WWF Canada Blog:
Fresh Water

News, views and analysis from our team as we work to create solutions to conservation challenges facing our planet.


Are we living in chemical soup?

By Barri Cohen, Director/writer/co-producer, Toxic Trespass

 

My documentary, Toxic Trespass tried to ask questions about the chemical soup we live in, its toxic load, and their health effects on early childhood and human health.  I’m happy to say awareness of these issues has grown since the film’s release, with a plethora of books, articles and documentaries all revealing how the failure of proper regulation is dangerous to our health.

 

And while Environment Canada (EC) has led the move to ban some pretty awful stuff like Bisphenol A, Canadians still remain captive to a grossly ill-advised regulatory process.   According to the Canadian Environmental Law Association, EC is still largely reactive when it comes to toxic chemicals, ie., acting only after proof of harm is known! They still struggle to proceed in a precautionary way and are lax in compelling industry to demonstrate proof of safety first – especially to children and the developing fetus.

Overall, there’s a climate of pulling back from doing the tough research.  EC is cutting back on air and water monitoring that we so desperately need. As I write this, environment scientists across Canada have expressed shock at this information-deprived and irresponsible move.  Austerity should not give anyone the license to neglect human health.

Make your voice heard. I ask that you take the time to identify and join community action groups organized to bring about a safer environment for us all.  Without constant demand for better safeguards from our regulators, change cannot happen.

Finally, check out http://www.womenshealthyenvironments.ca/ and http://www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca/ to learn about some simple though vital steps to change your own consumptions habits and limit exposures in the home.

Barri Cohen’s documentary, Toxic Trespass, airs on Thursday, March 22 at 7 pm ET on TVO.