Last week’s March Against Monsanto proves that our awareness of chemicals has ballooned over the years, but do we truly understand how many chemicals we put in our bodies and just how unavoidable many of them are?
This Earth Focus report discusses the “soup of chemicals” our bodies take in every day from food, cosmetics or simply breathing. Even worse, the 84,000 chemicals that are legal for commerce in the U.S. are accelerating every disease or condition you’ve ever heard of—diabetes, asthma, cancer, a slew of birth defects and so much more.
Erin Switalski, executive director of Women’s Voices for the Earth, estimates that there are 13,000 chemicals in cosmetics, but only 10 percent of them have been evaluated for safety. The 27-minute report features several other examples that touch every aspect of our lives.
The chemicals industry earned $763 billion in sales in 2011 and provides about 3 million jobs. Those figures likely explain how the industry goes largely unregulated, even in the face of the deterioration of human health.
The episode goes on to explore how low-dose exposures to different chemicals can quickly add up, the increased chemical risk experienced by low-income communities and what—if anything—can be done about all of this.
EARTH FOCUS airs every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on Link TV. Episodes are also available to watch online at linktv.org/earthfocus.