Penelope Jagessar ChafferMy guest today is Penelope Jagessar Chaffer, a multi award winning documentary filmmaker, writer and children’s environmental health advocate. She’s working on a film called Toxic Baby. Today we’ll be talking about what Penelope has learn about how toxic chemicals can affect your baby even before it’s born. Penelope is the first black, female director to be nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award. Born in London, of Trinidadian parentage, she started her career at the BBC, before moving to Channel 4. She has won many awards for films created for the BBC and Channel 4. In addition to being the director, producer and writer of Toxic Baby, Penelope has been named one of the top 100 Green Online Influencers and has been awarded the “Mom On A Mission” award by Healthy Child, Healthy World, the non profit named by Vanity Fair magazine as one of Mrs. Michelle Obama’s two favorite charity organizations. Penelope’s TED talk with Professor Tyrone Hayes on the effects of toxic chemicals on babies and children has been viewed over 300,000 times. She is also an author for Toxipedia, writes her own blog and for publications around the world. A mother of two, Penelope lives in Brooklyn, New York City. www.toxicbaby.com | www.ted.com/talks/tyrone_hayes_penelope_jagessar_chaffer_the_toxic_baby

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transcript

TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Your Baby’s Toxic Womb

Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Penelope Jagessar Chaffer

Date of Broadcast: June 09, 2014

DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world, and live toxic free. Today is Monday, June 9, 2014.

We’re having a different kind of show today because usually, what I like to do is talk about all the positive things that we can do to live toxic free, but we also need to balance that with finding out what’s going on in our toxic world, and to find out really how serious the problem is. That’s what we’re going to be talking about today.

My guest is Penelope Jagessar Chaffer, and she’s a multi-award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer and children’s environmental health advocate. She’s working on a film called Toxic Baby. It’s not done yet, but she’s given a really excellent TED Talk. She has a website. She has trailers for the film. She knows a lot. She’s been named Mom on a Mission by Healthy Child, Healthy World, for her work on the Toxic Baby film.

She writes all over the world. Her TED Talk has been viewed more than 300,000 times. She writes for Toxipedia. We’ve had Dr. Steven Gilbert, who runs Toxipedia. He’s on monthly to tell us about toxic chemicals. She writes for Toxipedia. She knows a lot about what’s going on in terms of how children, babies and even babies in the womb are being affected by toxic chemicals. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Hi, Penelope. Thanks so much for being here.

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: Hi, Debra. It’s great to be here. Thank you for having me.

DEBRA: You’re welcome. So tell us, how did you become interested in this subject?

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: Well, like a lot of women, it really hit home when I thought of considering whether I wanted to have children. And as the time started ticking, I started thinking about it more and more. And once I got pregnant, I felt really compelled to have a sense of what was happening in my body, but also what was happening in the world that would affect my child.

I think that’s an instinct that we all really, really feel when we’re at that stage of our lives.

I was a really committed environmentalist up until that point, so finding out how toxic chemicals, they’re so prevalent, they’re so many of them, and how they really do affect children and their health, I was just stunned by the fact that I didn’t know about it at all.

DEBRA: And most women don’t. You have on your trailer a very dramatic trailer for your film, Toxic Baby. People can go to your website, ToxicBaby.com, and see this. You have a picture of the fetus in the womb, talking about the toxic chemicals that it’s being exposed to, listing Bisphenol A.

And when I watched that it was so dramatic for me because even though I’ve known, I study this, I write about this, I’ve been writing about this for 30 years, and even though I knew those facts that all fetuses are being exposed to these chemicals unless their mothers have, prior to conception, done something to detox these chemicals out of their bodies.

So if you haven’t done that and you’re pregnant or you’re about to become pregnant, your baby is going to be exposed in the womb to these chemicals and many more than what is listed there.

But it was just so dramatic to see the baby speaking, the fetus speaking, and saying, “This is what I’m being exposed to” because it’s absolutely true. And yet, most people don’t know this.

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: You’ve really hit home something there by picking up on that piece of footage. I personally think the situation is as bad as it is because so much of the toxicity of chemicals is unseen. We can’t really see the effects of Bisphenol A that mimic an estrogen in the body.

Every time your baby was exposed to this or you were, you had a boil on your face, your hair fell out or something like that, that’s a lot more fish oil, that’s a lot more […] And I think that we would have a lot more movements on this.

But it is really an unseen epidemic, and the consequences are not necessarily known. We don’t even know for sure exactly what’s going on, but they won’t be seen for potentially long time afterward.

And so part of the challenge in being a filmmaker with an issue like this is trying to reproduce in a way that people can see and understand. I just kept thinking if my unborn baby could speak to me, what would it say to me? And that was the image that I had in mind.

We were really fortunate in that those images, most of them, were very famous fetal images that made the cover of Life Magazine way back in the 1960’s, the original iconic fetal images. And what we’ve done through the magic of Hollywood and computer generation at 21st Century, we manipulated those images to make them speak. They’re actually real fetuses saying those words. And that’s my son’s voice that you’re hearing.

And he’s not allowed anyone to ever do that. This is the first time that that has been done. But for me, it was really important to not show lots of scientists talking, and it’s all black, and it’s very gloomy. I really tried to be cinematic in my approach because I think that if people can see the issue, if they can really visualize the problem, then they can connect with it in a much more profound way.

What you just said really backed that up. So I’m thankful that you felt that too.

DEBRA: I did. I did feel it because it was very real. I actually don’t have children myself. In my particular case, I don’t talk about this often, but I think I’ve had a lot of endocrine damage. And so I wasn’t able to conceive children. Instead of taking dire measures and doing all kinds of fertility things, I just decided that if this was the way it is, this is the way it is.

And I put my time into doing my writing and other things. And I think that my work, in fact, has helped a lot of children, and helped them to have healthier lives.

Another thing that touched me in your TED Talk, you were talking about, I don’t remember the exact words that you used but it was something about the fetus being in a captive environment. Do you remember exactly what you said?

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: Yes, I said the fetus is trapped in a contaminated environment.

DEBRA: That’s exactly what you said. I remember those words now. Yes, and that was so dramatic. It’s like I can read and write things that are facts and data about toxicity, but what you’re really doing is using your artistic skills to make these things real. And to think about the fact that I might be carrying a child or somebody is carrying a child, they’re soon-to-be-born baby, and that baby is trapped in a toxic environment, in a contaminated environment where there are all these toxic chemicals.

And it’s like, “What if I was trapped in a room that was contaminated and I couldn’t get out?” And that I had to breathe these toxic chemicals. In every glass of water would have toxic chemicals in it, and I couldn’t do anything about it.

I can’t even imagine what that would be like, but yet, that actually is what’s going on in pregnancy today.

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: Absolutely. There are two points there, and I would like to address them both if I can.

And those points, I think it’s amazing to hear you share that. But I have to say that your experience is not uncommon. It’s incredibly common.

I had two miscarriages myself. I have two children, but I’ve had four pregnancies and two miscarriages. It is an epidemic that no one talks about, the struggles that women have to conceive. I’m really grateful that you had the strength and the conviction of your character. I guess you’re at peace in where you are in the world to be able to say, “Okay, well, this is it. I’m not going to go down this route,” because the root for insecurity is a lot of hormonal intervention.

It’s about pumping your body full of hormones to make you more fertile. Once you do happen to conceive, to keep the fertilized egg and prevent it from miscarrying […]

DEBRA: And I just couldn’t do that. I just couldn’t put all of that in my body. We need to take a break, but we’re going to talk more about this when we come back.

This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Penelope Jagessar Chaffer. She’s working on doing a film called Toxic Baby. She’s also an environmental health advocate for children. She knows a lot about what’s going on with toxic exposures to children, to babies, and to fetuses.

We’re going to continue to talk about that after we come back.

= COMMERCIAL BREAK =

DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Penelope Jagessar Chaffer. She’s an award-winning documentary filmmaker. She’s working on a film called Toxic Baby. You can go to her website called ToxicBaby.com, and see the trailers for the film. And you can also see her TED Talk about toxic chemicals that babies are exposed to in the womb.

So go ahead with what we were talking about before the break.

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: Well, I was just saying that the whole process of conception and carrying the baby is it’s all regulated by hormone. And in fact, every aspect of our life as human beings is regulated by hormones. We understand estrogen and testosterone, but even the way that our heartbeats, how many beats that it produces a minute, that’s driven by hormonal activity.

And it’s really crucial when you’re talking about babies. So if you had gone down that route, you’d have been ingesting the hormones that are mimicking hormones that we already have, and putting in doses that we don’t really understand what the repercussions of that.

We’re now seeing women who have gone through fertility treatments with later cancers, cancers associated with the sexual organ, particularly uterine and ovarian cancers.So many of these cancers have […]

So I think that by not going down that route, potentially, you have steered yourself away from something that could have been in your future.

And going back to the idea of the fetus being locked into this environment, we used to think traditionally that pregnancy was the time of absolutely protection. You have a baby literally in your body, and nothing can get to that. And there’s an organ called the placenta that traditionally, the medical community thought was an absolute filter, and that anything that was bad, the placenta’s job was there to stop anything coming through.

Now, the thing is, the placenta is an ancient organ. And we’re inventing things that the placenta has never heard of it, it’s never had to deal with.

In my film, again, I try and put a […] placenta. What does the placenta do when faced with a certain pesticide that was invented during the 1940’s, during the Second World War, something like Bisphenol S, which is the replacement for Bisphenol A.

These are compounds that the placenta has never had to deal with. And everything that goes into the mother’s body will be present within the umbilical fluid and in her blood, and therefore, in the baby’s blood.

There’s a researcher who is in my film who I’ve talked to at great length, […] He’s Dutch. He’s been studying this for several decades now. They were measuring chemical contaminants in umbilical cord, the blood in the fluid, and in the babies when they were born. And they were finding almost the exact same level in the mother and in the baby.

So these babies are being polluted in the womb, and they are being polluted at the level that the mother is carrying. There’s no sense that the percent is going to diminish the amount of pollutants that the unborn baby faces.

And so if you just imagine that the fetus, the embryos and the fetuses can’t go anywhere, everything that they need has to be available within that environment. There’s no replenishing of the amniotic fluid, there’s no new air coming in. Everything is coming from the mother. And they are trapped because there’s nowhere else for them to go.

A significant number of these chemicals have the ability to disrupt our hormonal signaling. This is a problem for fetuses, embryos and babies in particular because, as I’ve said the act of conception, when a woman releases her eggs, the sperm and egg coming together whether that fusion happens, whether that conception happens, how the embryo develops, how it does not develop, how it becomes the fetus, the timing of the pregnancy, the timing of the delivery, when that baby comes, if it’s going to come early, if it’s going to come late, all of these things are determined by hormones.

They do have something that’s coming in that is telling the developing fetus that actually, this is going on. When it’s not going on, it’s actually not a real hormone that the baby is accessing. It’s actually a mimic. It’s actually something that’s coming in and pretending to be that thing. Then you’re going to have a problem because the hormones say, “Well, you should be developing your heart right now.”

And something comes in and says, “Well, maybe you wouldn’t necessarily do that. You would have another hormone doing that.”

Then that could have repercussions for that particular organ development. That’s something that is really new science, Debra. It’s the kind of science that has really turned so many things on its head, classical toxicology, obstetricians, and the way that they view pregnancy, or just biology in general.

It’s a huge cause for concern. And unfortunately, it’s not taught in medical schools. So a lot of the doctors have no idea about this.

DEBRA: Well, it’s not taught in medical school. It’s not just not taught to obstetricians. It’s not taught to any doctors. And so what we have now is a system where I would say from my study and from talking to leading edge doctors. I just had a doctor on last week, on Monday, where we were talking about how the number one health problem in the world today is exposure to toxic chemicals, and that you could have any treatment with any drug or a chiropractic adjustment or take herbs or whatever.

You can do all of those things. But if the problem is that you’re being poisoned, and you do nothing to remove the poisoning, then you’re still going to be sick. And yet, people are going to all kinds of practitioners of all kinds, traditional and alternative, and toxic chemical poisoning, everybody is experiencing every day is not being recognized as a contributor to health.

Even after I’ve been talking about this for 30 years, even after everybody that’s on this show has been talking about it that we still have the majority of health care not recognizing this problem.

And yet, you and I, and other researchers can come up with all this evidence that toxic chemicals are causing health problems, that they’re there in our consumer products, and yet, it’s still not widely enough known.

We need to go to break again. And when we come back, we’ll talk more.

My guest today is Penelope Jagessar Chaffer. She’s the filmmaker for a film called Toxic Baby. And you’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and Penelope and I will be back.

= COMMERCIAL BREAK =

DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Penelope Jagessar Chaffer. She’s an multi-award-winning documentary filmmaker, making a film called Toxic Baby. You can go find out more about that at ToxicBaby.com, and also hear her TED Talk there.

Penelope, in the trailer, you showed that you were getting blood taken to be tested for the presence of toxic chemicals in your body, what did you find out from that?

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: Well Debra, I thought that I was really toxic. Like many people who live with vaguely healthy lives […] you can’t be as toxic as they all make you out to be. And actually, it’s true. The things that they were finding in my blood were astonishing, flame retardants, chemicals, plasticizers, dioxins, PCB’s that were banned in the United States. That was very restricted to use in the United States. And that’s one of the chemical groups that’s heralded the Toxic Substances Control Act way back in 1976. It was still present in my bloodstream more than 30 years later.

So that was really astonishing, and it really signaled how long these chemicals can stay in the environment, and they can get into our body and stay there. That was really horrific.

But I had actually had some great news, which was also surprising. And that was that I didn’t have some chemicals which would be widely expected that we found within the average person in the United States. I didn’t have any BPA. I think 93% of the earth’s population will have detectible levels of BPA. I didn’t have detectible levels of BPA. I didn’t have detectible levels of organophosphate pesticide. I didn’t have detectible levels of triclosan.

And these are chemicals that one can avoid through the choices that you make in your day-to-day life.

And so I’ve become such a big advocate, increasingly more so. I had move advocacy work in getting people to clean up their lives and inspiring people to make those choices because I see that you can actually make those changes and not have those chemicals present.

I didn’t do that deliberately or specifically, but it was interesting to know that that was the case.

DEBRA: There have been some other studies which have shown things like BPA actually leaves your body fairly quickly, and that if people have it in their blood, it’s because they have had a recent exposure actually within 24 to 48 hours. If you don’t be exposed to BPA, you won’t have it in your body.

And so what you’re telling me is it seems like a confirmation to me that if you’re not exposed to triclosan and you’re not exposed to BPA, then you’re not going to have it in your body. It’s not going to be causing health effects.

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: That’s absolutely true. The thing is, some of these chemicals are processed by the body really quickly. So something like BPA will go through the body within roughly about 24 hours. It’s the same thing for phthalates.

And so, once you remove that source, you can actually remove those chemicals from circulating in your body.

DEBRA: But there are other chemicals that stay in the environment and in your body for a very long time. And they’re not so easy to remove.

I’m just saying it over and over, I’m so glad that you told us about what the results were because it really does make a difference for people to not be exposed to these things in the first place. And I think that a lot of times, people say, “Well, there are chemicals all over the place. What difference does it make for me to not use this shampoo or whateve?”

And it does make a difference because all these toxic chemicals that we’re exposed to, whatever we can do to reduce them, reduces our risk of becoming sick from those toxic chemicals. And so it’s a really good thing.

What was the most surprising thing that you found in your research, the thing that surprised you the most?

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: Finding out how toxic I was, it was really surprising. That was a real shock because I also think that we think that if we’re living next to Chernobyl or nuclear power plant or something like that the expectation would be that we would be really toxic. And that if you’re living an average life, you probably won’t be that toxic.

So that was really surprising. And the amount of things that one can do, the study of science, the scientific study of epigenetics, which is a new science, was probably one of most surprising things for me.

DEBRA: Tell us about that because I think most people don’t know what that is.

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: For a long time, the question was, “Is it genetics or is the environment?” And the nature versus nurture, sort of, argument. People thought that they weren’t really, really separate things.

What the science of epigenetics tells us is that there are factors within the environment that have the ability to switch on and off, but in […] switch on genes that continue to be switched on as those genes continue to be passed on.

And so in laboratory animal studies, you expose a mother to a certain chemical, and you follow the pup. And what you find is that the genes have been switched on because of exposure to that chemical. The pup then has that gene that is switched on, you see the manifestation of whatever that might be. And then you see it in their pups, three generations later, four generations later.

So what that is saying to us is that when these genes get switched on, unless they get switched off, they’re going to keep carrying that potential for that disease.

On the one hand, it’s a really horrific thing to think about because the decisions that we make are affecting generations to come, the generations that are not even a blink in the eyes. But the other side of that is actually great news, and that is that we now think so many diseases are mitigated by this expression, these gene expressions.

And so if we can find a way to take the chemical markers that are switching on the genes out of the environment, and therefore, switch the genes off, we have the ability to treat and remove diseases that we thought were unremovable in our day-to-day lives. And we’re thinking really specifically about cancers here.

So you can look at it as something that’s really negative and really horrific, but I choose to look at it as something really amazing, and really powerful. It really makes me want to do the work that I do, and raise awareness about it because the more awareness there is, the more money that there is, the study, these kinds of things because potentially, it’s really good news if we’re looking at the ways of preventing these diseases.

Then it means that we’re going to have healthier people, and we’re not subjecting our generations to come to things that we would not ourselves want to have to live with.

= COMMERCIAL BREAK =

DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Penelope Jagessar Chaffer.

We’re talking about the film she’s working on called Toxic Baby.

So wow, this is just so mind-boggling, all of this information, because again, as I said at the beginning, I know all of this as data, but when we actually talk about it in the context of real life of women actually having babies, which I have no experience with, I believe you. I believe it when I hear women say, “I got pregnant, and then suddenly, I started thinking about what was going to happen to my baby and how to create a safe world.”

I think that that’s something that is common for mothers to feel that sense of protection. And then to be faced with, and then finding out about all of these toxic chemicals.

Finding out all of these things, how did that change your life as a mom? What did you do differently?

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: Well, first of all, I made a commitment to do everything that I could do. There are some things that we can’t do, and that’s why it’s really important to get a federal legislation that really protects people in a way that it’s not doing right now.

But there are many things, I found out, that I could be doing to give my children the best possible start. And a lot of that is now being backed up by scientific study, which is great. There’s a study that came out of California which showed that if you try to feed your children a 75% organic diet, then we could reduce their levels of organophosphate pesticide. It’s probably one of the more common pesticide, certainly one of the most toxic ones. You could remove that pretty much, undetectable in children’s urine and blood.

And so my children eat an organic diet as possible. Their diet is mostly whole foods, prepared at home, very little packaging, certainly no tin cans.

DEBRA: I agree with all of that.

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: The thing is, Debra, that I appreciate that there is not that many people doing what I’m doing. I live in New York City, I live in Brooklyn, and from my family, people are really surprised. For a long time they really didn’t get it.

I’ve had people say, “That’s crazy. It’s a bit out there.”

But I have to say that my children are robust. They really are. Considering they’re navigating the New York City metro, subway, network. They’re sharing the same germs as millions and millions of other people. And I think a lot of people who know, after a while, they were like, “Wow, the kids don’t really get sick.”

I don’t want to hold my children up as some kind of example. But what I see that’s really important is to people understand that you do actually see the benefits of trying to clean up. And not just trying to clean it up, but keeping it clean.

I don’t bring scented products into my home unless they’re naturally scented like perhaps a soy-based aromatherapy, natural oil-based product. That might find its way home. I read labels avidly. Everything that’s coming in, I’m going to read, I’m going to question it before I bring it into the home. I don’t want to bring it in and then wonder about it.

It made me really vigilant. And to a certain extent, it probably feels like hard work, but the amazing thing is, like anything that can become habitual, once you do it for certain amount of time, you stop thinking about it. I pick up something, I read it.

Well, I know what most things now, but I’m like, “I don’t like the look of that. I’m going to bring that in.”

DEBRA: I find that too. The way I live now may seem odd to people, but it’s second nature to me now. And it was odd to me when I started so many years ago, when I started being aware of toxic chemicals in consumer products.

I had to figure out which products to use, and which products not to use, because there was no website like mine to go to. There were no books like mine to read. I had to figure it all out. But once I figured it out, it’s not that difficult to keep buying the same non-toxic product over and over again.

I’ve learned how to clean my house with baking soda and vinegar. I don’t have to learn that again. I’m always looking at new things, and I’m always learning new things. Right now, I’m learning more about different whole foods that I can prepare in different ways to prepare them because I’m totally committed to preparing all my food, and not buying anything from take-out, or not going to restaurants because you just don’t know what’s in them.

One of my favorite shows to watch, I hate to say this, but I love watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri on the Food Channel because it shows me what I’m going to eat if I go to a restaurant. And it’s horrible if there’s sugar in everything. There’s wheat in places that you think that you’re not going to find it. None of it is organic unless you go to an organic restaurant.

It’s really an eye-opener to watch that show.

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: Yes, I completely hear you. When you think about food, our health, the foundation of our health is really based on what we put into our bodies. And really, food is primary to that because, of course, that’s how our bodies run.

For me, I know that leafy, green vegetables, particularly spinach, but I think the science is showing perhaps that it’s the same compound also do the trick. What matters is that they protect against BPA exposure.

There was a great study that came up in Duke University that showed that in rats, if you expose rats to dark, green, leafy vegetables like spinach, the effects of BPA were mitigated.

And so from my perspective, I’m like, “Okay, great. How can I get those leafy, dark green vegetables into my diet?”

DEBRA: That’s exactly it. That there are so many things that we can avoid, but there’s a lot of things we can’t avoid. BPA is one of those things you could say, “I’m not going to eat anymore canned food.” But it’s really hard to go shopping and not get BPA exposure from the cash register receipt.

Then you have to look at the other side and say, “Well, what can I do to support my body if some BPA comes in that I can’t avoid that it will process it, it will protect me?”

And I think that it’s really, really important that women who are thinking about conceiving be doing things to start removing toxic chemicals from their body. And I have a lot of information on my website about detox as well as information about products that don’t have toxic chemicals in it.

So it’s all available. It’s just a matter of people making those decisions. And if women start out by lessening their toxic exposure and removing toxic chemicals that are already in their bodies, and getting really good nutrition, we’re going to have such healthy babies. It will be amazing.

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: I couldn’t agree with you more. Before I had my first child, I did a detox. I didn’t even really understand the full ramifications of that until later on. But I was already starting on that journey, and I thought, “Well, it sounds like a good thing.” And I’m so glad that I did it.

And I think when we see the rising levels of disease for children, it’s really heartbreaking, and it’s really astonishing. If you have a child with asthma, you suddenly take out those cleaning products or those scented products or whatever, and you see those symptoms really lessen, then you can see that that linked really clearly.

I want to say something really quickly also about preparing for pregnancy. I was speaking actually on a Skype call this morning to someone in Europe about this. The Dutch have the best toxicity measures that I have seen, at least having spoken to many researchers in North America and in Europe because they had a couple of really bad accidents and incidences.

And now, in Holland, over 75% of pregnancies are planned in Holland. Officially, the obstetricians and the gynecologists are saying, “You should consider not wearing make-up. You should consider taking out perfumes.”

They’re actually advising patients to do that. And I think that is so wonderful.

DEBRA: It is.

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: They are really encouraging people to not only get the information, but use it in their own lives. And I think we all need to do that. I’ve been preparing my daughter for any pregnancies that she might have. And people are always really freaked out by that. She was really uncomfortable. But I said, “No.”

I’m preparing her for any pregnancies that she might have in 20 years’ time, 30 years’ time from now. And I think that’s what we need too.

DEBRA: Well, we do because in order for our species to continue, that’s what we’re designed to do, it’s to have healthy children and move our species forward, and continue life on earth. And I just think that toxic chemicals are the enemy of so many things. They’re the enemy of that. But they’re the enemy of our health and happiness, not being able to have strong bodies to do the things that we want, or not being able to think clearly, or being spiritually aware.

It cuts across everything that we just need to do the things that we’re doing, you and I, and so many others who are aware of this, and moving this all forward. We just need to continue to do it because it’s so important. It’s just an underlying thing.

Well, we have only less than a minute left. I just want to thank you so much for being on the show. Is there anything else that you’d like to say just for a couple of seconds?

PENELOPE JAGESSAR CHAFFER: I just want people to really understand that there is so much that they can do. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and frightened and scared, but there’s a lot that you can do. Be empowered, get the knowledge, and make the changes, and you’ll see that difference in your life.

DEBRA: I agree. Thank you so much. My guest has been Penelope Jagessar Chaffer. Her website is ToxicBaby.com. You’ve been listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio, and you can go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, and find out more about the upcoming guests. You can listen to this show again. You can tell your friends to listen.

I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. Be well.