Today I'm bringing you a post a little bit more serious from my regular posts. I was contacted by Cameron and his wife Heather to talk a little bit about toxins and to promote Poison Prevention Week. Heather was exposed to asbestos as a young girl, and in 2005 was diagnosed with a type of cancer that is caused by being exposed to asbestos. Since than, Cameron has made his mission to spread the word about toxins and their presence in our homes.
We've all heard about toxins, right?. But do you know what is a toxin and where they can be found? Most people don't. They think that toxins are something that is only found in dangerous and controlled substances. Well, you know what? That's no true at all. We encounter toxins in our daily basis, in our common household objects, and we don't even realize.
A toxin is a substance that is harmful for humans, that comes from a natural or biological source. It's just a fancy name for a poison. This word is much more scary, don't you agree...? Poison... Yeah, but that's exactly what a toxin is. And we are poising yourselves everyday without even knowing. And many of this toxins -- if not all -- affect our bodies by causing cancer.
Some of this toxins come from compounds that are present in plastics, detergents or even in textiles. But having this information, we can pay attention and try to avoid buying products that contain specifically this specific products. For example, a lot of make up products or shower products already clearly claim that they are "Parabens free". It is important to avoid this type of products specially if you have kids, if you're trying to get pregnant or if you have a historical of cancer in your family or if you are more prone to have cancer for some reason. If you know how cancer "works" you know what I mean... Anyway, whatever is you case or situation, you want to keep the odds of having cancer at bay. At least I know I want. I have been concerned with this issue for many years, and whenever I can I try to pay attention and avoid products that my be harmful.
But there are one specific thing that what worries me the most. Asbestos (amianto, in Portuguese).
Asbestos can be found in roofs of schools and public buildings, It was the main material used for roofing in 70's. And it causes cancer. In fact, it causes a specific type of cancer called mesothelioma. Since the connection between mesothelioma and asbestos was scientifically proven, a lot of buildings were re-roofed, replacing the asbestos for other materials. But not all of them have been converted yet. Actually, last week I saw on the news that a kinder-garden in the city where I live still have asbestos on the roof. The news-piece was basically the director of the place was saying that ALL the ladies that worked there had some sort of cancer in some point of their life. Coincidence? I don't think so. I know that kinder-garden, I know people that went there. It scares be, because we just don't know that it is there.
Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma, after giving birth to her baby girl, years later after being exposed! She was given 15 months to live, but luckily after a life-saving surgery she is well and thriving today! If you'd like find more information about her journey and history you can check her blog series at mesothelioma.com/heather/survivor .
Mesothelioma -- as well as other form of cancer -- are preventable, but it is important to be informed about toxins and carcinogens.
To Heather and Cameron, thank you so much for sharing your story with my and with the world and thank you for the opportunity to share this information and be a part of this event.