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Personally, I don’t need any more convincing, but if there’s anyone still on the fence about the importance of the Precautionary Principle, a sudden spate of recent news about the surprising effects of our bodies’ unseen contact with pollutants should be enough to send you running for the nearest haz-mat suit.
Here’s the sudden science in a non-toxic nutshell…
A new science called epigenetics is discovering that the things we eat and the chemicals we’re exposed to can cause modifications to our chromosomes that change how our genes express themselves, which in turn affects our developmental path and changes our vulnerability to disease. It’s not just our genes themselves that determine our likelihood of getting cancer and other illnesses, it’s also the way the things we ingest manipulate them. Weird.
Another new study has found that exposure to common pesticides in linked to a dramatically increase in the odds of contracting Parkinson’s disease. We’ve suspected this connection for awhile, but the new research moves the cause-and-effect connection beyond the realm of suspicion with the fairly astonishing finding that people who reported exposure to pesticides had a 70% higher incidence of the condition than those who did not come into contact with such chemicals. And it didn’t matter whether you were a farm worker or a gardener who occasionally sprayed for grubs. All bets are off when you start playing with this kind of molecular fire. Don't get burned. Don't use pesticides. Ever. Period.
And scientists are coming to the rather unsettling conclusion that our civilization’s ongoing exposure to lead via old paint is making us crazy. Literally. They’re uncovering a connection between lead exposures and everything from higher homicide rates and juvenile crime to teen pregnancy and drop-out rates. Lead poisoning has long been known as one of the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire, and it would appear its placing our own empire in some risk as well.
Somewhere out there in the universe, there’s a planet that adopted the Precautionary Principle long ago. And I’m quite sure it’s need for hospitals and medical treatments is nowhere near as great as our own.