As most of you know, Jessica Capshaw’s husband has made it his life’s mission to educate others about making the home a chemical free environment for children! Recently Christopher and Jessica talked with Healthy Living about why this cause is personal to them!
Christopher Gavigan & Jessica Capshaw Put Family Health First
by Kim Henderson
Our crew at Healthy Living recently spent a cool and windy Los Angeles afternoon with children’s environmental health advocate and co-founder (along with actress Jessica Alba) of The Honest Company, Christopher Gavigan, and his wife, actress and castmember of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy Jessica Capshaw. On top of their demanding careers, Christopher and Jessica have three young children, but they happily made time to talk to Healthy Living because of their passion for helping families to create healthier, nontoxic environments at home. For them, it’s personal.
CHILDREN, CHEMICALS AND HEALTH
Christopher first became concerned about the environmental impact on children’s health in graduate school. “I did a year of graduate studies in education and then proceeded to teach fifth and sixth graders ecological sciences amidst the redwoods of Santa Cruz, California,” he explains. He observed an alarming number of students experiencing behavioral challenges such as learning delays, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). “I was fascinated by how this could happen in one generation—I remembered only one or maybe two kids in my entire school growing up who suffered from learning delays but never saw any kids with ADHD or autism,” he says. Christopher was compelled to discover what could be causing such a dramatic increase. “I found a lot of research showing that everyday chemicals could affect brain health, overall respiratory health, general growth and development—and learning development,” Christopher recalls.
Before long, he found himself working one on one with children with behavioral issues and their families to eliminate potential environmental factors. Christopher explains, “I took a holistic approach, asking the parents questions like, what is your child eating on a daily basis? What is being used to clean your child’s sheets? What kind of shampoo is he/she using? What treatment modality is being used? Are the parents, educators and physicians working together? I tried to find out what environmental factors could be impacting the child.” In Los Angeles, Christopher became the “go to” guy to solve the environmental link to behavioral disorders and learning delays.
In 2005, Christopher became the executive director of Healthy Child Healthy World (formerly The Children’s Environmental Health Coalition), a nonprofit organization that educates and inspires people to take action and create cleaner, greener, safer environments where children and families can flourish. And in 2007, he became a father when Jessica gave birth to their son Luke. Now a parent himself, Christopher’s commitment to the cause deepened. While the organization had terrific information from top researchers at reputable institutions, it needed to present the facts in an easier way to parents. In 2008, he authored the best-selling book Healthy Child Healthy World. The book provided educational points to parents about minimizing chemicals in the home without overwhelming them. The message found an audience and now thousands of families are making positive changes in the way they shop and live.
How important is this link between chemicals in our food, personal care products, cleaning products and the home to health? Christopher says, “I think it is one of the most serious issues of our time.” And if you look at the facts, you might agree with him. “One in 54 boys now has autism. Rates of asthma have increased to epidemic proportions in the last 20 years. It’s absurd. The American Cancer Society says that up to 80 percent of all cancers are not genetic—they are linked to an environmental trigger,” he explains.
There’s plenty more to this interview/article, click the source link if you’re interested!
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