Health and the environment

Pollution_national archives

“Weyerhauser Paper Mills and Reynolds Metal Plant Are Both Located in Longview, on the Columbia River. Intense Industrial Concentration Causes Visible Pollution 04/1973” -original caption | U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: 412-DA-5619

Cancer can strike at any moment. The young and the old can suffer from this disease. Though strides have been made in advancing medical technology, cancer is still not fully understood. But one thing is certain: the environment is directly related.

The World Health Organization, a part of the UN, has a branch called the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The IARC published their research findings that labels air pollution as a “major” health risk, stating that it is responsible for 223,000 deaths worldwide from lung cancer as a result of air pollution in 2010 alone. Heart disease is also directly linked to air pollution. The World Health Organization has OFFICIALLY labeled outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic. Sources include transportation, stationary power generation, industrial and agricultural emissions, among others.

The environment is a reflection of who we are as people and as a society. But air pollution isn’t the only culprit.

Jet fuel is commonly dumped into water, even drinking water. Some have identified  several cancer clusters across the US directly correlated to certain pollutant “hotspots.”

Even for urban cyclists, who aim to reduce emissions and live healthier lives, limiting exposure to these carcinogens is extremely important because they are particularly susceptible, especially if they ride in times of heavy congestion and high-traffic.

The survival of human beings is directly linked to a healthy relationship with the earth. This can no longer be labeled as a cry by far leftists or “hippies.” This is a call made and backed by logic and science. The more chemicals we dump into the environment–chemicals that are artificially made and throw off the equilibrium of humans and nature–the sicker the planet and, in turn, people will become.

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