By Rady Ananda
Among several “chemicals of concern” recently removed from a list of proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency, Bisphenol A, a neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor that also damages DNA, has been banned in several other nations and in eleven US states.
BPA is used in making plastics from bottles to food packaging, and in thermal receipt paper. It’s found on paper money, and in epoxy resin used in food cans and textiles. Though BPA penetrates nearly half of all food stuffs, several more toxic bisphenols, like BPS, reports GreenMedInfo, also invade the food supply.
BPA has been linked to Type II diabetes, premenopausal breast cancer, abnormal heart rhythm, and lowered thyroid hormones in boys. Not only is BPA linked to obesity, but prenatal exposure tends to feminize boys and masculinize girls. Truly, the list goes on.
Belgium, Austria, Denmark and France currently restrict BPA in foodstuffs and/or infant products, as does Turkey, Japan, China and the UAE. Canada, meanwhile, has reversed itself twice. In 2008, Health Canada didn’t see a problem with BPA; in 2010 it did, and then in 2012 it decided BPA is okay after all.
When summarizing exposure levels for a variety of toxins from a March 2013 biomonitoring report, the Centers for Disease Control denies knowledge of deleterious health effects from BPA, but admits that reproductive, developmental and neurodevelopmental “changes are observed in animal studies.”
Despite federal confidence in BPA safety, eleven states have passed restrictions: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The EPA also now refuses to scrutinize several phthalates (used in making plastics) and flame retardants, also known for their endocrine disrupting properties.
“Phthalates are highly toxic and they’re virtually everywhere,” explains Heidi Stevenson and then provides ways to limit your exposure. Some include avoiding canned foods and those wrapped in plastic. “Many, if not most, modern baby care products contain these toxic agents.”
When it comes to endocrine disruptors, she notes in another article, “Lower doses can have greater biological effects than higher doses.”
The second rule withdrawn by the EPA last week would have prevented companies from hiding behind a claim of confidential business information as to the chemicals in its products.
“This information is vital to ensuring the public’s and workers’ right to know about chemicals to which they may be exposed,” complained the Environmental Defense Fund.
Meanwhile, because agrochemicals have led to an explosion in superweeds – now invading over 14 million acres in the US, the biotech-chemical-regulatory community is proposing even deadlier chemicals, and multiple layers of gene modification to resist older, deadlier herbicides like 2,4-D (half of Agent Orange) and dicamba. In a recent study on growing pesticide use with the advent of GM crops, researcher Charles Benbrook warns:
“These older phenoxy herbicides pose markedly greater human health and environmental risks per acre treated than glyphosate. Approval of corn tolerant of 2,4-D is pending, and could lead to an additional 50% increase in herbicide use per acre on 2,4-D HT corn.”
What with aerial spraying, mining, drilling, nuclear fallout and an ever-expanding atmospheric, terrestrial and aquatic chemical soup, it’s probably a good idea to practice a regular regime of chemical detox that includes cleansing, flushing, sweating, mobilizing, and chelating.
While walking thru my brother’s organic garden last night, I spotted a pair of lightning bugs mating on an over-ripe tomato. Later, I watched a common house spider have dinner.
Hanging by two legs, she used the other six to grasp a moth, and then pierced it with a paralyzing venom. Next, she injected enzymes that liquefied the moth’s innards. She then lifted the moth to her mouth and spent several long minutes drinking. She’ll likely get picked off by a bird, who may in turn become dinner for a snake.
So much more vulnerable to toxic chemicals than you or I, this play of life is disappearing in our generation. Bees, butterflies, bats, amphibians and reptiles that form the structural support of our biosphere are finally succumbing to 150 years of industrial chemicals.
We cannot expect a corporate-owned federal government myopically focused on profit to save us, or our environment.
“So think ‘resistance’ with all your aching heart, a word that must become our promise to what is left of this planet,” write the authors of Deep Green Resistance. “Gather the others: you already know them. The brave, smart, militant, and, most of all, serious, and together take aim. Do it carefully, but do it. Then fire for all your worth.”
An earlier version of this article first appeared at Activist Post.