Did you know that you have toxic, man-made chemicals in your body? By toxic, I mean exactly that - carcinogenic, neurotoxic, or developmentally toxic. Of course, we can forever rely on our esteemed government to regulate the use of chemicals, right? Or how about benevolent industrialists that make products to make our lives better than ever before? Well, consider this. There are more than 100,000 chemicals in use in the US - cosmetics have at least 5,000 chemicals, and more than 3,200 are added to food. Of these chemicals, only around 650 have been studied carefully enough for the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists to set workplace air-quality guidelines for them. Of those 100,000 chemicals, only about 900 have been studied for carcinogenicity. Only 300 chemicals out of the 100,000 have been assessed for reproductive or developmental effects or birth defects. And while all contaminants (or chemicals) in our water that may have any adverse health affects are covered by the Safe Water Drinking Act, both Congress and the US EPA have had to establish priorities for developing drinking-water regulations, given the enormous number of potential contaminants (or chemicals). So when Mark Stevenson went to get himself tested for the chemicals present in his body, should he have been surprised to find around 100 chemicals in detectable amounts in his body (some estimate that our bodies carry at least 700 contaminants/chemicals)? I don't think he should have...
How does this make you feel? Maybe it makes you feel really bad and terrible. Wait, well, how does this make you feel? Practically no woman, anywhere in the world, can now nurse their child without feeding them polycholorinated biphenyls, which have entered the women's bodies after having been transported thousands of miles by wind and water, through their breast milk. You think that is bad? How does this make you feel? Actually, children not only ingest chemicals from breast milk, they are exposed to them even in the womb.
"In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Commonweal, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.
This study represents the first reported cord blood tests for 261 of the targeted chemicals and the first reported detections in cord blood for 209 compounds. Among them are eight perfluorochemicals used as stain and oil repellants in fast food packaging, clothes and textiles — including the Teflon chemical PFOA, recently characterized as a likely human carcinogen by the EPA's Science Advisory Board — dozens of widely used brominated flame retardants and their toxic by-products; and numerous pesticides.
Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. The dangers of pre- or post-natal exposure to this complex mixture of carcinogens, developmental toxins and neurotoxins have never been studied."
We all suffer from what is called 'body burden.'
I'll deal with the implications of all of this next time, and what needs to be done to move away from this toxicity.