Last night, my mother and I were having dinner, discussing our weeks and planning for the holiday weekend. I mentioned that my daughter had spent half of her day home with me attempting to clean the walls in our home. She must have picked it up from me wiping down the floorboards, but she was thrilled to use baby wipes and scrub down the walls. I was happy to let her.
Immediately, my mother asked what type of wipe my daughter was using. ‘If she’s using Lysol or disinfecting wipes, she has to use rubber gloves. Kids’ skin absorbs those things more. She can’t touch them without gloves on.” The thought of a four-year-old using rubber gloves to clean anything sounded a little unlikely to me. Even though I tried to explain that Brenna had used baby wipes, my daughter was already catching on to the conversation.
“Oh no, I can’t clean anymore, Momma,” she told me. “Mimi says it’s dangerous.”
As a mom, I couldn’t help but think, “There went the only cleaning my daughter enjoyed…” Let’s be honest, once our kids hit school-age, we’re pretty excited for them to have to help out with the household chores. We conveniently forget how much we hated and complained about our chores, replacing that with the idea that our vacuuming and dusting Â taught character.
Well now, it’s not just my mother helping my daughter get out of chores. New research shows that early exposure to some household chemicals is causing girls to begin their periods as much as seven months earlier.
In recent years, the average age to begin one’s period had gone from 16-17 to 12-13. It’s a phenomenon that plenty of people have been studying, attempting to explain. So far, scientists believe that better nutrition and high rates of obesity are main contributing factors. But there’s a growing concern as well surrounding environmental chemicals.
Dichlorobenzene is the first chemical to be studied for such a connection by the CDC. This specific chemical is found in air fresheners, toilet bowl solvents, and mothballs. Looks like my little one won’t be hauling out the Febreeze anytime soon either.
Scientists admit that they still need to do more research, including attempting to see at what age exposure to such chemicals is most crucial. And there are obviously a lot of other household chemicals to look into. But is it bad to say that I’m crossing my fingers Pledge will be okay?
Now don’t worry, my daughter won’t get off completely easy. There’s still nothing wrong with vacuuming. And she’ll always be able to pick up her own room and take care of the dogs. There will be chores in this house! I just hope that I don’t find out I’m secretly exposing my daughter to cell-mutating chemicals every time she earns her allowance. Do children get hazard pay?