The ugly truth

(Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.)

A research study by JAMA Internal Medicine released this July revealed sperm count is down fifty percent in Western men since 1973. So, men in Western countries, such as the U.S., have half the reproductive potency they used to have.

Ninety percent of those diagnosed with breast cancer don’t carry the BRACA gene, meaning their diagnoses are not related to family history or any kind of genetic predisposition.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in every two men and one in every three women will be diagnosed with some type of cancer in their lifetimes.

So basically, reproductive health has been rapidly declining since the ’70s, and cancer diagnoses are being given out to just under half of the population with little hereditary or genetic causation.

People are getting sick and reproductive health is down, and there really isn’t any easy explanation for it.

It’s time we start asking: “What is causing these trends in health?”

There are 85,000 synthetic, meaning man-made, chemicals lurking in American products. It may shock you to know that the FDA has little-to-no regulatory power over these chemicals.

The consumer cosmetics and self-care industry in the United States is entirely self-regulated. The government has no responsibility over ensuring the safety of our products. Following health-and-science related media will reveal that it is only when many people get very sick, and are subsequently very loud about it, that any regulation or change occurs.

Take a good look at the back of a cosmetic product you use every day. The ingredients list is lengthy, complicated, printed in tiny font and full of chemicals that an average consumer can’t even pronounce.

Even worse? Those ingredients that no one bothers to give a second thought to could be what’s making us sick.

With no regulation, products are riddled with carcinogenic chemicals and endocrine disruptors – substances that are scientifically proven to cause cancer and attack the reproductive system.

Yes, you read that right. There are chemicals that have been scientifically documented as cancer-causing and are banned in several other countries that are still in our products.

So, the weight of the problem falls to us, the consumers. It is our job to make sure the shampoo, perfume, toothpaste, deodorant, makeup and soap we buy is actually safe, because the government does not.

You would think that in 2017 we, as a society, would be able go to Target, buy shampoo and not have to worry about it slowly killing us or leading to infertility – but we do. Today, it is up to the consumer to make smart and informed buying choices and to actively make the choice to support companies that value us and our health.

[Editor’s Note: This is a bi-weekly column that aspires to contribute to a generation of informed consumers and will make choosing healthy products easier for students at FSU.]

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