on August 20, 2008
Body Toxic, by journalist Nena Baker, is a well researched book on a sobering and chilling topic.
Baker describes the ineffectiveness of both the EPA and FDA. She writes: "A scathing 2007 report prepared by members of the agency's own science advisory panel concluded that the FDA is suffering from serious deficiencies that put American lives at risk."
All of us--regardless of how well we take care of ourselves--have bodies filled with chemical contaminants. All animals and humans all over the world have contaminants that are stored in fat, bones, blood and organs.
Chemicals are in virtually everything--toys, water repellent clothes, plastic, paint, cosmetics, cleaners and more. Baker writes that the vast majority of the 80,000 industrial substances in our country have not been tested for potential toxic effects.
Baker calls the mid 20th century "The Synthetic Age," and basically informs us that baby boomer's are the first crop of people to be exposed to heavy-duty amounts of chemicals in everything from hula hoops to polystyrene cups, DDT, Saran Wrap and synthetic clothes.
There is a chapter devoted to the weed killer Atrazine and its affect on frogs, dangerous cosmetics and plastics and perfluorinated chemicals found in non-stick pans. There is also a chapter on looking ahead to much-needed policy changes, and how to avoid excess chemicals from everyday objects.
Baker includes a list of what she does to avoid exposure. The list is a good start, as are the other suggestions in the following chapter, but it is not comprehensive. I suggest Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify and Energize Your Life, Your Home and Your Planet to supplement The Body Toxic, as it has hundreds of ways to reduce exposure to chemicals. Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care is another book with good additional information.