"No matter where you live today - whether in New York City or on a remote island in the arctic ocean,
anyone willing to put up the $ 2000 for testing, will find more than 250 synthetic industrial chemicals in their body".
Rachel Environmental Health News
OUR STOLEN FUTURE
Classic Science Fiction, particularly in the second half of the twentieth century, has with increasing subtlety becoming science fact. More than 30 years ago english writer Bryan Aldiss, presented us with "Greybeard", a novel about a world without fertile humans. Then, almost ten years ago another Oxford based novelist, P. D. James, took time off from writing her popular crime stories, to warn us about the folly of ignoring the consequences of technological progress, in a scary novel titled "The Children of Men". Set in 2021 James' narrator wonders why no one in the late twentieth century suggested that human fertility was dramatically changing. "When Omega came, it came with dramatic suddenness and was received with incredulity. Overnight, it seemed, the human race had lost its power to breed."
Now a non - fiction book is re - telling the story, this time for real. Theo Colborn, a 72 year zoologist with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), has presented evidence in the book Our Stolen Future, that man made chemicals are threatening the fertility, intelligence and survival of the Human species. Human males, Colborn insists, will probably become infertile by the middle of this century, if a ban on the chemicals known to disrupt the endocrine (hormone producing) system, is not implemented as soon as soon as possible. She estimates that as much as 500 measurable chemicals are now present in our bodies. As she puts in her book they're here, there and everywhere, even in the bodies of Eskimos in arctic regions where there is no polluting industry. Despite the book's potential prophecy of doom, Colborn believes that everything will be OK. "I don't think we're facing such a scenario because there are industrialists out there with a conscience and they will make the right decisions."
She may be an eminent scientist and one very knowledgeable in her field, but politically she is hopelessly naive.
THREATS TO HEALTH
The human body is more than a mere collection of 50 million individual cells because our cells work together. Working together required coordination, which requires communication. Nerves are just one avenue of communication - the one employed for rapid, discrete messages, such as a quick instruction to a hand, to move away from a hot stove. Dioxin interferes with the body's natural signaling hormones. This results in many general health effects including "wasting" diseases and suppressed immune defenses against infectious diseases. Dioxin also disrupts the activity of the Thyroid gland. Interference with Thyroid hormone function during development leads to abnormalities in brain and behavioral development. The eventual results in a moderate to severe alterations of Thyroid hormone concentrations, particularly during foetal life, are motor dysfunction of varying severity including cerebral palsy, mental retardation and reduced IQ, learning disabilities, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, hydrocephalus seizures and other permanent neurological abnormalities.
However, the specific effects on man, woman and children are best examined by looking at each in turn. There are many male reproductive health problems associated with dioxin. The reduction in sperm counts and semen quality is one example. Many studies in recent years have suggested that sperm counts have declined dramatically, roughly 50 % in the last 50 years. Exposure to Dioxin also causes testicular cancer, which is the commonest among men aged 15-34 in Scotland, accounting for 29.8 % of cancers in this age group. Dioxin also causes reproductive abnormalities such as cryptorchidism (undescended testes) and hypospadias (urethra opening on the underside of the penis). Basically we are talking about feminization of male offspring. The average man only produces two to four times the sperm needed for fertility. The US magazine Nation recently reported:
"If the decline continues at its present rate, humans in industrialized countries will have difficulty reproducing by the year 2020".
That will surely solve any population problems, but take us from a position of sublime to the ridiculous. One can imagine a desperate search through the remote areas of Africa and Latin-America to find males still capable of fertilize a female ovum. Maybe the "white race" will commit chemical suicide. After 500 years of arrogant, conquest of non-whites and of nature, it would be poetic justice. It could well be Mother Nature's way of restoring the balance.
Women exposed to Dioxin (i.e. all women) face a much higher risk of developing endometriosis, a painful growth outside the uterus of cells that normally forms the uterus - which was formerly a rare condition, now afflicts 5 million American women. In 1960 a woman's change of developing breast cancer during her lifetime was one in 20. Today changes are one in eight.
However, perhaps the most worrying possible consequences of human exposure to Dioxin is in the earliest stages in life. The fetus lives in the womb enclosed inside a fluid-filled sac called the placenta, which provides a barrier to many poisons that the mother might ingest. Unlike many other poisons, Dioxin crosses the placenta and begins affecting the fetus. The human body retains Dioxin, so a "body burden" begins accumulating in each of us during our early months in the womb. According to Ralph Ryder, the coordinator of Communities Against Toxics (CATS),
"It's like putting a hand grenade into the center of human biology."
Studies of populations of wildlife have shown for decades that animals were being affected by this invisible, tasteless, odorless, deadly threat, but the evidence went unheeded by those doing the damage and those allowing the damage to be done: industry and government.
In 1950, Syracuse University researchers exposed young roosters to DDT and showed that their testicles only grew to 18 - eighteen - percent of normal size. The researchers concluded: "These findings suggest that DDT may exert an oestrogen-like action..." A 1963 study showed that cysts and and cancers developed in mice treated with oestrogen as newborns. Author Thelma Dunn warned that her work showed "the vulnerability of the immature animal to the harmful effects of exposure to a naturally occurring hormone."
Papers began to appear in scientific journals showing declines in wildlife populations, resulting from exposures to certain pesticides. Reports of odd behavior began to appear as well - pairs of female gulls (so called "gay gulls") sharing nests, pairs of terns failing to sit on their eggs, neglecting to defend their nests against predators. Alligators with penises so small they couldn't reproduce. As time passed hundreds of such studies accumulated from many aprts of the world.
Yet still these early warnings were ignored. From about 1940 onward, roughly 1000 new chemicals were introduced into commercial channels each year (a practice that continues today). Back in the '40s no one asked whether any of these chemicals might exert an oestrogen-like effect or might in some other way disrupt the chemical -messaging system on which we all depend for health and well-being. Still today, no one in any official capacity is asking. Science alone rarely, if ever provides the answer. The time has come to pause and finally ask the ethical questions that have been overlooked in the headlong rush of the 20th century. Is it right to change Earth's atmosphere? Is it right to alter the chemical environment in the womb for every unborn child? Now that we know better, we must have the courage to be very cautious, for the stakes are very high.
TACKLING THE CRISIS
So, bearing this grave situation in mind? How does the chemical industry at large respond to the threat? Well, If it's similar to its US equivalent (which it is), it will be ready to come back at forces for change with a vengeance: In 1993 the US Chemical Manufacturers Association created the Chlorine Chemistry Council (CCC) with a budget said to be about a $100 million per year. The CCC soon hired MBD, a public relations firm that proudly proclaims that one of its main strengths is spying on activists and to take notes and make recordings which MBD then turns into memos (which are often ludicrously inaccurate) which it sells to gullible corporate clients like the Chlorine Chemistry Council. MBD now provides the Chlorine Chemistry Council with monthly updates on the activities of groups working to phase out chlorine. But MBD goes further, helping the Chlorine Chemistry Council develop strategies for "managing" public policies that might harm chlorine sales. Communities Against Toxics activists have many similar tales of skullduggery by British companies. However since 1990 they have still managed to stop a substantial numbers of incinerators from being build.
So much for industry, but what is our governments doing about this? Closing down incinerators? Banning the use of PVC? Waging war on chemical corporations? No. Instead, on the 25th July 1995 the institute of Environment and Health published a Government-commissioned report entitled "Environmental Oestrogens: Consequences to human health and wildlife. The conclusion was basically that causes and effect of environmental oestrogens couldn't be determined and remained elusive at this point. And also that it was close to impossible to identify the various causes of possible health hazards. Recommendations: None. The various governing bodies continue to ignore and underestimate (willingly or unwillingly) the increasing threat.
There have been a lot of excellent independent research through the last 40 years, but very little has been done in terms of cohesive and decisive action. This, one of the most dangerous aspects (of countless other dangerous aspects) of present day life, is also one of the most ignored. The time for talking is also here, well over. It is not only our future that is being stolen. Out past has already been stolen and we are continuously being fucked over in the present. We all have many reasons to hit the chemical companies where it hurts, in the genitals, where they continue to hit us. What are we waiting for?
Everything on Earth, the air, the water, each plant, each and every animal, (including the animal called Human), the Chemical Cocktail contaminates all.
"We are faced with the prospect of fewer than 10 megacorporations controlling all forms of mass media,
information and entertainment tied to major manufacturing and financial powers."
"Half of the species on Earth - up to 40 million will be wiped out within a decade."
Supplement: Stolen future, past, present,
all of the above.
It is said in an ironic tone of voice by some enlightened, cynical scientists, that today we live inside a giant, man made laboratory. Live through a giant mindless experiment. A lot of ingredients are recklessly thrown in and we don’t dare imagine the result. Most of these ingredients are poisons, used in some misunderstood notion, to protect humanity from the stated harsh environment Nature offers.
About two years ago there were several works published where the writers were very aware of this and similar subjects. Including articles published in Nature And a book aptly entitled Our Stolen Future. Complementing former published books on the subject, among them a book even more aptly called Silent Spring, written in the early sixties. There were some initial uproar as some attention was paid to the presented information, but typically, as always, the public interest quickly faded.
The articles, book and studies dealt with the effect long term influence of environmental estrogens have on human flesh and also, ultimately, on human behavior.
Basically, it goes like this:
We start life as female. All of us. Then the natural influx of testosterone in male fetuses change them in the way predetermined by the genetic code. This development are hampered and sometimes reversed by influence of a special kind of pollutants ever more often called environmental estrogens. It may cause children which are «meant to be» male, to be born female. A simple chromosome screening determines that the child who looks like and is a girl in all outward ways, is «supposed to be» male. In others, not so extreme cases, it causes changes in the hormone release and early changes in the brain, making us more docile, less wild. More likely to accept what’s being done to us. In fact if I were most people I would have questioned every, single decision I’ve ever done, especially those who concern obedience toward authorities. I’m not suggesting that all sheep mentality has a chemical cause, far from it, only that it contributes to it.
Females by the way, are not much better off, if at all. One of the more pronounced effects of the unnatural, chemical society we’re born into, are an enormous increase in cancer, especially brain tumors among children seems to have exploded in recent years.
Besides, there are chemicals that make females grow male organs, among them a compound of ship paint.
It has always been claimed and assumed by those in power that environmental estrogens are a much weaker agent than those naturally produced by the body. This is true, as far as it goes.
One «environmental» estrogen is exactly as weak and inactive as was supposed. The dramatic change comes into effect, when there is present a mix of agents, a chemical «cocktail» of estrogenic and other pollutants. When two or more in itself «weaker» chemicals are influencing an individual, their sum of the parts are far more potent and far more dangerous than each single ingredient should indicate. And as usual humanity as a whole remain clueless.
«We sleep a dream of reason that begets monsters».
George Bataille 1897 - 1962
This is life on Earth by the start of the third millennium (western, christian time-frame).
And so is the great conspiracy, that is against Life.
Thoughts from the edge of consciousness.
Amos Keppler 1998 - 2004
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