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How Toxins Are Making Our Children Chronically Ill

What could be more elemental than our desire to protect our children.  Children and fetuses, because of their undeveloped defense systems, are ten to sixty-five times more susceptible to specific toxins than adults.  These toxins 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.

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, sulfur and nitrogen oxides that cause autism, Alzheimer’s and other public health menaces.   If we replaced our massive consumption  of oil, we’d diminish the ever-rising cases of childhood cancer.

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 are parents and grandparents.  There are 23 million children adversely affected by our toxic lives.  That makes (more or less) 46 million mothers and fathers, 184 million grandparents.  We are a powerhouse.  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.

Read more: Blogs, Children, General Health, Poisoned for Profit, ,

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Alice Shabecoff

Alice Shabecoff is a freelance journalist focusing on family and consumer topics, and co-author of the recently published book Poisoned for Profit (Chelsea Green). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and International Herald Tribune, among other publications. She was executive director of the National Consumers League, the country’s oldest consumer organization, and executive director of the national nonprofit Community Information Exchange.


+ add your own
10:29PM PDT on May 3, 2013

This is scary.

5:56PM PST on Nov 10, 2011

A very good analogy and it gets worse. We live in N E Tasmania, an area where forests have been removed to make way for huge monoculture plantations. These trees (E. Nitens) are regularly sprayed with herbicides to kill other trees. These herbicides (Atrazine and Roundup) do not affect the plantation trees. The State Government said there are no GM plants in Tasmania. My research has shown Monsanto modified E. Nitens early on in the piece to resist roundup. To my reckoning, these trees are GM. Not only that, the original species that was cloned has only a fraction of the naturally occurring toxins in its leaves. These plantations are more than 100-times more toxic and they are planted in almost every water catchment. My partner has cancer, as do almost a third of the population in rural NE Tasmania. The Holman Clinic in Launceston treats patients by the busload, literally. Aerial spraying, banned in EU countries due to cancer fears in 2009, is still happening here. The plantations are impacted by leaf-eating beetles and are sprayed with Alpha-cypermethrin to kill the pests. This is a chemical originally used to kill ticks on sheep and the Vets banned its use because it also killed sheep. We have lost 3 animals to cancer in 3 years and we are fighting now, to cure my partner, using alternative treatments. Chemo and radiation do not work and only make the disease return later. Laetrile or vitamin B17 will cure cancer very quickly without impacting on the rest of the body. Needl

7:10AM PST on Nov 10, 2011


8:38AM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

I for one

5:15PM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

We do have power. We have the power of where we spend our money. In addition to a petition should we start a group with all those that are in consensus about this? I wholeheartedly agree. I know I try not to buy from extremely large corps because they seem to be the ones that are doing the most damage. (too big to bail out: wall street bail out) I think if we got a group together on Care2 we could start brainstorming and start action in each of our locals. Anyone in?

4:31PM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

In hopes of driving this point home even more, here is a link to an article about a video by Ken Cook of the Environmental Working group about the toxins found in the blood stream of 10 average Americans. Before they were even born.

4:53PM PDT on Aug 11, 2010

Very good, positive article!

4:04PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

Well let's do something about it, I know I feel powerless being stuck at home with my baby everyday, but if we start a petition for our environment then we can change the laws that govern what chemicals can and cannot be used, come on people.

12:05AM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

I believe that toxins of various kinds are making all of us sick, and I believe that they have been doing so for a long time. Just in my lifetime, various illnesses and diseases have appeared in human beings - illnesses that had been heretofore unknown. Something is causing this. I believe it is, at least in part, a result of the proliferation of chemicals in our environment and, most particularly, in our food supply.

My best friend, Gale, who achieved a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies predicted in the early 80's the things we have since seen come to pass. It was she, in fact, who urged me to read "Silent Spring". I believe Rachael Carson, I trusted in my best friend's knowledge, and I also trust my own instincts. Very much is, indeed, amiss with our environment, and it is adversely affecting our environment.

3:30AM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

Thanks :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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