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Friday, 29 July 2011

Traffic Pollution, More Bang For The Buck?

Below are a couple of links on the subject of traffic pollution. This has been around in the modern form for much of the last century because of motorised road transport. At one time it was common to have lead in petrol, but this has been curbed now after the health implications were finally accepted.

Also, we have monitoring of pollution. But this took a long while to bring in and was based on earlier data. Since then the continuing development on fuel technology has changed what is in the fuels and the particle sizes. Additionally, the drive for better fuel efficiency means that the fuels are working harder.

It is my contention that the power and impact of the pollutants now pushed into the air is far greater than in the past and is having wider and greater effects. The link below is an indicator of what may be happening in terms of asthma.

Further to this is the situation in the centre of major urban areas and what is beginning to happen to the children who live in them.

It may be my imagination, but when I find myself in heavy traffic or crowded streets I feel that what is hitting my sense of smell is much greater than in the recent past.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Mouth Watering

Amongst the many poisons and damaging substances we now rely on for our lifestyle and personal presentation is Fluoride. We have it urged on us to help our teeth.

That it damages them in turn is only to be expected. We are told that if we do not use it then all the sugar we consume will do worse damage. The option of cutting out the sugar is possible but our modern diet is full of it.

This video in the link lasts just over four minutes and is one of a series. It is clearly spoken, if in an American accent and easy to watch.

Whether it is easy to accept all the implications of what is said is another matter.

It is just a little scary.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I Talked To The Trees But They Stopped Listening

When we are looking at the substances in our homes and on our persons we can forget the others out there somewhere.

Notably, on our own or our neighbour’s gardens, or in the local parks and gardens and other green spaces.

Because we like to control what is there rather than letting nature take its course and we do not have the time or inclination these days to do it by hand so there has been a market created for chemicals to do the job for us.
The trouble is sometimes they do more than we expect or want them to.

The Imprelis herbicide story is a recent one in a long list of questions about the various products used to control plants.

Essentially, what may get onto and into the plants is likely to get onto and into us.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Difficult To Stomach

Recalling when The School Milk Act was passed in 1946 and youngsters in school were given one third of a pint of usually tepid milk to swill in the morning break, the general idea was that it would be beneficial to health.

This was before the days when the great majority of modern agricultural practice and essentially cattle were reared and milked on very basic systems. Of course there were always risks of contamination or bugs but not to the extent of today.

This item in the Daily Mail derived from research in Spain illustrates what the situation is now:

The contents of the milk are not far removed from the contents of other types of food. Whatever gets into the animals from whatever source may well get into the food.

Whatever comes out of the animals other than milk can get into the soil and also into the water and therefore into the food chain for livestock and people.

It is not just the milk.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Fat Shampoo

Probably, the reasons for the modern plagues of obesity are more complicated than we think. There is so much involved in terms of the way we live, work, travel and differ from previous generations to be certain.

Our problem is that we prefer to seek out a single cause and having done so we may or may not deal with to reduce the risks. Then we discover that this answer is still not enough and there are still other possibilities.

The article, linked to below, puts up another candidate for us to think about. It may or may not be something that adds to the risks. But if the hormones and their connections are important then it is one more thing to worry about.

It is not just the shampoo. These chemicals are present in a wide range of items. As these are in the shopping baskets of nearly all the population quite how much disruption they cause and to whom is going to be difficult to assess.

It is now a few years since I used shampoo’s or any soap which contained the usual chemicals. Mostly, it is plain water and a good sized flannel. If anything I am cleaner as the natural oils have re-established themselves as cleansers.

Alas, it has done nothing to remove weight.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Lux Not So Lumine

What astonishes me is the apparent absence of common sense amongst the population at large, never mind forgetting the lessons of history.

Quite why it should take scientific research of a high order to establish what is very obvious is a comment on the way our minds have been warped by the onslaught of marketing and advertising.

This item on scented candles is a choice example.

If you have something burning with an open flame it will discharge stuff into the air. If this is indoors in a room with limited ventilation then you will breath it in. Also, it will affect your skin and clothing.

The trouble is that something burning might have an acrid or other strong smell that you do not like much. So you buy something that has strong chemicals to deliver a smell that is designed to please people.

This does not send the other stuff away as it is suggested, it just is stronger and designed to impact more. In order to have a pretty effect you might have several of them burning away.

For those of us who grew up in the age of coal, open fires and power cuts, our memories of smoke and candle light are not the happiest ones. Our parents and grandparents could not wait to put in electricity to get rid of all the work and chiefly the smells.

Also, as all the authorities used to tell us as the time, air pollution is bad, fresh air is good. In the mid 20th Century we began to achieve an environment that was cleaner and better for us.
Now we are putting back the dirt into the drawing room.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Work Is A Four Letter Word

Articles appeared in the media about an employee who was dismissed for failing to wear make up as instructed by her employers. So I decided to join in the debate as follows:

Further to the media comment on the case of Ms. Melanie Stark and her dismissal from Harrods said to be because of her reluctance to wear cosmetics as required by the Harrod’s Dress Code.

I note that for males, cosmetics are not required but that apparently anti-perspirants and deodorants are stipulated.

There are added issues here which are not covered in the media.

The first is that increasing numbers of people at the present time are becoming adversely affected by these products. The degree and nature of reaction can vary and often it is very difficult to pinpoint the agent or agents in the products that are causal to the reactions.

Nevertheless, there is now an increasing literature on the subject and in many parts of the world the reality of multiple chemical sensitivity or other significant medical problems that can develop is widely recognised, although not in the UK.

Who might contract these problems is also a question. However, it seems very likely that someone who already has some form of compromise to the immune system or has suffered a severe viral or chest problem can be vulnerable.

If a person either already has a continuing issue or could be at risk then avoidance of products or substances is a logical and sensible course of action to take. If a person is already having more substantial reactions then avoidance might become critical.

There are other issues of long term health notably where sprays may be involved. One is that little is known of the long term effect on the vital organs but there is now increasing evidence that heavy use of the relevant chemical agents is a common factor in endocrine and other impairments of the reproductive systems.

To put it crudely, heavy use of some male deodorants might have significant effects on the lungs and reproductive systems of males.

The advent of fine particle (nano) technology has increased the impact and effect of very many products. I note that the HSE now has advice and warnings about work places in which nano particles may be present. One key disease is Pulmonary Fibrosis, which is both debilitating and incurable.

The extreme end of toxic/allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, the highly dangerous and potentially terminal immune system shock which can lead to a collapse of the brain and breathing function within a few minutes.

You will appreciate that these factors are very different from the wearing of a uniform, or clean tidy dress, or combed hair etc.

It is my view that an employer who insists on high levels of chemical usage by all staff as a necessary condition of employment is both discriminatory against those with any skin, breathing, or allergy issues and possibly in some circumstances depending on the pollution levels within the store an active danger to long term health.