Hornsby Council Waste Management team are presenting 2 Healthy Living Workshops; one on Non-Toxic Living and the other one about Food Labels (on Wednesday, 25th August).
I managed to get to the one on Non-Toxic living on Tuesday, 17th August and I am so pleased I did as it was certainly very interesting.
Dr Sarah Lantz (PhD) is the author of Chemical Free Kids - Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World and a mother of 2 children. She is certainly very passionate and knowledgeable about her research area. I am certainly looking forward to reading her book in detail.
The talk was about our "body burden" or our internal pollution, how children are more vulnerable to toxins and why babies are being born "pre-polluted".
Some interesting facts:
- Newborn babies in Australia still have detectable levels of the pesticide DDT in their blood, even 30+ years after it was banned in Australia.
- Other traceable chemicals include pthalates, found in personal care products, and teflon, from non-stick cookware.
- 40 million prescribed pills are taken in Australia each day.
- 50 000 children are on prescription medications in Australia
- Over half the chemicals produced for human consumption have never been tested for toxicity to the human body.
- Even human breastmilk contains traceable levels of DDT, other pesticides, herbicides, fire retardants and other chemicals.
- 1500 new synthetic chemicals are being created each year.
What does it mean for us?
The human body is amazing and can eliminate some chemicals but there are so many that get stored, damage our cells and DNA and accumulate.
But let's not get too paranoid! We can't live in a bubble and have no exposure - it's just not possible. But as individuals, we can choose to avoid the nasties, not buy the products containing totally unpronounceable ingredients and food containing more numbers than a maths textbook. We can choose not to buy personal products containing questionable and dangerous chemicals that will be absorbed through our skin. We can choose to buy fruits and vegetables that have not been sprayed with pesticides, many of which have been banned overseas but are still allowed here in Australia. Choose certified organic wherever possible.
It is about choice, and the more people who choose the non-toxic way of life, maybe the governments and manufacturers will listen (we can always be hopeful!) and the better off our health, environment and lives will be.