By Joyce Hale
2013 should be The Year of the Child. Imagine what the future would be if our political leaders measured risks and benefits of all their actions by the impact it will have on children. This would require long-term thinking and the precautionary principal. Today, our society claims a special devotion to the unborn.
Heated conflicts have spilled over into theology and politics where many demand the utmost protection and reverence for the fetus. And yet, we have failed to understand that our addiction to fossil fuels and the chemical collage we have created may be our greatest contribution to preventing life from reaching its full human capacity.
It is as though there is a silent war on the womb. In spite of science confirming our suspicions, we resist change and watch accelerating rates of diabetes, autism, obesity and gender abnormalities. Reports now suggest that these problems and a myriad of others are connected to chemicals acting like synthetic hormones. Such is the nature of many petro chemicals we depend on. They are infused in our everyday products, energy use and food supply.
We have accepted them untested with an unquestioning faith and trust without demanding protection from their makers. They convince us that to require more would slow the advancement of new products and threaten corporate profits and jobs.
For the relatively small proportion of chemicals tested for safe exposure levels, toxic thresholds are typically based on what is safe for males in the workplace. Low dose chemical studies on pregnant women and the fetus are examined to a much lesser degree.
Rising up to fill this information void has been Dr. Theo Colborn and her organization, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange. By becoming a depository for peer-reviewed studies from different disciplines and over-laying related findings previously unconnected, the picture is emerging of risks we are taking with human capacity at a time when empathy, problem solving and creativity are critical to the survival of our species.
It is out of Dr. Colborn’s years of study and persistence to protect the unborn that she has become the champion of thousands seeking the full story of chemical risks from fracking and natural gas development. With all the knowledge and passion of her work she has written a letter to President and Mrs. Obama about her concerns and findings. She has delivered this in a TEDx talk which is available with this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2r2Rx8VRq48&list=SPsRNoUx8w3rN4l7h9HzGwXlDuUK.
Her talk is more than simply saying her piece and moving on. She carefully lays out a course of action that is needed to bring light into today’s world. And she proposes two things that President Obama could do — if the public supports him. Take a look at her message and then do your part by contacting the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments. This is where all of us come in, if we truly want babies of the future to reach their full potential.