By: Chris O'Shea
Planning on exercising more and eating better? Don't bother. Giving up cigarettes? No need. In fact, smoke as much as you want. You might as well do as much damage to your body as you can, because according to one Australian doctor, every single human on the planet is now considered "physiologically and biochemically polluted" by products that we made. No one is healthy; we're all screwed. That's Dr. James Siow's take.
Siow works at Australia’s National Institute of Integrative Medicine (NIIM). He says that experts have been trying to warn the world's governments for years about pollution, but have been ignored. The situation, he explained, has reached the point of no return. "Scientists first sounded the alarm about the increase in contamination of our environment and ourselves in the 1980s," Siow wrote in a press release this week. "Today there is a worldwide scientific consensus on the critical importance of global pollution, its effects on human health and on the necessity to make scientists, doctors and the public aware of the vital importance of prevention."
The world is so polluted that even babies are filled with garbage when they're born. "One US study found 232 industrial chemicals and pollutants, including known carcinogens and complex mixtures, in the (umbilical) cord blood of newborns," added Siow. "This means that children are coming into the world already polluted with things that could kill them."
So what's stopping the world from cleaning up its act? Well, for one, there is simply too many products out there that are bad for us. We've flooded the world with items that are now killing us. Siow explained that for the world to have any chance at detoxifying, it would require "The withdrawal from the market of thousands of products, including cosmetics and personal care products, food products and packaging, furnishings and bedding, household cleaning agents and pesticides." And you know what doing that would mean, right? Money. Lots and lots of it. Oh, and making some major corporations angry. Siow, of course, understands this. However, he says that doing nothing is actually much more expensive.
"The cost of exposing society to these things is higher still," contends Siow. "Healthcare costs due to degenerative diseases are now crippling the U.S. Obama Government. The economic losses from sickness caused by chronic chemical exposure are rising in all societies."
The NIIM has created a new special toxicology department to deal with the epidemic. Siow says that if doctors learn to look for pollutants early enough, it could help slow the onset of chemicals. But he also notes that without getting rid of the toxic products, not much will change. And since corporations enjoy their products that make them billions, don't expect the world to get less polluted any time soon. Instead, smoke em if you got em.
[Pic via Flickr - Nina Hale]