Friday, September 02, 2011

Join the Movement to Regulate Toxic Chemicals

Walking at Newcomb Hollow last month, I noticed residue from boogie boards had washed up on the beach. What are boogie boards made of? The material looks suspiciously like polystyrene to me. Styrene is a known carcinogen.

Let's think about health a different way today. Imagine for a moment that HEALTH stands for


I’m talking toxic chemicals. They are everywhere and must be regulated. We do not need them in our environment.

I received a comment on a recent blog post that neighbors were posting “Organic Lawn” signs, the way people used to post “Just Fertilized.” This gives me hope. But how far we must travel to take advantage of the legislation, proposed by Senator Kerry and Senator Moran (Endocrine-disruptive Chemicals Exposure Elimination Act) and Senator Lautenberg (Safe Chemicals Act)! Every day I hear about a new study indicating toxic chemicals can cause disease or that exposure has consequences on health.

There’s rocket fuel in Rialto, CA wells. Not good to drink the stuff. (Remember how shocked everyone was in 2005 when rocket fuel was detected in the breast milk of women in 18 states?)

The New York firefighters, those who responded to 9/11, are more at risk of cancer due to toxic chemicals in the dust they breathed in while trying to save lives at the World Trade Center. What was in the dust? Benzene and asbestos, among other things. According to today's Guardian, "Some contaminants in the World Trade Center dust, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins, are known carcinogens."

Studies confirm school age kids have lower IQs when their mothers are exposed to pesticides during pregnancy.

POPs may be linked to type 2 diabetes, according to a new Finnish study.

Locally, NStar intends to spray four herbicides under 150 miles of power lines on Cape Cod. One of these toxic chemicals is glyphosate, which has been detected in air and water in the Midwest. No wonder. More and more weed-killer must be sprayed on American fields because Roundup Ready crops don’t work and require additional herbicide, not less, as Monsanto had promised.

Endocrine-disruptors are often estrogen-mimics and are believed to cause breast cancer, reproductive problems, and the feminization of male frogs. Barnstable County already has a high rate of breast cancer. We do not need herbicides filtering down into our sole-source aquifer …

To make matters worse, the Tea Party is taking aim at the environmental regulations already in place.

The media ignores any studies that hint at the risk toxic chemicals pose, although a new study seems to get published every day. If bloggers and Facebookers do not spread the word, who will?

What can you do about this situation?

1.) Think HEALTH: Help eradicate this life-threatening hazard, toxic chemicals in our food, air and water. Support the movement. (I follow Safe Planet, created by the United Nations, contribute to Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and watch for new reports about toxic chemicals on Cape Cod from Silent Spring Institute.)
2.) Get educated on the risks toxic chemicals pose.
3.) Tell friends and family.
4.) Write your legislators.
5.) Eat organic.
6.) Filter drinking water.
7.) Pray?

I have been posting every month or so about how toxic chemicals pose a risk to health. Has my writing made any difference in the way you perceive toxic chemicals?