Examples of 21st Century Toxic Concerns
California Air Pollution: 25,000 plus deaths yearly due to heart disease and stroke.
Tap Water: Majority of American cities showing with pharmaceutical contaminants. California is one of top ten worst states for tap water containing disinfectants, nitrates, chloroform, arsenic and lead. In all, 141 unregulated chemicals plus 119 that have EPA established health-based standards for a total of 260 chemicals were identified in one study of California drinking water.
Soil: About half the US zinc fertilizer is made with 46,000 tons of hazardous waste each year. Another study revealed 20 of 29 fertilizers purchased in 12 states contained levels of toxic metals that exceed EPA limits set for wastes destined to public landfills.
Food: Strawberry flavor looks innocent enough on a package label; however here is what the food makers are not telling the consumer. Strawberry flavor is in fact made up of the following: amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyly formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone (10% solution is alcohol), a-ionine, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetopheone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum esther, g-undecalactoner, vanillin and solvent.
There are no studies evaluating the health impact of multiple chemical exposures which is the norm today. Only 25% of the 85,000 chemicals on the market today have had any health and safety studies to assess for risk. Many of these chemicals have long half lives such as DDT which although banned will have a negative impact for up to 200 years.
Children of the 21st century are assaulted with an array of chemicals while still in the womb. A recent study analyzed blood samples from umbilical cords and found 287 chemicals, some banned since 1970, with the following concerns:
180 cause cancer in humans and animals
217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system
208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests
200 cause lung and breathing problems
264 harm the male and female reproductive systems
From autism to Alzheimer’s the plethora of exposure to neurotoxins and other chemicals causing inflammatory disorders in every system of the body are taking a toll. Metabolic disruptions such as dysfunctional thyroid are a prime example of concern with thyroid sensitivity to an array of chemical culprits including: Perchlorate, Thiocynate, Phthalates, Mercury, Bromide, Flouride, Chlorine, Bisphenol A, and Perfluorooctanoic acid. Many of these thyroid inhibiting compounds come to us from our public water supplies, commercial milk products, plastics exposure (see my Plastics newsletter), fabrics, flame retardants, nail polish, Teflon coatings and fast food containers.
In the year 1938 0.5% of males were functionally sterile or infertile; today this number has risen to 12%. Another recent study found that the typical male of today has 20% less testosterone then the male of 20 years ago; less testosterone means more sterility. Some experts suggest that if this trend continues complete human sterility will occur during the course of the nest three or four generations. Environmental toxins are strongly implicated as a cause for this troubling trend. For more on this subject I suggest Theo Coburn’s book Our Stolen Future. I often site infertility as the biggest concern of all when it comes our toxic times; however this is still not the real problem, it is just a symptom.
While we may look for aid from parental figures and representative such as our well intentioned politicians and conventional medical practitioners, the reality is that they are as unlikely to champion for public health as the pharmaceutical, tobacco, alcohol and fast food industries. That is because they are all dependant on us, the consumer, for their profits and that is why they are unable to help.
The ethical and moral character of the Corporate World is a reflection of our contemporary society with the apt analogy of a corporate to public relationship being that of drug dealer to their junkies. While the dealers must be part of the solution, they will not be at the forefront. To wait for scientific studies to confirm the catastrophic impact of these toxic times and then attempt to correct the problem based on study findings is also not a viable option to ensure public and global well being as those studies will come too late.
The Real Solution
The solution will not come from without: it must come from within. The reason for our dependence on toxic corporate commodities is addiction: the addiction to ‘I’; our self. As with all addictions the opposite of what we think is where the bottom line real truth lies. We think that we cannot live without our fix. However, we will not die by letting go of ‘I’ whose composition is anger, inappropriate desire, pride, jealousy and all the consequent emotions and associated illnesses. We will flourish like never before by removing this negative clothing of the mind.
It takes a certain understanding to change a habit; the understanding that our thoughts and actions can lead to immense personal suffering if left unexamined. When we attempt to find happiness by misuse, overuse and abuse of the physical world we see how unaddressed internalized negative traits become reflected environmentally, with horrific toxic consequence: from autism to Alzheimer’s to global desecration. In our toxic times the substances to disengage from are our actions born of negative thoughts; the most potent toxins of all. The clothing of the ‘I’ must be examined and discarded due to the nature of suffering incurred from engaging in actions of anger, inappropriate desire and such.
How to Change
An essential tool for change is correct motivation. When our motivation is to foster, protect and preserve at all costs the ‘I’, which really doesn’t exist, then addiction will flourish with life long suffering irregardless of external events such as wealth, professional title, appearance, fame, acquisitions and praise.
With a little quiet reflection it is easy to see the negative views of this self cherishing ‘I’. With proper understanding and the motivation to create less suffering we will see the wisdom of the opposite. By flipping the fundamental motivation of thought and action 180 degrees from ‘I’ to we, a paradigm shift can occur, the worst of all addictions put to rest, and the toxic addictive global disaster now in the making averted. Change or die.
The misunderstanding which creates the ‘I’ and its negative characteristics is predicated on a misunderstanding of the world we live in. We cannot pull back from the painful flames of the ‘I’ addiction without correcting this misunderstanding which perpetuates the ‘I’ thinking and ‘I’ actions that lead to an all pervasive suffering.
Everything is connected. With careful analysis and a deep understanding of this truth we can break the addiction to ‘I’, because ‘I’ is dependent on the misunderstanding that ‘I’ am unique and separate from all objects including other humans. If this were true, if we were uniquely separate entities, then the motivation to put one’s interests selfishly first in all situations would bring about and secure true long lasting happiness, yet the opposite is true.
Since everything is connected, my actions impact all and vice versa. My well-being and your well-being are mutually dependent. A correct understanding of the interconnectedness of things brings the realization and wisdom necessary to foster correct motivation. When I think and act for the benefit of all, I too will benefit by engaging the strategy of correct motivation. In this way we can positively change the world for ourselves, our children and future generations.
Just as we learn not to put our hand in a flame, we can learn not to engage our minds in the flame of negative thought (see my Positive Thinking newsletter), as long as we remember how all is connected. With continued examination it will become clear that if all is connected then an independent ‘I’ cannot exist; the emperor ‘I’ has no clothes and true, not addictive, happiness will spontaneously unfold.
While close to a point of toxic no return, I am optimistic. My thesis is that we can’t dodge this chemical barrage. There is no where on earth to hide. But the chemical catastrophe is not the problem, it is a symptom. To address the problem we need to look within for a profound and personally challenging elegant solution to these toxic times.
We see the paradigm shift that is the opportunity and jewel of these toxic times exhibited by people who have looked within. I believe that we already have the skills and technology to change the negative course I’ve outlined and we are seeing this with the renewable resource pioneers and green economists. Strategies to change individual behavior are essential to break this toxic decline. Corporations will no longer pedal toxic products if informed consumers refuse to buy them. Each of us must evaluate the impact of our choices and attempt to find true happiness from a perspective predicated on compassionate motivation for the benefit of all.
I hope you have found this newsletter of benefit. Comments are always welcome.
Jon Dunn, ND