How often do you get sick? Get a cold, feel nausea or headaches? Do you know these are some of the symptoms that signals you have exposed to an unwanted chemical? Do you notice that your child or the younger generation is overly active when they are not supposed to be? Or aggressive towards very small issues?
Chemicals can be both beneficial and harmful. It all depends on to what extent one is exposed. There’s a famous adage; “dose makes the poison”. One can die by even drinking water if he exceed the lethal dose.
Well, they are not to be blamed. Blame the environment you raised him, blame the food you fed him and all those nasty chemicals he was exposed.
From the root of your hair to tip of your toe, you’re exposed to thousands of chemicals that could be harmful to you. But, you are still fit and fine? That’s only because you were not exposed to the adequate dose yet.
The exposure could be through anything that you touch, smell and takes in through your mouth. The food you eat, cream you apply on face, your nail polish, hair dye, clothes you wear, toys you play, chair you sit, plate you eat or paint on your window.
Concerned about food? Our vegetables can contain loads of pesticides. Those that are applied to get rid of weeds, insects and even to harvest. Vegetables themselves grab air pollutants and absorb toxic chemicals in soil through water including lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Then comes meat with all the toxics they are fed with. We are all a part of a food chain and a food web that connects all those chains. Did you ever think that, fish in the poultry feed contains all the dirty chemicals people release into water bodies?
Those flavor enhancers in your favorite dish could eventually be the culprit behind your obesity. Those colorful candies that kids crave for are individually safe. But, collectively could be the reason for a child’s learning impairment, hyperactivity or aggressiveness.
The list extends, to paints with lead and other air pollutants like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and all the things these paints are applied on including your house, toys, plate you eat, the mug you drink and clothes you wear.
Cosmetics are another culprit. Some of these use toxic chemicals such as mercury, phthalates and parabens. To enhance their effects, all when safe alternatives are available and are widely used.
Another group of chemicals that have invaded us are Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). They are characterized by persistency, ability to accumulate in biological tissues and the ability to travel across boarders without visa air airfare! That’s really not funny because, in 2001 when they were first identified there were only 12 chemicals in it. By today (in 2019), the number of chemicals in this group are 32 and research, are still on. They come in many of our day-to-day consumer goods such as; non0stick cook ware, cushioned chairs, firefighting foams, carpets and many more. Some are secondarily generated while burning wastes like plastic, PVC and in recycling processes.
Then there are microbeads that go down the sink when you use a scrub or a toothpaste and micro-plastics resulting from decaying and degradation of the plastics you throw out. Both microbeads and Micro-plastics contaminate our aquatic life. What’s worst? They even adsorb other pollutants in water bodies such as POPs ultimately contaminating our salt to all seafood dishes.
Workplace exposure is at least controlled to some extent in some countries. But we mustn’t forget that in some corner of this world there are people who; dismantle Lead-acid batteries, mix mercury and an alloy for amalgam tooth fillings and handle mercury for gold extraction (Artisanal Gold mining) with their own bare hands.
Although one might not pay heed to all this while he’s still alive it cost the environment in his death. For example; a man bearing an amalgam tooth filling releases mercury with his urine and feces and when he’s dead, cremation releases mercury vapor to air and burial eventually releases solid mercury to soil.
Be mindful, be alert of everything you use, touch, eat and drink. It’s you who are responsible for making choices starting from your food. Don’t let anyone including yourself to poison yourself or this environment.