As a working woman with children, a husband who works in the building trades, and a father with Alzheimer’s, I am very concerned about environmental contaminants.
There has been growing evidence in the form of scientific studies that warn about contaminated food and the possible health risks. My father is one of thirteen children and the only one in his family to have developed a dementia type disease. Did he get exposed to something that his brothers and sisters didn’t? Or was it genetic? They know so little about dementia, but it just seems a bit coincidental that as the percentage of people developing dementia and cancer are increasing so is the quantity and variety of toxins that are being created and released into our environment. Hmmm……
What do we mean by “the environment”?
The environment is everything around you, indoors and outdoors. The air you breathe, the water you drink, the ground you walk on, and the food you eat are all part of your environment. It’s important that you know what things in the environment can affect your health and what you can do to protect yourself and your family now and over your lifetime.
How the environment affects your health
Chemicals are released into the environment in a variety of ways. Manufacturing plants have often been blamed as the primary culprit releasing chemicals in the form of waste products into water supplies and the air. However, individual homeowners can release lead into the soil from scraping old house paint, or by pouring oil from a car into the road drain. Today, scientists are measuring abnormalities in fish and amphibians that seem to be caused by an increasing amount of pharmaceuticals being flushed down the toilet, thus entering the water supply.
Environmental toxins play a role in conditions such as breast cancer, endometriosis, and menopause. Pregnant or nursing mothers can have increased risks for miscarriage, preterm birth and birth defects. Pollutants in the environment can contribute and aggravate symptoms of cardiovascular and lung disease, including high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma in older woman. Long term exposure may cause cancer and dementia. Click here for a list of top 7 threat’s to women’s health.
Many types of exposures are more harmful for children than for adults. There are many reasons for this, some are:
- Relative to their body weight, children eat, breathe and drink more than adults do. So children take in higher concentrations of any toxins in food, water, or air.
- As organs develop, they are more likely to be damaged by exposure to toxins.
- The ways that toxins are removed from the body are not fully developed in children.
- Children spend more time outdoors, where they may be exposed to outdoor air pollution and ultraviolet radiation.
- Children do more intense physical activity, causing them to breathe air pollutants more deeply into their lungs.
- Young children tend to put their hands, dirt and other objects into their mouths.
Men more often are exposed to work related environmental toxins from the labor trades or from around the home. Lead and VOC in paint, pesticides from lawn care, or asbestos and other air quality pollutants can cause men to be prone to lung cancer. Excess sun exposure can lead to skin cancer. Prostate cancer and colorectal cancer, stroke and diabetes are among the top 7 threats to men’s health.
There are habits that you can change to reduce your risks from environmental hazards.
Theresa Dansin is the webmaster at www.greenchoicesforyou.com. She shares news, information and recommendations on how to go green todayin order to encourage environmentally friendly families for tomorrow.