Tag Archives: Environment

Latest Presentation

The Effects of Petrochemical and Related Toxins on Human Health

Just last weekend, I gave a presentation at a conference put on by the Klinghardt Academy of Neurobiology on petrochemical toxicity and its effect on human health. Here is the Powerpoint of my talk. Please use whatever you want out of the presentation, please make sure you site me if you do.

The Presidential Candidates – Educational Matchup

I don’t want my blog to be a political battle ground but as my readers are aware, I am big on science and the environment and feel that these past 7 years have been a true debacle. Never in U.S. history has a President been so against science. It hurts our educational system, it hurts our environment and it hurts the citizens of these United States and the world. The current President’s education must have been severely lacking to be so anti-science.

So, how do the two major party candidates compare educationally. Actually, it seems to be a big win for the Democratic ticket of Obama and Biden. Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and got his undergrad degree from Columbia University which is pretty impressive. John McCain graduated 894 out of 899 at the Naval Academy. Obama wins this one hands down.

It is even worse when you compare Biden and Palin. She graduated from the University of Idaho, a fine school, in Journalism. Biden on the other hand graduated from the University of Delware with a double major and has a doctorate in law from Syracuse University. Neither of the Republicans has an advanced degree and while this does not exclude them from running for President, it should make you doubt their capacity for running the most powerful country in the world.

The big scare for me is how do they handle scientific issues? Or will it be more of the same as the past 7+ years? I won’t say much else politically but I think this is an issue that needs to be aired out. Not more nonsense about the candidates kids or spouses.

Connecticut Training – PowerPoint Presentation

Mitochondrial Insufficiency, Type II Diabetes and Infertility/Pregnancy

Autism, Asthma, Allergies and Obesity Presentation

I’d like to thank the people who attended a training session I was part of this past weekend in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. It gave me a great surge of energy to meet so many people who are passionate about health and nutrition.

As promised I have uploaded my two presentations above for you to read and use (just make sure you tell people where you got the slides). Please also visit my other blog site, ToxicWorldBook.

A Greener World for All of Us

In today’s world every time you think green you can make small changes that add up to a big improvement in your life and the life of our planet. Here are a few tips that may save you money as well as being better for the environment.

  • Don’t use plastic or waxed paper bags. They aren’t good for you or the environment. They both use petrochemicals, they aren’t easily recyclable, and they aren’t economical. Use reusable containers and stop filling our waste dumps unnecessarily.
  • Stop using chlorine bleach. This stuff is nasty and releases carcinogenic dioxins into the atmosphere eventually getting into our food and water then into us. Use chlorine free products like Bi-O-Kleen Oxygen Bleach Plus, Ecover Non-Chlorine Laundry Bleach, OxiClean, Oxy-Boost, or Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Bleach.
  • Don’t use air fresheners. They contain harmful phthalates and they do nothing more than cover up bad smells.
  • Drop fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Use baking soda in the rinse cycle instead and it soften fabrics and eliminate static cling.
  • Don’t use paper napkins, switch to cloth only.
  • Lower your thermostat in cold weather to 62 degrees when you aren’t at home and/or at night (at least to 65 at night).
  • Stop wasting food. The average family throws away 14% of their food. Yikes.
  • Think about what you can do driving wise to save 1 gallon of gas a week. At $3.25 per gallon that adds up to $169 a year. Not bad when you think about it.
    • Accelerate slower
    • Drive at 65 mph max. Some say 55 other 60, but the speed limit set at 65 is smart. For every 5 mph over 60, you lose 5-10% gas efficiency.
    • Plan your trips so you travel shorter distances and don’t track back and forth.
    • Make sure you aren’t carrying extra unnecessary weight in your vehicle. Every 100 pounds of unneeded weight cuts you fuel efficiency by 1-2%.
  • Go one day a week minimum without eating meat. It takes a lot of energy to produce meat. Also, you’ll save money in the mean time.

The U.S. is Not the Leader in the Fight Against Toxicity

In a remarkable book written by Mark Schapiro Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power, he details how the European Union (EU) has supplanted the United States as the leader in the fight against environmental toxicity. On June 1, 2007, the parliament of the EU voted for a new law called REACH Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals.

One part of this law forces companies to prove the safety of chemicals before they come to market. More importantly, it forces previously grandfathered chemicals to be tested for safety which was vehemently opposed by not just the American Chemical Society but by our own government. It scared them so much that they sent in C. Boyden Gray, the heir to the RJ Reynolds tobacco fortune to lobby against it. This is the same Republican operative who worked to eviscerate the EPA under Reagan by applying cost-benefit analysis over risk-based decision making. In other words, make money first, care about peoples health second. According to the magazine the New Republic, “So many different money trails lead to, by and through Gray it is bewildering.”

In retrospect, I’m glad my government in their ultimate arrogance decided to lobby as hard as they did because in the end, this we’re better than you attitude is what pushed the EU parliament to pass the bill. According to one European diplomat quoted in Mr. Schapiro’s book “If their only message is why we should not do anything more than they’re doing in the United States, then why should we listen? The more the United States give the impression of mounting an attack against REACH, the less we listen….. We are not going to ask the United States for permission. If we were to listen to the United States, how would we explain to European citizens where the two hundred chemicals in their bodies came from? What are we doing to them? This is the same not just for Europeans, but for Americans and every country in the world.”

The Bush Administrations steadfast belief that it is more important to make a dollar today for their big buddies than protecting the citizens of the United States is causing us to lose the leadership role we had for decades. He has lost us the respect from the world, not just because of the ill-conceived war, but because the world sees us as only caring for profits, not for people under the guise of jobs. How many jobs could we create by leading the world in the research of safer products? Millions of them. Sad to say, we won’t see a change soon unless there is a change in the White House come this November. We need it to save our children and the billions of children unborn coming to this world in the next hundred years.

Change the World, a Little Step at a Time – Part Two

Here is part two of my multi-part series on changing the world by lowering your environmental footprint.

Tip #6 – Don’t shave on weekends. Doesn’t seem like much but if you think about it, all we need to do are a number of small things to make a big difference.

Tip #7 – Recycle newspaper. For every yard in height of newspaper you recycle, you save one tree from being cut down. Remember, trees help suck up the CO2 from the atmosphere.

Tip #8 – Unplug electronic devices. When you leave computers, TV’s and other household appliances plugged in and on standby when they won’t be used for a few hours, they are draining electricity anyway. Unplug your television if you won’t be around to watch it for 8 hours or so. Better yet, reduce your television viewing and not only will you be saving money and electricity, you’ll be finding lots of better things to do with your life. They didn’t call it the boob tube for nothing.

Tip #9 – Buy organic milk instead of regular. Not only will you reduce the use of environmentally unfriendly pesticides, insecticides and hormones, you will benefit from the ingestion of healthier milk, richer in omega-3 fatty acids than regular milk.

Tip #10 – Reuse cooking water. Why dump the water you cooked your pasta in down the drain? Save it, let it cool and water your plants. Same with the water used to cook your veggies. Think about reusing the water you use to cook with and you’ll not only be saving water and money, but you will be adding nutrients to your plants as well.

As I said yesterday, find a couple of things here and there to change your lifestyle and pretty soon, everything you do will be green.

Change the World, a Little Step at a Time

Now that the release of my book “Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World” is only a month away, I thought it’s time to start giving my readers tips on how you can make a difference when it comes to our environment. We tend to think that our footprint compared to big companies and governments are so small that any change we make is miniscule. Furthermore, so many of the books out there remind us that if ¼ of the population were to do something (like change from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs), the environment would improve greatly. This is nice in the abstract but how does this excite me to make a difference. My thought is that it doesn’t matter what everyone else does until you do it yourself.

If you can put your head on your pillow tonight knowing that you did something, even something very small, to lower your environmental footprint, then you will have helped save our planet.

My blog for the next few weeks will focus on tips of ways you and your family can make a difference. No need to do them all; pick a few that you feel you can accomplish and those that pertain to your life. I will be posting those things my family and I will be doing to change our habits to be better stewards of our environment. Together we can and will change this world.

Tip #1 – If you can’t lower your travel, offset your carbon dioxide (CO2) emission by going to the CarbonFund website and make a donation. They have calculators to show how much your travels generate greenhouse gases and what it would cost to offset them. An example is how much my car, a 2003 Saturn Vue would cost to offset for one year. I travel about 15,000 miles a year and to offset the 6.34 tons of CO2 it cost me $34.85 to offset that (My Prius only cost me $13.31). This money goes towards projects that will counter my polluting ways. My next car will be one that is about 20% more efficient than the Vue which is another way to lower my footprint.

Tip #2 – Automate your bill paying. Bills are never fun to pay but paying them online instead of via the mail reduces paper waste, lowers the gas needed to transport the payment and lowers postage costs. My family has been doing this for a few years now and it is much more efficient than the old paper way.

Tip #3 – Cook your meals from scratch. Stop buying pre-packaged foods that are a waste of material, energy hogs (creation of the product to the containers), and is infinitely healthier for you. My two daughters go to a Montessori school and they don’t allow pre-packaged foods to be used for their lunches which I believe is a great thing. The amount of time it takes to make a real meal versus a pre-packaged one is small. Make dinner creation a family event. It will bring you closer and will be good for your health and the health of our world.

Tip #4 – Don’t buy bottled water. Ugh, this one annoys me to no end. Fiji Water could be the worst. Imagine the amount of energy it takes to transport the bottling material from China to Fiji, then to pump the water up to the bottling plant and then shipping it to the US? Sound ridiculous to you? Does to me. I once wrote about this on my blog to show the insanity of buying bottled water. Get a glass or stainless steel container and bottle your own tap water (use a filter if you need to). It’s smart, environmentally right and you will save a bundle of money (remember, bottled water costs around $9.00 a gallon, tap is about .03¢).

Tip #5 – Stop using bleach. There are a number of alternatives and here is an easy one. Instead of using bleach tablets to keep your toilet clean, mix a cup of borax, mix in some vinegar (just a teaspoon should do) and leave overnight. Scrub in the morning and your porcelain is clean as can be and non-toxic. Guess what the Schauss family will be doing today?

The next few weeks I will be sharing lots more of these tips and then I will be uploading a tracker spreadsheet to help you see what kind of an impact you are having. It could become a fun, family affair or you can make it a neighborhood challenge to see who can make the biggest difference.

Top Science Stories of 2007

Every year Discover Magazine puts out a list of the top 100 science stories of the year. As I did last year, I want to relate those which relate to issues I deal with on my blog. Please pick up a copy of the January 2008 issue to read the full article.

#1 – China’s Syndrome – From tainted products to their terrible pollution problem, this story ranked first is one that will be with us for many years.

#4 – Artic Thaw – Climatologists are deeply concerned about the melting ice caps in the Arctic and its effects on global warming.

#5 – Rx for the FDA – If there was a governmental agency that needed fixing, it is this one. It needs to be overhauled with no industry say or influence.

#6 – Conservation Gets A Green Light – Switching from incandescent bulbs to the newer generation fluorescents would be a big boost in protecting our environment. Yes, they have a little bit of mercury in them but the reduction of pollution, and the release of mercury from coal-burning power plants makes up for that in buckets.

#8 – Can Vitamin D Save Your Life – You know how I feel about this nutrient, now the world is finding out how much we need it. Get your 2,000 IUs a day and your body will be happier and healthier.

#11 – Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked to Breast Cancer – We’ve known this for years but the drug companies were reticent to let this one out. HRT’s are bad for you, period.

#17 – Is Pollution Weeding Out Male Babies? – Worldwide we are seeing a serious threat to human survival from our insistence on polluting without regard. If we don’t do something soon, this topic will unfortunately become #1.

#21 – Quantifying Global Warming – Denialists need not go any further, we don’t want to hear the nonsense. Global warming is a reality and humans are a major part of the problem.

#22 – Pesticide Effects on Sex Last Generations in Rats – Yes, the epigenetic effect is upon us. Toxins don’t just cause health disruptions now, they seem to follow us for generations to follow. This is one of the scariest stories of the year.

Tomorrow I will go through #s 26-50