Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Silent Spring Institute & Green Chemistry

My friend Sheryl Kraft asked me to write a guest post about cancer and environmental risks for her blog Midlife Matters at the Healthy Women Web site, so please check it out.

Yesterday I watched Crude while waiting for guests, so I did not get out to take any more photos of beautiful Wellfleet. Crude is a documentary about the native people of Ecuador and their lawsuit against Texaco/Chevron, two American companies that polluted their water, giving people cancer. In the documentary, Sting’s wife Trudi Styler says, referring to the Ecuadorians of the Rain Forest, “They have a right to clean water.” I believe we all should have a right to clean water, ie. not water that has been polluted by toxic chemicals.

For several years the researchers at Silent Spring Institute have been studying water samples from Cape Cod to try and figure out what in our H2O is giving us breast cancer. There’s a new video, on the Silent Spring site. In it, Executive Director Julia Brody speaks of being hopeful about “green chemistry.” Green chemistry involves a different thought process during the composition of consumer products and implies the creation of safer products. She recommends “sensible choices to bring exposures down.”

I worry about the men and women who are exposed to toxic fumes every day as they clean up Gulf Coast beaches. No choice there. Their livelihood gone, the fishermen accepted jobs with BP.

There’s been all this talk about health care over the past year but not much about the prevention of diseases like cancer, and a national effort to remove "hormone mimics" from our environment. I hope the media will pay more attention to this aspect of the health equation in the coming years.

Had you heard the term "green chemistry" before? Have you changed your lifestyle what with all the new information pouring in about environmental pollution and toxic chemicals in, say, sunscreen? Do you read labels? What is it going to take to get the Obama Administration to pay more than lip service to this issue and take on corporate power?