The hazards that we are exposed to -chemical, -microbial, -physical and others can reach us through:
– oral – drinking water, – food, – microbes
– dermal – everything that can touch our skin, – bathing water, – cosmetics
– inhalation – air
Many of these can be taken care of by applying the right measures such as water quality checks, food hygiene and safety, making sure that the food production follows the legislations set or it. To every problem there is a solution, that is exactly why environmental health exists.
Let me give you an example I find relevant in my life, such as dermal exposure through cosmetics and medicine. We live in the century where everything must be quick and easy. Have a headache? Take a pill. Can’t sleep? Take a pill. Got dry skin? Buy a random cream that the consumerism culture tells you is very moisturising. Got problem with your scalp? Buy Head&Shoulders. I personally dislike that specific way of solving problems. From my perspective, I will rather spend time in summer to pick up fresh chamomile, dry it, and drink it for a goodnight sleep. I rather rinse my hair with water mixed with rosemary and lemon extract than use something that consists of:
– Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (Toxic environmental pollutant)
– Parabens (carcinogenic (cancer causing))
– Isopropyl alcohol (links to headaches, depression, kills positive microbes)
– Paraphenylenediamine (impacts immune system)
– Triethanolamine (DEA),Monoethanolamide (MEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) (Endocrine disruptors (Endocrine system is responsible for producing hormones)
– Propylene glycol (Can damage kidneys and liver)
– Isobutene, methylpropane (a toxin found in many different cosmetics)
– Alkylphenols (endocrine disruptors)
All those chemicals are supposedly safe but I personally don’t think that anything that requires chemistry should be used on human body. Worst thing is that by using shampoos and shower gels with chemicals like this, we flash it down the drain, and that often is being released to natural habitat of many more, small organisms that will suffer more than we would.
From my perspective, nothing in our world even if organic is pure without any residue. Smoke from the chimney of a factory can spread within any direction. Wind can push anything anywhere around the world, and of course the acid rain with chemicals can fall anywhere, if on an organic garden. I am not sure how about anyone else, but in summer, I have many times just stood in the warm summer rain and enjoyed it. Before I even heard about the meaning of acid rain, I had a friend once, that asked me why am I standing like stupid absorbing the chemicals from the rain. He explained what he meant, that the rain can come from a cloud with any chemical from any part of the world. This really opened my eyes. Years later, I still keep that day in my mind, as a reminder, that people are sometimes unaware of what is happening. In this century, being completely organic and natural is impossible. Even the most nature connected people can somehow be affected by the hazards threatening our health.