Saturday, March 15, 2008
TOXIC PLANET, TOXIC BIRDS-TOXIC PEOPLE?
No matter where we turn or what we study, we keep coming to the same conclusion; we are poisoning the planet and all that dwells here. The recent study by the Biodiversity Research Institute in Gorham, Maine found that bird eggs for “every” part of the state contained a virtual cornucopia of toxic chemicals. This was found in every habitat from city to remote forests. Chemicals found included those from stain resistant carpets (PFCs) to DDT which was banned decades ago. One researcher said, “I am absolutely convinced that I have all these toxins in myself. I’m starting to really wonder what other compounds are out there.”
Other recent reports have cited the dangers of plastic bottles to the health of children and adults leading to places like San Francisco trying to ban certain plastics found in children’s toys and drinking bottles. A study conducted in 2005 in Washington found, “Every person tested had at least 26 and as many as 39 of the toxic chemicals we looked for in his or her body. This pollution in people came from everyday activities and products.” The recent debated safety of Phthalates comes to mind as this substance was found in the test subjects. One of the conclusions reached was that, “… the toxic chemicals in our bodies are cause for concern because they can lead to health problems such as infertility and learning deficits.”
A similar 2007 study in Maine reached the same conclusions as those on the opposite side of nation. According to the Lewiston Sun Journal article in June of 2007, “The chemicals that found their way into people included phthalates, used to soften hard plastics; PDBE, a widely used flame retardant; and perfluorinated chemicals, used in protective and stain-free coatings. Three of the chemicals - arsenic, lead and mercury - are known to be toxic to humans, but others like phthalates are unregulated. Thus, it's unclear what level is considered safe.”
Recently women in Washington, Montana, British Columbia and Oregon were studied to determine the levels of flame retardant PBDEs in their breast milk. Levels found ranged “from 6 to 321 parts per billion - and the numbers are thought to be doubling every two to five years.” An article on the study noted that, “The problem is there are 80,000 to 100,000 chemicals placed in the marketplace without any testing to determine their effects on humans; PBDEs replaced a chemical previously found to be toxic."
Stories continue to emerge regarding toxins in shellfish and sea mammals and there are the never ending articles about chemicals and hormones found in our food and the toxic toys from China. From a health viewpoint, it is clear that we are filling our bodies and those of our children with chemicals which are responsible for a wide ranging list of diseases and symptoms. It is known in biology that one of the leading causes of biological mutation is environmental stress on an organism. We are obviously being stressed and it is anyone’s guess as to the impact that these toxins will have on the future health of humanity. Conclusions are not encouraging and it should be clear that if you poison the planet, its vegetation and wildlife, there can be little doubt about what we are doing to ourselves.