You are inhaling toxins.
Mumbai Mirror | Mar 12, 2013
By Altaf Patel
The contribution of environmental toxicity to human disease is
horrendous. Mercury, for instance, is so toxic that Europe will soon
disallow mercury thermometers and barometers. A link between
mercury-containing vaccines and autism remains hotly-debated in
Exposure to mercury can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease
and dementia. The term Mad as a Hatter comes from the hat industry
where the Milner or the hatter inhaled mercury (Hg) fumes and often
Consider also the cases of painters Van Gogh who cut off his ear
lobe in 1888 and Monet who attempted suicide in 1867 and destroyed
500 of his classical works. Though they were considered eccentric in
their day, both men suffered from depression.
Could their symptoms
be manifestations of metal toxicity because they worked with Pb and
Amalgam fillings are another source of Hg toxicity. Dentists using
amalgam often suffer from abnormalities of neurovisual tests
consistent with Hg toxicity. Another source of toxicity is fish. One
gram of Hg is sufficient to poison a 20-acre lake. Fish consumes the
Hg in water and in turn poison humans.
The surgeon general suggests
that one limits consumption of fish to 2-3 servings per week.
Inhalation or eating lead have the same effects. It enters the body
and bones and remains for as long as 20 years. Lead is responsible
for an array of human diseases such as high BP,
criminality and intellectual backwardness. Large scale studies in
school children in Nagpur and Karachi conducted by WHO documents
intellectual backwardness in such children.
Aluminum (Al) is also a major cause for dementia. Please do not use
aluminum vessels. There's a reason why medication from abroad is
dispensed in plastic containers and not Al foil, this is because of
the fear of Al toxicity. Anti-persperants also contribute to Al
The two diseases in today's times that are rampant are
the young and diabetes. As students of medicine we were taught that
diabetes was a disease of the wealthy. In today's times every third
patient I see is diabetic. Several theories such as poor genetic
makeup of the Indian abound. Though we are close to becoming the
diabetic centre of the world fact is that it takes several decades
if not more to change the genetic pool of a whole population.
What then is the contrition of environmental toxicities to diabetes?
A recent article by John Hopkins Research studied the arsenic levels
in the urine in a group of diabetics and found it 26 per cent higher
than control groups (where there is no instanc of diabetes). Earlier
studies in Mexico and Bangladesh suggest that arsenic can be a cause
of diabetes, leukemia, bladder cancers and congenital malformations.
Several years ago it was reported that 20 out of 1 lakh people
suffer from gall ladder cancers along the Gangetic belt as compared
to one or two people per lakh in Mumbai A report in the Nation also
confirmed high levels of Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb) and Chromium (Cr)
in the Gangetic belt adding that 12 -20 out of every one lakh people
are exposed to carcinogenic pollution.
In 2009 February, a report stated that India has the highest
instance of gall bladder cancers in the world, while an ICMR study
of 2005 sates that gall bladder cancer in New Delhi is 10.6/lakh and
gall bladder cancers are 8.5 times more common in north India as
opposed to south India and corelation with heavy metal exposure
Does exposure to particulate carcinogenic pollution in air cause us
grief and disease? A recent JAMA article of 2012 reports a link
between people exposed to ground zero after the world trade centre
tragedy in New York and cancers of the prostrate , thyroid and
multiple myeloma. Rescue workers had a 43% greater incidence of
cancer of the prostrate. Although several other variables need to be
worked out and this report must be considered preliminary, it is
time to sit up and take notice of how our environment destroys our