Tom Dispatch By David Rosner, Gerald Markowitz!
You are a Guinea Pig: What Happens to your body as it is bombarded by toxic chemicals in your home. A hidden epidemic is poisoning America. The toxins are in the air we breathe, and the water we drink, in the walls of our homes, and the furniture within them. We cannot escape it in our cars. It is in cities and suburbs. It afflicts rich and poor, young and old. And there is a reason why you have never read about it in the newspaper, or seen a report about it in the newspaper, or seen a report on the nightly news: It has no name, and no antidote. The culprit behind this silent killer is lead. And vinyl. And formaldehyde. And asbestos. And Bisphenol A. And poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). And thousands more innovations, brought to us by the industries that once promised "better living through chemistry," but instead produced a toxic stew, that has made every American a guinea pig, and has turned the United States into one grand unnatural experiment. Today, we are all unwitting subjects in the largest set of drug trials ever. Without our knowledge or consent, we are testing thousands of suspected toxic chemicals, and compounds, as well as new substances, whose safety is largely unproven, and whose effects on human beings are all but unknown. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) itself has begun monitoring our bodies for 151 potentially dangerous chemicals, detailing the variety of pollutants we store in our bones, muscle, blood, and fat. None of the companies introducing these new chemicals, has even bothered to tell us we are part of their experiment. None of them has asked us to sign consent forms, or explained that they have little idea, what the long term side effects of the chemicals they have put in our environment, and so our bodies, could be. Nor do they have any clue as to what the synergistic effects of combining so many novel chemicals inside a human body in unknown quantities might produce. How Industrial Toxins Entered the American Home: The story of how Americans became unwitting test subjects began more than a century ago.The key figure was Alice Hamilton, the mother of American occupational medicine, who began documenting the way workers in lead pigment factories, battery plants, and lead mines were suffering terrible palsies, tremors, convulsions, and deaths, after being exposed to lead dust that floated in the air, coating their workbenches and clothes. Soon thereafter, children exposed to lead paint and lead dust in their homes, were also identified as victims of this deadly neurotoxin. Many went into convulsions and comas, after crawling on floors where lead dust from paint had settled, or from touching lead painted toys, or teething on lead painted cribs, windowsills, furniture, and woodwork.