Here is yet another story about pollution in China.
One of the many reasons our factories moved overseas is because it is so expensive for companies to be responsible from a pollution standpoint, and that’s pretty much a requirement in the US, while not so much in countries like China, India, Mexico, and Pakistan. I’m not saying the solution to the problem is to allow US factories and mines to treat the environment like a toilet, I’m just pointing out one of the many reasons factories in other countries can make goods so much cheaper than factories in the U.S.
Cadmium, the current news item, is used in things like ni-cad batteries, paint, plastics, and children’s costume jewelry. Which points to a whole ‘nother problem of “no government regulation”.
Most of the news stories yesterday did not mention the name of the mining firm. Why is that? In the U.S. the offending company’s name is front and center of our news articles. I’m seeing a few articles this morning that state the name of the mining company: The Guangxi Jinhe Mining Co. Ltd is accused of dumping massive amounts of cadmium into the river. When the first news articles came out, it felt as if someone were protecting the mining firm. Things that make you go… hmmmmm.
The US was responsible for some horrible pollution back sixty years go. Even forty years ago. The politicians have managed to regulate it out, but they did a sloppy job of it by making it so complicated. Our pollution laws cover thousands of pages, and companies have to spend a whole lot of money to be sure they are compliant. I think it’s Sweden, if I’m remembering correctly, that has almost no pollution and a very thin pollution law book. They can do that because they thought things through. Simple laws, like, your river intake has to be downstream from what you put back into the river.
From an environmental perspective, I believe China is about where we were in the fifties, possibly early sixties. It’s only a matter of time before things reach a critical mass and they start regulating better to keep pollution to a minimum. The question is… how much time? The federal government in China really doesn’t have the kind of authority over the provinces that our federal government has.
In the meanwhile, there are pages and pages out there documenting the horrible pollution in China. This page is a pretty big eye opener, though without the ability to transport the smell to your computer screen, I’m not sure the impact is anywhere near what it should be.
I’m talking about China because China is relevant to those of us with kids who were born in China… but China isn’t the only place this is a problem.
For those bringing a child home from a heavily polluted area, the best we can do is put as much good nutrition into them, and to keep as many pollutants away from them, as possible. My intention was to not add to the pollution already in their system, and to try to counter it with good stuff. That requires research, as pollutants show up in places you don’t often expect. I fed my girls from glass bottles, I used glass and stainless steel sippy cups, and fed them locally grown fruits and vegetables as much as possible. I didn’t allow lotions or oils with petroleum products to touch their skin. I didn’t put cotton fireproof pajamas on them at night, and only used a few brands of fleece or polyester pajamas – the ones I’d checked out to be sure weren’t treated with chemicals. My list is endless, but I’d like to spend the next few weeks talking about ways to keep toxins away from our kids.
I can’t stop the pollution happening around the world, but I can do my best to keep it from coming into contact with my family in our home.