What is the reality? An earlier blog (January 4) addressed this in a general way, now I want to elaborate.
In a wakeup article, The Pollution Within, in the National Geographic magazine (October 2006), David Duncan described the 165 foreign chemicals that were found in his body. A report by the Center for Disease Control summarizes links between 200 chemicals and a range of diseases, including the dreaded one: cancer. A report by the Environmental Working Group identified 76 chemicals that cause cancer and 86 that damage the hormone system. These results refer to adults. It is more shocking when the umbilical-cord blood of new-born infants has been found to contain about 200 toxic chemicals.
You may be reasonably careful to keep toxic chemicals out of your body, and like careful persons, the concentrations of these toxics in your body are probably quite small. Producers of these chemicals want us to believe that the minute quantities of chemical we encounter and unknowingly ingest are no cause for concern because the dangers are exaggerated. Look at a partial list of chemicals that are known or suspected of disrupting hormones or promoting cancers.
|CARCER CAUSING AGENTS||HORMONE DISRUPTING AGENTS|
|Polychlorinated Biphenyls||Flame Retardants|
|Perfluoro-octanoic Acid||DDT (see note)|
|2,4-D Pesticide||26 Pesticides (see note)|
Note 1. Althought DDT has long been banned, it persists in the environment and in people’s bodies. The 26 pesticides are those still in use; 12 large-use hormone disruptors have been banned. Note 2. Hormone disruptors are also called endocrine disruptors because the endocrine glands produce most, but not all, of the human hormones.
Of course, it is worse than this partial list indicates. There are 260 documented studies linking pesticides to diseases of the nervous system and reproductive system, in addition to cancers and hormone disruption. Most insecticides are neurotoxins; especially potent ones are organophosphates and carbamates.
What is a person to do? Learn the source of these toxic chemicals and minimize your exposure. Many sources have been identified in earlier blob articles.