All people are affected by toxic body burden.

The global toll on health places heavy strain on social and economic resources.

Broken Families

The physical fatigue and emotional strain of caring for one or more affected family members tears apart relationships.

The medical costs drive families towards debt, even for those having what's considered "good" health insurance coverage.

This Harvard study concludes it costs $3.2 million to take care of an autistic person over his or her lifetime.

The study also reports that the national annual costs of care for comparative illnesses are

$91 billion Alzheimer’s
$47 billion Anxiety
$35 billion Autism
$51 billion Mental retardation
$33 billion Schizophrenia

Lower Academic Achievement

Toxicants are affecting cognitive development and kids are performing more poorly than they might have.

Some are pushed over the edge ... but others are simply not doing so well in school.

Broken School Budgets

In the U.S., the average annual cost per 'mainstream' student is ~ $7K annually.

The average cost for a 'special needs' student is ~ $120K annually.

It can cost a school district more than $1 million to service just 10 special needs students.

The CDC has estimated that 1 in 6 children have some form of neurodevelopmental delay (this figure may be underestimated).

The financial consequences affect every student, teacher, worker, administrator, and tax payer.

It is common for a state to withhold financial support from a school district that fails to achieve attendance targets.

The cost of smog-related absences to California school districts totals $82 million yearly — and the cost to parents of the affected children is 3x higher.

Lost Productivity

Body burden imposes learning disabilities upon children and leads to lifelong difficulties.

It is harder for them to learn new skills, work, keep jobs, and generally get along with others.

This study looked at children's exposure to methylmercury from coal-fired power plants.

It calculated impacts on cognitive function (IQ) and subsequent costs to productivity.

It concluded the cost of lost productivity would be $8.7 billion annually (calculated in year 2000 dollars).

As the number of people exhibiting effects of toxic body burden increases, the time and money spent accommodating them will increase.

These links (here, here, and here) provide a Canadian perspective on the rights of people with environmental sensitivities.

Working adults are spending more time caring for others' illnesses as well as their own.

This ultimately drains productivity.

The Milken Institute calculates the annual economic impact of chronic disease on the U.S. economy is $1 trillion — a figure that could balloon to $6 trillion in less than 50 years.

This analysis figures that worker productivity drops 1% to 2% for every 1 point drop in IQ due to toxic lead burden.

Rising Crime

If not addressed, developmental disabilities such as aggression and impulsivity can wind up as violent and criminal behavior.

A great many people will fall through the cracks in a society unprepared to cope with the rapidly increasing number of people affected:

• Sources of body burden are many and the spectrum of symptoms is complex

• Few physicians are knowledgeable to diagnose and effectively treat the complexities

• Currently the level of community awareness is low

• Most of the population is ill equipped to manage the costs and commitments required for resolution

The inevitable consequence is a rise in crime and the increased costs which accompany it.

For example, these studies demonstrate how crime rates parallel childhood lead exposure.

And there is no reason to expect that lead is the only toxicant to correlate with crime rates.

Rise in False Criminal Allegations

Law enforcement officers receive little training to identify and cope with people who have diseases that affect neurological behavior.

This is generally true of all first-responders.

Consider the approximately 3 million Americans struggling with epilepsy.

Most people think of epileptic seizures as people shaking on the ground — symptoms of a tonic-clonic or grand mal seizure.

Actually, partial complex seizures are more common.

This type of seizure does not involve violent shaking symptoms — instead it brings a period of unorganized, unintentional behavior such as picking at clothes, chewing motions, wandering aimlessly, rapid repetitive motions of arms or legs, unintelligible speech, and other actions.

Law enforcement officers and bystanders who see someone having a partial complex seizure frequently mistake it for disorderly, criminal behavior.

Since the person suffering a seizure cannot respond to instructions, their actions are misinterpreted as resistance.

This leads to a use of force in order to subdue the person.

This aggravates the seizure, which leads to greater misunderstanding and an escalation of force.

Unnecessary injury occurs, and in some cases death.

It is common for a children with autism spectrum disorders to suddenly and quietly wonder off into the street, woods, or water — even under the watchful care of the most vigilant parents.

People who have not spent a day in the life of these families have no genuine understanding about how such a thing happens.

Unfortunately it is common for law enforcement and governmental child service agencies to blame the parent for "bad parenting" or negligence.

At a time when parents need support and assistance, they are instead threatened with criminal allegations and removal of the child from their care.

As toxic body burden increases in the population, the number of mishandled cases will inevitably rise. This is a predicament for government and citizens.

Breakdown in Health Care

Most health care research is aimed at discovering new chemicals.

Immense sums are spent on developing and patenting medicines, resulting in increasingly expensive treatments.

But the increasing use of pharmaceuticals is not leading to increasing levels of good health.

Instead, medications tend to exacerbate toxic body burden.

Obviously the utilization and costs of health care are substantially higher for people with diseases compared to those without.

It follows, then, that continued escalation of chemical “remedies” will result in higher costs and sicker people.

Most people tend to think about “health care” in terms of access to providers, affordable insurance, and rules about pre-existing conditions.

Increasing levels of toxic burden will push the current system to failure.

Industrial Shakeup

When a toxic chemical is banned or withdrawn, it may be replaced with something that is no less toxic — just less investigated.

History reminds us that when something new comes along it's safety still needs to be proven.

Thoroughly proving ingredients are safe before using them is a paradigm shift.

Paradigm shifts require retooling.

Capital expenditure and training can be significant.

Disposal of old equipment and material can be burdensome.

Capacity and availability of goods can be scarce for a period of time.

Historically, there is immense resistance to large scale change even when the need is urgent.

But the manufacture of toxic products and byproducts is not sustainable.