We are impregnated with toxic products: aluminium, DDT, glyphosate. We breathe them, we eat them, they are on our sofa, and in our children’s plastic toys. And they have detrimental effects on our health. This is the disturbing message of the new book by Miquel Porta, an epidemiologist from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and professor at the UAB. The ‘bill’, in his words, that we pay in exchange for progress as we understand it.
Although the data may seem alarmist, Porta invites us to show ‘quiet concern’, which may be our individual ‘force for change’. Because, in addition to offering a list of chemical contaminants present in our bodies and their health effects, the book gives us clues on how to ‘detoxify ourselves’. And the secret is, simultaneously both easy and difficult: to avoid these compounds. By saying this, the researcher sends a call for action, at the individual level -not using plastic containers in the microwave- as well as the political and legislative levels. Indeed, the latter will have the greatest effect on the general public, as has already happened with the ban on lead in petrol.
‘More policies are needed focused on the causes rather than the consequences; (…) We can’t spend our time talking just about better diagnoses and treatments … we must invest in prevention”
Written in a question-answer format, in an easy-to-read but rigorous way, the book highlights the importance of prevention. At the end, there is a long list of resources for those who want to know more, from scientific studies to associations, international guides, and experts to follow on Twitter!