Toxins in our Environment
No matter where you live in, be it a quiet and picturesque countryside or in the heart of a metropolis; environmental toxins will not spare you. Every volume of air contains some kind of suspended particulate matter that is harmful to your health. It doesn't spare you even in an air-conditioned room.
Not only the air pollution that is toxic to human body; but the synthetic pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that are being frequently used in the agricultural field can cause havoc to the human society. A special class of pesticides – the organophosphates is specifically known to cause hormonal disturbance and cancer. The industrial toxic load should also be counted.
By far the most common toxin in our environment is air pollutants. Dust particles, fly-ash, chemical and organic powders, and smoke are the main culprits. They may cause many lung diseases including SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which is fatal in most of the cases. Pollen grains can fly through air and lead to severe allergic manifestations. Home décor, textiles and polished garments can release low doses of formaldehyde. It is a compound that is capable of producing nausea, redness in the eyes, breathlessness and dry skin. Carbon-dioxide and Carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur is constituent or air and can cause lung problems in the long run.
Water borne toxins are mainly chemical in origin. Heavy metals like mercury and lead are common toxins present in the underground water. In many countries, Arsenic possesses a great problem getting potable water. Bacteria, funguses and virus can grow in any damp area or in a place of water stagnation. These areas may be ducts, drains, humidifiers, air coolers and bathroom tiles. Pet hairs can cause a disease called Legionnaires’ disease – causing severe respiratory distress. Pet dander and mouse urine can be a causative agent for common cold and asthma. Dust mites present in the surface of the carpet can cause allergic reaction to the skin.
Exhaust fumes from the vehicles and industries can bring the sulfur level of the air so high that acid rain can occur.
Cosmic rays contain large amount of Ultraviolet ray – A and B, gamma rays and other unknown rays. These are known to cause damage to the eyes and even skin cancer.
Although scientists have developed many techniques that would help us to minimize the health hazards caused by the toxins in our environment, much effort is needed to implement these techniques in the field. Strong desire from the governments and general public is required to eradicate the menace of toxins in our enviroment.