This source features a report by Jill U. Adams on the dangers, and current regulations of air pollution and climate change. Holding a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Emory University, the author primarily writes a health column for the Washington Post. She has also been featured in the magazines Audubon, Scientific American and Science. Because this article covers climate change, there is an inherent liberal bias. However, this bias coincides with irrefutable scientific data proving the existence of climate change. The audience for this article is anyone effected by air pollution and climate change; just about everyone. This source upholds my speculation that human beings have a significant effect on the climate. Before reading this article, I wasn’t aware that 55 million people a year died from air pollution. I found this source on CQ Researcher while searching for ‘pollution.’
With the well-being of future generations in mind, environmental concerns have begun to establish a permanent residence atop the priority ladder for a vast array of Americans. Consequently, writers and political pundits alike are seizing this opportunity to capitalize on advocating their stance on the issue. Information, representing all positions, pours in at an unrelenting and unfathomable rate. For the average American it can be an arduous process sifting through all the rhetoric in attempt to find the real truth regarding our impact as humans on the environment; one such example is Susan Brown’s article The EPA’s Mercury Problem. In this article Brown attempts to expose hypocrisy among progressives by paralleling the Environmental Protection
There are three different chemical forms that mercury exists in and each has a specific effect on human health, however for the purpose of this paper only two will be talked about. The first is elemental mercury (Hg), which also called metallic mercury. In this form the primary health effect is when it is breathes as vapor where it can be absorbed through the lungs. Symptoms of this kind include tremors, emotional changes, insomnia, neuromuscular changes, headaches, disturbances in sensations, changes in nerve responses, and performance deficits on tests of cognitive functions. At higher doses there can be kidney effects, respiratory failure, and even death. In this form it is emitted into the air from coal-fired power plants, waste incinerators, smelting plants, which is by far the leading man-made source of mercury in the Great Lakes. It is released into the air and transported by air currents and will eventually fall and be deposited in soil or water. This is particularly important to the people living in Michigan because in Detroit the mercury found in rain has been
The gold boom of the past decade brought with it unintended consequences- severe health problems for Columbian families from mercury poisoning. Enticed by profit but unable to compete with the industrial mining operations brought in by Western entrepreneurs, some two million artisanal gold miners illegal produced two hundred thousand kilograms of gold per year using mercury to harvest the gold from alluvial deposits, as they are unable to afford industrial production methods (which use cyanide,
Hat manufacturers once used a bright orange mercury wash to separate fur from pelts, and the common hatters who dredged around in the steamy vats, like the mad one in Alice in Wonderland, gradually lost their hair and wits. Eventually, I realized how poisonous mercury is. That explained why Dr. Rush’s Bilious Pills purged the bowels so well: the body will rid itself of any poison, mercury included. And as toxic as swallowing mercury is, its fumes are worse. They fray the “wires” in the central nervous system and burn holes in the brain, much as advanced Alzheimer’s disease does.
Karen Nelson, Neuroepidemiology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; and Margaret Bauman, Children’s Neurology Service, Harvard Medical School conducted a study on neuropathology of mercury toxicity. Nelson and Bauman asserted ethylmercury lacks the active transport mechanism across the blood-brain barrier that other found available to methylmercury however; they provided no evidence to support this assertion. The L system is the major transport
Cadmium is dangerous because it can cause kidney failure. It travels in the blood toward the liver where it shares bonds with proteins. It then travels to the kidneys where it can gather.
As already stated, many other locations around the world are affected by mercury poisoning and contamination. For example, Canada and Japan have an extensive history of mercury poisoning, including neurologic symptoms and contaminated fish. These studies have has been documented since the 1950’s in these locations. In fact, the contamination became so problematic the Ontario health department formed a task force on organic mercury in 1972. Further, recent protesting throughout Toronto has asked for Canada to address the contamination of mercury. Findings revealed levels of mercury exceeding those of international standards and included the highest recorded mercury contamination among in the western part of the world. (CITE 6)
In today’s operational and global economy, energy is considered one the most sought out and fundamental commodities. While an individual’s environmental role plays a vital role in their overall health; there are more specific geographic areas having instrumental actions that take part in shaping an individuals’ health. Where and who the supplies come from as well as the amount of production often determine how much influence they have over growing nations as well as having an impact on the global economy. Unfortunately, people who live near toxic wastes or byproducts of industrialized energy often have a body that is in constant
These toxins more often than not can have fatal consequences. Mercury is definitely one of the number one most dangerously used elements in our history. The first written record of this element is credited to Aristotle Often called the element of the ancients, mercury was dated back to as far as the 15th century BCE when it was found in ceremonial cups in Egyptian Tombs (Czaika). It is known that the Romans were the first to actually mine and use this element for everyday needs. Even at these times humans were aware of the fact that the element was poisonous. They had a mine in Spain that was worked by slaves, prisoners, and other undesirables. After the mine was dry they would use it as a prison system for the workers. Most of them would die very slow and painful deaths, bringing a long end to a short life (Sloane). In ancient China, mercury was used for a variety of medical needs. From a contraceptive, to a cough serum, to a remedy for unknown sexually transmitted diseases (Kok). People would consume mercury as if it was candy. This practice also spread to India. People did not understand the harmful toxins that they were ingesting.
The health hazards for humans who come in contact with contaminants from exposure to polluted water can have long term effects on the body causing possible organ failure and death. Contaminants and chemicals such lead and mercury can bring about many minor illnesses ranging from nausea, lung irritation, skin rash, vomiting, and dizziness, to the major diseases that include cancer, liver and kidney damage, disorders of the nervous system, damage to the immune system, birth defects and even death.
Hazards and pollutants are apparent in a variety of outcomes. Possible outcomes include asthma, cancer and chemical poisoning (Gee and Payne-Sturges 2004: 1647). Furthermore, “Although debated, the main hypothesis explaining these disparities is that disadvantaged communities encounter greater exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution, pesticides, and lead” (Gee and Payne-Sturges 2004: 1647). Therefore, disadvantaged groups, such as people of color and the poor, experience greater environmental risks. Additionally, “Blacks in particular are exposed to a disproportionate amount of pollution and suffer the highest levels of lead and pesticide poisoning and other associated health problems” (Jones and Rainey 2006: 474). People of color, essentially, compete to live healthily. For example, African-Americans and Africans alike, struggle with the negative affects of oil refineries and unresponsive governments. The same can be said for Hispanics in California and the natives of Ecuador, who are forced to cope with the pollution of the Texaco oil refineries (Bullard 2001: 4). Environmental racism not only exploits natural resources, it abuses and profits from the communities involved. Governments and polluting facilities will continue to capitalize on the economic susceptibilities of poor communities, states, nations and regions for their “unsound” and hazardous operations (Bullard 2001: 23).
The article “Our Preferred Poison” in the March 2005 issue of Discover magazine brings up the issue dealing with mercury poisoning. The author, Karen Wright, writes, “Mercury is unimaginably toxic and dangerous. A single drop on a human hand can be irreversibly fatal. A single drop in a large lake can make all the fish in it unsafe to eat.” This was the opening statement in the article which first grabbed my attention, because I had not thought mercury to be such a deadly substance. After all, it is used in thermometers, so I hadn’t thought it to be as fatally toxic as Wright claims it to be.