Pollution risks are shared around the world

I may try to be funny at times but I don’t joke about health or the impact the environment can have on health. Our nation’s future deserves to be protected by all of us including our elected officials. A clean supply of air, water and food is necessary for current and future generations of humans and other life. Pollution is damaging to both our health and our property.Not only our health is at risk but our grandchildren’s children can be negatively impacted by today’s pollutants. Small changes in genetic structure can occur in the eggs that are developing within a female fetus during the prenatal time. Those small changes can reduce the health of the child and be replicated in the child’s children. Protecting pregnant women from stress and harsh chemicals not only helps their babies but it also helps protect the babies’ future children. [1]

Ignoring pollution risks the future of life on the planet. Humans are not the only species suffering from chronic disease and illness. [11] This land is not only our land. Humans are unlikely to thrive on a planet with few other lifeforms. The chemicals that we spread on farm fields or city parks or that we wash airplanes with add toxins to the ground water and eventually pollutants show up in the oceans.

Excess carbon dioxide from combustion is sequestered from air pollution by the minerals dissolved in ocean waters but the buffering capacity is not unlimited. Acidity levels are rising in the oceans. [2,3]

Life and ships may not thrive for long in increasingly acidic sea water. Our oceans are not acidic currently but small changes in acidity do impact the growth of shellfish and may increase the need for maintenance of ships. The paint that we protect our ships with isn’t perfectly healthy either but corrosion would be worse for the ship’s cargo and crew. Maintenance requires the time for staff to order the work and supplies and to perform the work. [4, 5, 6] And staff and supplies require a budget to finance the work and purchases. Coordination and cooperation requires communication and that has a cost as well.

Free information carries the cost of awareness and for some that can be an undesirable expense. Negative campaigning twists words and facts into soundbites that make promises or warnings that may have little foundation in reality. Denial of truth is an easier soundbite to share than the disturbing reality that we actually share.

A recent study at Stanford University comparing food grown by organic or standard methods found a difference in disease resistant pathogens and in pesticide content but not a significant difference in nutrient content. The benefit of reduced pesticide content is not just for the person eating the food. There would be less toxins added to the ground water each year that the chemicals weren’t added to the fields or animal fodder. [8, 9]

We are trying to survive in a world increasingly loaded with chemicals that were previously unknown in nature. Some noticed the increasing environmental and health problems decades ago and have been working to increase awareness and reduce the chemical contamination but more awareness and action is needed. Consumers can use their purchasing and voting power and businesses can develop more environmentally sustainable products and policies.

My opinions are my own, no disrespect is intended.

/Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and  the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

  1. Varghese AC, et. al., “Oocyte developmental competence and embryo development: impact of lifestyle and environmental risk factors,” Reproductive BioMedicine Online (2011), doi:10.1016/j.rbmo.2010.11.009 [clevelandclinic.org]
  2. “Ocean Acidity” Figure 1: Ocean Carbon Dioxide Levels and Acidity, 1983-2005, EPA.gov: [epa.gov]
  3. Article by Helen Scales, Oceans Becoming Acidic Ten Times Faster Than (previously) Thought, (Nov. 24, 2008) Nat. Geo: [news.nationalgeographic.com]
  4. Salt Water, Fasteners and Boats, [marfas.com] *Guidance for the small boat owner.
  5. US Navy, Corrosion Control, NAVFAC MO-307, Sept. 1992, [scribd.com/doc] *A long document that I included  simply as an example of the many details involved in planning for maintenance needs.
  6. Ship Maker Denies Responsibility For Rust on New Navy Ship, (June 21, 2011) PaintSquare: [paintsquare.com]
  7. Article by Andrea Shalal-Esa, “Austal’s first high speed ship completes U.S. Navy acceptance trials” (Aug. 30, 2012) Reuters, NBC News: [msnbc.msn.com]
  8. Article by Shannon Pettypiece, “Organic Food Adds No Vitamins for Extra Cost, Research Finds,” (Sept. 4, 2012) WashingtonPost: [washingtonpost.com]
  9. Article by Robyn O’Brien, “Organic Food vs. Conventional: What the Stanford Study Missed,” (Sept. 6, 2012) Huffington Post: [huffingtonpost.com]
  10. A prior post included information about problems that have been seen in the health of coral reefs and sea turtles. “Coral reefs in peril, less perilous topic than religion or politics” (April 9, 2012) [gingerjens.blogspot.com]