There’s a silent epidemic around us: an organ failure epidemic.
Public and private hospitals are teeming with patients both young and old with diverse types of organ complications.
But such an increase in health challenges are not without cause and for the most part, we lay the blame on lifestyle.
Though plausible, some cases beg for more questions since the patients lead a clean lifestyle free of junk food, intoxication and are in many ways active.
Organ failure could be associated with a number of causes whether we are talking about the malfunction of the kidney, liver etc.
But exposure to toxic stuff around us plays a key role in some instances.
Come to think of it…
Could there be an association between the water we drink and organ failure?
Could the food we eat deliver toxic stuff over time such that our bodies fail at that critical point?
Could the air we breathe be a conduit delivering harmful stuff into our bodies without our knowledge?
Environmental health concerns cannot be considered without looking critically into some of the most notorious pollutants around.
TOXIC HEAVY METALS
Toxic heavy metals are not only key in this regard.
They are crucial simply because they easily circulate around our environment in very subtle ways
For starters, some of these chemicals are adversely associated with lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
But more importantly nearly all toxic heavy metals tend to accumulate in our bodies over time leading to organ complications in the future.
Take for instance Lead which is a component of car batteries, paint pigments and some plastics.
Prolonged lead metal exposure (whether though ingestion or breath) is associated with instances of organ failure.
But this is not news to a number of us who are aware of the damage toxic metals can do.
What is astonishing is the wanton disregard of environmental protocols by industries using such chemicals leading to their release through untreated effluents.
The result is the communities depending on polluted water sources are exposed over the long haul.
And such scenarios play out every single day in our low middle class neighborhoods.
Picture the garage in the hood…
Or the battery recycling workshop around us…
Or the metal scrap dealer living just two blocks away…
Or the garbage dump containing all sorts of waste including toxic metals.
These are just a few ways through which toxic heavy metals find their way around us endangering our livelihoods.
This is not to mention agricultural inputs such as mineral fertilizers and pesticides.
But beyond pointing out the problems, what solutions do we have at our disposal?
First off, toxic metals don’t just find their way around us.
Careless human activity puts them there.
Implementation of controls over industrial activity will help curb their circulation.
For example, neighborhood garages could be put in check by local authorities about disposal of car battery casings and contents…
Quality standards could be put to control the levels of cadmium in phosphate fertilizers…
A complete abolishing of the use of lead in paints should be followed up with close monitoring of paint producing companies.
Secondly, continual monitoring of our water resources by authorities should be increased.
Since some industries are close to residential areas, continuous checking up of effluent quality is of utmost importance especially if surrounding communities depend on this water.
But lastly, continuous monitoring of our air is key.
Air samplers capable of giving real time readings are essential in zones prone to high air pollution such as bus stations, industries among others.
Our battle against organ failure should not only be on the curative but on the preventative front.
And our environment matters in this regard.