The health of your kidneys is intrinsically linked to the safety of your environment and this is a connection which is undeniable. Now, with environmental concerns becoming of greater importance than they ever have before, it’s essential that every measure be taken to ensure maximum efforts are being made to safeguard this planet and the people who live on it. Running the office of chemical safety in the Environmental Protection Agency is a very important job, ensuring chemical levels are consistently within safe levels and enacting regulations when they are not.
Unfortunately, the latest nominee for this position is a noted friend of the chemical industry, Michael Dourson, whose private research firm has had a history of working to boost the maximum safety allowances for dangerous chemicals on behalf of the chemical industry. One such chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), used in teflon products has been connected with a higher risk of kidney disease and decreased renal function. Dourson’s efforts allowed the state of West Virginia to set a standard safety level for the chemical that was 2,000 times less strict than levels deemed safe by the EPA. Undermining the very real threats of chemical exposure in order to make a profit is not only highly unethical, it’s also tantamount to consigning thousands of innocent people to lives of chronic illness and premature deaths.
As people’s lifespans increase due to scientific and medical advancements, it’s very important to keep in mind that we can use science as an ally to make sure that quality of life is as healthy and happy as possible for as many people as possible. Having the right people in the right roles can help countless people at risk to extreme chemical exposure remain safe, and, conversely having the wrong people in the wrong roles will undoubtedly cause a spike in chronic illnesses, like chronic kidney disease. Let’s all make smarter choices for our kidneys, our children’s kidneys and the world at large.