Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.
All this concern about toxins in plastic toys, baby bottles, breast milk, shampoos—is it partly the result of a bunch of worry-prone uber-moms worked up over exaggerated rumors and dubious science?
No way, reports Judith Shulevitz at The New Republic, who investigates “The Toxicity Panic” and ultimately finds that it’s not a panic at all but a rational response to real dangers. In fact, Shulevitz suggests that by and large, the mothers have been right:
Shulevitz reports that new biomonitoring technology has led to startling discoveries about toxins and their effect on humans, especially endocrine disruptors, the substances at the core of bisphenol-A health concerns. No longer is it always true that “the dose makes the poison,” as the longstanding and overly simplistic scientific bromide goes. Her article is a sobering summation of the current state of toxicity research and regulation—or, rather, the lack thereof.
Ultimately, Shulevitz admits a certain sense of vindication:
Source: The New Republic (full article available only to subscribers)