Pick your poison 

Rocket fuel and plastic nasties showing up in food

"Thirty-five percent of all cancers are related to what you eat."

— John Hopkins Medicine

Last week it was fire retardants. Now you can add a chemical used to make solid rocket fuel and weapons to the list of toxins showing up in breast milk.

Right-o. Rocket fuel.

Another study published by the American Chemical Society in its respected journal Environmental Science and Technology stated that 36 nursing mothers in 18 American states had levels of perchlorate in their breast milk that averaged five times higher than levels found in 47 samples of regular dairy milk sold in local stores. This is not a good thing.

Besides rocket fuel and weapons, perchlorate is used to manufacture fireworks (it adds that "explosive" touch). It can also be caused in nature by lightning. Wherever it comes from – in this case most likely from improper manufacturing and disposal – it settles into soil or ground water and ends up in sources like the mighty Colorado River, which provides drinking water to Los Angeles and Las Vegas and elsewhere. An earlier study some two years ago in the U.S. also found the nasty chemical in 18 per cent of lettuce samples at levels four times higher than those considered safe.

According to the Environmental Working Group, perchlorate can, amongst other things, affect the thyroid gland's ability to make essential hormones, which, for children and babies, can negatively affect brain functioning, hearing and speech, and motor skills.

But you’re not worried, right? Because you buy bottled water whenever you visit California. But hey, what’s that plastic bottle doing to you?

Could be lots, depending on which type of plastic it’s made of, according to the Children's Health Environmental Coalition (www.checnet.org/Health e House). Good old mom. She’s been warning me for years about using plastics and food, especially in the microwave. And this is a gal who grew up on Tupperware. But she can’t hold a torch to the rationales from CHEC.

Nancy and Jim Chuda started the Children's Health Environmental Coalition when their daughter died of a non-genetic form of cancer at age five. Their aim: to track carcinogens that children are exposed to and ultimately eliminate children's exposure to man-made toxic substances. I say good luck with all those weapons getting’ made and rockets flyin’ around down there.

But seriously, this is a noble cause and the Chudas have done a lot of good work in spreading the word. Granted they run in pretty high circles and let you know it – Olivia-Newton John is a close personal friend and Erin Brockovich, as in the Erin Brockovich of movie fame, is currently on their board. But don’t let that get in the way of some pretty good information.

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