November 13, 2017
Sticking with the theme of toxins and their effects on humans, I stumbled across an article that does a nice job of bringing home the reality that we all face every day across the globe: pollution in the air, water and ground.
From the article, Susan Brink writes, "Those studies observed populations exposed to pollutants and compared them to people not exposed. The studies have shown that pollution can be an important cause of diseases - many of them potentially fatal - including asthma, cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, birth defects in children, heart disease, stroke and lung disease."
Global estimated death models note that pollution counts form 9.2 million deaths annually
versus 7.2 million for tobacco use and 5.4 million for AIDS, tuberculosis, alcohol and malaria combined. Those are sobering statistics.
Early in my career, I focused on children suffering from asthma and allergy which kept me close to the pollution issue. Many of us live near either interstate 77 or 85 and all of the millions of cars that pass by annually releasing tailpipe particulate matter into the air daily.
We have other sources of air pollution including fossil fuel burning at power plants and so on. Asthmatic sufferers are the canaries in the coalmine for all of us. Their lung complications as a result of air pollution is a warning to us all that these concerns are real even if we cannot directly feel it.
The big problem for most of us is that pollution tends to be a silent destroyer of physiology. The mad hatter realized far to late that his brain is damaged by the mercury that he used to make the felt hats. The patient that suffers a heart arrhythmia does not connect the high ozone day pollution to the event.
As with everything in life, it is all about balance. We cannot return to a pre-pollution age. Governments are woefully inadequate at combating these issues. What we can do is get smart about avoiding them as much as possible while supporting the body to detoxify these chemicals if they get in us.
A friend of mine, Francis Koster, started a project called The Pollution Detectives whereby students start to look at the air quality of their working environment. These projects are the keys to understanding and then changing environments that are effecting us. Very much akin to the no idling campaigns that we have been working on. Simple changes can have a huge impact on your children's environment. Grassroots efforts are often more powerful at changing behavior.
I shudder every time I take my son to soccer practice where I see countless gas guzzling SUV's running in the parking lot so the parent can sit in yet another climate controlled environment for 90 minutes while practice happens for Johnny and Suzy. Do they not realize that they are polluting their own child? Amazingly, I think that they do. Unfortunately, comfort trumps common sense and likely always will.
Simple changes to behavior can have vast impacts on human health.
1) Eat lots of organic cruciferous vegetables which are loaded with sulfur and other detoxifying chemicals.
2) Sweat often and profusely to release toxins that get in your body. Exercise, sauna, hot tub, etc...
3) Do not idle your car! Please!
4) Air out your house periodically to release accumulated off gassed chemicals from carpets, furniture, etc.... This is especially true for new homes.
5) Drink lot of water.
6) Eat lots of fiber to feed your micro biome which has two important effects: 1) increases bowel elimination clearing toxins 2) Increases toxin destroying microbes in your intestines.
7) Add house plants to soak up the bad air particles.
8) Visit www.EWG.org for vital information.
9) Avoid commercial chemical air fresheners. Use natural mulling spices or essential oils.
10) Wear masks with filters when working with noxious fumes or chemicals.