The things we don’t know

Ben Nelms's picture

There is a type of research beginning to emerge that may, in years to come, trigger a real debate in science and, hopefully, a re-writing of state and federal environmental regulations on a scale that would make what happened with the decades-long research into tobacco look like child’s play.

Unless researchers are forestalled by money and power, the impact could have national and global significance. You will not hear about this in the state and national media, but you will read about it here.

It has long been known that lead was removed from paints and other consumer products because this chemical causes brain damage. And long faded from the memory of most were the horrific birth defects that occurred after pregnant women primarily in Europe, Africa and Asia took the sedative thalidomide.

Even in the United States, it was not until the 1990s that the federal government acknowledged that radioactive strontium 90 and iodine 131 entered human bodies during the atomic bomb testing era by way of those who drank cow’s milk.

There has been so much of this kind of thing over the years that we tend to turn the information off as soon as it hits our ears. After all, “there’s nothing I can do about it.” And besides, these things must not be too bad for us or else the government would do something about it. Right?

So chemical scares come and go, but what is happening today is a new look at the compounding, perhaps even the synergistic, effect of the combination of chemicals that have been introduced into our bodies since before we were born.

In an article earlier this month in New Scientist, Bijal Trevidi noted the long-standing warning by environmentalists of the potential adverse health effects arising from the presence of multiple chemicals deposited inside our bodies.

He cited research at the University of London School of Pharmacy and at the University of Rochester Center for Reproductive Epidemiology as two of the starting points for research that is calling into question the interactions of chemicals such as pesticides with the hormones secreted by our endocrine glands.

“When you get a prescription the doctor will ask what else you are taking because they are concerned about drug interactions, which everyone knows can be quite devastating,” said Rochester’s Shanna Swan, who noted potential adverse interactions between some chemicals and the naturally-occurring ones secreted by our pancreas, thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, reproductive and other endocrine glands. “You have to consider their interactions and we are just starting to do that.”

In another research project by EPA using pregnant mice as test subjects, scientists found that a combination of the fungicide procymidone with one of the family of phthalates, used everywhere in plastics and lotions, had an unexpected result.

Administered individually at target levels there was no negative effect. Surprisingly, a combination of the compounds had a different result. “We expected nothing to happen, but when we give all (the compounds) together the animals are malformed,” said EPA’s Earl Gray.

The entire notion of determining the interactions of a host of chemicals present inside the human body is problematic, but don’t be deceived into believing they are not there.

In a 2006 article in National Geographic, 40-year-old journalist David Duncan wrote about the results he received when 14 vials of his blood were tested (at a cost of $15,000) for the presence of only 320 chemicals. The results showed 165 chemicals flowing through his circulatory system, including 97 PCBs (formerly used in transformers and capacitors), 25 PDBEs (flame retardants), 16 pesticides, 10 dioxins (a by-product of waste incineration, chlorine pesticide manufacture and pulp and paper bleaching), seven phthalates (used to soften plastics and thicken lotions), 13 PFAs (such as Teflon) and three heavy metals.

Chemical companies, with government as their spokesperson, have never been required to prove that a given chemical is safe. Thanks to the old federal FIFRA Act, the burden of proof is up to you, the consumer, to prove otherwise.

The type of research referenced above is in its infancy and will doubtless be scorned by establishment science. It will be scorned by the global chemical industry whose ubiquitous products currently number nearly 80,000 in the United States alone. And it will be scorned by those of us who believe only what those in authority tell us to believe.

Well, maybe all this is just hype and there is no problem at all. So maybe you’ll humor me and read the warning label on your child’s fluoride bubble gum-flavored toothpaste tonight as she loads up the toothbrush. That’s right, the warning label.

The label instructs you to contact a poison control center if more toothpaste than is used for brushing is swallowed.

And as you drift off to sleep consider a 1995 Medical College of Georgia study that showed that 50 percent of kids ages 4-6 use too much of the brilliantly-marketed concoction and don’t spit it out or rinse afterwards.

Oh, yeah, in terms of relative toxicity, fluoride is more toxic than lead.

Amazing, isn’t it, the things we don’t know?

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Submitted by compiknews on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 4:37pm.


Submitted by justwant2live on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 11:35pm.

We do know that people and animals have died from a very dangerous chemical company that was allowed to operate in our neighborhood. If you are wondering which chemical plant, refer to the many articles on the "Onion smell".
One difference is that we didn't have the opportunity to read any hazard or warning labels when we breathed the toxic chemicals produced from our neighborhood plant. Our family has just lost another precious animal due to a cancerous tumor that we belive was caused by chemical exposure from this chemical plant. This makes four of our pets that have died needlessly and the hurt that we have been forced to endure is unimaginable.
My heart goes out to the beloved people and pets that have died and continue to suffer.
The things that we do know is what the the parties responsible should fear from all concerned.
We as neighbors can't forget what has happened in Fulton, Fayette, Tyronne and surronding counties and we need to stand strong to prevent anything of this nature from ever happening again.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Thu, 09/27/2007 - 7:20am.

That's an outrage! Give me the list and the proof and I'll go after 'em with ya. Post that list asap. We need to be informed on this issue. Who all died? Why hasn't this reported? Why the obvious cover-up of all the dead people? Puzzled


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


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