Planet 100 Presents: Examining Environmental Toxins (Video News)

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On this episode of Planet 100 we explore environmental toxicity, the many chemicals that reside in bodies. What are they? What are their effects on our health? And what we can do about them?The Environmental Working Group specializes in research and advocacy in the area of toxic chemicals. We spoke with President of the EWG Ken Cook and asked him why it's important to be aware of environmental toxins.

"There are a couple of reasons why people need to be aware of toxic chemicals in the environment. Firstly because they are everywhere, we know this because of studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control and the EWG, we know that hundreds and hundreds of these chemicals are in people," Ken says.

"Secondly there are many, many diseases and health problems that are linked, sometimes by direct evidence and sometimes by lab studies to toxic chemical exposure running from birth defects to cancer problems to a wide range of neurological problems and we know that many of these problems are on the rise."

There are steps we can take to reduce the body burden of toxic chemicals. Eating organic, cutting back on mercury-laden fish, and avoiding plastic softening phthalates like those found in the seemingly innocuous rubber ducky.

Personal care is another industry rife with chemicals. This salon held by natural skincare pioneer Tata Harper helps to educate people on the chemical dangers lurking within the pretty bottles.

While consumers can demand action, governments must also regulate.

Ken Cook states: "It's also true that there are something that are so ubiquitous in the environment that there's no way individuals can take much action to reduce their exposure and in those cases we need the government to act. For those chemicals that are persistent and bio accumulate, that build up in our bodies. What we really need to do to compliment individual action is have the government step up and start regulating those chemicals. Right now the regulatory framework is very threadbare."

While environmental toxins can't be avoided all together, education, smart consumer choices and lobbying the government to do more can help minimize their effects.

Read more about environmental toxins:
BPA Danger may be greater from Tin Cans than Water Bottles
Are PCBs and Pesticides Contributing to Diabetes?
Today on Planet 100: Top 5 Super Healthy Superfoods (Video)

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