save the boobies

My son and I were not discussing boobies, but the garbage patch which rests in the middle of the sea, not an actual “island” as some have called it, but rather an area the size of “a Texas or two” which is so full of accumulated garbage that one writer described how it glistens magically like glitter on your skin and nestles (rather annoyingly) in all your crevasses. It gathers too in the tissues of the fish which live in the waters, tiny bits of plastic pretending to be plankton which invade their cells (and, subsequently, ours) and never disappear.

One study found that nearly 1 in 10 fish studied had ingested the plastic, and the same scientists found that these particles have “sponged up” potentially dangerous chemicals.

“Save the Boobs” is the battle cry around Florence William’s new book about breasts, in which she discusses how they “soak up pollution like a pair of soft sponges.”

Ms. Williams also wrote about the breast cancer cluster (the largest in existence) around the Marine base of Camp Lejeune, tied to the drinking water which has been called the most contaminated public drinking water ever discovered in the U.S.

This week it was revealed that the samples of  bluefin tuna which were tested last August off the coast of California showed elevated levels of caesium, direct effects of the Fukushima disaster.

We sat outside last night in a lovely Instagram family moment, chatting and eating and enjoying the fresh air, when a very strong odor of pesticides made us hurry inside. Today the local forums were full of people who noticed it, some from miles away, with speculation about mosquito spraying, or ammonium nitrate, yet nary an explanation from the powers that be about what we were all inhaling on that first of hot summer nights.

Recently when walking down the street with a neighbor I pointed out a curious circle of grass growing in the middle of the street. “Oh, I’ll have to spray that,” she said. She’d planned on dousing the grass with weed killer, at least until I suggested that a pot of boiling water or some vinegar might do the trick, and pointed out to her the word on the round metal cap around which the weeds were growing which said, in large letters, “WATER.”

Sometimes I feel under siege. We all are. We control our own actions, but cannot always control those of others. The bluefin tuna may or may not have noticed that the fat juicy mackeral or plump squid had a slight radioactive aftertaste, and we in turn may not notice the same in our lovely sushi. Of course there would be no aftertaste, no glow, no flashing alert. And then we can imagine, having eaten the tuna, we might put our precious little one to our breast…

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