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Today, We’re Made of Star Stuff and BPA

Two recent news events caught my attention. First, The New York Times provided a thorough obituary on a not-famous astronomer. Typically, I do not browse the obituaries; it was the headline that drew me to the article: ”George Burbidge, Who Traced Life to Stardust is Dead at 84.”  He and his wife, along with other astrophysicists, are renowned within the science world for postulating that all living beings on our planet have the chemical makeup evidenced in the formation of stars, galaxies, super novas, quasars, etc. So, that means you and I have evolved from the Big Bang, right? Now THAT is cool.

The second news item deserves major alarm bells, and all-points-bulletins, yet is receiving scant attention. In early February, Ken Cook, co-founder of the Environmental Working Group (http://www.ewg.org/). testified to a U.S. Senate panel on The Kids-Safe Chemical Act, which is currently struggling to move through Congress. EWG is a non-profit organization focused on highlighting to as many people as possible the chemical risks in our food and water supplies, as well as in our environment and everyday lives. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey is a leading proponent of the Bill, which unfortunately, has been in political limbo for years. Mr. Cook provided testimony regarding the scientific testing of  umbilical chord blood of 10 newborn babies. The results were rather unnerving– over 200 chemicals, including BPA, mercury and fire retardant were present.

Please take a moment, and let this sink in. We certainly don’t want to close our eyes to this information. Nor do we want to create additional lyrics to the Joni Mitchell classic, ‘Woodstock,” (”we are stardust / billion year old carbon.”) to include odes to BPA and teflon.Yet it is now evident that our continual striving for progress has brought our species to a significant moment in history. What are we going to do about it?

Awareness is the first step towards change. We must face our challenges, adjust our thinking, pay attention to our choices in food and how we hydrate ourselves. It is also imperative to raise our voices. The EWG website provides a petition to sign, seeking action from our Congress on The Kids-Safe Chemical Act; here is the link: http://www.ewg.org/kid-safe-chemicals-act-blog/sign-petition-b/

This is a really simple and positive way to become involved in the livelihoods of our future generations. Go for it.