Today, in a New York Times editorial, Nicholas Kristof illustrated why chemical contamination is such a terrible problem:
PFASs are “a poster child” for what’s wrong with chemical regulation in America, says John Peterson Myers, chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, a research and publishing group in Virginia. PFASs are just about indestructible, so, for eons to come, they will poison our blood, our household dust, our water and the breast milk our babies drink.
Warnings of health risks from PFASs go back half a century and are growing more ominous. In May, more than 200 scientists released a Madrid Statement warning of PFAS’s severe health risks. It was published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed journal backed by the National Institutes of Health.
The scientists cited research linking PFASs to testicular and kidney cancer, hypothyroidism, ulcerative colitis and other problems.
Arlene Blum is a chemist whose warnings about carcinogens have proved prophetic. In recent years, she has waged an increasingly successful campaign against modern flame-retardant chemicals because of evidence that they also cause cancer, but she told me that PFASs “are even a bigger problem than flame retardants.”
The chemical industry acknowledges that older, “long-chain” PFASs are a problem but says that it is replacing them with “short-chain” versions that should be fine. It’s true that there is less evidence against the short-chains, but that’s perhaps because they have been studied less.
Americans expect that chemicals used in consumer products have been tested for safety. Not so. The vast majority of the 80,000 chemicals available for sale in the United States have never been tested for effects on our health.
Any testing is being done on all of us. We’re the guinea pigs....
The chemical lobby is following the same script as the tobacco and lead lobbies a generation ago, throwing around campaign donations and lobbying muscle to delay regulation. The chemical industry spent $190 million lobbying in the last three years. If only it would devote such sums to developing safer products, rather than to defending its right to produce suspected carcinogens.
This is an openly acknowledged truth that we nevertheless fail to see: we are allowing industry to poison our children and all children to come, every day, at the same moment we profess to love them. Why do we tolerate this evil absurdity, this murderous injustice? Let us do all we can to change this tragic reality.
I invite you to read the full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/opinion/nicholas-kristof-chemicals-in-your-popcorn.html?src=me&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most%20Emailed&pgtype=article