Part I: Toxic Overload
Warning: Toxic Overload
Cell phones, high tech devices, fast food, microwaves, plastics; These are just a few of the many modern day lifestyle conveniences we use every day. Our lives have changed dramatically over the past 100 years. Science and technology have advanced in such a way as to be able to create some amazing products that have enhanced our lives in many beneficial ways.
But all these advances and conveniences have not come without a cost. Due to the technological advances since the Industrial Revolution, industries have continued to pour dangerous chemicals and pollutants into our waterways, soil and into the air we breathe. Science has continually discovered cheaper and better ways to create synthetic materials that mimic what we could get from nature. And while all this seems great, it has created a toxic home for us to live in.
We are surrounded by hundreds of thousands of new synthetic materials many of which are highly toxic. Much of our water, food and air is polluted by chemicals that are not biodegradable or take many years to break down. Every day we are exposed to thousands of toxins that slowly accumulate in our bodies.
The scary part is we don't have to work in a factory or live next to a landfill to be exposed to these toxins. We get exposed to thousands of toxins everyday in our own homes and just by going about our modern daily lives. All this has created the toxic overload we are now dealing with.
Many of the chemicals are ingested through our food and food containers. Pesticides have become a staple for the modern day farmer. They are continually sprayed onto our land and subsequently make it into our food supply. Pesticides can hang around in our environment for decades. For example, DDT, which was banned in the 1970's, can still be found in foods such as our dairy products.
These pesticides not only don't break down in the environment, they don't break down within our bodies. They get stored in our fatty tissues and in the tissues of animal fat. So the chicken, beef and pork we eat is supplying us with even more toxins. (Most animals are also given lots of other chemicals like antibiotics during the time they are being raised.) And don't forget our brains are about 60% lipid (fat) material so the toxins within our body are affecting us mentally as well as physically.
Our modern processed foods have so much added to them. These food additives include preservatives, bleaching agents, emulsifiers, texturizers, humectants and ripening agents. And scarier still many of these additives are made from petroleum or coal tar!
We also ingest toxins through the water we drink. Pretty much anything sprayed on our land or in the air ends up in the water supply. Municipal water treatment plants don't detoxify water from most the chemical pollutants. In fact they add chemicals, like chlorine, to try to kill dangerous bacteria and parasites but that also form toxins for our bodies.
We breathe in toxins from the air. Solvents are everywhere. In 1993 alone more than 1,672,127,735 pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the air we breathe. (EPA Toxic Release Inventory of 1993) They are used in almost all cleaning products and in materials we use every day. Formaldehyde can be found in building materials, carpets, curtains and even make-up (cosmetics).
You can even absorb all these toxins through your skin. The solvents that don't out gas into the air can be absorbed when you come in contact with them in the solid form. Every time your baby crawls across the floor they are absorbing toxins from the carpet and the cleaners you sprayed around the house. Every time you use lotion, hand sanitizer, perfume, shampoo and put on your clothes you are absorbing toxins. And for many women, the morning routine of putting on make-up is a routine of applying toxins to their bodies. Cosmetics are some of the worst and most toxic products you can use.
Most of us now live in a toxic home and we have achieved toxic overload...
Continue to Part II: Toxic Life
Jump ahead to Part III: Detoxify
Go to end, Part IV: Toxic Home
Our contemporary culture, primed by population growth and driven by technology, has created problems of environmental degradation that directly affect all of our senses: noise, odors and toxins which bring physical pain and suffering, and ugliness, barrenness, and homogeneity of experience which bring emotional and psychological suffering and emptiness. In short, we are jeopardizing our human qualities by pursuing technology as an end rather than a means. Too often we have failed to ask two necessary questions: First, what human purpose will a given technology or development serve? Second, what human and environmental effects will it have?
From a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Legal Document about toxic overload
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