You are currently browsing anetsch’s articles.


Concerns over raising our children in a toxic world were aired at Mount Sinai hospital in a summit aimed at spreading awareness. Among those speaking is Robert F Kennedy, the late president’s Nephew, who voiced grave concerns that the diseases becoming increasingly prevalent in our society today are caused by our exposure to toxins. Illnesses ranging from asthma to autism, Kennedy claims, were once rare but are now common due to the harm caused by our own environment. That 1 in 6 of our children now have learning disabilities due to exposure to dangerous chemical pesticides is a shocking statistic. Also shocking is the fact that these key officials believe that these diseases are completely attributed to toxic environment. Particularly scary are the statistics claiming that testicular cancer rates are rising, sperm counts are falling, and an increased occurances of hyperspadia (male babies born with disfigured penises). Endocrine disruptors are now so engrained in our society that we cannot go back to a world in which we use purely naturally products. What they prescribe a careful stewardship over our chemical industry so that our exposure is limited.

We generally think of the diseases listed in this article as not preventable, non treatable defects even though the highly increasing rates at which they occur tell us that the our environment is at play. Indeed evolution cannot and does not move fast enough to be attributed to these high rates of disease. Kennedy blames the industries producing toxic chemicals for manipulating our laws and agencies into turning a blind eye. Because the science is funded by chemical industries the studies are bias


Ground breaking legislation was passes today to reduce the risk of poisoning by ingesting rat poisons. The EPA announced a ban of the sale of most toxic mouse and rat poisons to residential customers. The move was prompted by the thousands of children under 6 and pets that ingest poison pellets everyday. Due to their close proximity to the ground, poisons are often ingested by toddlers and pets and can cause brain damage, internal organ damage and even death.Back in 2008 the EPA gave developers till 2011 to enclose their products in delivery enclosures and produce less toxic baits, yet some chose noncompliance and are now being reprimanded. We pride our country on having eliminated basic risk factors in our society leading to a generally low mortality rates yet for decades we have been knowingly placing poison pellets on the floors where are children and pets play. The move to ban many forms of rodenticide containing toxic chemicals as well as requiring protective delivery stations should indeed make our households safer. It might however drive the price of such products up as some products are still allowed only when applied by professionals. It is good to see legislation in favor of reducing our exposure to toxic substances though admittedly tackling the residential application of rat poisons is much easier and solves many less problems than say tackling pesticides used in farming. Priority to such legislation makes me consider how much environmental justice the EPA aims to achieve. While a few thousand toddlers and pets may be saved from a stomach pumping, some live neighborhoods, particularly low income neighborhoods, completely contaminated by near by industry. I wonder if the EPA is going after easy wins rather than tackling tougher, bigger issues.

Under the current laws, chemicals are treated essentially as defendants in a court case: innocent until proven guilty. Unless the EPA can prove that a chemical posses an “unreasonable risk” to society, it cannot test the chemical’s effects both short term, and long term throughout its use cycle. Since the Toxic Substances Control act was passed in 1976 62000 chemicals have been allowed to remain on the market with the EPA only testing 200 and only regulating 5. Today, numerous chemicals are used in the products we buy and the truth is that we do not know to what extent many of them are toxic. Exposure to such toxins, especially at an early age or still in the womb can lead to brain damage, endocrine disruption or the compromise of the immune system. The very chemicals sprayed onto our pillows as a flame retardant is toxic and may very well leach harmful chemicals into our heads at night.
New laws are being drafted to flip the burden of proof from the EPA to the chemical industry so that the companies must subsidize testing and prove that their products are safe. While not the best choice for the chemical industry or the economy as a whole, it is better that corporations must take responsibility for their products rather than the taxpayers have to pay for testing. In our society we tend to view the products we buy as generally safe but in truth it is just that we do not know to what capacity they are harmful. While the chemical industry claims that small doses of the toxins they use are completely safe and something humans can live with, who know how many untold medical cases has resulted from exposure to their products.

The embodiment of pollution and toxicity for me at a young age was Hexus, the oil monster character in the Disney film Fern Gully. While arguably the coolest character in the film, Hexus was a different kind of Disney villain; born from man and symbolic of his destructive nature toward the environment. The lyrics to his marque song, Toxic Sludge, sung by Tim Curry are very telling of the how Disney used this oozing, psuedo-sexual villain to portray anthropogenic effects on the environment from a pollutants stand point.

Mmm… sludge…
Mmm… filth!
Aah!.. fumes…
Oooh.. cack!

Oil and grime… poison sludge
Diesel clouds and noxious muck
Slime beneath me… slime up above
Ooh you’ll love my (ah-ah-ah) toxic love

Toxic love

I see the world and all the creatures in it
I suck ’em dry and spit ’em out like spinach
I feel the power – it’s growing by the minute
And pretty soon you’re gonna see me wallow in it

I feel good – a special kind of horny
Flowers and trees depress and frankly bore me
I think I’ll spew them all with cyanide salive
Pour me a puke cocktail and take me to the driver!

Filthy brown acid rain
Pouring down like egg chow mein
All that’s foul – all that’s stained
Breeding in my toxic brain

And after dinner I could go for something sweet
REVENGE! for all those years locked in a tree!
I’ll crush and grind all creatures great and small
And put up parking lots and shiny shopping malls

‘Cause greedy human beings will always lend a hand
With the destruction of this worthless jungle land
And what a beautiful machine they have provided
To slice a path of doom with my foul breath to guide it

Hit me one time!
Hit me twice!
Aaah – that’s rather nice!

Oil and grime…poison sludge
Diesel clouds and noxious muck
Slime beneath me…slime up above
Ooh you’ll love my (ah-ah-ah) toxic love.