A book review of Sandra Steingraber's Raising Elijah by Tim Wolcott
A great book is sometimes difficult to read. However, the author often propels you along its enlightened path using earth-shaking examples that strike home. Such is the case with Raising Elijah, the story of how toxic chemicals are affecting our children.
Ms. Steingraber’s empirically-based, maternally-centered thesis is poignantly powerful, because it raises these questions: Why are we more willing to consider radical interventions like anti-hormone injections for six-year old girls developing breasts rather than demand preventative regulation of chemicals based on the precautionary principle? Why do we consent to toxic chemical trespass into our innocent children’s lungs, brains and genitalia when science has shown irreversible damage occurs? Why do the U.S. chemical regulatory agencies seemingly ignore data that the Canadian and European agencies act on?
Pediatric science is clear on these points:
So what does our government advise parents to do? -- ’Prevent your children from putting things into their mouths’. Yeah, that will work. NOT! Parents cannot stop the wind from blowing into their homes, yards or communities. When our government suggests consumer-based, parent-led protection against neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors, it is counterproductive, and it ignores their own governmental responsibility.
Flint, Michigan is just the tip of the iceberg. The time has come for us to demand that our government work for the people, not the corporations.