How Does Environment Impact Your Well-Being?

The following environmental factors impact your health in multiple ways:

  1. Indoor Air Quality:
    • Mold and dust can contribute to the development of chronic conditions like asthma and allergies or make them worse.
    • Secondhand smoke poses a significant risk. The National Cancer Institute says that of the chemicals identified in secondhand smoke, more than 50 have been found to cause cancer.
    • Poorly ventilated fireplaces and stoves can bring on risk of pulmonary disease.
    • Construction materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) can cause asthma. Formaldehyde (also used in homebuilding) can cause eye, nose, throat irritation, wheezing, coughing, fatigue, skin rash, severe allergic reactions, and possibly cancer.
  2. Water Quality:
    • Water containing lead, often caused by lead in plumbing, can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells.
    • Groundwater contamination occurs when chemicals like gasoline, oil, road salts, and pesticides get into our groundwater and cause it to become unsafe and unfit for human use.
    • Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical often used in plastic products—like water bottles—appears to mimic the effects of estrogen, interfering with hormone levels and increasing human risk for reproductive disorders, including cancer.
  3. Food Source & Quality:
    • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that long-term use of pesticides can cause birth defects, nerve damage, and cancer. Although the EPA carefully monitors pesticide use, consumers should still be aware of potential risks because it's still in our environment.
    • Children can be more seriously affected by pesticide exposure, because their organs are still developing.
    • Consuming fish with high mercury levels can have serious ramifications. Once industrial mercury enters a waterway, naturally occurring bacteria absorb it and convert it to a form called methyl mercury. When humans eat fish containing this mercury, it acts as a neurotoxin, interfering with the brain and nervous system. Pregnant women and children are especially sensitive to mercury's effects.
    • If your food travels more than you do, know that shipping produce worldwide often means chemical preservatives, plus transport creates air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, both potential health hazards.
  4. Noise Exposure:
    • Chronic noise can trigger your body's stress response, which can lead to disorders as serious as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
    • A Purdue University study showed that children living in noisy homes display less cognitive growth, delayed language skills, increased anxiety, and impaired immune systems.
    • Sound pollution can lessen productivity and decrease quality of life.
    • Recreational and work site noise exposure is a leading cause of hearing loss.
  5. Electromagnetic Field Exposure (EMF):
    • Some researchers think that EMF exposure can cause some degree of increased risk of childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and miscarriage.
    • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) advises caution, and the European Union has actually created regulation around EMF exposure.

Now that you have a better idea why you should also be aware of your environment and how it affects your health, the next step is to learn more about Environmental Awareness. Give us a call for a complimentary consultation.