The good folks at Earth Justice have just produced this great podcast with ecologist and author Sandra Steingraber, considered by many to be this generation’s Rachel Carson. Tune into the podcast below or follow the link here to learn more about the incredible amount of toxins that we face everyday- and how we can fight back against them.
Steingraber notes that the reason we face so many chemicals in our lives is the failure of toxic chemical regulation, namely the TSCA—the Toxic Substances Control Act. This law was created around the same time as the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, though it was essentially set up to fail because it grandfathered in 65,000 chemicals that had never been tested; it also created weak testing regulations for new chemicals brought to market. She advocates for scrapping the TSCA and creating precautionary laws (such as those in the EU) which would require companies to have data stating the product is safe; in other words, she says “no data—no market.” She makes some interesting points about the manufacturing of chemicals, most of which are, “petro-chemicals [that] come to us because we are building our materials economy out of the building blocks of left-over junk from a carbon-based energy system.” She says we need to “decarbonize our energy system [because] our ruinous dependency on fossil fuels is contributing to two major problems: climate change and toxic trespass-” the drift of chemicals into our daily lives. This is of important concern for all of us, but especially those who are trying to raise healthy families in an increasingly toxic environment.
Check out this great podcast for more information about the dangers of common chemicals like flame retardants, styrene, PCBs, atrazine, and more, and learn how you can help support her project New Yorkers Against Fracking, working to oppose fossil fuel extraction in lower New York state.