Spring Into Green Living
by Health Educator Liz Koch
Synthetic chemicals are found just about everywhere: in household products, furniture such as mattresses, building products and beauty products. Choosing simple, natural proven safe products is just a small part of the Green movement that California is striving to lead. It’s time to get educated and Way of Life in an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle is continuing their tradition of free community education.
In 2007 the controversy over monthly aerial spraying with synthetic pheromones grabbed the attention and concern of both young and old, immune compromised and the healthy.
Considered a safe method of controlling insects and a better choice than traditional toxic pesticides, synthetic pheromones were toted as the new solution for pest control. Not a poison, synthetic pheromones will not kill you, we were all told you might just be wearing some in the latest perfume or in your household cleaning products.
Although not directly life threatening, these synthetic chemicals do alter your endocrine and immune system setting up the precursors for disease now or later. According to environmental health analyst and author of Your Stolen Future, Dr Theo Colburn endocrine disruptors, which include inert or other substances often used to encapsulate and distribute pheromones, do alter the sexual and functional development of the unborn. She believes the consequences of prenatal exposure to synthetic chemicals by developing embryo and fetus in wildlife, laboratory animals and humans are contributing to the disturbing increase of disease; “Autism, ADHD, childhood cancers, childhood diabetes, childhood behavior problems, Parkinson disorders…Alzheimer’s disorders, testicular cancer…the epidemic of prostate cancer and breast cancers – the list just keeps growing” says Colburn and points directly to man-made chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, as the culprit.
In an attempt to educate the public Colburn and other researchers created the Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), a non-profit organization focused on studying the effects of commonly used synthetic chemicals on developing embryos and fetuses and the consequences of that exposure later in life. “The human health consequences of endocrine disruption are dire” explains TEDX, “ Yet, no chemical has been regulated in the U.S. to date because of its endocrine disrupting effects.
The U.S. government has failed to respond to the evolving science of endocrine disruption. While much remains to be learned in regard to the nature and extent of the impact of endocrine disruptors on human health, enough is known now to assume a precautionary approach should be taken”
The lack of study surrounding dosage is just one example of a lack of protocol for monitoring synthetic chemicals. The dose makes the poison is the common theory in toxicology. The idea is that smaller is safer. But in the world of endocrine disruptors, this theory is proving untrue. “The trouble says Pete Myers PhD author of “Does Dose Make the Poison?” Is that while toxicologists have traditionally assumed that the dose makes the poison, endocrinologists –scientists who study the action of hormones–have long known that hormones can have different effects at different doses. Endocrine disruptors and other chemicals can cause harm at low doses and/or at ambient exposure.”
New York Best Selling Author Doris J. Rapp, MD. F.A.A.A., F.A.A.P., board-certified environmental medical specialist, pediatric allergist and the author of Is This Your Child’s World? And Your Toxic World: A Wake Up Call couldn’t agree more. She spoke in Santa Cruz in 2008 at an educational seminar provided by Way of Life. Her topic was why aerial spraying of chemicals may be dangerous to your health. Aware that physicians are not trained in recognizing or testing for environmental toxin exposure, Rapp conducted two educational seminars inviting local physicians, only a handful bothered to attend.
Documenting the broad range of adverse health effects of synthetic environmental chemicals on our brains, bodies and reproductive organs Dr. Rapp is deeply concerned for pregnant women, their fetuses and children. She writes that presently 64 active pesticides are used in schools that are known to cause cancer, related birth defects and reproductive problems “parents must ask why these chemicals continue to be used in schools or homes when safe alternatives are available.”
Dr. Rapp wants government to error on the side of caution. The least that needs to be done is for the untested chemicals on our urban area to be monitored. “The facts are that chemicals can be a problem for anyone, at any age, and their safety has never been checked …even more at risk is anyone who has a depressed immune system, such as cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy.”
“Environmentally Induced Illnesses” by Tom Kerns PhD is available at Way of Life for $40.
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