Friday, July 3, 2009

Pollution, personal size

You, yes you personally, are polluted with a toxic mix of harmful chemicals, right now as you sit there reading this.

"No," you say, "I'm careful about what I eat, I don't smoke, I get plenty of exercise."

Sorry, you are a walking pollution site, and it's not your fault. Well not really.

Toxic Nation is a project of Environmental Defence, a Canadian charity aimed at protecting the environment and human health. They tested 11 people from across the country for the presence of 88 chemicals in their blood and urine, and found 60 of these chemicals.

Of the 60 chemicals detected:
• 41 are suspected cancer-causing substances
• 53 are chemicals that can cause reproductive disorders and harm the development of children
• 27 are chemicals that can disrupt the hormone system
• 21 are chemicals associated with respiratory illnesses.
How do these chemicals get into your body? They are the result of everyday life in a world that has become a chemical soup.

For example, your new stain-repellent carpet is giving off perfluorooctane sulfonate, shown to cause cancer and disrupt hormones. The chemicals that make your pans non-stick are also suspected of causing cancer, disrupting hormones and harming reproduction and development.

DEET, contained in many insect sprays, is a suspected neurotoxin, reproductive toxin, and respiratory toxin.

Many non-organic fruits and vegetables are grown with organochlorine pesticides, which are highly toxic.

Scented soaps, shampoos, etc. usually contain phthalates, and personal care products may also contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), cocamide DEA (diethanolamine), formaldehyde, benzyl violet, nonyphenols, parabens, EDTA, polyethylene glycol, triclosan, and synthetic dyes and fragrances. You will not find these listed on the label, but they are there, and they can cause hormone disruption, cancer, and damage to reproduction and development.

Bisphenol A, linked to breast and prostate cancer, is found in hard, clear plastic bottles, including baby bottles and sippy cups, and the lining of some food cans. It can leach into food and beverages.

Common cleaning products contain a long list
of chemicals ---- benzene, toluene, ethylebenzene, xylene, methanol, bleach/sodium hypochlorite, fragrances, formaldehyde, naphthalene, phosphoric acid --- associated with cancer, hormone disruption and immune and organ damage.

The list goes on. You can check it for yourself, as well as suggested alternatives.

Better living through chemistry, but an earlier death.

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