Did you know that there’s a chemical in our environment that’s been linked to cancer, liver damage, and reproductive problems? It’s called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and it’s just one example of the many contaminants we’re exposed to on a daily basis.
Why should we be concerned about environmental contamination?
Here are seven good reasons:
1. We’re being exposed to more contaminants than ever before.
Thanks to industrialization and the widespread use of chemicals, we’re now exposed to thousands of different pollutants on a daily basis. These include everything from pesticides and herbicides to heavy metals and industrial by-products.
2. Many of these contaminants are extremely toxic.
Some of the contaminants we’re exposed to, such as mercury and lead, are highly toxic and can cause serious health problems. Others, like PFOA, are considered “probable human carcinogens” by the EPA.
3. We don’t know all the long-term effects of exposure.
Because many of these contaminants are relatively new, we don’t yet know all the potential long-term health effects of exposure. For example, some studies have linked PFOA exposure to thyroid disease, but more research is needed to confirm this connection.
4. Children are especially vulnerable to contamination.
Due to their smaller size and developing bodies, children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of environmental contaminants. They also tend to play closer to the ground, where many contaminants accumulate.
5. Even low levels of exposure can be harmful.
You don’t have to be exposed to high levels of a contaminant to suffer health effects. Even low-level exposure to some contaminants can cause problems, especially if it occurs over a long period of time.
6. We’re often exposed to multiple contaminants at once.
It’s not unusual for people to be exposed to more than one contaminant at a time. For example, someone who lives near an industrial site may be exposed to lead, mercury, and other heavy metals. This can increase the risk of health problems since the different contaminants can interact and magnify each other’s effects.
7. Environmental contamination is a global problem.
This isn’t just a problem in the United States – it’s a global issue. Contaminants don’t respect national borders, and they can travel long distances through the air, water, and soil. This means that even if you live in a remote area, you may still be at risk of exposure.
What can you do to reduce your exposure to environmental contaminants?
There are a few simple steps you can take, such as:
- eating organic foods whenever possible
- avoiding unnecessary chemical exposures (such as using natural cleaning products)
- staying informed about local contamination issues and taking action to reduce pollution in your community.
- supporting organizations that are working to reduce environmental contamination.
- urging your elected officials to take action on this issue.
By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of environmental contamination.