children come into the world with an already weakened immune system, weakened gut, weakened blood brain barrier and mitochondria dysfunctions in the cells. The drug effected babies most likely have inflammation of the organs, underdeveloped thyroid, digestive system disfunction, toxins passed on from the mother, and possible kidney issues. Its concerning what vulnerable babies are injected with more toxins from vaccinations (aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, selenium, tin, BPA, Glyphosate, MSG). For more scientifically based information on vaccine toxins you can go to

Everyday children are exposed to soaps, shampoos, dish soaps, household cleaners and toothpastes with dangerous chemicals in them. It may not seem like a big deal and it may not seem like it affects your child but, it does. We need to stop and really think about what is happening to our children in today’s environment. A big wakeup call is all the children with Autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, allergies and asthma. We can’t stop these chronic and epidemic issues for all children but, we can stop it for our own child. We can lessen the burden and we can refuse to purchase products with chemicals in them. We can turn off the Wi-Fi in our homes at night, limit the use of a microwave, buy safer cooking pans, put EMF protection devices on cell phones and buy healthier food options.

At a bare minimum, we need to get rid of cleaning and personal care products with chemicals in them. Chemicals in the environment are on the rise each year. Man-made chemicals grow every year and are put into personal care products used on children or to clean the home. Chemicals found around the home in cleaning or personal care products can be neurotoxins, depressants or stimulants. Neurotoxins, depressants or stimulants should absolutely be considered when determining struggles, a child may have. These things are often ignored and shouldn’t be ignored. Cleaning products in the home need to be natural. If you don’t know what the ingredients are in your cleaning products and you can’t pronounce the ingredients, they are most likely harmful chemicals. We need to constantly be thinking about lowering the toxic burden on the body. Minimizing new toxins coming into the body is a critical step to healing a child with a neurological based mental health disorder. It’s impossible to control all toxins affecting our children but we can make a strong effort to minimize them. It’s silly to throw our hands up and say there is nothing we can do. We can change what we bring into our home. We don’t have to buy toxic cleaning products. I have heard people say, “I don’t consume the products so, it doesn’t really matter. I doubt my personal care products really impact my health.” The cleaning products are being sprayed. Chemicals are getting into the air. We can breathe in chemicals and they seep into our skin. Cleaning bottles off gas the chemicals in our cupboards. Chemicals are getting onto your hands and skin when you clean. Chemicals are seeping into your skin with lotions, shampoos and makeup. Repeated use every day is harmful to your health and harmful to your children. Some dangerous chemicals to avoid in cleaning and personal care products are: Phthalates, Perchloroethylene or “PERC”, Triclosan, Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”, 2-Butoxyethanol, Ammonia, Chlorine, Sodium Hydroxide, diethylene glycol dimethyl ether, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether and diethylene glycol monomethyl ether, aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, propylene glycol, Fragrance, Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), Formaldehyde and Toluene. This is not a complete list but, it is a small example of what to avoid.

Multiple chemical sensitivities are a rapidly growing concern for our children. Understanding multiple chemical sensitivities for a child’s brain and body is critical. It’s important for caregivers to understand how multiple chemical sensitivities can affect a child’s brain and body. A child can be hypersensitive to many different chemicals and could have symptoms because of the chemical sensitivities. Chemical sensitivities can cause: headaches, coughing, wheezing, itchy eyes, a bad taste in the mouth, irritability, inattentiveness, and hyperactivity. Children with ADHD, Autism and sensory processing disorders are typically suffering from multiple chemical sensitivities. If the home and the school have many chemicals being used at once, the sensitive child will react quickly. Chemicals in a school environment can be overbearing to children and are scientifically linked to learning difficulties. Repeated use of chemicals during the day at school or at home can be a blow to the child’s immune system.

The American food industry has also gone downhill dramatically in the last few decades. Children are exposed to numerous toxins in foods that include: BPA, Phthalates, artificial sweeteners, artificial food dyes, GMOS and increased sugar. Processed foods have been on the rise in unhealthy packaging. American families have less time to make home cooked meals and rely more on processed foods. Children eat differently than they did decades ago. Artificial foods, sweetener’s and processed foods cannot be ignored in childhood mental health. Children are not usually eating a homemade meal cooked by grandma with organic homegrown natural based ingredients. Children consume a very high amount of on the go food, pre-packaged foods and processed foods when healthy eating is an afterthought of a busy schedule. Busy schedules all too often trump healthy eating. Our busy schedules are getting in the way of our children eating healthy. Healthy eating is an important puzzle piece in piecing our children back together. Parents and children together have the power to create healthier foods and healthier homes.


Author: Dr. Elizabeth Ward, Ph.D., LCPC