Autism and the Environment 101: Online Course 20

Some Things To Reflect On

Limits to What We Can Ever Know
While we know that substances operate in combination with each other, can we ever study all the possible combinations?  For just the top 3,000 chemicals in production, to study them in combinations of 3 would require 85 billion tests. That is clearly impossible. And it doesn’t even take account of how exposures happen at different ages, with different genetic vulnerabilities, and many more ways of making each individual’s exposure have different effects than what the tests predict. This means we need to be humble and try to use good judgement.

How Can We Be More Sensible?
Given the great many problems chemicals are causing to our health and the health of the planet, here are a few things we might want to think about carefully:

  • Why are we making all of this toxic stuff? How much of what is in all of our stores and houses and environment do we truly need?
  • Can we require that chemicals be proven safe before they are marketed?
  • How can we have a good quality of life that is also safe?
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