Chemistry … Ahh, the good life ...
These chemicals have brought great convenience. But at a great price. These chemicals are in our environments. They are in our bodies. And they are here to stay. Many of them are stable. Like, forever.
Even chemicals that were banned in this country over 30 years ago are still in our environment. They can still be found in our food, and in our bodies. And some of them are horribly toxic.
An Example: DDT
An example is the pesticide, DDT (and its metabolite, DDE). They were banned in this country in 1972. Yet, they are still both found in 100% of samples of raisins and spinach (both fresh and frozen), and many other foods in this country. They can still be found in our bodies.
These two compounds, DDT and DDE, have many hazardous effects on humans, including:
- disruption of endocrine function (linked to diabetes, for example),
- developmental neurotoxicity (exposure of pregnant women results in retardation of the child’s development), and
- asthma, to name only a few.
VOC’s (volatile organic compounds)
These and other toxic chemicals are all around us, every day. They are in the cleaners that we use in our homes and at work every day. And they are in our food. They are in the plastics that we use, for everything. They are ubiquitous. They are everywhere.
The various volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are used to make PVC pipes, other plastics, and chemical household cleaners. VOC’s come out of whatever plastic they are in – that’s what “volatile” means – they vaporize.
That means they are in the air around us. They come out of our furniture, our wall-coverings, our clothing. That “new car smell” or “new house smell” that we love so much? That’s volatile organic compounds.
These VOC’s contribute to allergies, asthma, and altered immunity. Many reliable medical studies have come to the same conclusions on these facts. The link between VOC’s and asthma is clear. In fact, comparing a child who has asthma with one who does not, it is possible to tell them apart simply by measuring the VOC toxins in their exhaled breath!
Cancer and diabetes and birth defects, Oh My
Let me say that again in case you missed it: Children with asthma have much higher levels of these toxins in their bodies, a difference that can be measured in their breath. Our children should not be the “canaries in our mine”.
Our children are particularly susceptible to toxins. For an explanation, see my recent post, The Human Pollution Experiment.
In addition to allergies, rhinitis, asthma, and alterations in our immune systems, these toxins (in pesticides and plastics) have been linked to cancer, diabetes, and birth defects. Through multiple scientific studies. Performed by reputable institutions.
These studies have been performed at some of the best scientific and medical institutions in the world. They cannot be ignored, or dismissed as the product of an “alternative lunatic fringe”. I wish. This threat is real, immediate, and significant. As we further pollute our environment, the threat is worsening.
So what can we do about it?
The theme this month will be “better living through less chemistry.”
This is the introductory post, the first 1 of 4 series.
The next 3 posts in this series will detail what we can all do to reduce or eliminate these chemicals from our lives. More importantly, how we can eliminate them from the lives of our children.
We will focus on our water, our food, and the cleaners that we use. These will be practical tips, not theoretical. I think you’ll find them useful. I have.
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Thanks for visiting, and see you here again. I appreciate your comments and questions. Keep ‘em coming. Please, “be excellent to one another.”
Best of health and success to you and your families.
Until next time, remember … you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose (unless you’re a boogor doctor :~D)
For the story of Rachel Carson’s epic struggle to raise awareness of the environmental dangers of DDT and other toxins, see her book, Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, released in 1962. (This is an affiliate link).
Toxins in plastics contribute to allergies, asthma, many studies including this one, 2004: http://bit.ly/cJogf7.
Exhaled toxins in breath able to distinguish children with asthma from those without. Study reported 2009. Scary stuff: http://bit.ly/cazZbX
Crinnion WJ. Environmental Medicine, Part 1: The Human Burden of Environmental Toxins and Their Common Health Effects. Alternative Medicine Review. Vol. 5: pg 52-63; 2000: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10696119.