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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Long Term Dangers


One of the biggest challenges we face in encouraging people to change their lifestyles to healthier, more sustainable choices is the inability for us to cultivate our long-term vision. The busier we are, the more embedded in the fast pace of our work and our lives, the harder it is to think about the consequences of our choices in a year, ten years, or even a generation. But it is across those generations that we see the gravest dangers and the harshest realities.

A lifetime of consuming junk food will eventually catch up with you in the form of disease. It's not easy to muster up the enthusiasm or commitment to a healthier diet when the outcome is not readily apparent. Nor is it simple to explain the dangers of environmental toxins on our well-being and on the future. Yet the research is becoming increasingly more ominous.

Consider, for example, a recent study published by Yale University about the dangers of Bisphenol A (BPA). According to the research, fetal exposure to BPA during pregnancy may permanently alter female fertility. Says Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale University, “What our mothers were exposed to in pregnancy may influence the rest of our lives. We need to better identify the effect of environmental contaminants on not just crude measures such as birth defects, but also their effect in causing more subtle developmental errors.” That means the canned soup you ate on a cold winter day or the canned beans you used for your chili could put your child at risk, even if they were labeled "organic", according to Consumer Reports. Reusable aluminum bottles, as well as plastic ones, can also post a huge risk and may be leaching BPA into your much-needed-during pregnancy drinking water. BPA is alarmingly present in our bodies and in our babies. According to a report of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), BPA was found in the umbilical cords of 90% of infants tested.

We cannot undo what we did not know, of course, and we all have enough mother guilt than to carry this as well. What we can do is become informed about toxins in our environment, including BPA, and work to eliminate them from our world as much as possible. A great place to start is with Alicia Voorhies' free guide Avoiding Toxic Plastic. Alicia shares what she has uncovered as a parent in this helpful guide and through her business, The Soft Landing. Every parent, expecting parent, and future parent needs to heed the call and step into a place of long-term vision for their own health and the health of future generations. If we don't, there may not be a future generation to share our knowledge and awareness with.

2 comments:

  1. I'm absolutely thrilled to see that you're letting your amazing group of moms know about the dangers of BPA! Thank you so much for including us in your recommended resources. We're very honored and would love to encourage everyone to ask us questions in our very active Facebook community at http://www.facebook.com/thesoftlanding

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  2. Thank you for that excellent article!

    Annie Leonard just published her new video, The Story of Cosmetics-- which further explores the dangers of toxics in our everyday products.

    You can check it out (and other interesting posts) here:

    http://eco-steps.blogspot.com/2010/07/ugly-truth-hidden-dangers-of-cosmetics.html

    Amy
    http://eco-steps.blogspost.com

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