California’s children face higher health risks from contaminants in food

California’s Children Face Higher Health Risks from Contaminants in Food

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Bennett R. D. C., Frost J., Ritz B. and Hertz-Picciotto I., (May 30, 2013), California’s Children Face Higher Health Risks from Contaminants in Food, Cancer and non-cancer health effects from food contaminant exposures for children and adults in California: a risk assessment, Retrieved on June 05 2013, Retrieved from Environmental Health http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-11-83

California’s Children Face Higher Health Risks from Contaminants in Food

According to a research carried out in California, the results revealed that children face higher health risks as compared to older children and adults. California was noted to have multiple contaminants and pollutants in the environment and young children’s diet as compared to most parts of the United States. The chemicals mostly include pesticides and harmful metals, mainly being lead and mercury. Contamination in foodstuffs was realized to be the main cause of cancer, complications arising in reproductive systems, damage of the nerves and even death at search a tender age.

Most often, people are exposed to these multiple contaminants at the same time and yet during investigations and carrying out of researches it is done on one chemical at a time. This method is inaccurate since it ignores the ways dietary toxins are brought about by chemicals and how they affect the functionality of the human body. It is, however, essential to note the exposure routines, which will help to prevent chemicals exposure and attain a simple and healthy living. The amounts of chemicals children and adults are exposed to every day, from previous studies, is not well known due to various factors. These factors are, for instance, variety of food, food growth, cooking of food, food packaging and other personal differences such as how much a person eats in a single sitting.

Children are particularly vulnerable to the chemicals since their brains and their organ systems are still developing. This causes disruption in their developing organs, which most of the time lead to reduced immune system, disabilities and other complicated health issues in their later life. Research also shows that children eat more per body weight as compared to adults and, therefore, exposing them to larger amounts of chemicals. The four key contaminants groups are pesticides (chlorpyrifos, permethrin, endosulfan), metals (arsenic, lead, mercury), persistent organic pollutants (POPs) (dioxin, DDT, dieldrin, chlordane), and processing byproducts (acrylamide) (Bennett, Frost, Ritz & Hertz-Picciotto, 2013).

The article is meant to provide exposure and awareness to the Springdale community, on children exposure to harmful agents in food and water sources. The community will be able to know how to minimize chemical exposure in children’s diet, elimination of high lead levels in blood of children and adults, reduction of amounts of toxic materials being disposed to the environment and avoid early deaths. Reduction of lead exposure in food can be attained by eating a balanced diet that is rich in calcium, Vitamin C and Iron. The three minerals help to minimize the absorption of lead in the digestive system. Also, avoid storing food for prolonged periods in cans and drinks in pottery ware with lead glaze.

For reduction of mercury, pregnant and lactating women, and children should avoid eating certain fish like shark meat, tilefish and swordfish since the mercury levels in their meat is high. The community should opt for fish with less mercury content such as canned tuna; preferably, they should eat chunk light tuna. Finally, to avoid the excess exposure to pesticides on food produce, members of the community should select produce that are clean and do not have signs of any spoilage. Consider purchasing organic produce most of the time if available.

Because of the high rate of exposure to chemicals in the California state, the residents of Springdale Community should try to prevent the exposure of pollutants and chemical substances for a better and healthy living. It is also agreeable with the author of the article that, more tests and researches should be undertaken to understand the extent of exposure to the chemicals and the synergistic effects to the children and adults of the Springdale Community. This will help to lay out effective preventive measures against dietary chemical exposure in children, as well as adults living within the community.

Reference

Bennett, R. D. C., Frost, J., Ritz, B. & Hertz-Picciotto, I. (2013, May 30). Cancer and non-cancer health effects from food contaminant exposures for children and adults in California: a risk assessment. Environmental Health.

Schilling, J. & Lee, D. (2006). Environmental Contaminants of Food. N.p. Retrieved from http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/dataandstats/reports/Documents/CaliforniaFoodGuide/26EnvironmentalContaminants.pdf.