Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Food – choose health …

In conditions when we are always busy and even many worries pressure us everyday, we are forgetting healthy eating habits. Well, it is clear that the development of technology has brought changes in the way and speed of life, but try to remember, when was the last time your family gathered on a warm, home-prepared, lunch?
On the one hand, the facts show that fresh food is used and prepared less than extremely attractive fast food (food industry received) which is easy to reach. Various types of baked goods, snacks, cookies, sauces, dairy products and meat industry products are found in abundance on shelves in supermarkets and in a shortly time they can satisfy our hunger. But be aware that through their consuming in our body are simultaneously introduced over 300 kinds of chemical additives and obtained about 50 types of natural additives added during production, preparation, processing and packaging. Let me mention some of the additives have a harmful impact on your health. Additives are actually those substances that make the products stay fresh longer (not to spoil – to change the taste, color, form) and must be noted on the packaging of the product with the label “E”. It is the mark according to European standards, but accepted almost worldwide. If you are concerned about additives, more information can be found at the following link.
On the other hand, you have a CHOICE what food you will consume. You may not allow to enter chemistry at your body. Recall that on the list of food there are categories which instead additives are packed with vitamins and nutrients that meet the needs for your body healthy functioning. Our recommendations are:
– Organic food – grown on areas clean and free of pesticides and other chemicals

– Meat and meat products of animals and poultry that are raised without artificial food during their growth and development and without given hormones and antibiotics

– Traditional food – cooked from the fruit that grows in our climate, prepared on the way our ancestors did.

I am proud to take part in Blog Action Day Oct 16, 2011 www.blogactionday.org

One proverb says “health comes from the mouth.” The food is not only necessarity, it is cure and pleasure. Be careful when choosing what to eat. Think about things you eat and make an important step toward your better health. Take the fruits of nature, replace the industrial food with nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables from the area where they originated, replace soft artificial drinks with freshly pressed juices or simply pure water … and be healthy and happy.

The black water …

Few days ago, I saw an article on the news about leackage of waste water from the landfill “Drisla” into river Markova Reka. The head of public enterprise “Drisla”, had a statement in which among other things, he said, “It looks frightful in principle, I think, when you see a black water, but it is black because passes through the waste. It certainly contains dangerous substances, definitely, as each sewer pipe contains, to say, certain concentrations are higher.” The full statement and article about can be found at the following link.

Because I don’t want to remain indifferent to what happens to the environment I would like to point out what is actually found in that landfill leachate and why it not only looks frightful, but it is really frightful for the environment and human health.

The major potential environmental impacts related to landfill leachate are pollution of groundwater and surface waters. In a landfill that receives a mixture of municipal, commercial, and mixed industrial waste, but excludes significant amounts of concentrated specific chemical waste, landfill leachate may be characterized as a water-based solution of four groups of contaminants:

  • Dissolved organic matter – alcohols, acids, aldehydes, short chain sugars etc..
  • Inorganic macrocomponents – calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, ammonium, iron, manganese, aluminium, chloride, sulfate and hydrogen carbonate.
  • Heavy metals: cadmium, chromium, mercury, copper, lead, nickel and zinc.
  • Xenobiotic organic compounds (XOCs) such as halogenated organics (PCBs, dioxins) originating from household or industrial chemicals. These compounds include among others a variety of aromatic hydrocarbons, phenols, chlorinated aliphatics, pesticides, and plastizers.

Other compounds may be found in leachate from landfills: for example, borate, sulfide, arsenate, selenate, barium, lithium and cobalt.

The tables below show the possible health effects of some chemicals that can be found in household waste and which are dumped into the landfill and if not properly controlled could leak out as leachate.

Table 1: Health effects caused by acute exposure

Chemical

Source

Health effects from acute exposure

Toluene/xylene

Glues and paints

Euphoria, excitement, tremor, CNS depression, convulsions, coma

Phenols and cresols

Paint

Burning pain in mouth and throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, pallor, sweating, shock, coma,

Benzene

Solvent, starting material in chemical manufacture

Single exposure unlikely to cause problem

Nickel

Manufacture of batteries, colouring ceramics and glass

Skin – irritation and dermatitis

Ingestion – stomatitis, gingivitis and possible diarrhoea

Cadmium compounds

Paint and batteries

Inhalation- delayed features 12-36 hrs, hypersalivation, metallic taste, cough, dysponea, chest pain.  Pneumonitis and pulmonary oedema develop within 1-4 days

Ingestion – small amounts ingested GI irritation, nausea and diarrhoea within 15-30 mins. Larger amounts affect calcium and zinc metabolism, cause facial and pulmonary oedema.

Skin – irritation

Lead

Lead paint (apply to older landfill sites), pottery, cosmetics and some ethnic remedies

Severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea with black stools, vomiting, hypotension, cramps, headache, confusion, drowsiness, coma and seizures secondary to cerebral oedema.

Mercury

Lamps, thermometers

Bloody diarrhoea, intestinal mucosal necrosis, dehydration, circulatory collapse, proteinuria and renal failure

 

Table 2: Health effects from chronic exposure to chemicals

Chemical Health effects from chronic exposure
Toluene/xylene Ventricular arrhythmias, hepatic and renal necrosis
Phenols and cresols Renal failure
Benzene Haematological abnormalities
Nickel  
Cadmium compounds Fumes – anaemia, kidney damage, possible prostate and lung cancer.
Lead Anorexia, abdominal pain and constipation. Toxic megacolon, headaches, fatigue, depression, dropped wrist, proximal renal tubular dysfunction, chronic nephropathy and hypertension.
Mercury CNS – irritability, tremour, memory loss, seizures, coma

Respiratory – necrotising bronchitis, pulmonary oedema, ARDS, pulmonary haemorrhage.

GI – metallic taste, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomatatis, blue-line along gum margin

Renal – proteuria, haematuria and acute renal failure

Eyes – grey or brown lens discolouration, band shaped corneal opacities

Haematological – thrombocytopenia, anaemia secondary to GI bleed.

 

Please note that the information presented in this post are not directly related to the composition of the leachate from the landfill Drisla, but gives general information about the most common pollution from landfills. It aim is to draw attention for taking measures to protect the environment, in order to protect our health. At the same time once again I’m emphasizing the need of proper and responsible waste management.

It remains to believe that the collector which will purify leachate from Drisla will be ready in two months and to hope that will never see this picture of black water again.

 

* Tables are taken from the following link.

E-waste? What? How? (part one)

“Law for management of electrical and electronic equipment and waste electrical and electronic equipment” categorizes electrical and electronic equipment as:

  1. large household appliances;
  2. small home appliances;
  3. equipment for information technology and telecommunications;
  4. wide consumer equipment and electronics for entertainment;
  5. lighting equipment;
  6. electrical and electronic appliances (except large stationary industrial tools);
  7. electrical and electronic equipment and toys for fun and sport;
  8. medical devices (except devices that can cause infection or radiation);
  9. tools for monitoring and control, and
  10. automatic machines.

E-waste includes waste from electrical and electronic equipment.
World faces expansion in technology development, so we easy become part of the great consumer society – buy, spend, throw … Unfortunately, our unnecessary electrical and electronic equipment often is improperly discard and usually ends with the rest of waste on the city’s overall waste landfills, dumps, in the cellars, attics or on other places – as far from our eyes.

Have you ever wondered what’s going on with your computer, TV or other household appliance from which you get rid on this or that way? What do you think, what is their impact on the environment and human health?
We encourage you to think about …

E-waste contains many harmful substances that negatively affect the environment, human and animal health if improperly handled. With inadequate and irresponsible handling of this type of waste and it disposal in nature it directly delays to soil and water and pollute them. It is particularly important to highlight the presence of:

Lead – can damage the central and peripheral nervous system of humans, there are registered effects of the endocrine system and can affect the cardiovascular system and kidneys. Lead is accumulated in the environment and has high acute and chronic toxic effects on plants, animals and microorganisms.

Cadmium – classified as toxic with a possible risk of irreversible effects on human health. Cadmium and cadmium compounds accumulate in the human body, especially in the kidneys and over time can lead to serious damage. Prolonged exposure to cadmium chloride may cause cancer.

Mercury – Methyl mercury easily accumulates in living organisms and concentrates through the food chain through fish. Methyl mercury has chronic effects and causes brain damage.

Hexavalent chromium (VI Cr) – is easily absorbed and produces different toxic effects in cells. Chromium VI causes very strong allergic reactions, such as asthmatic bronchitis, for example. Chromium VI considered potentially damaging to DNA.

Brominated burning flame retarder – are regularly used in electronic products as a means of protection from fire. More scientific observations indicate that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) act on the endocrine system. When polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) will be released into the environment, they can enter the food chain.

To be continued …

“E-waste – problem we must find solution for” in support of Clean Up the World Weekend

 

It’s cleaning time: Towards a Cleaner Tomorrow

Although this month started under the impressions of The European Basketball Championship of 2011 we’ll still keep the line of green living.

Somehow September is the month when preparations for the winter and autumn cleansing traditionally begin, so our goal is to make you think about what you’re doing with unnecessary stuff from your home.

Therefore, under the motto “cleaner.” we devote this month to waste management and its importance. During September expect activities and posts dedicated to e-waste, waste batteries, plastic wastes, etc.

For start up, keep in mind that careful waste management minimises negative effect on the environment & human health.

In this context, is there any topic you’d like to read about?

Food Sovereignty

After returning from the European Forum for Food Nyeleni held in Krems, Austria, the most asked question that I refer when talking about the experience of the forum and there was:

What exactly The Sovereignty of Food means?

Food Sovereignty (FS) represents the right of people for healthy, quality and environmentally safe food that is not genetically modified and it is produced through environmentally sustainable methods, or more specifically, methods which do not destroy nature, its resources and biodiversity. It focuses on sustainable and honest relation to nature.

FS puts interests and needs of smaller manufacturers, distributors of food, as well as those who consume it on the highest level. Sovereignty creates a strategy to counter the current corporate trade and creates an opportunity for local consumers and producers in agriculture, livestock and fisheries to make decisions. Priorities of FS are put on local and national economies and markets, strengthening of family agricultural production, improving the working conditions of producers and distributors. At the same time care and protection of consumer rights, the right to control their food and the right of healthy food.

FS has a wider dimension – it is based on and respects basic human rights. Its purpose is to provide the right to use and manage land, water, seeds, livestock and biodiversity. It implies new social relations without oppression and inequality between genders, generations, nations, racial groups, social and economic classes. Through it people get the right to democratically define their own food and agricultural systems without causing harm to other people or the environment.

Have you thought about food in this direction and whether you would like to be engaged in activities related to food sovereignty?

Water for cities …

The objective of World Water Day 2011 is to focus international attention on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems.

This year theme, Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge, aims to spotlight and encourage governments, organizations, communities, and individuals to actively engage in addressing the defy of urban water management.

The water in the human body …

1. Water, after oxygen, is the second most important substance for human health. Roughly 70 percent of an adult’s body is made up of water.

2. Human blood is 83% water. 75% of brain and 25% of bones are made up of water.

3. By the time a person feels thirsty, his or her body has lost over 1 percent of its total water amount.

4. A person can live without water for approximately one week, depending upon the conditions.

5. Although many nutritionist and doctors tell patients to drink eight glasses of water a day, there is no scientific evidence to support this advice. You should be careful because drinking too much water causes the sodium levels in the bloodstream to dilute causing imbalance of water in your brain. This is called ‘water intoxication’ and lead to fatal cerebral and pulmonary edema.

6. Water serves many purposes within our bodies including:

  • Temperature regulation
  • Elimination of toxins and waste
  • Transportation of oxygen
  • Provides nutrients
  • Facilitates all chemical reactions within the body.
  • Digestive assistance.

7. Once you drink water, it leaves your stomach in about 5 minutes! Four hundred gallons of water are recycled through our kidneys each day.

8. Our bodies naturally loose between 2-2.5 litres of water per day through the action of the metabolism, movement and all of the millions of the bodily functions that occur within our body over the course of the day.

9. Lack of convenient sanitation and safe water supply in cities leads to serious health problems. Inadequate sanitation facilities often cause contamination of drinking water. Contaminated drinking water results in cholera epidemics, faecal-oral diseases such as diarrhoea, and outbreaks of malaria.

10. Pure water (solely hydrogen and oxygen atoms) has a neutral pH of 7, which is neither acidic nor basic.

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