Thursday, April 4, 2013

Toxins: How serious is the problem?

Today, there are about 83,000 synthetic chemicals in use. Only 11% of these have been tested for safety.

700 new chemicals are being released into the US market each year without any requirement of being tested for safety before their release.

Autism, which has a direct causal link with many environmental toxins including pesticides is on a steep rise. The US CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) report says that in the 1980s, its prevalence was 1 in 10,000; in 2009 it was 1 in 110; in 2012, it has risen to 1 in 88. It has increased 78% in the past one decade alone.

The American President Cancer Panel Report of 2010 says “300 chemical contaminants have been detected in umbilical cord blood of newborn babies. To a disturbing extent, babies are born 'pre-polluted.' … In 2009, about 1.5 million Americans were diagnosed of cancer of whom 0.5 million died.” A recent NCI (US National Cancer Institute) report says that “41% of all Americans will be diagnosed of cancer in their lifetime, and 21% will die from it”. The report declares cancer as a national emergency.

Some toxic chemicals are persistent and stay on forever over centuries and traveling for thousands of kilometers. They bioaccumulate as they get transferred up the food chain. They are called Persistent Organic Pollutants.

And this is only a small indicative sample.

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