Environmental Health


How would you like to gain some information on Environmental Health? If you already know a lot, how about revisiting, some of the helpful facts about Environmental Health and how some well known people have conveyed to us the importance of environmental Health through their famous quotes.

Emerging research shows links between environmental toxicants and the documented rise of complex chronic illness; such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, cancers, neurodevelopmental disorders and reproductive health, and identifies how an integrative medicine model may be applied in both prevention and treatment. Morbidity, mortality, and health care costs of disease related to environmental toxicants have the potential to be significantly reduced.

Meaningful progress in this area requires large-scale changes in human behavior Some of the studies evaluating organic food choices, such as National Institute of Education (Nie, 2011), indicate that factors such as concern about environmental issues, food safety concerns, children’s nutrition, and interest in healthy lifestyle play a major part. In his writing “On Airs, Waters, and Places”, Hippocrates noted the importance of considering every element of environment in its relation to human health (Hippocrates, 400 BCE).

The main principles governing environmental and integrative medicine emphasize interconnectivity, and this is a constant reminder to us that if our environment is out of balance, we are out of balance.

Multiple studies have shown that serene, tranquil, peaceful, naturally lit spaces with clean air, nutritious food and water, and social support promote healing and pain can be managed more effectively. Children thrive when they have safe, unstructured outdoor time in a natural healthy environment, and so it would seem to follow logically that the inverse also holds true (Depledge, 2011; Irvine, 2002).

A sick environment with pollutants in air, land, and water, promotes illness in every dimension: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. When we harm our environment, we do harm to ourselves. Many scientific studies confirm the negative impact of a distressed ecosystem on human health. “Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth” - Henry David Thoreau, United States writer and social critic (1817-1862) Cause and effect relationships have been well established, demonstrating the adverse effects of environmental pollutants on every body system.

The World Health organization defines environmental health as a field of study that “addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors impacting behaviors. It encompasses the assessment and control of those environmental factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. This definition excludes behavior not related to environment, as well as behavior related to the social and cultural environment, and genetics”. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database contains information for more than 540 chemical substances and the human health effects that may result from exposure to various substances in the environment.

Breath is considered one of the primary foundations of health. The importance of clean air for proper body functioning is mentioned in the teachings of ancient healing traditions from Ayurveda to Yoga. Dioxins are found globally, and according to the World Health Organization due to their ubiquitous presence, people throughout the world have background exposure.

Dioxins are highly lipophilic, and accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals in the food chain. The primary source of human exposure is in food, mainly meat, dairy, fish, and shellfish. Human health effects include reproductive and endocrine problems, developmental problems, immune system effects, and cancer. Some simple recommendations to avoid dioxins include trimming fat off meat, consuming lower fat dairy products, and eating a varied and balanced diet of fruits vegetables, and grains (WHO, 2010).

“ To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed. ” ~Theodore Roosevelt, seventh annual message, 3 December 1907 Clean water has been prized in the practice of medicine for centuries. Its use is recorded in teas, potions, tinctures, brews, ancient healing rites and rituals, in spas and sacred waters across religions and cultures throughout the world and its importance continues in the practice of medicine today (Baruch, 1892). A lot of advances are happening in scientific world in nanotechnology; with advances come both the benefits in Medicine and the unavoidable ill effects in Epigenetics (Epigenetics is the term for heritable changes in gene expression, without changes in DNA sequence) and Epigenome (Epigenome is that which is surrounding, over, or above the genome, which may alter the expression of the DNA by binding to the DNA, and to the chemical groups around the DNA), and reproductive organs, and the neuro -psycho-endo- immunological systems.

“At the heart of this new field is a simple but contentious idea—that genes have a ‘memory’. That the lives of your grandparents—the air they breathed, the food they ate, even the things they saw—can directly affect you, decades later, despite your never experiencing these things yourself”- From the BBC television program: The Ghost in Your Genes (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/genes/) Precautionary Principle: “Caution in advance” The precautionary principle is a moral and political principle which states that action should be taken to prevent serious or irreversible harm to public health or the environment, despite lack of definitive scientific certainty as to the likelihood, magnitude, or causation of that harm (Raffensberger, 1999). There are Preventive Steps to avoid BPA, Phthalates, Pesticides, Halogenated compounds and other Harmful Toxicants, air pollutants, water, and land pollutants, and are enumerated in many websites, a few are as follows: http://www.epa.gov/, http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/hapindex.html http://www.healthandenvironment.org/tddb http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ http://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-guide-safe-drinking-water  



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