Subtle shifts in your awareness can lead you to take small steps that add up to a big difference.
- To remain healthy, adopt a healthy skepticism about industry reassurances of product safety. When the statement is made that there is no evidence a chemical causes harm, that doesn’t mean the chemical has been tested. Of the 3,000 high-production chemicals used in the United States, 43 percent have never undergone basic toxicity tests. Only 7 percent have been tested using a standard battery of toxicity tests. Few chemicals have been evaluated for endocrine disruptor effects.
- Learn about how chemicals affect our health. Basic principles of environmental health and toxicology are presented in the free e-book, A Small Dose of Toxicology. With a clear and accessible style, using approachable examples of toxicology in everyday life, author Steven Gilbert has put together a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to learn more.
- Educate yourself about the chemicals that surround you and your loved ones. Get in the habit of reading labels.
- Adopt the precautionary principle. This approach assumes that when an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if science has not yet fully established a cause-and-effect relationship. The precautionary principle calls for both a shifting of the burden of proof to industry rather than consumers and the adoption of a better-safe-than-sorry approach to suspected toxic exposures.
- Remember the success stories. Blood lead levels, for example, have dropped dramatically since unleaded gas was introduced in the United States. And in the first five years after 3M phased out products based on the persistent organic pollutant perfluorooctane sulfonate, levels of perfluoronated contaminants in the blood of U.S. residents dropped by half.
- Don’t become overwhelmed. A feeling of hopelessness will lead to denial and inaction. Start with small steps, and you’ll soon reach a confident stride.
- Check out our Detox Me app for more tips on taking action in your approach to life.