Environmental health is a very large and growing concern for those living a holistic life style and more so every day as the state of our environment continues to decline rapidly.
This concern is justified by the fact that not only do toxins in the environment threaten nature and our planet itself, but they also have a profound impact on our mental, physical and spiritual health. Understanding how toxins make us sick and taking the necessary steps to reduce their impact is a vital component of achieving or maintaining optimal health.
The lackadaisical attitude of our current government administration, their total lack of regard for the environment and their almost laughable environmental policies are not only appalling but very frightening. They don't seem to get the critical point that devastation to the environment ultimately leads to devastation of the human being.
Many of the chronic mental and physical health conditions we see in society today are the result of our toxic environment. If you're already living with a chronic illness or health condition, it's frightening because there's no where to hide, and it only continues to get worse. If you're not, it's frightening that you may soon develop one.
The rise in cancer, respiratory disease, asthma, depression, arthritis, anxiety, hyperactivity, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, hormonal problems, reproductive disorders, nervous system disorders, kidney disease, and even more minor problems such as headaches, stomach aches, nausea and rashes that people just accept as part of life are directly linked to environmental toxins.
The very big and serious problem we face is that agencies such as the EPA and FDA who are supposed to protect our health do not do so. The laws and regulations we have in effect do not protect the consumer, they protect the manufacturer of the chemicals and pollutants. Chemicals and drugs rule this country and those manufacturing them have phenomenal power and influence over our governmental policies.
The truth is that we are all subjected to an enormous amount of environmental hazards on a daily basis. The brain and the human body are extremely vulnerable to this sea of toxins, which leads to declining mental, cognitive and physical functioning.
We are only beginning to see the tip of the iceberg that these toxins will have on environmental health. There is much more to come and this iceberg is the size of a glacier.
Most Pressing Environmental Health ConcernsSoil Contamination
Our soil is contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, lead, industrial pollutants, fertilizers and heavy metals to name a few. These toxins make it into our food supply and then into our bodies through consumption. Food that is less nutritious and poisoned leads to many chronic mental and physical disorders, conditions and disease.
These same environmental health hazards are found in our parks, schools and playgrounds, which put our children at very high risk.
Our water is also contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, lead, leaching of wastes from landfills, direct discharge of industrial pollutants, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, arsenic and heavy metals to name a few.
The addition of chlorine to the drinking supply exposes all of us to a variety of risks associated with the toxic impact of chlorine on the human body.
With global warming we are seeing an increase in devastating wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters that not only destroy homes, cities and lives but put many of us in immediate life threatening situations.
Not to mention the long term consequences on the planet and human life.
Our air continues to decline in quality year after year from automobile fumes, industrial pollutants, wood smoke, agriculture use of pesticides and herbicides.
Air pollution of course leads to numerous health conditions like asthma and other respiratory problems, cancer, cardiovascular disease and many more.
Housing Construction Materials
Most people are living and working in a toxic time bomb and are totally unaware of this crucial environmental health issue.
The standard materials that are used to build housing and businesses are extremely hazardous to your health. Carpet, walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, cabinets etc. contain high levels of Benzene, Formaldehyde and literally hundreds of different chemicals that have been linked to a vast amount of physical and mental health conditions like depression, asthma, cancer, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and headaches.
Even the EPA which is very reluctant to acknowledge the truth about any environmental health hazard states that 'Indoor air pollution in residences, offices, schools and other buildings is one of the most serious potential environmental risks to health." Cleaning up your indoor air is one of the best steps you can take to protect your health.
Air fresheners contain a variety of toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and phthalates.
Benzene and formaldehyde are linked to cancer and a variety of other conditions and phthalates cause hormonal abnormalities such as interference with the production of testosterone, birth defects and reproductive problems.
Even many air fresheners that are listed as "all natural" or "unscented still contain these toxic chemicals.
Phthalates are also found in a wide variety of other products such as cosmetics, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, vinyl, children's toys, sex toys, new cars and paint.
The chemicals in dryer exhaust can cause a host of physical and/or mental health problems. This can be from your own dryer exhaust in your own home or from your neighbors that drifts through the air and can contaminate a whole neighborhood.
It contains toxins like Alph-Terpineol, Camphor, Chloroform, Ethanol, Limonene, Pentane, Ethyl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Acetate, which may result in some very serious Central Nervous Disorders like Alzheimer's Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder, Dementia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Seizures, Strokes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
They may also provoke some other minor symptoms such as aphasia, blurred vision, disorientation, dizziness, headaches, hunger, memory loss, numbness in face, pain in the neck and spine.
Lead and Other Heavy Metals
Geez, we thought we had made a lot of progress in this area of environmental health by educating people and removing lead from homes and buildings.
But recently we see that lead is making a resurgence in our society through lunch buckets and children's toys. It's appalling that we are willing to put human life at risk to save a few dollars.
Additionally, heavy metal toxicity of other kinds like mercury, arsenic, cadmium, uranium and others are finding their way into the human body on a frequent basis and wrecking havoc on our health.
Household Cleaning Supplies and Personal Care Products
Your dish soap, laundry soap, disinfectants, floor cleaners, body soap, shampoo and any other personal care product or household cleansers are also hazardous to your health.
They contain toxic chemicals like Acetone, Benzylaldehyde, Benzyl Alcohol, a-Terpineol, A-pinene, Linool, Methyl Chloride, a-Terpinene and many many more, which are known to be Carcinogenic, cause central nervous disorders, damage the liver and kidneys, damage the nervous system, induce asthma, Leukemia, confusion, brain stupor and much much more. Many chemicals in cleaning supplies are also endocrine disruptors.
Perfume, cologne and other personal care products contain highly toxic chemicals to not only those who use them, but those around them sharing the same air space.
They contain toxins such as Benzylaldehyde, Benzyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Methylene Chloride and many many more that are known to be Carcinogenic, cause central nervous disorders, reduced motor activity, damage to the liver and kidneys, headaches, respiratory disorders and many more.
The wide use of toxic pesticides and herbicides which are used in our society to eradicate bugs and weeds by individuals, agriculture and our government exposes all of us to toxic neurotoxins, carcinogens and endocrine disruptors that have detrimental effects on the nervous, immune and reproductive systems.
Pesticides and herbicides are one of the most detrimental and insidious environmental health concerns we face and is magnified by the fact that their is great resistance in our government and the general population to acknowledge the truth about how very dangerous these toxins are.
They are everywhere in our environment and literally millions of people every year suffer from pesticide poisoning.
Pesticides are a leading contributor to Depression and Anxiety as well as a variety of other psychological disorders, Cancer, migraines, pain for no apparent reason, respiratory disorders, impaired mobility, cholesterol disturbances, reproductive disorders and a whole list of other conditions.
The most popular weed killer called Roundup and other glyphosate products are having widespread and devastating effects on mental, physical and spiritual health and the environment and should be replaced with natural weed killing options.
This is one of the few environmental health problems we have in developed nations that isn't brought on by man made chemicals.
Mold occurs virtually everywhere, naturally, in the environment and can have serious effects on mental and physical health.
Some people are allergic to mold, but even those who aren't can develop health problems from mold.
Mold produces a toxin called mycotoxins that can damage the health as seriously as chemicals such as formaldehyde and toulene.
These mycotoxins can cause Cancer, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, headaches, sinus infections, impaired memory and concentration, hyperactivity, high blood pressure, and numerous other conditions.
So this is quite a scary list isn't it? What can you do to protect yourself? Adopt a green life-style, keep your home environment as clean as possible and use environmentally friendly personal care and household products.
If you're physically capable, you can become active in your community with some of the local environmental groups.
I recommend that anyone concerned with environmental health get a copy of the book "Our Stolen Future," and be prepared to be awakened and shocked by the profound information it shares.