We did not inherit our fathers’ land.
We borrowed it from our children.
(From the UN)
The modern stage of human development is characterized by a high rate of scientific and technological revolution. However, along with the created wealth, progress has brought a disturbance of biological balance to our planet, which caused a decrease in the quality of habitat for all living beings. The unfavorable ecological situation has a negative impact on human health. After all, according to experts, the pollution of our environment on the strength of its negative impact is in second place after people’s way of life. Signs of adverse ecology To pollution refers the penetration into the environment of new agents of chemical, physical, biological nature. The emergence of adverse ecological situation occurs, as a rule, as a result of those economic activities that are carried out by human society. The onset of this problem is indicated by such signs: a sharp change in climatic conditions, the destruction of the ozone layer of the planet, etc.
- Signs of an unfavorable ecological situation.
Unfavorable ecological situation is caused by the economic activity of people and has a harmful effect, first of all, on themselves, on the animal and plant world and on the environment as a whole.
Signs of adverse environmental conditions – pollution of soil, water resources and atmosphere with harmful substances, destruction of the ozone layer of the Earth, abrupt climate change and other situations that not only worsen the living conditions of people, but also threaten their very lives and their health.
- Recommendations to reduce the harmful effects of polluted air (water, food) on people.
Our health depends in no small measure on the purity of the air we breathe. However, as a result of human economic activity the air is constantly polluted by harmful substances: gases, among which carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are the most common; vapors of hydrocarbons and acids; metals; a variety of dust, which is of organic and inorganic origin.
With a high content of gases and dusts (soot) in the air and stagnant air over the industrial area, smog is formed. It is especially dangerous if the air is contaminated with sulfur dioxide gas. It affects the human respiratory organs and reduces their resistance to the action of other harmful impurities in the air (smoke, ground, asphalt and asbestos dust).
Household air is no less of a danger to human health. According to scientists who compared the air in the apartments with the polluted city air, it was found that the air in the rooms is 4-6 times dirtier and 8-10 times more toxic. This is caused by exposure to lead whitewash, linoleum, plastics, synthetic carpets, detergents, furniture that uses a lot of synthetic glue, polymers, paints, varnish, etc.
Therefore, to reduce the harmful effects of air, first of all, breathe through your nose. The mucous membrane of the nose with many cilia like a wet brush collects most of the harmful dusts, germs, not letting them into the lungs. Refrain from recreational jogging on city streets. Near highways and factories, where the concentration of harmful substances in the air is particularly high, try to take shallow and shallow breaths. Rural residents on the days of agrochemical treatment of the fields should go out as little as possible and close the windows and doors of houses.
At home, it is also not recommended to use paint containing lead. As cleaning agents it is advisable to use traditional ones: soap, borax, drinking soda and soda ash. Furniture made of pressed boards containing formaldehyde is not recommended. If, however, there are pressed boards in the house, for example, in flooring, panels, etc., it is advisable to cover the surface of the boards with a natural sealant (sealant) to reduce the harmful effects of formaldehyde, as well as to grow as many plants in the house as possible and to ventilate the rooms more often.
Equally a person’s health depends on the purity of the water they use. 80% of all diseases caused by environmental problems are related to dirty water. Nevertheless, at present the water environment is largely polluted by agroindustrial complex, domestic and industrial enterprises which dump into water their wastes including oil products, acids, alkalis, salts of different metals, sulfur compounds, ammonia, phenols, synthetic resins and so on.
Therefore, use only boiled water. By doing so, you will not only protect your body from pathogenic microbes that cause infectious diseases (cholera, dysentery, etc.), but also from excessive calcium salts. However, to disinfect (purify) water, it is chlorinated and sometimes even hyperchlorinated. When water is chlorinated, it can produce dioxins – dangerous poisons. Therefore, before boiling water for tea or cooking, the tap water should be kept for at least 3 hours in a glass dish – during this time, a significant portion of the chlorine in the form of gas will leave the liquid. If you boil tap water, the chlorine will combine with organic substances that are always present in drinking water, due to the rapid heating of the water.
One effective way to remove dioxins, phenol and other harmful substances from drinking water is to pass it through activated carbon (in homemade or industrially made filters like “Rodnik”).
Human health is also greatly influenced by the quality of the food we eat. However, the pollution of the air and water environment by harmful substances, as well as the widespread chemicalization of agriculture negatively affect the quality of food. Excessive doses of mineral fertilizers and pesticides (chemicals to combat weeds and pathogens) used in the cultivation of root crops, vegetables and fruits lead to the fact that nitrates and pesticides in them often exceed the maximum allowable concentrations. Once in the bloodstream, nitrates combine with hemoglobin to form metahemoglobin, which loses its oxygen-carrying properties. As a result, oxygen starvation occurs, accompanied by cyanosis – blueness of the skin and mucous membranes, anuria, enlargement of the liver and spleen. In severe cases lethal outcome is possible.
Therefore, root crops, fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before consumption, since a significant part of pesticides accumulates on the surface. In cases where it is possible to peel fruits or vegetables, you should do so, especially if you do not know the conditions under which the product was grown. You should also avoid baking potatoes with their peels on, because nitrates collect underneath them. When potatoes are boiled, the concentration of nitrates is reduced by 80%, in carrots and cabbage by 70% and in beets by 50%. However, steaming does little to change the concentration of nitrates, and blanching and stewing do little to change it. Nitrates are easily soluble in water, so before using vegetables it is advisable to cut them into small cubes and pour warm water over 2-3 times for 5-10 minutes.
- Methods to combat noise.
Austrian experts established that the life expectancy of a person because of noise in big cities decreases by 10-12 years. According to the sanitary regulations noise in the living area should not exceed 60 dB, and at night – no more than 40 dB. The limit value of noise that does not cause harmful effects is 100 dB. However, noise on busy streets often reaches 120-125 dB. In the last decade alone noise in large cities of the Russian Federation has increased 1.0-15 times.
Noise “symphony” of the city consists of many factors: the rumble of railroads and rumble of airplanes, roar of construction equipment, etc. The most powerful “chord” – traffic, which on the general background gives up to 80% of noise.
Noise seriously affects people’s health and well-being. For example, many young people who listen to loud rock music can permanently damage their hearing. But noise is not only bad for your hearing. Several studies show that noise can raise blood pressure and damage the cardiovascular system. Excessive noise makes it difficult for students to learn, causes irritability, fatigue, and reduces productivity.
It has been proven that high levels of noise generated by television and radio sets in the home interfere with the development of sensory-motor skills in children during the first two years of life. Constant exposure to loud sounds also impedes speech development and suppresses the exploratory instinct.
Statistics show that workers who are constantly exposed to noise are more likely to develop cardiac arrhythmias, vestibular disorders, and other disorders. They are more likely to complain of fatigue and increased irritability.
Against a background of noise of about 70 dB, a person performing operations of medium complexity makes twice as many errors as in the absence of this background. It is also established that tangible noise reduces work capacity of people engaged in mental work by more than one and a half times, and in physical work by almost one third.
Of course, much in the fight against noise depends on us. For example, at noisy production facilities it is advisable to wear sound-absorbing headphones. If there is a strong source of noise inside the building, the walls and ceiling can be finished with a noise-absorbing material, such as Styrofoam. If you live in a house located on a street with heavy traffic, you should close windows facing the street and open windows facing the yard during peak hours. And of course, don’t turn on TV and radio equipment at full power, especially in the evening and at night.
- Protection from exposure to sources of electromagnetic pollution.
Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) – the process of forming an electromagnetic field (EMF), which is a special form of matter from the interconnected electric and magnetic fields – also has a harmful effect on the human body.
It is well known that humans and the environment are under constant influence of EMF, created by both natural and man-made sources of EMI. And if EMF fields of natural sources (space, galaxy, sun, etc.) is a constant natural characteristic of human environment, the EMF generated by man-made sources, used both for economic and military purposes, have, as a rule, either side effect or direct negative effect on human.
The problem of human interaction with anthropogenic EMFs became significantly more complicated during last decades due to intensive development of radio communication, radio navigation, television systems, mass spreading of domestic electrical and electronic devices, wide introduction of computer technique.
World Health Organization officially introduced the term “electromagnetic pollution”, which reflects new ecological conditions formed on the Earth in terms of EMP effect on human and all elements of the biosphere.
Sources of electromagnetic pollution are high-voltage power lines, household and office electrical and electronic equipment, power grids of residential and administrative buildings, electric transport, transmitting television and radio centers, cellular and satellite communication systems, radar stations, radio-frequency (electromagnetic) weapons.
Under their influence human nervous system functions can be disturbed (memory is disturbed, there is a tendency to develop stress reactions), changes in protein metabolism, blood composition, formation of antibodies in the body, directed against its own tissues, loss of resistance to some physical factors, etc.
Specific impact on various human systems and organs can have EMF of such sources as cellular systems, computers, radio-frequency weapons. Thus, when using a cell phone for a long time, such human systems and organs as the brain, the lens of the eye, the inner and middle ear, the thyroid gland, the skin of the face and auricle can be negatively affected. When working on a computer various skin diseases are possible, as well as diseases of the visual organs – the so-called computer vision syndrome. With prolonged systematic work with a computer is possible myopia.
To reduce the harmful effects of PCs on the health of schoolchildren, there are standards in which the continuous duration of classes with a computer shall not exceed: for students in first grade – 10 minutes, 2nd – 5th grade – 15 minutes, 6th – 7th grade – 20 minutes, 8th – 9th grade – 25 minutes, 10th – 11th grade in the first hour of classes – 30 minutes, in the second hour – 20 minutes.
At SVET institutions, the duration of work on the PC during studies, subject to hygienic requirements for the conditions and organization of workplaces, should be: for 1st year students – not more than 30 minutes per day; for 2nd and 3rd year students – not more than 1 hour per day; for double lessons – 30 minutes for the first lesson and 30 minutes for the second lesson with an interval of at least 20 minutes, including recess, an explanation of the educational material, questioning students, etc. For first-year students, the optimum time of classes at work on the computer is one hour, for senior students – two hours with a mandatory break of 15-20 minutes between two academic hours of classes. 5.
- Safe living in an area with a high radiation background.
We live in a world full of natural radioactivity. Each of us is exposed to a massive amount of ionizing radiation from space every second, as well as radiation from naturally occurring radioactive elements (radionuclides).
Radioactive background creates some building materials, as well as radioactive gas radon, which is released from the soil. This gas is responsible for 3/4 of the annual dose of radiation received by the population from terrestrial sources of radiation. Most of the dose a person receives in a closed unventilated room. The concentration of radon in a closed room is 8 times higher than in the outdoor air. Seeping from the ground through foundations and floors or released from materials used in building structures, radon accumulates inside the house. As a result, fairly high levels of radiation can build up in a home.
You can reduce your exposure to radon if your home is well ventilated. The amount of radon is significantly reduced after caulking cracks in floors and walls. In addition, radon emission decreases by a factor of about 10 when you line your walls with various plastic materials, even when you put up wallpaper. But if you live in an area with high radiation, the best thing you can do is change your residence.
Every year more and more people begin to pay attention to the acute environmental situation that has developed in the world. Surely now every schoolboy knows about the problem of ozone holes and global climate warming. More and more people are beginning to care about nature and stop taking resources for granted and treating them consumeristically.
Of course, a lot depends on people, their mentality and worldview – it is necessary to educate new generations with love, care and respect for nature, to teach them to use wisely what it has given us.
Our planet is on the verge of ecological crisis. And in order to prevent a catastrophe, humanity is looking for every way to preserve the Earth for future generations. We all believe in the victory of reason. But we must not remain a bystander.
Each of us must take care of the environment and our health by following the rules of conduct in adverse environmental conditions.