TAG: Toxins

Catch of the Day: Farm-Raised or Fresh?

Catch of the Day: Farm -Raised or Fresh?

Often contemplated among seafood lovers is the fresh, as opposed to farm-raised, dilemma. Is there a right answer? Choosing one might not be as easy as you think. Focusing on what it entails to put the catch of the day on the serving platter, it turns out, is a conversation with issues for both sides of this seafood quandary. Aquafarms, or fish farms, are producing large-scale amounts of finned favorites in order to meet consumer demands for seafood. Without addressing one of the largest, perhaps eeriest concerns over aquaculture – the genetically modified fish (salmon to be exact), there are other… read more

Your Pool is a Major Air Polluter

Backyard Pool Pollution

An aerial view of the suburbs in a warm climate often displays a homogenous cluster of houses, spiraling outwards along the street. Behind each house, a fenced, green patch contains a sparkling pool in a kidney-bean shape – or perhaps round or rectangular. These toxic puddles are more than Kool-aid blue splashes on an otherwise bare landscape. They are generators of air pollution. Especially in large concentrations. Staying out of artificial swimming pools doesn’t keep you free from exposure to the toxins contained within. Whether they are actually used, the congregation of chemically treated pools elevate the pollution levels throughout… read more

The Aftermath Of Mining

Sasar Baia Mare Gold Mine Disaster

In 2000, a gold mine tailings dam in Baia Mare, Romania was breached. Soon thereafter, all the cyanide-rich waste it contained – some 100,000 cubic meters of it – flooded into the surrounding watershed. Aside from cutting off the water supply of 2.5 million people, it killed nearly all the aquatic life residing in the nearby water. This event is not unique as we continue destructive practices all over the world, meaning many mountains of once imposing grandeur have had their surroundings reduced to rubble, and their contents exploited. After grounds have been blasted and their contents extracted, mines tailings… read more

Dip into Nature, Not Chlorine

natural pools

The next time you take a swim, consider what you are diving into. It is known that chlorine and other chemicals are commonly used to disinfect swimming pools. But with natural, chlorine free options available, why expose your health to these chemicals? Beyond turning hair green, chlorine also reacts to bodily fluids, including sweat and urine. When combined, toxic breakdown products, called chloramines, are formed. Another of chlorine’s most common effects is eye irritation. This isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that we continue to immerse ourselves, eyes open, into a pool of the stuff. You can cool off in a… read more

Who Would Guess Cilantro Could Be Used For This?

Who Would Guess Cilantro Could Be Used For This?

Undergraduate researchers conducting a study have discovered an interesting bio-absorbent material that can draw contaminants out of polluted water. Faculty and an undergraduate research team collaborated with a group of scientists to investigate more inexpensive means that could be utilized to filter contaminated water. Examining water samples from the Tule Valley region near Mexico City, it was determined that cilantro was an effective bio-absorbent material that was also wildly grown in the region. The area was selected because there are no readily available water filtering systems in place to remove some of the contaminates that they inspected, making it representative of… read more

Death by Plastic

Death By Plastic

We are all being poisoned.  Poisoned in silence by our chronic exposure to plastic. Yet very little is being done to prohibit its invasive presence that permeates into every crevice of our lifestyles. While it is easy to assume one could simply eliminate exposure by not buying plastics, it isn’t always that simple. Certainly reducing purchases or use of disposable items is necessary in minimizing waste and health risks. However, where and how we encounter plastics is often out our immediate control. Take water for example. We can avoid drinking water from disposable plastic bottles – and we would be… read more

Jewelry With A Conscious

Jewelry With A Conscious

Jewelry has been worn for self-expression, as statement pieces and to pay cultural homage for as long as people could resourcefully craft and adorn them. Though still a popular accessory, the way some present day pieces are made is much different than previous, more natural based designs. Many items from centuries ago were handmade with natural, locally derived objects. Shells, nuts, seeds, sturdy wheats, grasses and woods are only some examples of organic materials popular for fashioning jewelry. It seems there is always a report surfacing somewhere about toxins found in jewelry like cadmium and lead, or items manufactured in unethical conditions…. read more

The Harming Effects of Pesticide Exposure

Pesticides Cause Harm

Research has shown that pesticide exposure increases the risk for a variety of serious health problems. According to Dr. Cathy Vakil (2010) a larg number of studies have found a link between cancer rates and pesticide exposure. Many studies have shown that pesticides may trigger neurological problems ranging from cognitive dysfunction to neurobehavioural issues to depression. Indications from around the world show that pesticide exposure can increase the risk of birth defects and may affect fertility as well. Some studies suggest that the babies of women who are exposed to pesticides while pregnant or even before conception are at increased risk for… read more

Alternatives to Traditional Tattoo Inks

Alternatives to Traditional Tattoo Inks

Tattoos can be visually absorbing, but many may not think of the ingredients in the inks and their possible effects. There are many risks associated with getting tattoos, and possible poisons in the ink are only one of them. Inks vary, but can contain toxic heavy metals including lead, cadmium, chromium and arsenic, among many others. Red inks have some of the highest levels of contaminants which can include mercury. These are all environmental and human health hazards. The American Environmental Safety Institute has given the example of an index card, which is 3 inches/7.6 centimeters by 5 inches/12.7 centimeters… read more

Homemade Hairspray

Homemade Hairspray

Use of commercial hairspray is known to cause considerable damage to the environment. Hairspray contains volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs. These include chlorine, fluorine, and carbon, or CFC’s. Just a few sprays send these chemicals up to the ozone, where they will break apart thousands of ozone particles. This damage reduces our protection from UV rays and will eventually lead to global warming. That’s a pretty potent blow coming from 15km or so below. Hairspray’s immediate damage is found in its negative effects on your health. The formaldehyde found in many commercial hairsprays can lead to migraines, low blood… read more