...it does. I'm not just talking about life, raising two stable children, while simultaneously managing two start up companies with a full time student husband and a house renovation. I am speaking to the role of chemicals in all of our daily lives. There is something about living "naturally" that puts us on the fringe.
This week I was asked to provide my daughters pre-school with a doctors note addressing why I am insisting that I provide my own sunscreen for when Dahlia goes outdoors with her class. Not only do they make it unreasonably mandatory for each child to have sunscreen applied daily, even in the dead of winter to exposed skin, but they wanted to use a generic brand sun screen. This basic and inexpensive brand of sun screen has over two known carcinogens in the ingredients list, not to mention petroleum and nano products. Yuck. I know that I am lucky that I am aware, educated, and economically able to be in tune with such issues vs. the question of where our next meal will come from. However, the issue of pervasive chemicals in our environments and my children's exposure is one that I won't ignore. It will not be brushed under the rug for the ease of sunscreen application in a pre-school class room.
I find that my need to be constantly vigilant against the "normal" products, foods, and other cosmetics, such as the antibacterial soaps used in schools and all public bathrooms is exhausting. I can't even buy a reasonably safe detangler for my toddlers curls in the grocery store. It requires an extra trip into Portland at a ridiculously high priced food market. Of which, just the parking lot gets my stomach in knots.
To make matters even worse, I have to deal with all the people that roll their eyes and say things like, "well, everything causes cancer and is going to kill us, so why bother??". Or my other favorite is when people remark that I will get my arm entirely tattooed, but won't use bleach. I politely reply (standing next to my companies sign) that there is 100% more regulation regarding the ingredients in tattoo ink, then their favorite brand of Tide and Mrs. Meyers Cleaning products.
Lets wrap up this post on a slightly less agitated and more positive note...Advocacy is all we have to keep our homes, children, and pets safe from the completely unregulated chemical industry. Lets vote with our purchases. Lets research and be aware. Lets not be complacent. Lets use amazing resources such as www.ewg.org/skindeep to check into the safety of our household and cosmetic products. And finally, lets not be intimidated by large corporations or "know-it-all" personalities who want to keep us on the fringe. I became a mother knowing that my only job is to keep my children safe...so I wont be backing down anytime soon...