Here we go again with the “under siege” paranoia of recent times. This piece is indeed a good example of that.
Specifically, we are talking about the fixation with “chemicals” and “toxics”. In this case, the effects of toxics on the foetus. While there is no question that toxics have an effect on the unborn child, how much of those toxics is, as usual, the crucial question.
Needless to say, the “zero” mentality kicks in here. The only safe exposure is no exposure, because if a pound of a substance kills you, 100,000 times less substance kills you 100,000 times less. What that means exactly is as fuzzy as the rest of “health and safety” ideology – but emotions are what really matter in much of that game, anyway. The emotional implication is that small amounts of that substance will still “kill” you. That is, of course, not true most of the time.
Be that as it may, the concept promoted is that we have to live in a world without “chemicals” — to protect the unborn child. How a world without chemicals can still produce the goods and the standard of living we enjoy is not discussed, of course, because the tunnel vision is only on the “health” of the baby. Equally of course, there is no memory of the time when there were no “chemicals” – and therefore no good standard of living – when infant mortality was astronomical because of diseases and low standards of living. This does not even cross Steingraber’s mind. Not her department.
Instead, the insidious concept of “trespassing” is brought forward – a concept that, no doubt, will interest litigation lawyer sharks: ‘These chemicals ‘trespass into your body,’ she noted, “and these chemicals you may be using can end a human pregnancy."’
‘ "Fertility is related to air pollution. How fertile you are may be related to Dick Cheney’s energy policy." ‘
Indeed, as most part of the planet are “polluted”, Steingraber does not care to explain why (especially in the most polluted areas of the planet) there is a population explosion. China, for example, is extremely polluted and its population has just passed 1.3 billion. Furthermore, we have never lived so long. What more empirical (thus scientific) proofs are needed that the statement is grossly exaggerated? But we’re not supposed to think about this, we’re just supposed to go with the emotions Steingraber is trying to promote.
‘…She even went so far as to say that toxins "trespassing" into our bodies can be seen as a violation of the 4th amendment, "security of person." ‘ Talk about loose interpretation designed to suit one’s agenda!
Finally, of course, BS on smoking cannot be neglected: ‘…She also mentioned that ovarian eggs are especially fragile and vulnerable to cigarette smoking, noting that toxins in tobacco can “insinuate itself in the DNA of an ovary,” thereby altering the very genes of which it consists.’
We can see that empirically once again, can’t we?… It is obvious that – both in the past and in the present – children born from smoking parents are deformed or retarded in vast numbers, right?…
After reading this piece, there is only one logical conclusion: Steingraber’s mother was indeed "living downstream", and exposed to vast quantities of “chemicals”.