Are Toxic Chemicals Lurking in your Furniture and Building Products? Did you ever wonder if what we bring into our homes could be increasing our risk of cancer, developmental issues in our children, or asthma? How could a lovely PVC shower curtain or new stain-resistant couch cause any problems? read more…
click here to buy through B&N. The Hundred-Year Lie One hundred years ago, the promise of “better living through chemistry” was given to consumers, setting us on a slippery slope that introduced thousands of man-made chemicals into our food, water, medicine and environment. read more…
TOXINS IN THE HOME
Modern home building materials use dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde, chlorinated plastics (PVC, CPVC), volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), semi- volatile organic compounds (SVOC’s), and heavy metals, that are found in everything from insulation, sealants, resins in composite wood, paints, flooring, cabinets, fabric, furniture, bedding, stains and flame retardants. Many of these chemicals continue to off-gas over time adding to indoor air-pollution. Children, pregnant women and the elderly are most susceptible to their effects. We’ve arrived at a toxic tipping point, and our synergistic relationship with these chemicals is taking a huge toll on our health, healthcare, economy and our environment. Just as we are falling behind Europe, Canada and other Industrial Nations by not farming industrial hemp, Europe and many other nations have banned many of the chemicals that are still found in thousands of American products and homes.
Formaldehyde, which is known to cause cancer, is found in thousands of everyday products, including baby wipes, baby shampoos and baby lotions. Morgues now use half as much embalming fluid today as they did 20 years ago. “Formaldehyde is used as a disinfectant and preservative and in the production of urea, phenol, and melamine resins used to make molded products such as appliances, electric controls, and telephones. It also is used in a wide variety of building and home decoration products (e.g., plywood, particle board, surface coatings, foam insulation, carpet and draperies, furniture, permanent-press fabrics) and in toiletries. Formaldehyde exists in all homes to some degree because of the diverse materials in which it is used. Individuals can be heavily exposed to formaldehyde in homes with newly installed plywood, particleboard, and carpeting. Consumers are advised to vacate or ventilate well any indoor spaces with new formaldehyde-containing products, and to try to select products with low formaldehyde emissions.”
~2008–2009 ANNUAL REPORT | PRESIDENT’S CANCER PANEL
THE HUNDRED-YEAR LIE
When we first met Anthony Brenner, he told us about the book ‘The Hundred-Year Lie’ by Randall Fitzgerald. It had been recommended to Anthony while he was researching how to create a non-toxic environment for his young daughter Bailey, who had recently been diagnosed with an extreme sensitivity to chemicals. The book made a huge impression upon Anthony. After reading it, his family tried to live as natural, organic and chemical-free as possible, and his family is much healthier because of it. ‘The Hundred-Year Lie’ is at once fascinating and horrifying, as it tells the story of America’s dangerous myth of “better living through chemistry”. The book gives a timeline of when certain synthetics or chemicals were introduced into our food, air and medicine, with the correlation of the rise in sickness and disease in our society for the last hundred years. If you think that the FDA or the USDA regulates the chemicals in our everyday products, you’re not alone, however, the testing of the safety of these chemicals are left up to the chemical companies. Only 200 of 80,000 chemicals currently in use in the US have undergone government testing. Government and business seemed to agree with one another that a trace amount of such chemicals as formaldehyde, pesticides and aspartame were fine, but it turns out that they were wrong.
THE PRESIDENT’S CANCER PANEL
In May of 2010, The Presidents Cancer Panel released the findings of their 2008 and 2009 report, opening with the observation that “. . the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated.” For the 1st time in 40 years, they changed their stand on the impact of these chemicals in our lives, and their relationship to cancer. The President’s Cancer Panel is ‘the Mt Everest of the medical mainstream’. We read on with the same horror and disbelief with which we had read ‘The Hundred Year Lie’, as the President’s Cancer Panel confirmed many of the findings in Randall Fitzgerald’s book. According to the report, Americans are now facing “grievous harm” from chemicals in our air, food, water and environments that have gone largely unregulated and ignored.
It turns out that each one of us is now carrying a body burden of these chemicals, with the average human being now carrying 200 to 700 chemicals. “To a disturbing extent, babies are born ‘pre-polluted,’ ” the Cancer Panel wrote, as the mother’s body burden is passed on to her baby through the mother’s umbilical cord. The President’s Cancer Panel also found that childhood cancer is on the rise. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is a nationwide effort to pass smart federal policy to protect us from toxic chemicals.
HEMP OFFERS HOPE
Industrial Hemp is said to have 25,000 uses. Industrial Hemp can be used to replace thousands of these toxic chemical-laced and petroleum-based products with non-toxic products. Thanks to recent advances in technology, Industrial Hemp’s true potential has only been unlocked within the past five years. So the good news is that if we act fast, we can still get in on the Great Hemp Race, and even re-emerge as visionary leaders in the Hemp Industry, as we set out to create those 25,000 non-toxic hemp products.
BUT READ THE LABEL
Note that adding hemp to a product that contains chemicals defeats the purpose of hemp, because hemp is at the heart of healthy, chemical-free living. Read your labels. We recently bought a popular brand of hemp lip balm, trying to get away from petroleum-based chapstick. We didn’t read the label until we got home, and we were not impressed to find that it was not only petroleum-based, but that it contained Aspartame. So unfortunately, that particular line of hemp products contains some unnatural and potentially harmful ingredients, so always read the labels. It’s hard to know which ingredients are potentially harmful.
Although our film will not be covering chemicals used in cosmetics, we wanted to share what we had discovered during our research, in hopes of helping women and teenage girls to make healthier choices when buying cosmetics. The Environmental Working Group has created a wonderful resource called Skin Deep. The website allows you to type in the name of a product, and learn more about which chemicals are a potential health threat.