Rising Above the Chemical Mist
- Edger Mitchell
Human beings like to think of themselves as the intelligent species on this planet. How is it that we behave in such shortsighted, destructive ways? Is it intelligence that allows a species that knows they are destroying the eco-system crucial to its existence, yet continues while ignoring available technologies that would support their needs in a sustainable way? Is it intelligence that allows the continued production of foods that contain these dangerous chemicals like pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, dangerously harmful food additives and preservatives, etc? By our own definition, any individual behaving in such an irrational manner, without any concern or respect for others nor the planet on which they live, would be classified as “Insane!”
How long do we wait before we recognize the obvious dangers imposed on our world’s society from toxic chemical out-gassing and deliberate chemical contamination?
I am sure everyone understands the dangers of pesticide and chemical fertilizer contamination, so allow me to shed some light on “out-gassing.” Out-gassing is simply the oxidation of everything in our environment. As all matter breaks down, oxidizes, as we see when metal begins to rust and deteriorate, small particles become airborne and we end up breathing them into our lungs which exposes these harmfully dangerous chemicals to our entire body. In an age of energy efficiency, insulating our homes, offices, hospitals, hotels, stores and our automobiles, in conjunction with the toxic chemical out-gassing that we are exposed to every day, everywhere we go, we’ve created a borage of symptomatic conditions without any medical means to correct the problems except that of masking said symptoms with drugs, which have their own set of dangerous side effects, and they too, corrupt and interfere with our immune system.
Most of us have or know someone who has symptoms relating to these invasive chemicals like; Lupus, Candida related complex, depression, chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue, and chronic headaches, to name more familiar manifestations. We must recognize the harmful effects these chemicals are having on our health and the health of our planet. We need to redirect our technological interventions in the development of safe, sustainable alternatives.
What are these Toxic Culprits and where are they?
Chemical analysis of the out-gassing of common carpet reveal that Benzene (a known cause of Leukemia), Formaldehyde, Methacrylate, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, Xylene, Methylnaphthalene, Phthalates and Styrene, were among the chemicals that are out-gassing in the 21st century homes, offices, hotels, hospitals, schools, etc.
Common sources of Formaldehyde alone are; adhesives, paints, paving, particle-board, ceiling and floor tile, plaster-board, permanent press clothing, color-fast fabric, spray starch, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, cosmetics, mattresses, couches, paper products, shopping malls (one of the highest, multiple out-gassing environments), plastics, dyes, air fresheners, and the list goes on. Imagine the toxic exposure you will absorb in a new home or new office building etc. Most of these chemicals are “lipid-soluble” chemicals that easily pass through lipid cell membranes, passing easily into the blood stream when inhaled. Once in the body, they are absorbed into the brain, the most lipid organ in the body. So the most common symptoms are symptoms of the brain; depression, inability to think clearly, exhaustion, dizziness, and the most common manifestation, headaches. These are all symptoms of toxic overload.
Another contaminating concern that we are all exposed to are pesticides. We produce pesticides today at a rate more than 13,000 times faster than we did 50 some years ago. What took us six years to produce then we can now produce every couple of hours. Most people have several types of pesticide residues in their bodies, including DDT, PCB and other life-threatening contaminates. Studies have shown irrefutable evidence of damage to the nervous system, cancer initiation, infertility and immune disorders and other biological defects that can arise from absorbing them into our body. In a government study, PCBs were found in 100% of the human sperm sampled. There is nowhere in the world to escape the presence of pesticide contamination. PCBs have been found in fish caught in the deepest, most remote waters of our planet. Lewis Regenstein, a leading authority of pesticides wrote, “…unfortunately, uncontaminated fish and other animal products may no longer exist.” In 1966, it was admitted in congressional hearings that, “…no milk available on the market today, in any part of the U.S., is free of pesticides.” This is a frightening reality we can no longer ignore.
Lewis Regenstein writes, “A review of the government’s policy in setting and enforcing tolerance levels for toxic pesticides leads to the inescapable conclusion that the program exists primarily to reassure the American public that they are protected from harmful chemical residues. In fact, the program, as currently administrated, does little to minimize or even monitor the amount of poisons in our food, and serves the interest of the users and producers of pesticides rather than those of the public. …The prime source of toxic pesticides and other chemicals for most Americans is in the consumption of foods high in fat content, such as meat and dairy products. A vegetarian diet, or one that minimizes animal product consumption, can substantially reduce one’s exposure to most of these threatening chemicals.” Anyone who tries to convince you that pesticides are harmless is either grossly uninformed or they have an ulterior motive that only benefits their pockets!
Another serious contaminating problem resulting from these dangerous chemicals is through the discarded waste we all produce, all finding their way into trash containers and ending up in our landfills. “The waste generated annually in the U.S. alone would fill a convoy of 10-ton garbage trucks 145,000 miles long, more than half the distance to the moon.”
When it rains, water leaches through the mass of garbage, picking up heavy metals and other dangerously harmful contaminates, driving them to the bottom of the landfill, ending up seeping into our groundwater.
Knowing the seriousness of landfill disposal contamination, a new option has been developed and is on the rise, “incineration.” We burn over 15% of our trash and their use is growing. Many believe that this is a positive alteration, using the resulting energy for generating electricity, calling them, “waste-to-energy-plants.” Yet only 0.02% of the U.S. energy comes from incinerators, hardly a reason when you consider the adverse effects resulting from this process. Another so-called “attractive feature” from burning our waste is its reduced volumes, taking only 30% of its original volume, by converting it to ash. Unfortunately this toxic ash contain some of the most poisonous substances ever known, most of which could be, and should be, classified as hazardous waste. Because of the expense of hazardous containment, in 1990, the incinerator industry persuaded the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), to create a special category for their toxic ash, making it less expensive to dispose of than that of hazardous waste. This is an unconscionable act against the health and well-being of life on our planet.
According to the EPA, more than half of the nation’s more than 5 million tons of annually produced ash goes to our nation’s landfills. The rest, the remaining 47% well, it is simply stated as, “unknown!” Think of the irony, the reason we build incinerators is to reduce the contamination of our ground water. Now we are dumping the same toxins we were concerned about, plus a new set of concerns now being created in the incineration process. The only difference is that many of those already threatening toxins have become more concentrated and more soluble in water than they were in their original state. In addition to that fact, we now have heavy metal particles entering the air we breathe from the smoke produced in the incinerators. The fore mentioned invasive particles, like lead, mercury, cadmium (an oxide of zinc), and arsenic, add to the pollutants that incite damage to our environment and to our bodies.
So it is, more than 40 years after Rachel Carson’s warnings described in her book, “Silent Spring,” and it continues, poisoning the earth and all of its inhabitants. With our current day 60,000-plus invasive environmental chemicals, we are now creating new diseases with un-diagnosable symptoms from which some result in debilitating and even fatal diseases. The amount of pesticides and other chemical contaminants we decide to use today is passed on biologically, as well as environmentally. The type of legacy we decide to leave is up to us. We all need to voice our concerns by supporting responsible companies. By taking responsible action; buy responsibly, eat responsibly, and live responsibly, we can create and perpetuate a sustainable future.
Now the question remains, what can we do, if anything, to eliminate these toxins from our body?
Good news! There is an innate system for protecting us against the toxic invasions. You have probably heard of the; respiratory system, the cardio-vascular system, the gastro-intestinal system, the genitourinary system, the muscular- skeletal system, the endocrine system, the nervous system, and in more recent years, the immune system. The system that is perpetually working to eliminate these invading chemical pollutants is known as the Detoxication System. This purifying system exists in every cell in the body. Because of it being a newly identified system, it has not filtered down into the medical school curriculum, so most doctors are unable to advise us on this mechanism. However, once a physician comprehends how this system functions, he or she is never again content to treat by the old, “diagnose & drug’em” method. To clarify these comments, we now know headaches are not an Imitrex deficiency.
What is a Detoxication System?
In simple terms, it is like a janitorial service for the body, cleaning the body’s machinery from the constant invasion of foreign chemicals (toxins) that get into the blood stream through the air, water and food. Once in the blood stream, the body wants to make them less poisonous and then it has to figure out a way to eliminate them from your system.
First the body uses what is called, Phase 1 Detoxication. Phase one occurs in the wavy set of membranes inside the cell called the endoplasmic reticulum. There are three types if reactions to choose from; oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis. Simply stated, it is the functions of removing an electron (burning it off), adding an electron or removing hydrogen from the original or parent compound, and the charged compound or metabolite is ready for excretion. Some time several of these reactions occur.
Now, what if the kidneys get too overloaded? Nature has provided a back up. Outside of the endoplasmic reticulum, but still inside the cell (called the cytoplasm or cytosol), is phase 2 of the Detoxication System. In this step a large protein or amino acid (part of a protein), is attached on to the metabolite (the oxidized or charged chemical), making it bigger, increasing the electrical charge and hence, more polar. It has now become more readily soluble in water and can be easily excreted through the bile and pass into the stool. This provides a mechanism to rid toxins for which phase 1 alone cannot provide, sparing the kidneys from toxic overload. Conjugates can be excreted in the urine and/or the bile.
Effective detoxification requires cooperation from us by supporting a healthy lifestyle. We need to adapt a healthy diet, rich in nutrients by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of whole grains, seeds (*I recommend eating a minimum of 15 grams of Chia seeds, hydrated at 9:1 water to seed ration creating Chia gel, per day), legumes and nuts. Drink plenty of fresh water, around 8 glasses per day. We should work at avoiding highly processed foods, meats and dairy products as much as possible. These are foods that contain numerous amounts of chemicals that we are trying to eliminate from our body. We should also get plenty of exercise for cardio-vascular stimulation. This will increase circulation, oxygenate the blood, increasing the distribution and absorption of nutrients and promote healthy elimination. Equally important to diet and exercise, we need to get plenty of rest.
The most important challenge of our times is the transformation of our species intellectual power manifesting an awakened universal wisdom, innate within us all. Remember that prevention is always the best cure. So live right, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and you will enhance the quality of your life and enrich the quality of our world and its society of life
*Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L. seeds) are one of Nature’s most prolific health supporting foods available. They are one of the richest Omegas-3 (ALA) sources; protein rich (23%); 5 times the bio-available calcium of milk and supported with its balancing counter-part magnesium; one of the highest antioxidant foods available, significantly more than blueberries; Iron; potassium; with a structural integrity (fiber, both soluble & insoluble) ensuring healthy digestion, increased nutrient up-take, extended hydration, extends energy, endurance, electrolyte balance, promotes and regulates healthy blood sugar (exceptional food for type-II diabetics), and supports healthy elimination to expel toxins from the body; Chia is a pre-biotic food feeding the healthy bacteria in the body supporting healthy intestinal flora; promotes and supports cardio-health, mental health, and supports the immune system functions for promoting and perpetuating wellness.
Sources of information referenced in this article:
“Tired or Toxic, A Blueprint for Health” by Sherry Rogers, MD
“Choices for the Future” by Ocean Robbins & Sol Solomon
“Diet for a New America” by John Robbins
“A Plague on Our Children” by Nova, WBGH Education Foundation, Boston-1979
Greenpeace Magazine, March/April 1991
“How to Survive in America the Poisoned” by Acropolis Books, 1982, by Lewis Regenstein
“Chia Seeds, Interview with Researcher, William Anderson” by Paul E. DiPrizito
…adventure has its rewards in discovery. The knowledge of wisdom is the road to our recovery.