What Is the Current Fastest and Most Efficient Way to Desalinate Water?

One of the most persistent needs of the world is supplying clean drinking water to its population. Today, nearly half of the world population does not have access to clean and fresh water. Ocean water is mostly salted and needs to be purified. This is the main reason for most countries adopting seawater desalination as a solution to provide their population with fresh and pure drinking water.

Seawater desalination although it is an effective way to remove salts from ocean water but it can not be used at large-scale because it's quite expensive and is also dangerous for living organizations. So, this makes for a need to find out ways to desalinate seawater.

A new way to desalinate water has developed known as shock electrodialysis, and not only removes salt but chemicals and bacteria present in water. Shock electrodialysis is capable of providing with a more efficient water purification system. It uses significantly less energy in comparison to the traditional desalination methods but has a limitation on the rate at which water can pass through the membrane.

To produce clean and fresh drinking water in a single step using the electrodialysis method, place a layer of porous material close to the cathode. This layer will act as a filter and removes everything that can not pass through the micropores. The size of this layer is 0.5 micrometers so anything larger than that can not pass through it. However, bacteria is smaller than the porous material layer and can easily pass through it but the experts argument that these also do not pass through because they get shattered by the powerful electric fields close to the cathode.

The Electrodialysis method allows chlorine and sodium ions to pass through the membrane in the presence of an electric field and leaving purified water from the outlet on the other side. Only the ions pass through the membrane and not the water molecules. Electrodialysis can desalinate seawater at a much higher rate in comparison to the reverse osmosis.

There is also a problem with this method that it removes the salt from seawater but it does not remove contaminants such as bacteria and dirt. Electrodialysis can be used for filtering and disinfect water in a cost-effective way but it's still not clear whether it can be used on a larger scale or not. So water should be processed through additional stages of filtration to make it usable for drinking and various other purposes.

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5 Tips To Get The Right Water Treatment System

If the tap water is not drinkable in your area, you may want to opt for a water treatment system. Based on your water and home type, you should choose the right type of water filtration system. To make the selection easier for you, we have put together 5 tips from experts. Hopefully, with these experts tips, choosing the best water filtration system will be a piece of cake for you.

1. Get the measurements

In order to get the measurements, you may want to invite a professional to your house. You may also talk to him to get valuable information and suggestions from him. After all, you do not want to make a decision without taking into account some important factors.

By inviting a special to your house, you can get accurate quotes. Before you invite him, make sure you have all the questions written on a piece of paper. Ask questions until you are satisfied. Asking questions is a good idea if you want to be on the safe side.

2. Ask questions

Once the expert has taken the measurements, you should ask your questions. Ask him how the tap water affects your appliances. Ask him how the system will ensure that the water will be drinkable. Asking other important questions will help you make an informed decision. And do not forget to ask questions about the cost of the system.

3. Improvements

Let the water treatment expert know the improvements you want to make to your water. Based on their personal taste, many house owners go for different water treatment systems. So, make sure your professional knows what you need.

4. Know More About the company

Before you decide on the company and the equipment, make sure you do your research. First of all, you should investigate the company. You should contact the company and ask question regarding recommendations, warranties, upkeep and equipment service. Low quality or bad equipment will not be able to remove harmful stuff from the water. So, you will only waste your money.

Another important thing is that the company must have certified staff. This will give you the assurance that you are going to hire the qualified professional.

5. Get references

Upon request, the company should provide you with references. In other words, they will give you contact details of their previous or current customers. You can then call some of the customers to know their feedback about the product or service. Most customers will give you their feedback happily.

The fact of the matter is that if you have updated, accurate and detailed information regarding the various water treatment options, you can choose the right system.

The takeaway

For water treatment, you have various options at your disposal. You should stay away from providers who are ready to give you quotes without even visiting your house to take measurements. If a company contacts you, let them know that your research is not over yet. After you have done your homework, buying the right water treatment system will be an easy task for you.

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Porta Potty Rental: Demand or Necessary?

The restroom is a vital part of the healthy lifestyle. Renting a porta potty unit to ensure the hygiene environment is the best practice. The box-shaped unit offers mobility to relocate according to the user convenience. Perhaps, the amenities and the features of the unit make it a standout choice for the temporary need of sanitation. As a result, people are keen to rent a different type of units according to their need such as parties, wedding receptions, outdoor events, festivals and construction sites and so on.

The customers have a varied opinion about renting a temporary restroom, few had a horrible experience and others have positive thoughts on its presence at outdoors. Maybe it is a mere opinion of the customers, yet confides in two ways, one is Demand and the next is Necessary!

“A proper sanitation facility is a key to ensuring the hygiene environment but demand and the necessary of a porta potty unit could forbid your decision on renting one”

The precision of selecting an appropriate unit for rental will depend on various factors, such as length of rental duration, number of users and budget limit and so forth. On the other hand, the customer's will settle on the certain type of the unit irrespective of the prerequisites, and give a preference to the rental checklist.

If you sit and note down the common points of customer interest while of renting a porta potty unit, then you will find the hairline difference between demand and necessity of the context, maybe it's a pivotal between the customer and the service provider though. If you need a prerequisite solution as an opportunity for such instances, then a customer or a service provider should compromise with the situation. Here it could be Demand or Necessity but not both at the same time.

Demand:

The porta potty units are available in different types and standards. We also know that there are various companies around the nation, providing the facility of temporary restrooms by considering different aspects of rental amenities and standards. But still, the rental price of the unit is unpredictable.

The abrupt requirement of porta potty unit pops-up without any clue; the special occasions and public events are mere signs of it, so short of units in that situation is quite obvious and the solar eclipse in 2017 is the mere example of the situation. Therefore, ups and downs in the rental price are common.

During festive occasions, the customers prefer to pre-book the units to mark the availability on a special day. Thus, when people try to rent a porta potty unit during a peak time or at the end moment of the event day, chances of disappointment would be more.

Necessary:

The restroom outdoors entails the safe place to deal with nature call. The outhouse or conventional restrooms are outdated in present days and the porta potty unit is the substitution option to do the trick for you. The square-shaped unit provides the facilities such as easy to use, easy to clean and option to relocate as per requirement and the list of standard features increases according to the rental price.

Since the hygiene is imperative, customers would not mind spending on the basic level units but they prefer luxurious unit only when required demands. The presence of the unit signifies the safe line to access the restroom without any worries. Since the need is temporary, cleaning is not a concern, because the unit is designed to stay clean for the forty uses and still manage to allow the next user. If in case, you want to get it cleaned after a certain time period or usage then you can request the cleaning service to get the job done, for longer rental hauls, the cleaning service will be free and for the shorter rental hauls, charges are applicable.

Demand or Necessary

A porta potty unit is the basic facility for sanitation outdoors, we need to accept the facts of both demand and necessary to make a firm decision on renting a suitable unit for your requirement. Before making a final call on selected unit, make sure these variables (demand and necessary) suffice the rental deal. A wrong selection of the unit or any difference in the service may result in an awkward situation, so make a sensible move and rent smartly.

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Good Personal Hygiene Difficulties in Space: How Do Astronauts Bathe in Space?

For us, it is something common, something that we sometimes do automatically without stopping to think about everything that implications and must work correctly so that actions such as showering or using the toilet is something every day. But this becomes more challenging when these tasks are taken to space.

Surely we have ever stopped to think about what life will be like in space, regarding the tasks we carry out daily such as visiting the toilet or taking a shower as part of our daily ritual.

How do astronauts maintain good personal hygiene?
Space and resource restrictions of space vehicles require the development of audacious techniques when it comes to maintaining good personal hygiene.

The hot and sparkling baths are out of place, but there have come to be complete and very clever showers that had closing screens and vacuum cleaners to remove the water. However, even the most sophisticated systems have proved to be little valued by the crew of space vehicles due to the work required to assemble and disassemble such systems.

The complicated task of cleaning up
Something very basic like the shower becomes a complicated task for the astronauts in space. One of the elements that hinder this work is the lack of water. Also, The absence of gravity makes the water float just like our astronauts float out there in space.

The space station alone is capable of producing only about 24 liters of water daily from the air and the same recycling of liquids (the liquid that each of the astronauts uses for their good personal hygiene is condensed by the air conditioning system and is recovered). This water takes a very different body to the one that it has on the planet Earth. In short, it looks like a paste. Then it comes out from a water dispenser where each member of the crew fills in the container patches that will be used for washing.

Mixing this water with the soap, which comes in another container patch, each of the members carries out their baths.

The astronauts' toilet is based on personalized suitcases with small bags of water, liquid soap, towels and bath sponges.

The Solution
So, by now we clearly understand how difficult it is for the astronauts to maintain a good personal hygiene in space. Since the water keeps floating due to zero-gravity, it's impossible for them to take a bath to clean themselves and save their health from various chronic diseases caused by unhygienic practices.

Well, as there are no showers and no sinks, and carrying heavy machinery to bathe up there is quite a difficult task, Waterless bathing products like Clensta Waterless Shampoo and Clensta Waterless Bath can prove to be an adequate option for good personal hygiene.

These revolutionary products do not require even a single drop of water for their use and just a portion of 25 ml is sufficient to take a complete bath. The Clensta Waterless Shampoo and Clensta Waterless Bath have no foam so there is no chance it could have spatter inside the Space Shuttle.

And of course, this is going to save a lot of their precious time up there while finding some curious facts about the universe.

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The Basic Nutritional Qualities of Water

It is vital to get plenty of water every single day. Your health depends on it, literally. Without water, humans could not survive; nor could the trees, plants, animals, and all other living organizations on Earth. When it comes to water, there is nothing more important than ensuring that your bogy gets enough on a daily basis.

Drinking Water

All you have to do to start drinking more water is to drink when thirsty and with every meal. From there, any additional water consumption is a bonus! Most water comes from our beverages, like coffee, tea, and lemonade. However, some of your food sources contain water too, such as tomatoes, melons, celery, and broth-based soups. Regardless of how you get your H2O, it is necessary to get a sufficient amount.

Water and Health

Water helps your health and body in various ways, including joint support, spinal cord protection, organ protection, temperature control, digestion, appetite, weight management, and waste / toxin removal (urination, perspiration, etc.). Not only is it important to get plenty of water on a daily basis, it is important to drink more when you need it. Activities and scenarios that would require your body to have need of more fluids including exercise, hot weather, fever, loose stool, or vomiting.

How to Get More Water

Drinking water when you are thirsty and at every meal is a great start to drinking more water. To improve your fluid intake levels, there are some tips and tricks you can try. For instance, many people will tell you that drinking out of a cup with a straw and lid will entice you to drink more. So buy yourself a nice plastic drink cup and keep refilling it all day long. Aim for a 20 ounce cup and drink 6 a day to reach nearly one gallon of day-to-day consumption. These are great for at home, at work, or on the go!

If you are the bottled water type, you can benefit by freezing bottles ahead of time, and taking them with you to work or school. This will give you ice cold water throughout the day.

Another great way to motivate your water intake is to think about what you are giving up. The standard 12 ounce sugary soda contains an average of 240 calories and 30 grams of sugar; by substituting a water instead, you positively impact your daily caloric and sugar intake. Overtime, this can improve weight, skin health, bone strength, mobility, and more. Moreover, having a glass of water in place of a sugary beverage will also save you money at restaurants!

If you have trouble drinking water because it lacks flavor, you can add lemon, lime, cucumber, pineapple, or orange to enhance the taste. You can also purchase liquid water enhancers, such as Crystal Light, Dasani Drops, or Mio. They come in infinite flavors, and most are sugar-free and calorie-free.

Improving Water Quality

If tap water does not look, smell, or taste good, it is a lot harder to drink more of it on a daily basis. To help, you can have a water purification system installed to eliminate the contaminants and hard mineral ions that typically reduce water quality. If you suspect that your drinking water is not the best it could be, consider a water filtration or reverse osmosis system for your home or property.

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Enviromental Problems in Nigeria: A Discource

Introduction

Nigeria has a total land area of ​​983,213 square kilometers of which 773,783sq kilometers are in the savanna zones 75,707sq kilometers are in the derived savanna zones and 133,717 square kilometers are in the forest zone. Nigerian population is more than 150 million yielding an average density of more than 150 persons per square kilometer. Although this density may vary from one region to another, it is obvious that Nigeria is already experiencing high population density. The manifestation of these affects includes; urbanization, deforestation, desertification, overpopulation and all kinds of pollution. These impacts have both negative and positive effects on the natural environment. It is the negative impacts of man's interaction with the environment that is emphasized in this study.

The unlawful use of the natural environment due to ignorance, poverty, overpopulation and greed amongst others has led to the degradation of the environment. The charges (degradation) occur as Nigerians attempt to adjust their seemingly endless desires and desires for food, shelter, recreation, infrastructure facilities, and so on to the land and other resources available to them. This study examines the nature of environmental problems in Nigeria.

Conceptual Framework

The concept of environment has been viewed from diverse perspectives and defined in various ways. The variety of definitions and concepts of environment is closely linked to the fact that the study of environment is mufti-disciplinary, and that each discipline is intended to develop and adopt definition (s) in line with its interest. This multiplicity of definitions, concepts and usage of the term in various discriminates.The multiplicity of the usage and concept of the term environment have been resolved in a variety of adjectival forms which include; social environment, molar environment, physical environment, home environment, psychological environment, behavioral environment geographical environment.

The word environment is such an ambiguous term which is difficult both to identify and to restrict its scope, because it could have been used to encompass anything from the whole biosphere to the habitat of the smallest creature or organism. In the broad sense, dictionary definitions of the term 'environment' range from – the totality of physical, economic, cultural, aesthetic, and social circumstances and factors which surround and affect the desirability and value of property or which also affects the quality of people's lives, to the conditions under which any person or thing lives or is developed; the subtotal of influences which modify and determine the development of life or character. This is the broad meaning by which the concept 'environment embrates everything within and around man that may have effect on or be affected by man; in other words, human environment as contrasted with physical environment. The broad meaning will subsume historical, cultural, technological, natural, economic, political factors, influences and milieus within the concept of environment.

Similarly, the Environmental Impact Assessment Decree of Nigeria defines the term 'environment' as including: – a) land, water and air, including all layers of the atmosphere; b) all organic and inorganic matter and living organizations and, c) the interacting natural systems that include components referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b)

Environmental Law

Environmental Law in Nigeria is a body of rules and regulations which have as their object or effect the protection of the environment from pollution and the wasteful depletion of natural resources and ensure sustainable development. Further, the structure of the Judicial system (with its emphasis on adversarial and backward-looking two-party litigation and with its procedural rules which are not user-friendly to those wishing to bring environmental cases and which fail to give the public interest a separate voice) is not particularly well-suited to consideration of environmental disputes, because typically they have multiple causes; give rise to complex scientific arguments; involve a complex interplay between public, private and criminal law; and require the balancing of difficult political or policy questions. One of the characteristics of the law and policy of environmental protection is that it evolves, constantly reflecting the various values ​​and priorities which we place upon different aspects of environmental issues. This means that in recent years as environmental issues have gained in importance, we have seen a period of unpreceded rapid change. In a subject area such as this activities have to be planned reasonably far in advance, it is always helpful to know what is likely to happen in the future as well as what is the law at the time. In this sense environmental law is forward-looking law.

Environmental Problems are harmful aspects of human activity on the biophysical environment. Environmentalism, a social and environmental movement that started in the 1960s, addresses environmental issues through advocacy, education and activism, current problems faced by the environment.

Environmental Policy

An environmental policy can be an instrument of power to resolve some perceived problems in the environment. The formulation of this policy attracts many actors from different levels of government- international, national and local. To understand the concept of environmental policy, the knowledge of framing, implementation and actors involved must be a prerequisite. Environmental Policy is further defined as planned actions to be followed by institutions with the objective of achieving a target. Based on this definition, environmental policy is action to foster and improve the quality of the environment, with the thrust of balancing economic and social issues. In achieving the thrust of economic and social balance, many actors' interests will be represented. This actors could be internal or external- each pushing for its own interest without mind the consequences to the other. Policy is located in political and bureaucratic settings, and should involve political processes Major Environmental Problems in Nigeria

i. Urbanization

Urbanization is caused by high population growth rate and rural- urban migration. Urbanization in Nigeria is characterized by city slums with serious environmental consequences. The problem has been described as acute and exemplifies the accessibility of development measures to keep pace with the rate of population growth. The problem of the disposal of savage and refuse is quite serious because of the rapid rate of generation of non-biodegradable materials such as plastics.

ii. Overpopulation

Population is a major factor in all environmental-related problems. Overpopulation causes stress on the environment. Environmental problems such as overpopulation, degradation, erosion, desertification, etc. are caused by man's misuse of environmental resources. Until very recently, Nigerians regard their large population size as a symbol of greatness, power and prestige and tend to resist attempts to reduce it drastically.

iii. Deforestation

Forest are large area of ​​land with trees and are noticeable in area with sub equatorial and monsoon types of climates. They act as sanctuary for rare and / or endangered animals. Forests act as storm breaks, thereby protecting the towns and villages from destruction. They provide useful products such as wood and char-coal for fuel, fiber for study and textiles, medicine from the back and leaves of some plant, breeding ground for animals, check erosion, and supply of food and materials for building houses.

iv. Desertification

Desserts are barren lands, waterless and trilless and often sand covered such as Sahara desert which spread across Africa continent. Desertification is there before the encroachment of the desert on land that was once fertile. Desertification can be inductive either by natural process or by the action of man. Natural hazards such as drought and sand deposit by winds are prime factors in the desertification process. Desertification is more pronounced in the northern part of the country where the Saharah desert has eaten deep into the once fertile land.

v. Pollution

Environmental pollution can be categorized into three groups. These are air or atmospheric pollution, aquatic or water pollution and land or surface area pollution. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines air pollution as limited to situation in which the outer ambient atmosphere contains materials in concentrations which are harmful to man and his environment. Man's activities on the earth surface have greatly degraded the quality of the lower atmosphere. The growth and development of industries and Urbanization has contributed greatly to the excess carbon monoxide produced by combustion and other human activities.

vi. Flooding and Erosion

Most of Nigeria's 853km coastline is mere to coastal erosion. This is of grave ecological concern because a large part of Nigeria's population and economic activities are located within the coastal zone. Nigeria has an estimated population of over 25 million located in its coastal areas with economic activities which include oil and gas exploitation, agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, shipping, industries, and tourism. Over fifty highly vulnerable sites have been identified along the Nigerian coastline and all the eight coastal states are affected by erosion problems.

vii. Sanitation

Sanitary facilities like sewers, sewage treatment facilities, septic tanks and toilets for home are known to be grossly inadequate in Nigeria and have worsened over the years due to rapid rate of urbanization in the country. Indeed, disposal of waste is possibly the most serious environmental problem in Nigerian cities. The increasing accumulation of refusal in cities forms breeding grounds for various diseases.

Sources and Effects of Environmental Problems in Nigeria

The prevalent environmental problems identified in this study to be associated with human activities which measure serious threat to sustainable development in Nigeria are as indicated below:

Slums and Squatter Developments: Rapid urbanization due to rural-urban migration and natural population increase; inadequate housing and infrastructure; legal dualism in land administration and control. Lack of proper monitoring of physical development activities in urban areas Enhance rapid deterioration of physical environment and provide breeding ground for prostitutes, criminals and social miscreants. They institute affront for human dignity with associated adverse health implications on residents, and thus negate the goal of environmental sustainability.

Urban Sprawl: Absence of updated master plans; uncoordinated spatial urban growth; decay of inner cities; land speculation and rapidly growing urban population Depletion of green areas and open spaces resulting in the loss of biodiversity, air pollution and traffic congestion due to increasing use of private automobiles. There is also the issue of incompatibility land use due to lack of planning and haphazard developments. Pollution (land, air water): Inefficient waste management systems, emissions from automobiles, industrial plant and power generating sets; gas flaring Pollution general poses health risks to humans, terrestrial and aquatic lives. Land pollution through indiscriminate disposition of solid wastes provides breeding grounds; bush and refuse burning; solid and liquid minerals extraction activities and agrochemicals.

Weak institutional and regulatory framework for enforced appropriate legislation for infectious disease vectors, while air pollution results in acid rains which destroy buildings and infrastructure. Oil spillage is a threat to the livelihood of oil producing communities. While air pollution contributes to global warming by depleting the ozone layer Urban Flooding: Absence of efficient storm water discharge system; ocean surge due to rise in sea level, intensive use of hard landscape elements; reclamation of swamps and natural storm water swales for building construction. Physical development on natural flood plains and non adherence to physical development regulations resulting to flooding in low lying cities like Lagos and Port Harcourt Destruction of human lives, properties and means of livelihood as well as public infrastructure, leading economic losses. Destroys plants and animal lives, and thus leading to the elimination of the ecosystem which comes with adverse consequences. Erosion Indiscriminate destruction of vegetation for fuel and construction materials. Construction, installation of infrastructure, agriculture and mining activities Threat to human lives, means of livelihoods and infrastructure as well as loss of land areas and reduction in biodiversity.

Role of Environmental Law in Regulation Land Use and Protection of the Environment in Nigeria

In order to examine the role of environmental law in regulating land use and environmental protection in Nigeria, this part of the paper seeks to:

(1) identify land use problems in Nigeria that lead to land degradation; and

(2) examine key environmental legislation that aim at regulating land use in order to protect the environment from gross abuse. Key environmental legislation on land use regulation and environmental protection

The freedom to use and enjoy land in particular, and private property in general is guaranteed by our laws in Nigeria, but it is trite that the rights can not be absolute. They have to be regulated in the interest of the generality of the populace and in the protection of the rights of others in society. To minimize and control the above mentioned problems of land use and their negative impact on land resources, Nigerian government has put in place a number of legislative measures locally. One of the most important is the land Use Act, the objectives of which, among others, is to ensure that there is a sound land and environmental development and that the ecological and aesthetic values ​​of the nation are preserved and enhanced.

Since the Land Use Act deals primarily with the acquisition, use and enjoyment of land, in accomplishing these objectives, the activities of an individual, government or organization either private or public, is likely to create environmental problems. For example, where permission was granted for land to be used for mining purpose or for industrial purpose or for a town and country planning purpose or for any other commercial or public work or convenience, environmental problems are certainly going to crop up in the land use enjoyment of any of these services or purposes.

Essentially, the Land Use Act is not strictly an Act for environmental protection. However, environmental protection is one of those considerations which a holder of certificate of occupancy has to observe, although it is not expressly provided for in any of the provisions of the Act. If the Act is read without such importation, the result is bound to be absurd and environmentally unsound. Policy Measures to Environmental Problems in Nigeria

Due to the environmental problems existing in Nigeria, laws and acts relating to environmental protection were made. These laws / acts were promulgated to address specific and identified problems. They were narrow in scope and spatially restricted. But Decree No 58 of 1988 as amended by Decree 59 of 1992, wave birth to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency FEPA (Now Ministry of Environment) it empowers the ministry to have control over all problems relating to Nigerian environment, resources, exploitation and management. But the success recorded by the Ministry is nothing to write home about. Problems of urbanization, desertification, pollution and deforestation continued due to the Government's Top-down approach, inconsistencies of government policies, neglect of indigenous knowledge, and use ofappropriate technology, sectoral approach, insufficient funding, and insufficient awareness.

Conclusions

Nigeria has a total land area of ​​983, 213 km2 occupied by more than 167 million people. The interaction of these millions of people with their environment has left indelible mark on the landscape. Attempts by these Nigerians to adjust their seemingly endless desires and desire for food, shelter, recreation and infrastructure facilities to mention but a few have rejected in deforestation, desertification, urbanization, over population and all kinds of pollution. Although, these land-use activities contribute to over all development of the country, they equally produce negative impacts in the environment.

Recommendations

This study has been able to explore the nature of environmental problems in Nigeria. It also explores some relevant laws / legislations on the environment. Therefore, for the purpose of overcoming the hurdles reminiscent in environmental problems and ensuring effective implementation of environmental laws, the following recommendations have been made:

1. The current environmental problems should be visited and reviewed as they are too old. During the reviewing processes, the public participation and consultation should be embroidered, and all the necessary actors should be allowed to involve. Based on this full participatory process all interests will be included and an enforceable policy tool will be designed.

2. The government should increase the budgetary allocation for environmental institutions and their program. Adequate funding will encourage capacity building of the human resources in the environmental institutions through trainings both at the local level and international level; this will expose the agents of the institutions into the latest knowledge on environmental governance and diplomacy.

3. The Nigerian government should explicitly share the responsibilities on environmental matters to the different institutions involved. So every institution will know its own jurisdiction and responsibility and where it should not venture to. This will help solve the problem of overlapping responsibility and power tussling among the institutions.

4. The government should encourage and enforce regular reporting and audit on the state of the Nigerian environment and such reports and audits should be made available to the public via internet and books in the public library.

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Have You Washed Your Hands?

Taking care of hand hygiene is the first step to stay healthy. It helps to avoid getting sick due to spreading germs. Hygiene and sanity help us in developing good living habits. These habits are beneficial for our health. We need to keep our homes, our surroundings, our city clean. It all begins with personal hygiene.

Self hygiene

Personal hygiene is essential for good health. Washing your hands is the first step to it. Most of the infections make way in our body through our hands only. From morning till evening our hands come in contact with a lot of things. We touch doors, knobs, buttons, faucets, washroom, brush, cups, mugs, utensils, drawers, car, bike, currency notes, coins, items kept in racks ofalls, cutlery, accelerator, stairs, public places and a lot of similar things. Just think how many things you touch in one whole day. We are exposed to a lot of infections, in-house as well as outside.

Washing hands should be a continuous habit to stay away from infections. Germs are everywhere but you can not see them. Keeping hands clean is the first step we can take to avoid getting sick.

When to wash hands

  • After using a dishcloth or cleaning mop.
  • After bringing vegetables and fruits from the market.
  • Before, during and after cooking.
  • When kids come back after playing.
  • After playing with pets.
  • After handling animals and animal waste.
  • After using the toilets.
  • After changing diapers.
  • After handling wounds.
  • After handling and touching dirty laundry.
  • After dusting, broom and mopping the house.
  • After sneezing and coughing.
  • After touching insecticide sprays.
  • After emptying or cleaning bins.
  • After using public toilets.
  • After handling currency notes and coins.
  • After touching doors, chairs, tables, knobs, switches in restaurants, malls etc.
  • After visiting hospitals, clinic.
  • After attending sick members.
  • After visiting a gym or sports club
  • After using a swimming pool

Do not underestimate or ignore this simple habit of washing hands. Kids generally skip this basic habit, it's our duty to explain the importance of washing hands.

There is a popular English Nursery Rhyme on Wash Your Hands too. To wash our hands we should –

  • use soap and water
  • use liquid soaps
  • use hand sanitizer

Hands should be scrubbed and rinsed properly using soap and water. Good hand hygiene is in our own hands.

Precaution is better than cure is a well known saying and washing our hands is one such precaution which can lead to better health and hygiene.

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When Is The Right Time To Use A Dust Mask?

Whether you are a woodworker, a professional spray painter, a person who deals with dusty rooms or an artist, a dust mask could be incredibly beneficial. It offers protection if you are exposed to harmful substances on a daily basis. There are times when you need to wear a dust mask and this should always be noted.

The idea of ​​the dust mask is to prevent airborne toxins from entering your body while still being able to breathe properly. If you do not have one of these nifty objects lying around then cover your mouth and nose with a piece of fabric for basic protection.

First of all, if you are using chemicals that need to be sprayed, it would be wise to put a dust mask on immediately. This rule mainly applies to people who spray paint often. You may be careful and hold the spray away from your face, however there is still a possibility that wind can blow the chemicals into your face. The side effects of breathing in a lot of paint are nausea, dizziness, light-headedness and a tight chest.

If you are working with tools that create very fine dust you will need to wear a dust mask. Being constantly exposed to sharper and heavier materials such as metal can do fatal harm to your lungs and respiratory tract.

You should also be equipped with a dust mask if you work in tightly enclosed spaces while doing physical work such as woodworking, grinding, painting or sawing a piece of steel. Close spaces tend to have more particles flying around because of the lack of open space.

Did you know that working with Patina can be dangerous if your mouth and nose are not covered? Patina is a chemical that gets released from copper. It is a greenish-blue substance that is used to age pewter. The technique is stunning and many artists enjoy making impressions in metal. Unfortunately, over time the Patina matures that makes it stronger and more pungent. Beware of allowing yourself to use the corrosive chemical without a dust mask. The fumes can damage your lungs and eat away at your throat as it is corrosive. You will not get to this point fast but you will notice dizziness and tightness in the chest before acquiring a certain condition.

It is best to get dust masks in bulk from a wholesale supplier , especially if you run a workshop, art studio, or do your own projects that involve a high amount of dust and particles floating in the air.

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Ways To Reduce Toxins in The Body

We are surrounded by toxic chemicals in our daily life. From the pesticides on the foods we eat to the latest tech gadgets and hottest new beauty products, chemicals are everywhere.

Unfortunately, these chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA), formaldehyde, phthalates and toxic flame retardants etc, are easily absorbed into our bodies and have been linked to obesity, infertility, asthma, heart disease and even cancers. Toxic chemicals are especially troubling for kids, as their immune system is weak because their bodies are still developing.

A more disturbing problem is that many of these chemicals have never been tested for their safety in humans, and experts agree strong legislation is needed for the control of these toxic chemicals.

It's impossible to completely avoid chemicals, but there are things you can do to reduce your exposure and the level of toxicity in your body. For example:

1. Choose organic fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat to reduce your exposure to nasty pesticides and hormones. Organic foods are grown and produced without the aid of pesticides or antibiotics which helps to cut down toxic chemicals specifically in your diet.
2. Look for cosmetic and personal care products that are phthalate- and paraben- free. Also avoid products with retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that breaks down in the sun and has been linked to skin tumors and lesions.
3. Toxic chemicals are actually stored in the body, and one of the most effective ways to break down the fat cells and flush the chemicals out is through regular exercise.
4. Try avoiding saturated fats found in some meats and other fried foods.
5. Look for green certified cleaning products.
6. Look for paint, carpet underlay and flooring with low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), toxic chemicals that can be emitted as gasses from certain solids or liquids. Open your windows to circulate the air and reduce exposure from this furniture off-gassing.
7. Choose glass instead of plastic when storing food to avoid exposure to BPA and never heat plastic in the microwave, as this can cause BPA to see into your food. Choose stainless steel or cast iron pans over non-stick.
8. Water is a great way to flush the toxins out of the body. Men should aim to drink 3.7 liters a day, and women should try for 2.7 liters.

Removing and eliminating toxins from the body, feeding your body with healthy nutrients and detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health through a range of methods including yoga, meditation and more.

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Top Toxic Chemicals Found In E-Waste

As we become more and more dependent on modern technology, the mountain of electronic waste becomes bigger and bigger. The pile of e-waste represents a serious danger to the environment and only through responsible recycling and proper waste differentiation, we will be able to mitigate the negative impact. Leakage of dangerous substances leads to disastrous soil, air and water contamination. Find out which are the top toxic chemicals found in e-waste. If you are a company's CEO, you should consider proper implementation of EMS systems.

• Mercury is one of the most dangerous chemicals found in electronic devices. It is used for flat screens and various lightning devices. Older computers have batteries containing mercury. Also, older switches, relays and mainframe servers contain this substance. Leakage of mercury is extremely dangerous. Incineration can cause vapors travel a far distance. In contact with water, it will transform to methyl mercury, a highly toxic substance. Inhalation of mercury can damage the central nervous system and the kidneys.

• Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are chemicals used to make various products less flammable. They are commonly found in plastics, textiles and electrical / electronic equipment. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, Tetrabromobisphenol A and other phenols are commonly found in electronics, especially circuitry boards. Most BFRs are environmental persistent and some of them, highly bio-accumulative. Data has shown that long-term exposure to certain BFRs can cause brain and skeletal development issues (especially to fetuses). Furthermore, BFRs can affect certain hormone systems, especially thyroid hormones (affecting growth and development). Experiments on animals have concluded that BFRs can also affect liver and delay puberty.

• Beryllium is widely used in electronics, being a very good electrical conductor. Also, copper-beryllium alloys are widespread, containing about 2% beryllium. Typically, those who are affected by beryllium are the workers who participate in the refining and processing activities. Inhaled fumes and dust of beryllium and beryllium oxide cause CBD (chronic beryllium disease). The same dusts and fumes can also be found during recycling process, when the equipment is shredded. Beryllium is chronically and acutely toxic to the humans and mainly affects the lungs. Acute Beryllium Disease (ABD) is caused by breathing a high concentration of beryllium. The main symptoms are shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, very fast heart rate and, in some cases, death. Almost a third of those suffering of ABD will eventually develop the chronic form of exposure, known as berylliosis. Even so, CBD symptoms are severe, including emphysema and fibrosis of the lungs, which can be fatal.

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How The Environment Toxic Substances Harms Your Health

We do not give much because of how hard our lungs work each day and at what we exposed them to.

We mostly believe that smoking is the number one cause of lung damage, but we ignore the many other substances we breath every day that can harm our lungs. We breath toxic substances in work, home, in make up and pollution.

We are going to check the top 8 substances that harm our lung health.

Asbestos: This material is used as insulation in commercial and industrial buildings, it's a fibrous substance that has been linked to mesothelioma cancer.

Some of the common symptoms are chest pain, coughing, fatigue, nausea, weight loss and fever.

Carbon Monoxide: This is a gas that moves from the lungs to the bloodstream, where it then attaches to the haemoglobin molecules. This gas is highly dangerous because it can go undetected because it has no smell or taste. Some of the symptoms caused by exposure to carbon monoxide are: nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, even loss of consciousness and death.

Benzene: This is a highly used industrial chemical which is found in synthetic fibers, plastics, rubber lubricants, resins, pesticides, drugs and detergents. It also can be found at home in adhesives, glues, paint strippers, tobacco smoke and cleaning products.

Exposure to high levels of benzene can cause symptoms of headaches, dizziness and drowsiness.

Formaldehyde: This is a carcinogen and a chemical that can make a person sensitive to all other chemical when there is a significant exposure. It causes symptoms such as: itchy, burning eyes, headaches and is irritating. Even though it may sound like a chemical from factories it can be found in paper towels, fragrances and air fresheners.

Ammonia: It is very risky for our health, especially our skin and lungs and its more dangerous when its mixed with chlorine bleach or other cleaners. Ammonia can burn the skin, the mucous membranes, irritate and is very toxic if swallowed.

Mold and Mildew: Molds are part of our environment, can be found indoors and outdoors. It is not a problem until it start to grow indoors, because it can affect the air quality in your home. Some of the common symptoms of exposure to mold are itchy and burning eyes, coughing, lethargy, headaches and fever. People with allergies and asthma are particularly sensitive to molds.

Pesticides: Pesticides are needed to control insects, however spraying is not precise and some particles may spread to other areas where it was not intended to be. Another way that we are exposed to pesticides is by consuming non organic vegetables and fruits.

The symptoms that are may experience are memory loss, loss of coordination, impairment of the neurological system, reduced visual ability, uncontrollable behavior and mood. It is also linked to cancer, asthma, allergies, problems with reproduction and hormone disruption.

Volatile Organic compounds: These gases in the air from processes or products, it can irritate the throat, nose, eyes, cause nausea, damage the nervous system and cause difficulty to breath.

Volatile organic compounds can be found in Paint, pesticides, glue, tobacco, printers, copiers, gasoline, building products, carpet, wood products, etc.

Those are some of the environment substances that damage your lung health, be careful, avoid damaging substances and take your daily supplements to keep your immune system strong.

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Is the Textile Dyeing Industry an Environmental Hazard?

Color is the first thing we see when buying a fabric. But do you know how this color is dyed onto the fabric. It is usually takes several gallons of water for one pound of fabric. What effect does this have on the environment? Read along to get interesting insights!

Textile Chemicals are used in almost every part of textile processing. These chemicals are used in various commercial and industrial sectors. In order to import required properties to the fabric fabrics are treated with different chemicals. These chemicals provide the fabrics with properties such as flame retardant, water repellent, crease free, etc.

What are different types of textile chemicals?

Chemicals in the textile industry are used for a variety of different processes such as;

Textile Colorants such as dyes are usually used to color the fabric.

Textile Auxiliaries are chemicals which are used to treat fabrics for purposes such as bleaching, defoaming, etc.

Textile Finishing Chemicals such as emulsifiers and waxes are used to treat fibers in their final stage.

Textile Polymers are fibers that are made up of polymers. Some of the examples are acrylic polymers, styrene polymers, etc.

A report by a market research firm estimates a growth rate of 4.2% for global textile chemicals market.

Water consumption in the textile industry!

The textile dyeing and finishing industry is one of the most polluting industries. The industry uses more than 8000 chemicals in its various processing methods such as dyeing and printing. Most of these chemicals are harmful to the environment. Another major concern is the amount of water consumed for the production of textiles. Water is used to wash dyed and printed textile. It is also needed for cleaning the equipment and also to remove color from printing screens and dyeing vessels. An average textile mill consumes up to 1.6million liters of water in a day for producing 8000kg of fabric. Around 500 gallons of water is used up to make a fabric that can cover one sofa. The textile industry is responsible for 17 to 20 percent of industrial water pollution.

Pollution caused by the textile industry!

Textile industries directly discharge toxic waste from the industry into the nearby water bodies. These hazardous waste contain many chemicals which are extremely harmful to the environment. In fact, the wastewater is so toxic that it even corrodes the sewerage pipes. If allowed to flow into drains and rivers the wastewater can have a harmful effect on the nearby population.

The wastewater is so polluted that the colloidal matter in it does not let sunlight pass through it this interferees with the equilibrium of oxygen between air and water and hence depletes the oxygen level in the water body which in turn kills all the aquatic life.

The main hurdles for the textile chemicals market are; rising environmental concerns in developing countries and the growing demand for natural and organic textiles.

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How Do Solar Panels Affect Climate Change?

Low-carbon energy sources, such as solar power, play a significant role in the fight against global warming. For example, the process of electricity generation with solar panels reduces carbon pollution by almost 95 percent compared to fossil fuels like natural gas and coal (Source: solarcity.com). This bodes well for US cities that has huge solar possibilities. According to the US Energy Information Administration, Florida features among the only four states in the country that qualify utility-scale electricity generation from solar thermal technologies. If you are a resident of the Sunshine State and are considering solar solutions, you may want to know how switching to solar may contribute to the environment. Find out below:

Understanding Your Role as a Solar Panel Owner

What makes solar energy such a valuable solution to climate change is its sheer scale? First, drawing energy from the sun means we have access to a virtual limitless supply of fuel. Second, there are multiple adoption opportunities for photovoltaics. In fact, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that rooftop solar panels alone can meet 40 percent of the country's electricity requirements.

Going solar means taking the first big and measurable step towards helping the US fulfill its national goals for combating climate problems. You can be a part of this 'movement' by embracing solar power.

Impact of the US Government's Clean Power Plan

The principal policy for combating electricity-related carbon pollution in the United States is the Clean Power Plan that the Environmental Protection Agency announced in 2014. According to this policy, the power sector needs to up its game if it wants to rein in carbon pollution. And the Clean Power plan presents a long-term blueprint for achieving the same as it seeks a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. However, what matters here is whether going solar adheres to the goals that the Clean Power Plan established. The answer is a resounding YES. Actually, going solar allows the US to realize its climate change policies more quickly.

Effects of Solar Panels on Temperature

Solar panels often cool down a particular region by transforming the incoming rays of the sun into electricity. Thus, areas with higher concentration of such equipment tend to enjoy a lower temperature compared to places with few or no solar panels. Also, producing heat from electricity, especially in urban regions, raises the global and regional temperatures. This, in turn, compensates the cooling effect. But keep in mind that there are consequences associated with these processes that regulate worldwide atmospheric circulation, thereby causing changes in local precipitation.

In the ongoing crusade against climate change, every bit counts. You can do your part by installing solar panels. If you are in a place like Florida, you should have no second thoughts about installing solutions in your home because the Sunshine State ranks third in the US for rooftop solar potential. What's more, according to a market research that EnergySage generated, solar enables the average American commercial property owner to bring down his / her energy costs by 75 percent. In short, solar power is good for the pocket and the planet.

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All You Need to Know About Water Purification

Water is a complex entity that is linked with the existence and the sustainability of the planet. It impacts all socio-economic development while simultaneously promoting a healthy ecosystem. Thus, clean and pure water is vital not just to reduce global diseases but to improve welfare, health and overall productivity of the millions of people all across the country.

Since time immemorial, people would boil the water that they use for consumption for a few minutes every day. This was said to kill micro-organizations thus making water clean. But over time, these organizations started to develop a stronger immunity. Simply boiling the water is no longer as effective. Here are a few things you need to know, especially about the water purification techniques in use as well as the types of water purifiers available in the market.

Different Techniques used for Water Purification

· Distillation: Being one of the oldest purification methods, water is heated and the vapor is collected and condensed. This water is free from the contaminants left behind in the vessel. This process works best in eliminating pesticides and herbicides which have a boiling point less than 100 degrees.

· Deionization: Deionization is what mineral free water is made up of. Thus, deionization is a process where the free ions in the water are removed. Thus, salts that contain calcium and magnesium ions are first removed followed by the replacement of them by hydrogen ions.

· Active Carbon Filtration: Active carbon is used to purify soluble gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen, chlorine and ammonia. Carbon being porous in nature helps to absorb these gases. They also come with a lining of activated silver on them which are used to kill bacteria.

· Reverse Osmosis: Although this technology is a fairly new one, it has been employed in almost all of the latest home purification filters. In this process, a pressure is applied to over osmotic pressure across a thin semi-permeable membrane in order to remove all those particles that are larger than that of the molecules of water.

· UV Technology: UV technology uses UV light to kill microscopic bacteria which may have escaped other filtering processes, thus making water fit for human consumption. Thus, this is an upgrade from the usual carbon and sediment filtration process.

Standard Types of Water Purifiers Available in the Market

· Gravity-Based Water Purifiers: These water purifiers use the simple difference in pressure from the higher chamber to the lower chamber of the filter to kill germs. They are very low maintenance, portable and do not require electricity. Both the water purifiers as well as its filters are quite cheap. They also provide a higher storage capacity compared to the others on the list. These water purifiers are not recommended in areas with the presence of fluoride or arsenic, lead or other nitrates in the water.

· Activated Carbon Purifiers: These purifiers remove all the dissolved gases in the water effectively. These purifiers are very cheap. However, it does not work well enough to effectively remove heavy metals such as iron. Also, it is important to replace the filter from time to time.

· UF Water Purifiers: UF water purifiers use an Ultrafiltration membrane in order to eliminate bacteria, viruses, cysts and microorganisms from water. They do not require electricity for their operation, is easy on the pocket, has low maintenance and last a long time. However, they do not remove dissolved salts in the water. So if your groundwater or local water supply has a significant concentration of dissolved salts, then UF purifiers are not recommended for you.

· Ozone Water Purifiers: Ozone, being an unstable molecule gives up atoms to become a strong oxidizing agent. Thus, it is most effective against virus, bacteria and microorganisms. It is also less harmful than chlorine filters and is thus preferred by many. This filter is also quite budget friendly and does not require electricity.

· UV Water Purifiers: These water purifiers are one of the most commonly used types of water purifiers. These purifiers are quite easy on your budget. They can also help to enhance the taste of water. They emit no harmful by-products but at the same time retain essential minerals in the water. However, these only work if the water is clear and also requires electricity. Note that these water purifiers are not recommended in areas with the presence of fluoride or arsenic, lead or other nitrates since UV purifiers can not remove any dissolved impurities.

Reverse Osmosis Water Purifiers: RO water purifiers Ensure that 99% of dissolved unwanted particles. Although the initial installation is cheap, the maintenance is cost-effective as the filter has to be replaced frequently. This also needs electricity and due to its high efficiency the purification process tends to be quite slow and it also wastes a lot of water compared to the other water purifiers available in the market. However, it should be noted that the RO is not capable to kill any germs or bacteria present in the water.

· Universal Water Purifiers: These filters are those that combine two or more filtration and purification processes to make sure that the water is 99.9% pure. They can be used for all kinds of water and removes a variety of impurities as well as germs, viruses and bacteria. Examples of these include RO + UV and RO + UV + Activated Carbon . These are the most expensive among all the water purifiers that we have discussed and require heavy maintenance including electricity at all times. But it is also the most effective.

So how do I pick out the right filter?

1) Find out your water's chemistry. This simply means to find out how contaminated the water in your locality is by getting an analysis of the water done. This analysis will give you information about the minerals and bacteria present in the water. Depending on this information, you can choose if you want a filter which weeds out dissolved minerals or one which kills bacteria or a filter that does both.

2) Decide if you want the purification system installed for the entire water system of the house or only for the drinking water tap.

3) Go through different brands available in the market. Read up on the kind of purification technique that they use for the purification process. Check if they are standardized and have successfully passed all the safety tests and then pick one that has the least maintenance yet suits all your needs.

It is better to be safe than sorry. Practice efficient water purification techniques to stay healthy.

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Better Living Through Chemistry?

“Not again,” I sighed as I noticed the familiar chapping and redness around my mouth. What could be causing this fresh allergic reaction? I was already using the most basic products, with the few ingredients. My skin seemed to flare up over almost anything, and there did not seem to be any safe alternatives to my current products.

So I went to my dermatologist for some patch tests. The results revealed that I was allergic to p-tert-butylphenol formaldehyde resin and mercapto mix. I had no idea what these strange chemical were. But after some research, I understood that the formaldehyde resin was an ingredient in plastic. This supported the suspicion I had that my toothbrush was causing my allergic reaction. Fortunately, switching to a wooden toothbrush quickly relieved me of my ruddy splotches.

With that issue addressed, I wanted to know more about the other allergen: the mercapto mix. When I discovered that it and the formaldehyde resin were components in the manufacture of rubber and glue, I picked up the phone to call my dad.

My father had been a chemist. Early in his career, he developed an adhesive, which he manufactured and sold through his own company. My dad's interest in chemistry began during the middle of the last century, when people believed in “better living through chemistry.” The phrase, a variant of a DuPont slogan, promoted the concept that chemistry could improve almost all aspects of our lives. This self-serving catchphrase was instrumental in getting consumers to turn away from a nature-based lifestyle and toward buying newfangled products made with synthetic ingredients.

“Dad, you ever hear of mercapto mix?” I queried.

“Sure! I used it in making my glue,” he cheerily responded, happy to have a ready answer.

“What about p-tert-butylphenol formaldehyde resin?” I ventured, stumbling over the name.

“Yes, I used that one, too, in my glue. Why do you ask?” my father wondered.

As I told him about my new allergies, I was stuck by the connection between Dad's use of certain chemicals and my subsequent allergy to them several decades later. I suspected this was not a mere coincidence.

I was hesitant to discuss this speculation with Dad because I did not think he'd share my perspective. So I kept my nascent theory to myself to save it from being drowned out by his naturally critical and scientific mind.

About a year after this conversation, my father began to experience breathing problems and a persistent cough. A visit to the doctor revealed that he had lung cancer. This was puzzling to me since he lived on the banks Puget Sound, a clean, rain-washed environment in Washington state. He had been a smoker earlier in his life, but kept up the habit for forty years prior.

My mind started to flash back to all the chemicals my father was exposed to when he manufactured his glue. Could his daily exposure to all those noxious chemicals, along with the smoking, have set the stage for his lung cancer? And could my allergies to the formaldehyde resin and the mercapto mix have been initiated from contact with his chemically laden clothes when he came home from work?

Along with being unlawfully stricken about my father's impending death (he had stage 4 cancer), I was outraged by our culture's marriage acceptance of chemicals and the implicit trust we place in their safety. Unlike my father, though, I was never under the delusion that synthetic chemicals were our friends. Perhaps this was because I grew up in the '70s, a time of burgeoning interest in returning to a more wholesome lifestyle. Early on, I began exercising regularly, eating natural foods, and consuming an array of beneficial supplements.

Yet, despite my health practices, I began to suffer from myriad allergies and sensitivities to environmental factors, such as plants, smoke, mold, chemicals, and foods. Obviously my health-promoting activities were not enough to stave off these problems. I knew something was interfering with my body's natural mechanisms and derailing my efforts. I believed that one major factor might be my early exposure to the chemicals my father used, which was further exacerbated by the overabundance of toxic chemicals in our air, water, soil, and foods.

While I feel that both my father and I have been harmed by dangerous chemicals, I do not believe we are the only ones damaged in this way. I think the overload of toxic chemicals in our world has a negative impact on all of us. We pay the price of exposure in our own unique ways: one person ever gets cancer, another becomes asthmatic, and someone else suffers from persistent rashes.

Recent studies have provided validation for my conviction that chemical toxins adversely affect our health. Asbestos has been found to play a role in respiratory illnesses; arsenic is known to contribute to a variety of ailments, such as diabetes and heart disease; mercury has a deleterious impact on the brain and nervous system; and bisphenol A (BPA) disrupts the endocrine system.

Because chemicals are loosely regulated and only banned after documented proof of serious harm, we are subject to untold risks from our daily encounters with these substances. Many people may not think they are being impaired by this exposure. Yet repercussions can occur many years later, when it is nearly impossible to determine if routine chemical exposure was the cause.

Despite not having much control over the chemical component of our world, I refuse to be a helpless victim of harmful chemicals. I have discovered ways to substantially reduce my exposure to noxious substances. This has lessened the harm I experience from living in our less-than-healthy world.

One way I've found to mitigate the toxins in my life is to shop carefully and choose safer alternatives for my household and personal care needs. I look at labels and do some research before I buy. Environmental Working Group's website has a comprehensive database of household and personal care products, rated for their safety.

When remodeling or purchasing new household furnishings, I have discovered healthier options. Eco-friendly materials are generally safer, but we must pierce below the surface of the advertising claims. For example, “green” does not necessarily mean a product is non-toxic or natural. The product could contain recyclable materials, which might be off-gassing substances such as plastic.

Because I react horribly to fragrances (with symptoms that include nausea, cognitive impairment, and headaches), I avoid purchasing any scanned products. After learning that the words “fragrance,” or “parfum,” on a product label usually conceals the presence of numerous hidden toxic chemicals, I really understand why I have such adverse reactions to these substances.

Driving less, refraining from burning wood or lighting up barbeques, and using biodegradable unscented laundry products are all ways help to reduce unhealthy particulate matter in our shared air. This makes the air safer to breathe for everyone, especially asthmatics and people with chemical sensitivities.

Another way I gain some measure of control over our shared environment is through making my voice heard. I write to my legislators and sign petitions, such as those that ban particularly harmful chemicals or request more stringent regulations for the chemical industry. I also support organizations that are doing vital work. Nonprofits such as Environmental Working Group; Green America; and Safer Chemicals, Safer Families are working on our behalf to insure greater public health and safer products.

Employing the above measures has made it possible for me to lead a fairly normal life. I still must remain alert to potential chemical hazards in each new environment I enter. I also need to refrain from lingering in any place that is beginning to make my head spin or my stomach feel queasy, despite wanting to shop in a particular store or desiring to attend an event in a public hall.

Obviously, much work remains to be done to clean up our world. My hope is that through education and action, fewer individuals will become harmed by the chemicals they encounter in our shared environment.

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