Monthly Archives: June 2013

Are There Any Doubts?

doubt

verb (used with object)
1.to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.
2.to distrust.
3.Archaic. to fear; be apprehensive about.

verb (used without object)
4.to be uncertain about something; be undecided in opinion or belief.

noun
5.a feeling of uncertainty about the truth, reality, or nature of something.
6.distrust.
7.a state of affairs such as to occasion uncertainty.
8.Obsolete . fear; dread.

Sometimes doubts can be useful, when they compel us to investigate things more thoroughly, but industry financed doubt has had a lot of harmful impacts

“Doubt is our product,” a cigarette executive once observed, “since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

We are having our minds (and bodies) messed with in so many ways
and it can become overwhelming when we learn how bad some things really are.

Understanding what is happening can empower us so we can change course.

Read on to see some of the ways we are being had (globally), how some things are interconnected, and some tools we can use to help us work through our doubts.

Corporate Counterfeit Science
Both Wrong and Dangerous

Andrew Rosenberg, director, Center for Science & Democracy

“Last week, a New York Appeals Court ruled unanimously that that Georgia Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, must hand over internal documents pertaining to the publication of 11 studies published in reputable scientific journals between 2008 and 2012. At issue in the case: whether the firm can be held accountable for engaging in a “crime-fraud” by planting misinformation in these journals intending to show that the so-called chrysotile asbestos in its widely used joint compound doesn’t cause cancer.”

… “Asbestos is but one case of “ghost-writing” of counterfeit science for academic publications in an effort to market or cast doubt on scientific results.  Recently, the editors of the Public Library of Science (PloS) Medicine, a respected open-access scientific journal, published a series of articles highlighting how widespread the problem has become in the pharmaceutical field and the difficulties academic journals are facing as they try to combat the problem. …

As a scientist, it goes against my teaching and experience to accept that ghost-writing of fraudulent scientific papers in the name of commerce should be allowed to continue unabated. Not only does it undermine the entire scientific enterprise, it poses an enormous potential threat to the public.” …

 

Dr Margaret Chan

Director-General of the World Health Organization
(WHO)

“Under the pressure of these forces, chronic noncommunicable diseases have overtaken infectious diseases as the leading cause of morbidity, disability, and mortality. …

The globalization of unhealthy lifestyles is by no means just a technical issue for public health. It is a political issue. It is a trade issue. And it is an issue for foreign affairs.

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You are what you wear.

“I don’t mean like in “the clothes make the man” kind of way, but in the “our bodies absorb chemicals found in our environment” kind of way.”

We really do need safe products and materials, it shouldn’t be so difficult to find them…
However, the recently revised “Chemical Safety Improvement Act” that had bipartisan support was a chemical industry protection act, and did not protect people or the environment.
We need better!
And we need to be educated about what to look for and what to avoid. OEcotextiles is a great resource!

O ECOTEXTILES

In Memoriam: U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D – NJ).

Sen. Lautenberg fought valiantly to reform the weak laws protecting consumers in the US from chemical incursions in their lives. He introduced the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2010”, which was defeated, but followed up with the “Chemical Safety Improvement Act” which has been endorsed by the New York Times, the Washington Post and has bipartisan support at this time. It caps eight years of work by Senator Lautenberg to fix the nation’s broken chemical law (the TSCA) which has been proven ineffective and is criticized by both the public health community and industry. Thank you Senator Lautenberg.
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You are what you wear.

I don’t mean like in “the clothes make the man” kind of way, but in the “our bodies absorb chemicals found in our environment” kind of way.

The new science of biomonitoring has enabled scientists to…

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OBGYs Advise Pregnant Women to Live As If They Have MCS/ES!

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) released a new paper regarding everyday chemical exposures during pregnancy, and confirmed that there are sufficient indications that all is not well, that some of these chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis are linked to causing some serious health problems, so it is better to be safe than sorry and avoid as many exposures as possible during pregnancy.

It’s high time time doctors stop being afraid of the chemical and pharmaceutical companies to speak up and out about this!

I applaud them for finally having the courage!

Chemical Exposures During Pregnancy
(Scientific Impact Paper 37)

“the approach recommended is for such women to put ‘safety first’. That is, to assume that risk is present even when it may be minimal or eventually proven to be unfounded. This is often referred to as the ‘precautionary approach’.

The Advice

to reduce overall chemical exposure:

● use fresh food rather than processed foods whenever possible

● reduce use of foods/beverages in cans/plastic containers, including their use for food storage

● minimise the use of personal care products such as moisturisers, cosmetics, shower gels and fragrances

● minimise the purchase of newly produced household furniture, fabrics, non–stick frying pans and cars whilst pregnant/nursing

● avoid the use of garden/household/pet pesticides or fungicides (such as fly sprays or strips,rose sprays, flea powders)

● avoid paint fumes

● only take over–the–counter analgesics or painkillers when necessary

● do not assume safety of products based on the absence of ‘harmful’ chemicals in their ingredients list, or the tag ‘natural’ (herbal or otherwise).

RCOG Advice

If you substitute “woman” or “pregnant woman” with “person who has MCS/ES”, and change “minimize” and “reduce” to “avoid”, and “pregnancy” to “probably permanently”, you get a pretty good idea of what doctors (who often have no idea or training about MCS/ES) should be saying to people about life with MCS/ES.

But really, it’s good advice for everyone.

Please note that children should also be protected from these same exposures, as their brains and bodies are still developing and these exposures can interfere with normal development and daily functioning.

They did omit one other very important exposure to avoid during pregnancy, and that is exposure to wireless radiation from sources such as cell towers, WiFi and devices like mobile phones, DECT phones, and even wireless baby monitors!

What follows are more excerpts from the paper and the links to it

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Accessibility, Human Rights and MCS/ES

Someday, indoor air and environmental quality information could be posted on the front door of every building and most buildings and services (products and materials too) could be safe and accessible for everyone

ACCESSIBILITY 2

In the meantime, we have Human Rights laws (in some places) that we can use in order to gain safe(r) access to neccessities like employment, housing, apartment buildings… facilities (restaurants, shops, hotels and theatres…) and services (health care etc), transit and other public places, so it is a good start, since access is something many of us with MCS/ES do not have now, although equal access is, for now, probably too much of a stretch in this chemical and wireless addicted society.

Some (but not all) of the information and resources I present here are from Ontario, Canada, but they can be used to inspire similar actions everywhere.

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All Fracked Up…

Fracking… It’s not all it’s cracked up to be… It’s a lot more!

I recently discovered that the Ontario government is exploring opportunities to frack us here too. Russell Ontario sits on black shale, twenty minutes from Ottawa! I’ve seen it mentioned that this is happening in other Ontario communities, as well as elsewhere across Canada.

The CBC article is short and says little, so please watch the video there if you are interested … (it won’t embed and the link to just that also doesn’t work)  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2013/05/29/ottawa-russell-shale-gas-exploration.html

NO fracking

Why is the government, which is supposed to be looking after the best interests of people, exploring and allowing a technology that will destroy us all if it isn’t stopped?

?

To understand what some of the problems with fracking are, watch (or listen) to Sandra Steingraber, scientist, mother, writer, poet, cancer survivor, wisdom woman in this 5 part video series.

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Fragrance-Free Door Signs

Many of us who have MCS/ES find answering the door can be hazardous to our health because frequently those on the other side of the door are marinating in toxic fragrance chemicals.

Sometimes a simple sign like this will do.

No Fragrance

Other times it is not enough and we need to provide more information.

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