When I started on my journey, learning about fast fashion and the huge industry behind it, it never crossed my mind that I would come across the chemical industry. After watching The Human Experiment I am really informed on what goes on in this powerful and corrupt industry and how we together can take a stand and stop this big, ongoing human experiment. The Human Experiment shows the shocking reality that thousands of untested chemicals are in our everyday products, our homes and inside of us. It tells the personal stories of people whose lives have been affected in many different ways. So… today I am going to share with you what I learnt and how we, together can take a stand and make change for the better.
In the past 40 years,
- childhood brain cancer has increased by 38%
- asthma has increased by 88%
- leukaemia in children has increased by 74%
- early onset puberty has increased by 55%
- ADHD has increased by 53%
- genital deformities in baby boys have increased by 122%
- life threatening birth defects have increased by 100%
How does this make you feel? Who or what is to blame?
I believe that it is the chemicals.
In the last half century, chemical use in America has gone up by 2000%. Now, 42 billion pounds of chemicals enter american commerce every single day! They surround us, are inside of us and during the production of every man made product, chemicals are used.
The thing that bugs me is that the majority of these chemicals aren’t tested for safety. This is because the companies don’t actually have to prove a chemical is safe before it gets onto the market. It is like the defendant in a courtroom, the chemical is innocent until proven guilty. The doco gave safe cars as an example of this, if the info was hidden on cars, you would not know which ones are safer, and honestly; you could not buy a safer car. There would then be no incentive for the car manufacturers to design and develop safe cars because they can’t sell it on the basis of being safe if information on safe cars were hidden. This really does mirror what it is like for us, as consumers, to buy products.
A key part that I took away from The Human Experiment was how powerful and corrupt this industry is and the main strategy they use to deceive and distract consumers and keep their products ‘on the shelves’. This is used so often that it has a name! The Four Dog Defense.
Module 1 (pictured top left) ‘my dog does not bite‘, the company denies its product is harmful, and discredits the studies science has proved to show harm in their product. When the evidence science proves becomes too much module 2 comes in.
Module 2 (pictured top right) ‘my dog bites, but it didn’t bite you‘, the industry concede that their product is harmful but ‘not to worry, average people are not exposed to it‘.
Then module 3 (pictured bottom left) ‘my dog bit you but it didn’t hurt you‘, the industry say ‘alright the people are exposed to chemicals, but they are not harmed‘, they reassure people that it is only harmful in doses which are unrealistic in daily life. But, my question is, how can they say this when they don’t actually know how much of certain chemicals a human being can consume before it ‘becomes harmful’
Module 4 (pictured bottom right) ‘my dog bit you and it did hurt you, but it really wasn’t my/our fault’. Here, the company admit that the chemical/s in their product/s are making people sick but move the blame, ‘it wasn’t our fault the consumers used the product‘. ‘It was the individuals choice‘.
The Four Dog Defense is a true and sly strategy also used in many other industries, like the fashion or tobacco industry, for example.
Your skin is the biggest organ in your body. When you put lotion, deodorant, shampoo and make up onto your skin, it goes straight into your blood stream. The chemicals in those products are going inside of you, and aside from not using them, there is not much you can do to stop them entering your body. This is something that I have been super interested in lately! Read my post here on the importance of using natural make up and skin care products and Emmily Banks’ number 1 tip for finding eco beauty brands/ products!
Teens turning green were asked to participate in a test which included 20 participants. This was to test the chemicals in people’s bodies. Jessica Assaf was on of those people. She was shocked to see that her blood and urine contained 13 of 25 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals linked to immune system toxicity, endocrine toxicity and cancer and 5/6 parabens tested were found in her body. She started to research the effects these have on our body, and contributed to many protests relating to chemicals. She individually stuck warning labels on deodorants in stores. This made people mindful when they put that brand of deodorant in their cart. The sticker-sticking part was quite brave if you ask me! This is the unknown reality for many people – we need to make a change!
BPA and PVC were two chemicals the doco widely went into. In the early 1900s somebody looked at BPA as a miscarriage preventer, and so the BPA industry grew to where it is today- a 6 billion dollar Industry.
Concerns on BPA really picked up in the 1990s when Patricia Hunt was doing an experiment on mice and BPA. She realised that the mice keep aborting their pups and figured that plastic from their water bottles and cages were leaking BPA into their systems. Why are we giving children bottles with BPA in them, if it is harming mice?
1/3 of children’s products that the ecology centre (non profit environmental organisation that test things for chemicals) tested contained harmful chemicals. We are exposed to so many things without our knowledge!
The time to act is now! If there are no morals and ethics, and nobody cares, then there is no incentive for anybody to do anything right. Its our voice that has always sparked movement – Awareness = change! This is a difficult economy. Small changes like limiting the amount of chemicals you use and turning ‘green’ can really make a difference.
“Unless someone like you, cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr Suess
I definitely recommend that you watch this documentary. It will really provoke thoughts and open up your eyes to these chemicals and the circumstances where many people are affected.
I really could not recommend that you watch The Human Experiment enough!
Places to watch: