12 TIPS FOR
HOW TO LIVE
IN A TOXIC WORLD
Graphic Courtesy of Google Images
Pipeline Spills, Train Explosions, Toxic Releases, Toxic Floodwaters, Raging Wildfires, Loss of Drinkable Water, Toxic Smoke and Smog Incidents, and Climate Disasters
are growing more frequent, and happening to millions of us each year. And more people are finding themselves ‘on their own’, with very little assistance or direction, especially at the onset. After studying lots of Toxic and Climate Disasters, (every flood is both), over a 5 year period, we came up with a list of 12 tips for ‘living in a toxic world’, (A through L, just for reference, and not to be interpreted as sequence of action). . We developed this list through our observations of hundreds of weather disasters, floods, fires, spills, explosions, mine tailings breaches, and so many natural disasters and anthropogenic catastrophes, including the lead poisoning of Flint, Michigan, and many other such incidents. We felt it worthwhile for us to publish this list to offer some guidance for the many with their worlds turned upside down , through no fault of their own, by these sudden (or chronic) disasters poisoning us and our babies.
A. Trust Your Nose
If it smells bad, it probably is. When you smell food that has gone bad, you don’t eat it. Everyone knows the “electrical” smell or “chemical” smell, the smell of a gas leak or oil spill, or the smell of a forest fire or house fire. Smells are something we never forget. One never forgets the smells of war, and we’ll never forget the smell of lower Manhattan, that lasted for over a year, after the World Trade Center came down.
There are many poisonous gases that are odorless, but if you smell something bad, that is the time to evacuate the area if you are able to, even before the danger from exposure has been confirmed. And if you smell a bad or unusual scent in the water, be suspect.
An expert once told us that the nose is the best “mass spectrometer”, a scientific instrument that identifies poisonous gases. Perhaps the reason is that our noses are always available, and operative, unlike test equipment.
B. Trust Your Eyes
If the smoke or smog reduces visibility to .75 mile or less, that air is considered “Hazardous”, and if you can only see 1.25 miles or less, the air is “Very Unhealthy” to breathe, permeated with a dangerous aerosol of toxic gases and carcinogenic particulates. (Please read and see the chart in the section 7, Toxic Gases and Particulates.)
If you see a fire, or an explosion, or smoke, recognize that, since the air is most likely so unhealthy, and since dust masks don’t work at all to protect you from the gases and PM10 particulates, this is the time to evacuate the area if possible, and to take precautions.
Regarding water, many toxics aren’t visible, but if you see cloudiness or brown or any color in your water, be suspect, and if you can manage to find an alternative, try not to drink that water, or to use it to cook or wash.
C. Don’t Trust Everything You Hear From Authorities
Recognize that what the authorities tell you is as a result of a meeting between officials, law enforcement, and politicians, where they decided what to tell you, and what not to tell you (yet). Even if you hear from the agency charged with disseminating information, and you believe they are legitimate, and that they certainly wouldn’t want to be caught in a lie, what they tell you is tempered by their desire not to “panic” the public, so in the first few days, or weeks, or months, they might hide behind “waiting for more information”, or “more testing”, even if they already know more than they’re telling you. Even when they eventually tell you the water’s safe to drink or the air’s safe to breathe, and it may really not be, (like when former EPA Chief Christie Whitman, after 9/11, told hundreds of thousands of families living in lower Manhattan that the air was safe), realize that, if it isn’t safe, you will not be the first to know. If you smell something bad, or see something bad, despite what they tell you, that is the best time to evacuate, if you can, especially if you have young children to protect,. Waiting for the authorities to tell you what to do might be too late.
D. Protect the Most Vulnerable
It is especially urgent that we recognize that even if we have no alternative to exposing ourselves to toxics, that we make every effort not to expose children, pregnant women, the elderly, or the unhealthy.
The repetition and length of time of exposure should also be limited if at all possible. For an example, if a person has respiratory problems, and they are exposed to smoke, it may restrict their ability to breathe. And the longer they are exposed, and this applies to healthy people as well, the more critical it may get. Especially when children are exposed to toxics in key stages of development, from the womb through teenager, they are often permanently harmed by toxics.
E. Reduce Toxic Exposure and Detox, But Don’t “Re-tox”
Where you can, try to limit exposure and length of time and repetition of exposure to toxics.
If it’s a matter of buying, using, or eating one product over another, for an example, canned soup/foods vs. no cans (BPA), go for the non-canned food alternative. Avoid Freak of Nature Foods - GMOs, Processed Foods, Junk Foods, and Fast Foods. And try to eat Organic Foods to reduce your exposure to toxic pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, and additives.
Some of the toxins in this report are so ubiquitous, that it is nearly impossible to avoid them totally, but it is certainly possible to reduce your and your children’s exposure, while doing the best you can, given the toxic world we live in.
Heavy metals and some EDC chemicals are persistent toxins, in that they remain in your body, but fortunately your liver and kidneys are very efficient at removing many other toxic EDC chemicals from your blood, through bodily waste functions. Detox teas and detox regimens help you detox from these chemicals even more quickly and effectively.
A recent study was conducted on 100 teenage women where their cosmetics and personal products were replaced by toxin free products from EWG’s “Skin Deep” database. After just three days, the levels in their urine (reflecting blood levels) of Phthalates were down 27%, Parabens, down 35%, and levels of Triclosan, down 44%.
We understand that levels of BPA and BPS naturally lower significantly in just a few days of non-exposure. All these chemicals are dangerous EDCs, and besides these cosmetics and health and beauty aid products, there are so many others in everyday life.
The problem with thinking that detox is a real solution to chemicals, is that most people “re-tox” as fast as they detox. These chemicals are so prevalent that unless you consciously avoid them and stop re-dosing yourself and your children daily, blood levels of these toxins will vary,but overall they will remain constant, and the harm will also be constant.
F. Demand Protective Gear and Equipment
In many industrial, fracking, mining, or farming operations, protective gear is issued, but unless the wearing of it is enforced, many workers refrain from using it, due to the discomfort of wearing it, especially when temperatures and humidity are high. This is human nature, and can only be countered by education and enforcement. These are dangerous, often carcinogenic, toxins the workers may be breathing, ingesting, or absorbing through their skin. Any protection from toxins is better than no protection, when workers are exposed.
Some respirators are more effective than others, but dust masks with, with or without exhalation valves, do absolutely nothing to protect workers or civilians from breathing dangerous PM10 particulates deep into their lung tissue, and certainly they do nothing to reduce toxic gases.
Water filters and air filters (or respirator filters for 1 example) are not effective beyond their expiration date. It is imperative that they be replaced and maintained. We have heard of schools, due to budget cuts, that have not maintained lead filters on drinking fountains for children, whose ability to learn can be harmed. This type of behavior is unconscionable and should be prosecuted.
G. Test for Toxics
Many toxins are not visible, are odorless, and are tasteless. The only way to really know that your water or air is safe is to have your water or air tested. We realize that most will be unable to afford the luxury of independent testing, but if you can afford to do it, we recommend it, and if the tests come out positive, but there is a filter or way to remediate the toxin, and if you can, we recommend you go ahead, and then re-test..
Even if the authorities assure you that the water or air has been tested, and are willing to show you the results of the tests, realize that the tests, or the reporting, may be skewed to show negative or lower results. Though the costs of independent testing are possibly too high for individuals to bear alone, they are not so prohibitive, that a group of families or the community might pay for them to verify or repudiate official testing. After all, it’s the health of families and children at stake.
Voting is not the only solution, and certainly the system and many politicians are corrupt, but whenever you live in a society, even if merely under the guise of democracy, it is better to vote, than to not vote. If enough people are educated to the evils of the Absurd Status Quo, and are able to get politicians into office, who, at least, give lip service to opposing it, and to backing progressive values, as opposed to right wing values, chances for laws favoring our health and safety improve. This not only applies to the US elections, but to elections, local, regional and national, in every “democratic” nation in the world.
I. Educate Yourself and Others
Our biggest goal is Education, and unless it becomes your goal, your family, friends, neighbors, and business associates may never hear about the toxic hazards around them.. Don’t rely on media, the national brand, the big name retailer chain, or the government to educate, or to protect you. That is Fantasy land.
If your friends and family hear it directly from you, they may actually pay attention, and be concerned about these toxic hazards. And please stress that these are not conspiracy theories, that these are real threats, confirmed by real, not corporate, scientists, and offer them our articles, and the assistance of Google, or any search engine to back it up.
I can’t encourage you enough to get involved with educating your family, friends, and followers through social media. Unless people become aware of where the hazards are, and what to try to avoid, they are defenseless. Without one on one communication, education programs are often largely ineffective. So you, and as many as possible, are key in the endeavor of educating the public.
J. Support Political Action
Unless more people are educated to the real and immediate threats of chemicals and pollution, there will never be enough activists for large enough scale political actions to make sufficient impact to effect real change.
Get involved, and also encourage others to attend events, rallies, protests, and blockades, and to support the movement with donations. We’ve seen how many small donations can add up, and make a difference.
(Tear Gas, known as “nonlethal” force, that is illegal to be used on our enemies in war, is being routinely used on American citizens, and is also being used in many nations, and could be harmful, or even lethal, for children, pregnant women and their babies, the elderly, and the unhealthy, particularly dangerous for people with respiratory problems, so it is best not to allow them to be in a situation where they might be exposed.
If you are gassed, besides milk and other ways to mitigate the pain, try to evacuate the area, so exposure time is shortest. CS gas is an endocrine disrupter. The longer and more often your exposure, the more potential there is for harm. Often protesters are penned in with no escape from the tear gas, as the militarized law enforcement did to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. For these reasons, try to never allow the most vulnerable to be exposed. Despite their good intentions, safety is the priority, and there are many other ways these people can effectively participate.)
K. Support Legal Action
Besides fighting the threat of toxics through education and political action in the streets, legal action can be very effective in our struggle. Despite the corruption, there are still laws and courts in the US, and in many nations, and occasionally Justice prevails.
And though often the deck is stacked against us, and despite our good evidence and sure cases, the decisions end up against us, but still there continue to be victories. We applaud the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resource Defense Council, the Environmental Working Group, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and many more fine organizations and the many attorneys, who in lieu of more lucrative opportunities, dedicate themselves to protecting our wildlife, our water, our air, our soil, and human health. You can be an essential part of this legal action by supporting these efforts through small donations.
We are celebrating three recent climate victories in various parts of the US, where judges have acknowledged violations of trust by either the Nation or the State to our children and future generations by not protecting them from the harm presented by Climate Change. There were no clear settlements to any of these cases, but these victories could become important precedents to future legal actions with more substantial effects. These suits are examples of the people, teenagers, taking the government to court, and winning on the basis of US Law and the Constitution.
More and more of us are finding that we must subject ourselves to arrest, often mass arrests, by standing in the way of pipelines, oil trains, and any of the various polluters outlined in this article. We’ve referred to this in our previous article, Thumbing Their Noses at Society, as “Blockadia”, as presented by Naomi Klein. When we’re arrested, lawyers are instrumental in gaining our release, and also for that we thank them.
L. Prepare for Disasters
Though we are not “Preppers”, and we’re sure you could get much more thorough advice from the experts, we can’t stress enough the subject of Preparedness for Climate or Toxic Disasters. It is fact that these disasters are statistically happening more often, more severely, and to more people, so it is important that we realize they can happen anywhere, even to us.
Disaster Assistance often “comes slow”, so it is important for you to prepare some supplies, and items like flashlights, and battery-operated radios, and water to drink, and water to flush toilets (1 ½ to 2 gallons for each flush), and possibly some dried foods, that don’t require refrigeration. And it is important for you and your family that you come up with a plan of how and where to meet, and possibly a land telephone line to leave messages, in case cell phones and Internet become unavailable.
Whatever you do to prepare for whatever disaster you face, it will be to your benefit.
Message to our Readers
This post was originally published as Part 10 of a larger, comprehensive Woodstock Earth report on the subject of Pollution entitled, Living in a Toxic World. Rather than break down the discussion by the three types, Air Pollution, Water Pollution, and Soil Pollution, we decided to break it down by the same Toxins found in all forms of Pollution. Please read Part 1 of the article, where we introduce our thesis, and any parts that may interest you. In each part you’ll find news stories, many of which are catastrophic, though, in most cases, have not yet broken into the mainstream, but are of such magnitude, that we believe, someday, each of them will. We also invite you to download the 3 books in Part 14, 1 of them being Pope Francis’ Encyclical, and view some of the 7 videos we chose to include in Part 15.
Part 1: Core Article
Part 2: Burn Pits
Part 3: Toxic Threats in Air, Water, and Soil Pollution
Part 4: Toxic Heavy Metals – Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, and More
Part 5: Toxic Radioactivity
Part 6: Toxic Chemicals and EDCs – Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
Part 7: Toxic Gases and Particulates in Smog and Smoke
Part 8: Toxic Medicines in the Water Supply, Bio-hazards and Bio-pollution
Part 9: Toxic Asbestos, Silica Sand and Talcum / Baby Powder
Part 10: How to Live in a Toxic World
Part 11: LIVING IN A TOXIC WORLD –Final Thoughts
“The Limits to Growth”
Part 12: Revolution from the Toxic Status Quo – Politics
Part 13: Message to our Readers
Part 14: Priceless Documents
Part 15: Videos
We thank all of our US and international readers (from over 150 nations). We really do appreciate you taking the time to read our articles. And we extra-appreciate when you refer them to friends. That’s where our readers can really make a difference. Whether we really are able to forward the Revolution against the Status Quo, that is poisoning our babies, ourselves, our future generations, our Climate, and all life on Earth, depends largely on whether we and others can get this story out, and make citizens of the world aware, and get them out to vote. We love getting feedback. Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you prefer Twitter, you can use: @Mikethemikeman1. For the sake of our people, our families, and Mother Earth, we encourage all of you, as charter members of Woodstock Earth, to spread the word and help get these stories out.