New Internationalist

Abandon the toxic treadmill!

Issue 415

We need tough laws to punish polluters, regulate the chemical industry and force companies to take responsibility for the products they produce. But here are some things you can do as an individual.

1 Don’t buy plastics with bisphenol A (plastic code 7)
they may leach chemicals into your food and beverages.

2 Avoid PVC/vinyl (plastic code 3)
it contains gender-bending phthalates and is poisonous from production to disposal.

3 Clean your indoor air
allow ventilation; dust and vacuum regularly; don’t store paints, solvents or varnishes in your home.

4 Eat organic
organic food helps avoid cancer-causing chemicals and other health problems.

5 Choose health and beauty products carefully
for a list of harmful chemicals see the Environmental Working Group’s ‘Skin Deep’ database at

6 Choose a chemical-free lawn
detoxify your garden!

7 Say ‘no’ to non-stick and stain repellents
they can disrupt hormones and cause cancer.

8 Get rid of DEET insect repellent
bug spray can harm more than just the mosquitoes.

9 Forget toxic cleaning products
they may contain suspected carcinogens and other irritants.

10 Avoid flame retardants (PBDEs)
before you buy, do the research; check with a local environmental group.

Adapted from Environmental Defence, ‘Top 10 ways to detoxify’,



Aamjiwnaang First Nation

Chippewas of Sarnia

Occupational Health and Safety Clinic for Ontario

Endocrine disruptors and toxics

Our Stolen Future

Environmental Health News

Environmental Defence (Canada)


Environmental Working Group

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

Center for Health, Environment and Justice

Earth Resource Foundation


Pesticides Action Network

Bottled water

Polaris Institute

Pacific Institute

Sustain UK

Food and Water Watch

E-waste and digital dumping

The Basel Action Network,

Greenpeace International

Plastic land and sea

Algalita Marine Research Foundation

A very cool slideshow on plastic bags

Films and videos

Toxic Trespass, NFB film by Barri Cohen with a focus on Sarnia, Ontario.

The Beloved Community, a 2006 film about the Aamjiwnaang community by Pamela Calvert.

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This article was originally published in issue 415

New Internationalist Magazine issue 415
Issue 415

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