If big corporations had their way, the air we breathe would be way more polluted than it is now, as if it’s not polluted enough. It’s a wonder that people don’t throw up most of the things they eat, given the amount of hormones and toxins put into our food and water supply. We come into contact with harmful chemicals and toxic food and water every day, due to sewage contaminated water, hydrofracking, pesticides, and genetically modified foods. New Yorkers currently produce about 1.3 billion tons of wastewater daily. Gas drilling, using both hydraulic fracturing to release gas and horizontal drilling techniques that can snake underground far from the actual bore holes, is now moving into closer proximity to American population centers than in the past. Two years after hydraulic fracturing fluids were legally spread on a section of the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia, more than half of the trees in the affected area were dead.
Every ton of carbon dioxide pollution causes around $20 of damage to economies, ecosystems and human health. That sum times 20 implies $400 worth of damage per American per year. Five chemicals that we come across every day are linked to a host of ailments, including cancer, behavioral issues, and sexual problems. They are bisphenol A, or BPA; phthalates; PFOA; formaldehyde; and polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PDBEs. We encounter them every day in plastic bottles, storage containers, food wrap, cans, cookware, appliances, carpets, shower curtains, clothes, personal care products, furniture, television sets, electronics, bedding, cushions, mattresses, etc. Studies on birth defects and pregnancy issues are finding hundreds of toxic chemicals in the bodies of mothers, and subsequently, in their babies after birth. The amount of chemicals measures in babies’ cord blood affects their IQ levels. Among these are plastics, mercury, and pesticides. All of this boils down to a simple statement: what is good for business is not always good for us.