January 14-16, 2021 | New York Hilton Midtown, NY

How Chemicals Affect Your Health

Session Description:What is the underlying difference between the materials used by our ancestors vs. what’s used today? Answer: Chemicals. Our ancestors, out of necessity and availability, used materials found in nature. With the advent of science, technology, and industrialization, the use of natural materials was replaced with synthetically produced, chemical-based, un-natural materials. Unfortunately, many materials we use today are toxic.

Today, there are 80,000+ known synthetic chemicals that we are exposed to in our environment through consumer products, foods, and pollution. A rough estimate works out to 250 lbs of new chemicals per person every year, based on population and industrial production. We are told that these chemicals have been tested and the amounts used are low and safe. But how low is low? How low is safe? How low is safe long term?

Of particular concern is the use of chemical flame retardants (FR) in consumer products. There are many classes of FR with differing toxicities. These FR chemicals migrate into the environment and into living things. The consequences are dramatic and pathological. For instance: Women with flame retardants in their blood take longer to get pregnant and have smaller babies; Children exposed in the womb have lower IQ’s; FRs are associated with male infertility and male birth defects; FR exposure can cause early puberty in girls; Animal studies have linked FRs to autism and obesity and cancer; FRs are even found in polar bears in the Arctic!

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Participants will be able to explain differences between natural materials, especially fiber-based materials, versus synthetic materials, especially petrochemical based materials.
  2. Participants will be able to explain the various non-toxic certifications available for consumer products.
  3. Participants will be able to discuss specific toxicity issues regarding consumer goods and how the government deals with them, e.g. CPSC, Prop65, TB117, AB2998.

About The Speaker: 

Barry A. Cik PE, CHMM, CDFE, EPACP is founder and Technical Director of Naturepedic, a manufacturer of award-winning certified organic mattresses. He has had a lifelong interest in advancing a healthier lifestyle and elimination of toxic and questionable chemicals in consumer products. A board-certified environmental engineer, Barry is an advocate for legislative reform regarding chemical usage, and was invited to testify in Washington, D.C. for a congressional subcommittee exploring chemical reform. Barry is also a frequent speaker and thought leader, speaking before scientific, consumer, political and business audiences on the benefits of healthier product design without toxic or questionable chemicals.


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