Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Climate Crisis Happening Inside Our Bodies

The devastation of recent storms and global warming have finally resonated with many Americans that the planet is in bad shape.  Our over-consumption and lack of concern for pollutants and chemicals in the environment are starting to set off some red flags for large sectors of our population.

But an equally dangerous climate change of sorts is happening within our own bodies.  The chemicals in our environment from not only our air and water, but from our food, our cleaning products, our personal care items, our furniture, our homes, and everything around us, is polluting our bodies with dire consequences for the future.  From GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in our food to plastics and toxins in our homes, we are creating an internal environment that endangers not only us, but future generations.

A recent study published by Brown University researchers found that "more than half of women of childbearing age had median or higher levels of at least two of three pollutants that could harm [fetal] brain development."  Known pollutants such as mercury, lead, and PCBs are finding their way into our blood streams through our food and our households.  For women of childbearing years, the accumulation of toxins grows with age and the exposure for our children in the womb is on the rise.  "We carry a history of our environmental exposures throughout our lives," warns the study's lead author Dr. Marcella Thompson.

But at what critical point do we start to heed these warnings?  Hurricane Sandy wrought mass destruction here on the East Coast and opened many eyes to the overwhelming power of nature and the dangers of global warming.  We should already be noting, with alarm, the growing rates of autism, allergies, learning disorders, and chronic health issues among our children.  The statistics are alarming, but we continue to muddle through.  Those on the front lines, many of us moms, are the ones who are starting to stand up and fight to protect our children and to heal our future.  I continue to believe that it is moms who will make the real difference in our toxic world, I can only hope that our actions will hold the urgency that they truly require.

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