This Week’s Cartoon: “Better Babies Through Chemistry”



cartoon about babies and toxinsNicholas Kristof had a good column the other day about the President’s Cancer Panel report, which declared that we need more testing and regulation of chemicals used in industry. Few people seem to be talking about this, as far as I know, but I’d say it’s one of the more admirable steps the current administration has taken. The fact that babies are now born with over 300 pollutants in their bodies is a sign of a diseased society, both literally and figuratively speaking.

A technical note about the second panel: PFOAs are a synthetic chemical used in the production of fluoropolymers, which lend special properties like nonstick and waterproof surfaces to a variety of products. So a baby stuffed with PFOAs, which are persistent toxins in the environment, would probably not have nonstick properties, although I’m thinking one coated with a thick layer of fluoropolymers might. I couldn’t explain all that in the cartoon, but you probably didn’t read that panel as scientific realism anyway. At least, I hope you didn’t.

I’m sure the toddler lawyers at Baby Rights Watch will be contacting me any day to condemn the treatment of tots in this strip.



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  • heydave

    I had a laugh at your strip (again) but, yes, I read it wondered how long for the Angry Baby contingent to sue you.

  • Elmore

    Plastics have only been around since World War II, and we’re only just beginning to realize the scope of the problems they cause. Having permeated life at the microscopic level, they’re moving on up the food chain, and while we’re already acquainted with the immediate health problems (i.e., cancer), they’re influencing the evolutionary process in ways that might not be clear for thousands of years. I do what little I can, such as buy glass bottles rather than plastic whenever I have a choice, but the fact is that it’s impossible to avoid plastics in today’s world.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-syndicated political cartoonist whose work has appeared in The Progressive, The Nation, Daily Kos, Austin Chronicle, NPR, Ms., Politico, and many other publications. The recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, she tweets at @JenSorensen.

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