We’ve all seen the consumer market push in recent years toward “going green,” but few understand its beneficial health implications for all ages, races, and ethnicities. In fact, those at the highest risk of cancer, Alzheimer, and heart disease are minorities, and they are the people who benefit the most from a more “green” lifestyle.
In the last decade, the amount of organic food items in supermarkets skyrocketed, and while organic food manufacturers do a good job getting the message out about the health factors of organic foods, not everyone understands.
Organic food products don’t have any higher nutritional value than their conventionally grown counterparts. However, what they do have is a much greater safety value because conventionally grown food products treated with pesticides and fertilizers increase overall profit margins for farmers because produce sells by weight.
Organic food, on the other hand, uses other methods of controlling pests and fertilizing of plants that do not include hazardous chemicals. Pesticides and fertilizers, in high enough concentrations, can cause everything from neurological problems to cancer and birth defects in everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity.
Heavy metals, such as aluminum, are often found in food products such as those used in baking powder because it reacts with acidic ingredients in baked goods to create tiny air bubbles that allow cakes and cookies to raise slightly. Typically, due to a belief that it is safe and more cost effective many industries use aluminum despite it’s believed link to Alzheimer’s disease, and those at the highest risk for developing Alzheimer’s are African-Americans, and Hispanics, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Our homes are supposed to be our sanctuaries, but often those sanctuaries contain products like lead and asbestos, which can be extremely hazardous, despite both of them being naturally occurring products. Elevated levels of lead, causes damage to every organ the body’s system as well as neurological damage.
Those especially susceptible to lead poisoning are young children and pregnant women because no amount of lead is safe. Found in paints before the mid 1970s, lead was also in automotive fuels before the mid 1990s.
Asbestos is a natural mineral fiber used for insulation and fire proofing materials before the mid 1970s, although there are still products today made with asbestos, federal law requires proper labeling and protective measures to minimize exposure. Long-term asbestos exposure produces a particularly deadly type of lung cancer, called mesothelioma.
Often costly, especially with asbestos, minimizing exposure to these products is simple. Negating the risk of lead poisoning from paint is as simple as encapsulating it by skimming and coating walls with a low dust joint compound. The next step is to sand and paint with paint that contains low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which will virtually eliminate the risk of lead in your home, as well as associated risks from other chemicals in the paint. Use caution not to inhale the dust by wearing a respirator when dealing with chipping or peeling paint.
Hire a professional to remove asbestos because the Environmental Protection Agency has strict guidelines for the removal and disposal of asbestos.
Going green is not only a great idea for the planet, but it’s a great idea for you and your family’s health because good health, and good stewardship go hand in hand.