Prevention Is the Best Cure

Keeping Children Safe at Home, School and Play

For each category listed, find resources for creating safer environments that work best for your family

Prenatal exposure to pesticides, air pollution, and even paint is now strongly associated with childhood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. The Cancer Treatment Center of America’s Risk Assessment provides an action plan to help create the best living/working environments for pregnant women to decrease fetal exposure to dangerous chemicals/toxins.

Setting up for baby? The Getting Ready for Baby coalition has a baby product guide to help you recognize where chemicals of concern can lurk in products made for babies, and to help you understand what to think about when you buy products or set up a gift registry. From diapers, car seats, bedding and toys, make the safest choices for your baby.

Kids spend more time on floors in close proximity to dangerous chemicals linked to heightened risk of childhood cancer: formaldehyde in particle boards, flame retardants in furniture foam, PVC, plastic products, paint, cleaning
products, and stain-resistant items that contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Further exposures come from professional/home-use pest control and insecticidal shampoos for treating lice in pets/humans. The Ecology Center’s rates products from mattresses to flooring. (change car seats to mattresses) And change or to read and/or in the last line: Use this resource to check ratings of products you currently use and/or safer options.
Specifically for cleaning products:

Hundreds of millions of pounds of pesticides are applied in U.S. farming each year. Learn which foods are most important to buy organic (Called the Dirty Dozen) from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Buying organic is costly, knowing which foods contain the most pesticides helps reduce your exposure and cost. Take simple steps to reduce your child’s exposure to harmful chemicals in food, water, and other products using EWG’s resource guides.

67,000,000 pounds of pesticides are applied each year to U.S. lawns! Decreasing your child’s risk of cancer can be as easy as changing your mow height and decreasing soil compaction. Beyond Pesticides has several tool kits for mitigating the use of herbicides on your lawn, while still maintaining weed-free, green grass.  (with this article please note above it that you have to scroll many pages to get to the part about US states/school districts that have banned herbicides)


Bad news: According to the National Cancer Institute, there has been a significant increase in the overall rate of childhood cancers, up 27% since 1975 in kids under age 19. Leukemia up 35%, brain cancers up 34%, soft tissue cancers up 42%. It is statistically proven these increases are too extreme to be the result of better diagnostics.

Good news: Children’s overall five-year survival rates are improving. (Keep up the good work researchers and doctors!)

Bad News: Although more children are surviving five years from diagnosis, significantly more children are being diagnosed with cancer. These treatments leave children with long-term potentially devastating effects.

Bad news: Researchers have linked increase in brain cancers and leukemia to hazardous, often invisible toxin exposures occurring in adult’s/children’s living, playing, working and learning environments.

Good news: The resource guide at is a comprehensive source of alternatives to help you decrease your whole family’s exposure to these hazards. Check out the five categories of potential exposure where babies and children are at risk listed below.