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Environmental Medicine

Environmental Medicine

MiniMed # 2 April, 2015

Dr. Joanne Perron, MD, MPH

Our special invited speaker for the second 2015 Mini-Medical School, Dr. Joanne Perron, presented a massive amount of evidence on environmental contaminants that affect human health as well as clear actions you can take to protect yourself and your family.

Few of us really appreciate the extent of the problem, and when we do, it is so massive as to be paralyzing. This is what is facing us: there are more than 84,000 chemicals in commerce today and, of these, 62,000 were grandfathered into circulation without testing as GRAS (generally considered safe). Far from being safe, as industry claims, they are clearly identified by solid scientific research to be harmful, not only to ourselves but to future generations. The historic American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2013 Committee Opinion (partially authored by Dr. Perron) states “Exposure to toxic environmental agents is also implicated in increases in adverse reproductive health outcomes that emerged since WWII; these changes have occurred at a rapid rate that cannot be explained by changes in genetics alone, which occur at a slower pace.” The Endocrine Society issued a Scientific Statement in 2009 clearly outlining the risks. This Scientific Statement makes clear that the risks are real, and that the Precautionary Principle should apply. The Precautionary Principle applied means that current evidence indicates the risk is dire and we do not need to wait decades for additional scientific data. They also issue a call for additional research across specialty societies. This is everyone’s problem, and there is no escape. We live in a pristine environment, but we are close to conventionally farmed agricultural fields, and no one will forget the Light Brown Apple Moth aerial sprayings imposed on us without due process.

In Dr. Perron’s words “What’s a girl to do? Here is the list of action points and ready resources.

  • Eat organic-avoid “Dirty Dozen” (www.ewg.org), wash and peel non-organic
  • Limit animal fat-source of lipophilic halogenated chemicals
  • Limit fish to low mercury
  • Animal protein (meat, dairy and eggs) should be organic fed/free range/hormone free
  • Dairy should be free of rBGH
  • Avoid canned goods
  • Avoid food packaging
  • Drink filtered H2O from non-plastic container
  • Wash hands frequently with plain soap and water, not sanitizing soaps
  • Limit touching receipts which may contain BPA
  • Use only glass/metal containers
  • Do not microwave in plastic containers
  • Eliminate phthalate containing household items (PVC plastic), toys, personal care products
  • Eliminate products containing “fragrance”
  • Use non-toxic cleaning products (http://www.epa.gov/epp/pubs/cleaning.htm)
  • Avoid chemical based dry cleaning
  • Use a water filter which removes chemicals
  • Avoid car exhaust and gasoline fumes, especially diesel
  • Avoid skin lightening creams or home remedies that contain mercury
  • Avoid sources of lead: pica, certain hobbies/occupations, lead contaminated dust from pre 1978 homes, and certain traditional remedies from overseas
  • Remove shoes before coming in the home
  • Wet mop floors regularly and vacuum with HEPA filter
  • Avoid carpeting/furniture with flame retardants
  • Subscribe to Integrated Pest Management techniques (http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/GENERAL/whatisipm.html) and avoid pesticide use/application in and around the home or on pets
  • Use no/low VOC paint products
  • Don’t burn trash
  • Test homes for radon, use, carbon monoxide monitors
  • Food Matters: In the Womb and Beyond, Health Care Without Harm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zTfTBQ3Qi8
  • The Human Experiment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3crXxGSemv4&feature=youtu.be
  • http://www.psr.org/environment-and-health/confronting-toxics/toxics-html
  • http://breastcancerfund.org
  • http://ewg.org
  • http://whatsonmyfood.org
  • http://prhe.ucsf.edu/prhe/
  • http://womensvoices.org