Understanding the Science That Shows the Environment Affecting Human Health

Topics: Environmentalism, Health care, Cancer Pages: 8 (1503 words) Published: March 1, 2014

Home About E-Guides Products Advertising Contact What's New Here? Understanding the Science That Shows the Environment Affecting Human Health

It's difficult to watch the environment affecting human health and not feel spurred to change. But many people still fail to see the correlation between our actions and its effects on us, due to denial or simple unawareness of our relationship with the natural world.

Over time our natural bodies have grown accustomed to living in a natural environment. It has only been in the last century or so that we've experimented with living in an inorganic world.

When one tugs at a single thing in nature,
he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
~ John Muir
Disease On The Rise

Although disease is by no means new (the first description of cancer was recorded in 1600 BC), the current rates of disease are increasing at alarming speeds and most are closely linked with known carcinogens that have become abundant in our environment in the last several decades (such as pesticides, artificial hormones, chemical cleaners, etc).

Some cancer rate statistics according to the Cancer Prevention Coalition:

Cancer incidence rates have risen an overall total of 60% from 1950-98, specifically: Non-Hodgkins lymphoma has increased nearly 100%
Brain cancer up 80-90%
Breast cancer up 60%
Testicular cancer up 300%
Childhood cancers up 40-50%
1 in 2 American men and 1 in 3 American woman will develop cancer in their lives Of the 1,400,000 Americans diagnosed with cancer, approximately 43% will not survive Cancer rates are estimated to double by 2050

While cancer rates may be the most talked about, there are other more disturbing trends that all point to the environment affecting human health:

Asthma increased 75% between 1980-1994; 150% in children.2 According to the EPA, this was also the timeframe when air pollution was increasing the most. Type 1 diabetes rates have doubled since the 1980's3; Type 2 diabetes rates doubled between the 1970's and 1990's4 Autism cases have increased an alarming 56% between 2002 and 2006 alone.9 Approximately 50 million people are affected by autoimmune diseases, with an estimated one in nine women affected in their lifetime.10 Infertility rates are expected to increase over the coming decades.72 Birth defects affect approximately 150,000 newborns annually. Of the 70% of unknown causes, most experts believe environmental issues are to blame.8 Of 413 chemicals tested for, 287 were found in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies.19 In one study, various breastmilk samples showed the presence of pesticides, herbicides, household and industrial cleaners and more.20 It's obvious something it going on with our bodies as our cells mutate, break down or attack themselves and more and more of our natural world is contaminated with pollutants or toxins. Likewise, science has repeatedly shown that it is in fact our impact on the environment affecting human health with numerous studies and an urgent call for more research, stricter health standards and a banning of dangerous substances.

Pregnancy, Birth Defects and Infants

Photo Source: davhor

Birth defects have been linked to pollution, herbicides, antibiotics, air pollution, agricultural chemicals, beauty products, plastics, dry cleaning, and household products and cleaners.5,6,25,26,27,28, 29,30,31,32

Male factor infertility has been linked to pesticides, air pollution, exposure to lead, water pollution, household flame retardants and surfactants (found in many soaps detergents, fabric softners, paint, certain waxes, shampoo, conditioners, toothpastes, and more)11,1213,14,15,16.

Female factor infertility has been linked to household flame retardants, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, plastics, and industrial chemicals.15,17,7,18

Artificial infant formulas are linked to a higher rate of SIDS, Parkinsons' disease, and obesity, as well as diabetes mellitus, high blood...
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