Death by Toxic ChemicalsPosted: June 23, 2024

Intro

Over the years, many individuals have stepped forward to reverse the use of many toxic chemicals that exist in the world today – such as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring , which highlighted the devastating impacts of pesticides for agriculture. There is also Slow Death Rubber Duckby Rick Smith who creates experiments to demonstrate the horrific impacts about many toxic chemicals in our body. However, arguably, the individual with the largest impact is Robert Bilott. Mark Ruffalo’s Dark Waters brought the lawyer’s incredible battle against Dupont’s knowingly poisoning thousands of people with PFOA/PFA/Teflon for decades to light.

Mark Ruffalo’s Dark Waters brought Robert Bilott’s incredible battle against Dupont to the public. It revealed the horrific impacts of toxic chemicals – and there are currently 600 unregulated toxic chemicals in circulation around the world. Thankfully, Canada is already ahead of the curve for the ban of these chemicals. Through Canada’s Environmental Protection Act(CEPA), Canada has taken significant action against these chemicals such as mercury, and microbeads. However, Canada has significant work to do in eliminating many chemicals.

The Big Ones

While there are many chemicals that Canada needs to tackle, there are two significant ones that are critical to ban for our own safety: (i) PFAs; and (ii) BPA

PFA

As highlighted by the biopic of Biliott, there is at least “a probable link”, and some call it irrefutable that there is a strong correlation (if not causation) with PFA and health damaging diseases such as high cholesterol, kidney cancer and testicular cancer. For instance, 7500 Canadians will be diagnosed with kidney cancer. 1. Moreover, this chemical has been dubbed a “forever chemicals” since it will continue to circulate even after use – such as our crops, food, air, food crops and gardens.

However, even though PFAs are restricted in Canada, we face many problems. For one, our drinking water sources, especially the Great Lakes are muddled with PFAS. This does not even include the fact that our own guidelines for PFA/OS for drinking water is significantly worse than the EPA – meaning that our water may not be as safe as we think it is 2. Second, a comprehensive study revealed that about half of products sold by the top fast-food chains such as Pizza Hut, Freshii, McDonalds, and Wendy’s tested positive for PFAs.

Furthermore, these two instances demonstrate that even though PFAs are a menacing danger to our society, businesses can get away with increasing their likelihood of harming all of us.

BPA

BPA is another toxic chemical that is rampant in our lives. BPA significantly raises the chances of obesity, heart disease, infertility, and other health conditions. Moreover, BPA stays in your blood for decades – it does not go away.

Despite their imminent dangers (and their recent ban for baby products), BPA can be found in everyday items such as water bottles, plastic food containers, lottery tickets, electronics (albeit that is changing slowly such as Apple being BPA free for years), and receipts. We constantly interact and live with these materials without a care in the world.

Solutions

Again, this guide cannot possibly tackle every chemical. It is impossible. But as a ‘big chemical’ danger comes to light, the guide will be updated, as well as the catalogue that explains these chemicals in a more detailed light.

  1. Regarding PFAs, the easiest solution is to eliminate plastic packaging. Work with the private sector to commercialize and mass scale the already existing sustainable alternatives. Require all fast food companies and large scale restaurants ban the use of PFAs immediately and move to sustainable packaging.
  2. Revise PFA levels for the Great Lakes and our drinking water to match those of the United States at 70ng/litre at the very least from 200 ng/litre. Our health, especially the children – the future, come first. Facilitate a transition with the private sector to develop PFA free materials, substances, and other products with a phase out ban.
  3. Eliminate BPA products. Develop the alternatives, or make them illegal.
  4. Transition to a cashless society. Replace cash with debit cards and credit cards. This eliminates BPA completely from checkout.
  5. Consult scientists, health experts, and the European Union who are constantly ahead of the game.
  1. https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/kidney/statistics/?region=on
  2. https://bit.ly/3kZAQ3l