By Alice Shabecoff

Childhood cancer, once a medical rarity, has grown 67 percent since 1950.
Asthma has increased 140 percent in the last twenty years
Autism rates without a doubt have increased at least 200 percent.
Miscarriages and premature births are also on the rise,
while the ratio of male babies dwindles and
teenage girls face endometriosis.

The generations born from 1970 on are the first to be raised in a truly toxified world.

Over 80,000 industrial chemicals are in commerce in this country, produced or imported at 15 trillion pounds a year.

What could be more elemental than our desire to protect our children? Children and foetuses, because of their undeveloped defense systems, are ten to sixty-five times more susceptible to specific toxics than adults. These toxics diminish the capacities of our children…the future of our families, our communities, our nation.

Illness does not necessarily show up in childhood. Environmental exposures, from conception to early life, can set a person´s cellular code for life and can cause disease at any time, through old age. This accounts for the rise in Parkinson´s and Alzheimer´s diseases, prostate and breast cancer.

A message of hope and optimism
Yet this is not the dispiriting ‘Bad News’ it might seem. It is, actually, a message of hope and optimism. We are fearful only when we are ignorant and powerless. Now that we know what is happening, we can determine not to let it happen further.

These poisons are manmade; manufacturers can take them out of our children´s lives and make profits from safe products. ‘Green chemistry’ can replace toxic molecules with harmless ones. We can connect global climate change actions to environmental health strategies. If we replace coal-fired power, in the process we reduce not only carbon but also emissions of the tons of lead, mercury, hydrochloric acid, chromium, arsenic, sulphur and nitrogen oxides that cause autism, Alzheimer’s and other public health menaces.

We cannot bury our heads and hope it will all go away. We cannot leave the job to someone else. Some may feel the problem is so massive, it’s best to pretend it doesn’t exist. But it isn’t more massive than we allow it to be. It’s totally within our reach.

We can make each other smarter and stronger. It is in our power to learn about what harms our children and to share our knowledge. It is in our power as a community of citizens and parents to demand action against the current harmful policies and practices and against the indiscriminate use of processes and practices that destroy and degrade all life on our planet

No comments:

Post a Comment