HEALTH IMPACTS


 
ZERO WASTE
is the recycling of all materials back into nature or the marketplace in a manner that protects human health and the environment.
 

 

HEALTH LINKS AND INFORMATION:

ZWA's advice:  Better Beware!  Assume any product you buy or medication you use may do you more harm than good.  Minimize your exposure.  Curtail your consumption.  Be as self reliant as possible.  Use food as your first choice for good health, and drugs as your last.

Most Americans do not realize that the government does not test most drugs or chemicals for harmful health effects, instead leaving it to producers to provide test results. Nor does the government often consider the "cumulative impact" of these chemicals (or contaminated air, water, and soil) on public health and the environment, particularly when permitting a polluting facility in a neighborhood.  Regulatory agencies of the states and federal governments (FDA, EPA, etc.) seldom serve the interests of the public, but instead work to protect the very industries they are supposed to oversee.  FDA does not do its own testing of foods or drugs, but instead accepts data from the industry for review.  "EPA Registered" on pesticide and other products does NOT mean that the chemicals were tested for safety by the EPA, or are safe to use. The EPA, like the FDA, continues to rely heavily upon research and reporting by industry.  The contamination of people and the planet come from many sources other than industry, most notably, harmful medications. As many pollutants pass from generation to generation, there is growing evidence that human health is, and evolution may be, negatively effected by a polluted environment. Due to the widespread presence of toxic chemicals in the environment and in many of the products we use, the average adult has at least 250 chemicals stored in their body fat. Mothers pass along many of the toxics in their body to their babies at two critical stages of a child's development, when the child is still in the womb and during breast feeding. Source: Dr. Theo Colborn, Our Stolen Future,1997 Health conscious Americans don't realize that plastic containers can leach harmful chemicals into their bottled water. Consumers who purchase organic foods aren't aware that fluoridated water or plastic containers or plastic lined cans may contaminate their organic product.  It is unfortunate that often the news media focuses on detection and cures for illness and disease, rather than reporting on causes, because only public awareness and pressure will change current government practices. 


ZWA RELATED LINKS:


MEDICAL & HEALTH PROFESSIONALS:

 
   Great Resources!  
for up-to-date information on the harmful health effects of many substances:

OTHER HEALTH WEBSITES:


MILITARY HEALTH WEBSITES:


NOTES:

HARMFUL CHEMICALS IN BODY FAT: Today, the average adult has at least 250 chemicals stored in their body fat.Source: Dr. Theo Colborn, Our Stolen Future,1997

TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT: In 1976, TSCA (pronounced toska)stated that "It is the policy of the United States that... adequate data should be developed with respect to the effect of chemical substances and mixtures on health and the environment and that the development of such data should be the responsibility of those who manufacture and those who process such chemical substances and mixtures." [15 U.S.C. paragraph 2601(b). In principal, all chemicals should have been tested by now, which is not the case. Source: Rachel's # 564 & EDF's Toxic Ignorance. In addition, testing for health safety should be a government responsibility in order to ensure a legitimate outcome.

CHEMICAL HEALTH HAZARDS: The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) concludes that TSCA "is largely defunct." EDF says, "[F]or most of the important chemicals in American commerce, the simplest safety facts still cannot be found. This report documents that, today, even the most basic toxicity testing results cannot be found in the public record for nearly 75% of the top-volume chemicals in commercial. Source: Rachel's # 564 & EDF's Toxic Ignorance Of the 80,000 pesticides and other chemicals in use today, 10 percent are recognized as carcinogens. (Source: 1998 Cornell Study)

DEATHS DUE TO CHEMICAL EXPOSURE: An estimated 40 percent of deaths around the world can now be attributed to various environmental factors, especially organic and chemical pollutants. (Source: October 1998 issue of the journal BioScience) Cancer-related deaths in the United States increased from 331,000 in 1970 to 521,000 in 1992, with as estimated 30,000 deaths attributed to chemical exposure. (Source: 1998 Cornell Study)

EARLY CHILDHOOD CANCER: "The cancer hazard could only be seen near the birth address, implying that exposure to pollutants shortly before or after birth caused the cancers." Source: Rachel's # 559 Synthetic chemicals move everywhere in the environment, even through the placental barrier and into the womb, exposing the unborn during the most vulnerable stages of development. When a new mother breast-feeds her baby, she is giving it more than love and nourishment: she is passing on high doses of persistent chemicals as well.Source: Dr. Theo Colborn, Our Stolen Future,1997

SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS FOUND:  Our air, water, soil, and a wide variety of products have synthetic, plastic, or petro-chemical ingredients. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as of October, 1996, there were 75,857 chemical substances in commercial use. Source: Rachel's # 564 & EDF's Toxic IgnoranceSource. According to an ENN news story about research studies conducted by Texas A&M University scientist Dr. David Busbee, "the danger these synthetic compounds pose are summed up in the three Bs: biopersistent, bioamplification and biogenerational. They are biopersistent because some of them don't break down for hundreds of years. Bioamplification means that the higher up the food chain, the more vulnerable we are to them. They pose more of a problem for whales and humans than, say, amoebas. Perhaps the most frightening aspect is biogenerational, meaning mammals can pass up to 30 percent of the compounds they're storing on to the next generation through the placental barrier and mother's milk."

PESTICIDES TOXICITY: Most modern pesticides are more than 10 times as toxic to living organisms than those used in the 1950s. The global use of agricultural pesticides rose from about 50 million kilograms a year in 1945 to current application rates of approximately 2.5 billion kilograms per year. (Source: 1998 Cornell University Study)

ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS: An undetermined number of synthetic chemicals present in a wide range of products (including plastics, synthetic materials, petroleum-based products, etc.) contain endocrine disruptors. These may be interfering with the hormones that control and regulate growth, health and behavior in wildlife and humans, leading to birth defects, problems of sexual development, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and even mental problems like attention deficit disorder, reduced IQ, and violent behavior. See ZWA Reports: Are Plastic Products Causing Breast Cancer Epidemic? / EPA's Endocrine Disruptor page / List of Chemicals and Metals That Disrupt Human Development

LEAD-NUMBER 1 HAZARD TO CHILDREN, according to the EPA. Lead can be found in old paints, dusts, solder, soils, and in fluoridated water (see: ZWA's Fluoride page). Although the use of lead in U.S. gasoline declined since 1985, other sources inject about 2 billion kilograms of lead into the atmosphere in this country each year. An estimated 1.7 million children in the United States have unacceptably high levels of lead in their blood. National Institute of Health & (Source: 1998 Cornell Study). According to the NRC, "the pandemic scale of lead contamination... has increased lead concentrations throughout the Northern Hemisphere by a factor of at least 10." The northern half of the planet now has at least 10 times as much lead in soil and water as it had before the arrival of Europeans in North America. Source: Rachel's # 541. See: ZWA's LEAD page.

CUMULATIVE IMPACT: Abating the "Cumulative impact" of pollution would safeguard public health and is required by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 40 (Environmental Protection), Chapter I (Environmental Protection Agency-EPA), Subchapter A, Part 1, Sec. 1.3 Purpose and functions, which states that the EPA provide "research, monitoring, standard setting, and enforcement activities related to pollution abatement and control to provide for the treatment of the environment as a single interrelated system." However, the EPA is not enforcing these regulations.

BABIES / PRECONCEPTION CARE! Some health professionals suggest that couples considering parenthood, first undergo thorough medical testing to determine the kind and level of toxics in their body and to remove as many toxics as possible before conception. SEE: Health Professional Referral Information at top of this page. Also, check-out Preconception Care by Harold E. Buttram, MD and Richard Piccola, MHA.

PLASTIC WRAP & FOOD CONTAINERS / PROCESSING FOOD WITH FLUORIDE:  Eating Organic food is the best way to avoid foods exposed to harmful fertilizers, pesticides, and sewage sludge. However, according to Dr. Theo Colborn's book, Our Stolen Future,1997, organic foods wrapped, canned, or otherwise contained in plastic may be contaminated with harmful chemicals that may leach from the plastic. Eighty-five percent of all cans in the U.S. are lined with plastic. Studies have shown that this plastic causes breast cancer cells to rapidly multiply (see Are Plastic Products Causing Breast). In addition, many foods may be made with fluoridated water, which would violate the spirit if not the intent of organic standards. Consumers must call the manufacturer for fluoride content information (see ZWA's Fluoride page).


ZWA HIGHLY RECOMMENDS....

Our Stolen Future by Dr. Theo Colborn...Peter Montegue's summary, Our Stolen Future Part I and Part II: "...based on a review of literally thousands of scientific studies going back 60 years. The main idea in the book is that synthetic chemicals (includes plastics, phthalates, synthetic materials, etc.) may be interfering with the hormones that control and regulate growth, health and behavior in wildlife and humans, leading to birth defects, problems of sexual development, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and even mental problems like attention deficit disorder, reduced IQ, and violent behavior." See: World Wildlife Fund Canada's Hormone Disrupters - Dr. Colborn

EXCERPT: "Humans also carry PCB's and other persistent chemicals in their body fat, and they pass this chemical legacy on to their babies. Virtually anyone willing to put up the $2,000 for the tests will find at least 250 chemical contaminants in his or her body fat, regardless of whether he or she live in Gary, Indiana, or on a remote island in the South Pacific. You cannot escape them. Ironically, some of those living farthest from industrial centers and sources of pollution have suffered the greatest contamination: these chemicals travel long distances and build up along the way to high concentrations, especially in the Arctic, which is becoming a final resting ground. These synthetic chemicals move everywhere, even through the placental barrier and into the womb, exposing the unborn during the most vulnerable stages of development. When a new mother breast-feeds her baby, she is giving it more than love and nourishment: she is passing on high doses of persistent chemicals as well."

OTHERS:

NOTE: ZWA does not endorse all the suggestions in the books that offer advice on consumer products. See: Eliminate