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Top Environmental Issues That Impact Your Health

Anyone who pays attention has no doubt heard about a slew of environmental issues that are plaguing our planet. And although the threats posed by these many crises may seem vague and distant to the public at large, the ways in which mankind is polluting the Earth and its atmosphere could have a very real and personal impact on the life of any given person. Even if you don’t live in a big city, breathing in smog every day, carbon emissions are all around us, as are other pollutants. The food that makes its way to your table is still grown and raised with massive amounts of toxic chemicals. And the products you purchase are rife with pollution and waste, not only at the manufacturing level, but throughout their linear lifeline (which often leads to landfills and water supplies). So if you think that the big issues in environmentalism don’t have the power to impact one small life, think again. Here are just a few of the top eco-threats to your health.

Let’s start with the air you breathe every day, the very basis of your continued existence. Without food, air, and shelter you will certainly expire more quickly. But without breathable air you wouldn’t last nearly as long. So why aren’t you doing anything to cut carbon emissions? Certainly the air in our atmosphere won’t become unbreathable tomorrow, but it could already be affecting your health. Do you suffer from asthma? How about respiratory allergies? In some cases these are due to specific causes, but often the root of such problems lies with air pollution. All the chemicals and carbon byproducts that we spew into the air through manufacturing, energy production, the burning of fossil fuels, and so on are making our air less and less healthy to breathe.

Add to that the fact that we are slowly but surely ridding the world of forested lands, including trees and other vegetation that literally provide us with breathable air, and you can see how problematic the situation is. Airborne pollutants are not just contributing to global warming; they are affecting millions of people in the here and now. And in case you didn’t know, a major contributor to this and other types of pollution across the globe is farming. You might think it’s okay to use fertilizers to make foods grow faster and larger, or pesticides to keep bugs away. But these toxic chemicals are IN YOUR FOOD! You’re not only ingesting them every day through the very products that are meant to provide you with nourishment, but the chemicals seep into the ground, water, and air, assaulting you on every front. Even if your household is 100% organic there’s no way to completely avoid the chemicals used in standard farming practices these days.

And of course, there is species extinction to consider. Although it might not affect your health today, it is estimated that 7 in 10 scientists believe this is the biggest threat to the ongoing existence of mankind (according to a poll from the American Museum of Natural History). As wildlife is pushed out by the encroachment of man, the vast network of predators and prey that make our planet tick will start to disappear at an exponential rate until the biodiversity that strengthens and sustains us is gone. No amount of apps to help you stay healthy can cure that ill. So before you dismiss environmental issues as having nothing to do with you, consider that they’re in your town, your neighborhood, and even your fridge, affecting the health of you and your family every day.