Manly Skill: Protecting Our Kids from Harmful Chemicals

I think we might be able to agree that one of the stereotypical roles of the man in a family is protection. We don’t have to physically protect our families so much these days (I don’t have to beat up the bad guys very often, all of the cave bears are extinct, I believe, and we’ve managed to pretty much wipe out the wolves and mountain lions).

So unless you can count those instances when things go bump in the night and we’re called upon to investigate, it may be just a symbolic role.

But what about protecting our families from things in the environment, such as toxic chemicals in our food, water, personal care and household cleaners? By the way, when it comes to household cleaners I use OdorKlenz. That’s pretty manly.

I think keeping the family safe in that way qualifies as defending the family. It’s strange to me how few men are concerned with keeping their kids safe from substances that could affect their health for the rest of their lives, when so many moms are adamant about it. Perhaps it’s the stereotype of men being tougher than women, or the (mistaken) idea that the woman (the mom) should be solely responsible for the health of the children. Whatever the reason, I rarely see any dads blogging about or talking to others about the issue.

So when I was asked if I would become a Parent Ambassador for Healthy Child Healthy World, I felt that I really ought to ‘man up’ and be involved. Because it isn’t only up to the moms. Fathers are also role models and defenders of kids, and we ought to know about the things that may affect our children and do what we can to keep them safe.

If you don’t already know about Healthy Child Healthy World, it’s a non-profit which inspires parents to protect their young children from harmful chemicals, both outside and inside the home.

“We are leading a movement that educates parents, supports protective policies, and engages communities to make responsible decisions, simple everyday choices, and well-informed lifestyle improvements to create healthy environments where children and families can flourish.

Healthy Child Healthy World exists because more than 125 million Americans, especially children, now face an historically unprecedented rise in chronic disease and illness such as cancer, autism, asthma, birth defects, ADD / ADHD, and learning and developmental disabilities. Credible scientific evidence increasingly points to environmental hazards and household chemicals as causing and contributing to many of these diseases.”

The original request to be a Parent Ambassador said that they wanted input from us to guide their programs and outreach to better serve parents and engage them online. My first thought was that it’s not my place as a dad blogger (or papa blogger, to be more accurate) to enter the world of (mostly) mama bloggers in these efforts. But my second thought was that yes, it is well within my role as defender of my family, and that I might just possibly have something to add from a father’s point of view.

So what can you do to get involved and learn more?

I’m proud to be a defender of the children, a Parent Ambassador, and I’ll keep sharing the great information I learn from Healthy Child with you here on Natural Papa.

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

7 thoughts on “Manly Skill: Protecting Our Kids from Harmful Chemicals

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  • May 16, 2010 at 3:50 am
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    Positive viewpoint. Good stuff. But it’s difficult trying to fit everything in. Modern day life is so hectic nowadays, finding the time to do the ‘right’ thing in ‘all’ instances is near impossible. But please continue in attempting to keep us informed.
    .-= Thomas@ Silent Spring´s last blog ..Gulf of Mexico Oil Disaster Worse than Predicted =-.

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  • May 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm
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    Hey Thanks! I’m going to check out the twitter party. (And you never know when you might need to defend your house from bears or bad guys – just sayin!). Spray some vinegar in their eyes and run like hell.

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  • May 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm
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    Ah… the need for the male to protect his family. That explains why my husband was so obsessed with the book Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things. He would read every other passage out loud to me. I’m really glad to know that this is starting to become a hot topic amoung everyday parents. I’ve been very surprised in the past with some misconceptions that other parents have. For instance, one friend (a university educated father) once said to me when discussing BPA in baby bottles, “I’m sure they test all the chemicals that they put in things they sell, otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed to sell them”. That sort of naivete is dangerous! The standard seems to be the exact reverse: chemicals in non-food items are fine until someone proves they’re not fine. *sigh*

    Thanks for being a leader to other natural papas like my hubby!

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  • May 19, 2010 at 12:11 am
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    I need to show my husband your blog! I just happened upon it, and it’s, well, kinda inspiring. We’re trying to go as all-natural as possible for the baby, and that includes cutting out as many chemicals as we can from the products we use. Maybe that’s why I started supporting LifeLogic (they make, among other things, all-natural baby products like shampoo). I like to try new eco-friendly products every so often, so I follow all those mommy giveaway blogs. Of course, my latest obsession is the baby wash/shampoo and lotion giveaway at Babee Love. If you’re looking into chemical-free products, it might be worth a glance: http://babeelove.com/?p=4507

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  • October 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm
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    Hi to everybody.I have heard that in food packets ,ingredients with the E-codes in , causing cancer .can it be true ? does anybody know about those dangerous E codes which?..

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