Earth Poisons Contaminating Breast Milk
By James Donahue
The toxic pollution of our planet has become
so severe that even if the earth wasn’t dying, we might still be in the process of destroying ourselves.
A report by the California Environmental Protection
Agency and Northwest Environment Watch warns that toxic levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or a flame retardant known
as PBDEs, is showing up in the breast milk of tested mothers.
Other toxins, including polychlorinated biphenyls,
or PCBs, used for insulating electrical equipment before the chemical was banned in the late 1970s, also are found in breast
The report, released at a Dioxin 2005 international
conference in Toronto, shows that 30 percent of the mothers tested in a study of women in the Northwest United States had
higher levels of PBDEs than PCBs in their bodies.
The study suggests that PBDE contamination may
now be surpassing PCB contamination in humans and the environment. If it is in humans, the same toxins have to be turning
up in all earth mammals.
PBDEs are still being used mostly as a flame
retardant in upholstered furniture, computers, televisions, carpets and drapes. The stuff consequently is everywhere around
us, especially in our homes and places where we work. It is found to disrupt thyroid hormones that can impact the developing
brain in children. There are also early indications that the chemical is a carcinogen. Some researchers are saying PBDEs are
as severe a problem as PCB.
For those who need a refresher course, PCBs are
a mixture of chlorinated compounds that were once commonly used in inks, dyes, paints, adhesives, carbonless paper, lubricants,
flame-retardants, surface coatings and industrial fluids. It literally found its way into the water and soil in every corner
of the planet before the alarms were sounded and its manufacture was banned. But banned too late. The damage has already been
done. It is in our food, and even the smog we breathe.
PCB is found to cause cancers, liver, kidney
and nervous system disorders plus developmental and reproductive problems.
In short, the magical chemistries of the 1950
failed to give us a better life, as everybody thought they would. They have polluted and poisoned our environment to a point
where all lives, and especially the lives of children are severely threatened.
The technology does not exist to push a button
or filter our food to fix this problem. The best we can hope for now is that we can come to our senses and take steps to preserve
our planet and our environment so that humans can stay around long enough to try to figure a way out of this dilemma.