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Pediatrician Explains Concerns about Children’s Toxic Chemical Exposures

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Dr. Yolanda White before speech at Stroller Brigade for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families in Washington, DC

Pediatricians are more commonly seeing children with chronic diseases in the United States today, and Dr. Yolanda Whyte is concerned that the parents don’t even realize what they’re up against.  Whyte practices pediatric medicine in Atlanta, where she thinks parents have an unfair burden of having to sort through products to determine if they’re even safe for their children to use.

“Most of the products that have the word baby on it, I tell parents to run from them, stay away from them, because it ‘s most likely to contain fragrances and dyes and just harmful products that babies don’t need,” explained Whyte.  The member of the National Medical Association sat down to chat with after the historic day in which Whyte spoke at the national Stroller Brigade for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.

What brought Whyte away from her medical practice for a day in Washington, DC?  She shared, “I’m very concerned about the rise of chronic disease in children.”  In her earliest years seeing patients, this physician noticed that children were often needing extensive therapy, referrals and follow-ups for conditions that couldn’t be cured with one office visit or one prescription.  She sensed that parents didn’t grasp the seriousness of their children often having conditions that would need life-long attention.

“There was one common denominator with all of these chronic conditions,” Dr. Whyte explained.  “They were all associated with some type of environmental factor and that’s when I realized that I really had to get serious about the environment.”

While like all pediatricians, Dr. Whyte can write a prescription when needed, she also encourages a holistic, natural lifestyle and practices evidence-based medicine.  She sees education about a healthy lifestyle as very important for her patients and their families.

Dr. Whyte joins dozens of leading public health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Autism Society, in calling for protecting children by updating  outdated chemical safety policies.  Physicians and other health experts are calling for a health-based standard that ensures products are made safely for the most vulnerable among us, including unborn babies and small children.  As Whyte noted in her speech outside the US Capitol, biomonitoring studies show toxic chemicals are commonly found in pregnant women, exposing children while still in the womb. asked Dr. Whyte what parents can do if their family’s current doctors are not up to date with the latest information.  She suggested, “You can look online for some of the policy statements that are available from the medical societies,”  and share with your doctor those latest resources.

Here’s a recent statement by the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists.

Here is a link to a related policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Here is an article at the Autism Society of America.

You can read the entire text of Dr. Whyte’s speech in Washington here.

More here from the US Government about its long-running biomonitoring program that uses data to show how Americans are being exposed to toxic pollutants.

*You should be aware that as you search for the latest information on biomonitoring, you’ll now come across a new official-looking .org website funded by the chemical industry’s American Chemistry Council and apparently countering much of the government, independent science, and medical community’s peer reviewed information.


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