I was reading this morning about a fairlynew discovery…lead in our faux leather and vinyl handbags. Last year, the Center for Environmental Health conducted research in California stores on many brands of purses only to find that most of those included in the study contained high levels of lead. The majority of the highest levels were found in bags with orange, yellow and green pigments.And much to my dismay, I’ve discovered thata few of my handbags hit the mark and will now have to be disposed of. I guess being fashion-forward (and, well…cheap) carries a high cost.(For a current list of known retailers and brands, visit the CEH website.) Due to the findings of this research,the Center has reached legal agreements with four of the major retailers to eliminate this potential hazard andplans on pursuing agreements with remaining retailers.
Reading this story this morning has got me thinking…has anyone noticed that it is becoming increasingly hard to liveaworry-free life? Thatsomething as relatively simpleand an act I consider as normal as brushing your teeth, to carry a purse, is nowa cause for panic?That thereare consumer watchgroups forming by the second,their mission to protectus from ourselves? Is nothing safe out there anymore?
Let me take a step back. I remember that blissful time as a child when my biggest concern was whether Barbie and Ken should buy a horse or not. Should they upgrade their pool furniture or wait until Ken’s next payday? Perhaps they should ditch the furniture idea and invest in mutual funds? Okay, so maybe I worried a teensy bit. Some personality traits are unavoidable (and kind of disturbing.) But whether it was safe or not for any future Barbie babies to lick the patiochaise lounge never entered my mind.
Fast forward to adulthood, particularly recently, when worrying reaches whole new levels. You can’t goa single day without reading, watching or hearing about some harmful substance which has been unleashed on the unsuspecting consumer. I should know. Because of my apparent genetic propensity for worrying, I’m one of those who likes to remain blissfully unaware. My morningnews is brought to me by Joel McHale and the Daily Soup.I pick up most of my online information from message boards and the Huffington Post. Don’t be impressed just yet. It’s actually the ‘Entertainment’ section that I have bookmarked. Front-door delivery of the New York Times? Negative. My daily read typically consists of magazines with the really important news, like Entertainment Weekly.And if I’m feeling particularly intellectual, Glamour.
Ignorant? No. Tired of inundating myself with negativity? You betcha. And even with my self-inflicted defense against harsh reality I would have to have my head in the sand to not know about the different dangers in our world. And, quite honestly, it scares me.
Lead in our housepaint, mercury in our vaccines, pesticides in our lawns,harmful chemicals in our plastics and cosmetics, pollutants in our air…the list goes on and on. Atfirst thought I’m inclined to do the following: remove all of our housepaint,foregovaccinations, lay down gravel, adopt a glass-only food storage policy and rock the au’natural look (this one sends shivers down my spine),apply a face mask to my children before leaving the houseand…move my entire family into a bubble.Or better yet,perhaps there are vacancies open in the Biosphere in Arizona.
On second thought, I’m not sure my family is entirely ready for life in a bubble. We can hardly handle an extended period together in a hotel room let alone a lifetime of bubble bliss. I could just see the headlines now, “Family of Four Admitted to Insane Asylum…Doctors Blame the Bubble.”
The fact of the matter is, a completely worry-free life is a pipe dream. Sure, there are proactive steps we could (and should) be taking to avoid exposure to some of the more nefarious of threats but it’s impossible and unhealthyto completely shelter ourselves from fully living on this beautiful God-given planet.
Whereas, I will nowbe a more discerning consumer, I suppose I’ll put off the move to the Biosphere and rip up my Bubble-of-the-Month club membership. Life is way too short to view it from the inside of eco-friendly plastic.