In today’s very chemical society, I think one needs to be as informed as possible when it comes to our health and how certain products affect it. Sure you can sit by passively and wait for the commercials, or big corporations or even governments to tell you what is safe and good and what isn’t. Or you can realize that you will get the best results in your life through your own accountability and take more control over your health and well-being.
This may upset a lot of us as we are used to having “the big guys” if I may use that term loosely, watch out for us and we depend on doctors and scientists and governments and corporations to research and relay the results to us of what is safe and good for us and what isn’t. But we must step back from this view and acknowledge that in a world mainly dominated by money and financial power, our well being is not going to be their number one concern.
So you may feel dismayed and disappointed but above all concerned and pessimistic at this time, after all how many of us are science majors and know one chemical from another, or just know what even a chemical is? But to this there is great ray of hope, you may not have the background knowledge in science on your side, but you do have intuition and you do have the world at your fingertips thanks to the technology of the internet. Hence to take matters of your health more into your own hands it starts with just that – research! And sure at first things may sound foreign, but that is only a sign to keep searching and keep reading. And you may say but how do I know which are even credible sources and to this I tell you, “keep reading”. Check many sources and many sites and you will quickly start seeing a pattern. What is even better is that many sites today are made for the average reader who has no background of heavy science. Finally, let your intuition come through, if a feeling arises in you, as you do your research, of unease… pay attention to it, and trust it! After all what have you got to loose, excluding a certain product from your home or diet, no body ever died of that, but they have from using many products that they “thought” were safe. Now one last note, yes many may be thinking “are you kidding, who has the time to do this?” Well that one I cannot help you with, you can incorporate this as a hobby or plain and simple find some way to make time for this, after all it is your health we are talking about!
I therefore have one example for you that has been getting quite a bit of attention lately in the media – Bisphenol A (BPA). This is a compound found in plastics and even other materials like some cans used to hold drinks and food products. On a plastic container one can tell if BPA is present if the container has the following symbol:
The number 7 stands for “other” plastic components but it usually refers to a plastic made of polycarbonates. And it is these polycarbonates that have BPA in them and BPA has been found to mimic the female hormone estrogen and hence is known as a hormone disruptor exhibiting various symptoms in us, with fetuses and pregnant women naturally being most affected.
Doing again some routine research I came across what appears to be quite a valuable web site: http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/
It is a Canadian web site dedicated to bringing forth credible information and research on our health and the environment. Their greatest asset to me was the Media Center’s “In the news section” which I cannot wait to explore fully. It is full of articles dealing with health and environmental concerns that are currently in the news. So perhaps instead of watching the news tonight on your local station, you can check out their web site for some real quality news.
Okay, so I opened the latest article on BPA and I was extremely pleased to read it as it is on the research and continuing work that is going on regarding the BPA chemical:
I urge you to of course read the article yourself to form your own thoughts and opinions and see the current status of this chemical. Here are just some of my thoughts on this article. First, I believe that half the battle is actually getting people to recognize it and talk about it so that more research can bring about more results. The worst thing I feel anyone could do right now is ignore the issue and pretend it does not exist. Obviously some scientist somewhere realized that there is something not quite right when it comes to BPA and our bodies. The problem is we still do not have exact numbers and statistics to fully say how safe this chemical is. So maybe the levels in most food packages are safe and maybe they are not. But until we know I do not think we should be bargaining with our health.
That is why upon reading it, I found it very disappointing to see Nalgene (one leader in the making of #7 plastic bottles) taking the stand that they have. You would think that until proven innocent they would think of our well being and remove the bottles with BPA and focus on making the safer plastics. To me as a consumer, this at least would give some sense of them caring about us and exhibiting some sort of caution. Instead they continue to make and stand by their product knowing full well that a) the material is under health scrutiny and b) there are millions of people out there who may not have heard of BPA and who will not do the research in order to know the possible risks of the containers they are using.
Secondly, aside from this I think it is also so sad that amidst all of our technology as humanity we cannot put aside money for just once and focus on contributing to the greater good, the greater health of all. I feel that today we should and do have the technology to detect levels of chemicals and classify them one way or another. And on another note, if a chemical is under suspicion why do we need to prove “acceptable levels”. The chemical is dangerous period. Take it off the market. We think that if we are within the acceptable range we will be able to withstand the negative effects, but look at all the negative effects our bodies have to undertake today, the air, the water, the food and the list goes on. I for one will pass, on the toxic cumulative effect. There is just too much out there and limiting all toxins to their acceptable ranges does not result in safe bodies.
To me it equals a lot of toxins in our bodies period. And how much one body can or cannot take is naturally very diverse, but again I for one refuse to gamble with such stakes. Maybe I will be lucky and not affected by these toxins and maybe I won’t. For now all I can do is stay up to date on current research and keep things in my own hands not relying on companies and governments to look out for my best interest.
In conclusion therefore, if we are going to evolve and get out of much of our misery as human beings, we have to realize that indeed we do hold a lot of the answers of what is good and what is bad, relatively speaking, for each of us. So if you want continuous health, align yourself with a healthy life style by becoming accountable for what you bring to your life and your body.