HOW SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS
CAN HARM US
Still skeptical? Over the last few decades, many scientists have been perplexed by the increases in the incidence of cancer and childhood brain diseases. Something about the 21st century life style has driven up the rates of everything from breast and prostate cancer to autism and learning disabilities. The suspect is certain of certain synthetic chemicals in the environment even at EXTREMELY LOW LEVELS.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal stated, “It appears that some substances may have adverse effects at the very lowest exposures. Some scientists, many of them in industry dismiss such concerns.” But the new science of low-dose synthetic chemical exposure is challenging centuries of accepted wisdom about toxic substances and crumbling the foundational corner stone of environmental law.
Paul Winchester, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and his colleagues found that premature birth rates peaked when pesticides and nitrates measurements in surface water were highest (April-July) and were lowest when nitrates and pesticides were lowest (Aug.-Sept.). They studies more than 27 million U.S. live births 1996-2002.
Recent pollution restrictions from the EPA have focused on limiting high exposures to chemicals and toxins. But – consider this: What if some chemicals or heavy metals are damaging at low levels or even have NO safe exposure level at all? That was ultimately what the EPA concluded about lead after studying its effects on children for 10 years. Some synthetic chemicals may have no safe limits either. Regulators in Europe and Japan have banned the use of certain chemicals from toys and in objects used to serve food. The US has not banned any of these chemicals despite the fact that almost every American is exposed to these toxic synthetic chemicals from cradle to grave.
Let’s start by looking at just one of the toxic synthetic chemicals that we come in contact with every day – Phthalates. Phthalates are chemicals that make plastics pliable and soft. They are impossible to avoid in 21st century life and the are toxic and harmful to all life on Earth. Phthalates are known to cause diseases from cancer to kidney and liver damage to reproductive problems. They are hormone disruptors and have even been implicated in the obesity epidemic in America. Phthalates are in almost every plastic product made and are especially dangerous when heated. Phthalates are especially dangerous in children's toys. Despite the fact that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission asked toy manufacturers, including Mattel and Playskool, to voluntarily remove phthalates from teethers, bath toys and squeeze toys last year, they chose to largely ignore the request and only removed phthalates from teethers. The Toy Industry Association and the Chemical Industry insists that phthalates are safe, while evidence to the contrary continues to pile up. Recent research on mice at Indiana State University, found a link between phthalates and Lupus. Johns Hopkins University and the FDA have expressed interest in further studies on this link. Phthalates are in many types of color make up that women wear every day and interestingly women are five times more likely to get Lupus than men. Stay tuned for updated on this connection.
It was reported by the Toronto Globe and Mail in May of 2007 that back in 2001, a group of Canadian and U.S. scientists put traces of the same synthetic estrogen used in human birth control pills in a Canadian lake. They repeated this application the following year to see what, if anything, would happen to the marine and plant life in and around the lake. The results were shocking. These miniscule traces of the synthetic estrogens found in the pill actually turned male fish into females. These once male fish started developing eggs instead of sperm. They lost their male characteristics and even looked like females. With in a few years, the fish population of the lake all but vanished.
Remember that these scientists are now testing chemicals for human toxicity are testing them individually, not in combination with other synthetic chemicals. But, chemicals are usually used in combination with many other chemicals – they are rarely used alone – examine the ingredients list on any product you use. The synergy that exists when chemicals are used in combination is still not being addressed.
It is vital to get as many chemicals out of our lives as possible. This needs to be a high priority in every one’s. Do your best to find cleaning products that are non-toxic. Avoid chlorine and ammonia based products. Avoid as many plastic products as you can. Remember that heating really increases the release of phthalates from plastics, so replace your plastic microwave dishes with glass or china and buy glass baby bottles instead of plastic. If you must drink water from plastic bottles, don’t drink water from a plastic bottle that has been over heated after being left in a hot car all day. Make sure the teething rings that you give to your children do not contain phthalates and try to avoid plastic toys for children that are still young enough to put things in their mouth.
Remember – make every effort to get the chemicals out of your life so you can Live Healthy!
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