“What’s a body unburdened,” you ask?
Great question! But to answer that, we first need to talk about “body burden” and the crazy facts that inspired me to start Body Unburdened…
Quick Facts about Body Burden
1. “Body burden” is the term used to describe the unnatural, man-made chemicals in our bodies at any given time. You may not have heard of it before, but your body burden is as much a part of you as your eyes and ears.
2. Our body burden starts growing even before we’re born: babies nowadays are born with more than 200 man-made, industrial chemicals already in their blood (which means they’re passed from mother to baby in the womb).
3. By adulthood, our body burden reaches around 700 chemicals.
4. Most times, we don’t even realize we’re being exposed to these chemicals. They’re found in things that we come into contact with daily, whether indirectly from the environment or directly through the products we choose to use on our bodies and in our surroundings, and the foods and drinks we choose to consume.
5. For example… each year, 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides are used for agricultural production in the US alone. Some of these chemicals are known to cause brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, and/or hormone disruption amongst other concerns.
6. While there are over 80,000 chemicals used in commerce, about 20% are kept a secret and only around 200 have ever been studied for safety. So, we do not even really know the effects these chemicals are having on our health.
“With nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, many of which are used by millions of Americans in their daily lives and are understudied and largely unregulated, exposure to potential environmental carcinogens is widespread.” – President’s Cancer Panel, 2008–2009 Annual Report
7. Yes, this is legally allowed under current legislation: the Toxic Substances and Control Act. TSCA was enacted over 50 years ago in 1976. It does NOT require companies to test a new chemicals before producing or using it in their products and it allowed chemicals manufacturers to keep the ingredients in some chemicals a secret.
“With chemicals, it’s shoot first and ask questions later.” – Al Meyerhoff, former attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council
8. We CAN protect ourselves! We need to be informed consumers and make safer choices for our personal health and the health of our families — safer choices when it comes to the foods we eat, our skincare and beauty products, and our homes.
That’s where Body Unburdened comes in: the goal is to help you reduce your body burden so you can be your healthiest self.
- J.W. Thornton, PhD; M. McCally, PhD; Jane Houlihan, MS: Biomonitoring of Industrial Pollutants: Health and Policy Implications of the Chemical BodyBurden
- Sara Goodman for Scientific American: Tests Find More Than 200 Chemicals in Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood
- Environmental Working Group: Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns
- Science Daily: 99% of pregnant women in US test positive for multiple chemicals including banned ones, study suggests
- National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences: Bisphenol A (BPA), Questions and Answers about Bisphenol A
- Dr. Mercola: Parabens: 99% of Breast Cancer Tissue Contained This Everyday Chemical
- Natural Resources Defense Council: Antibiotic Resistance
- Environmental Working Group: Mother’s Milk: Study findings
- Environmental Working Group: Fire Retardants in Toddlers and Their Mothers: Detailed Finding
- Environmental Health Perspecives: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in U.S. mothers’ milk
- Organic Consumers Association: Mercury Found in Blood of One-Third of American Women
- US Environmental Protection Agency: Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage: EPA Report Containing Latest Estimates of Pesticide Use in the United States
- Ann Coopper’s TED Talk: What’s wrong with school lunches?
- Environmental Working Group: Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides