smoke, asphalt, refineries, pesticides, gases, laundry fumes, etc
When pollutants drift, then people (and other living beings) get hurt, especially the many millions who are more ‘sensitive’ to pollution.
Smoke is one form of pollution that is visible, but other types may not be.
Here are a few images that show how different types of visible pollutants move through the air we all depend on to breathe, and how far they can travel:
Smoke drifting high and low across a beautiful UK landscape.
Photo © A. Golding UK
Truck spraying clouds of DDT pesticide in the City of Waco
Studies have shown pesticides can remain active in the area after they drift for miles and miles from where they were applied, even working their way into homes and other places. Whenever someone applies pesticides on their own property, others are also affected.
Smoke from fires and pollutants from other events like volcanic eruptions have crossed countries and oceans, even disrupting air travel for thousands of miles!
wildfire smoke crossing US state lines, west to east, Sept. 3, 2017
US smoke map Sept. 5, 2017 from NOAA
Smoke crossing state lines all across the US and international borders into Canada
Smoke (and citronella fumes) drifted slowly along the shore of a very still lake:
A wide view of the lake with exposures adjusted to see a line of green smoke
Whoever was burning things was making it difficult to be or breathe all along that shore, making a ‘healthy’ trip to the lake unhealthy!
Burning garbage releases some extremely harmful fumes.
“It can increase the risk of heart disease, aggravate respiratory ailments such as asthma and emphysema, and cause rashes, nausea, or headaches. Backyard burning also produces harmful quantities of dioxins, a group of highly toxic chemicals that settle on crops and in our waterways where they eventually wind up in our food and affect our health.” ~ EPA
There are different kinds and sources of pollution, but they all make it hard for people and other living beings to breathe and remain healthy.
Over half the population is subjected to seriously unhealthy industrial air on a regular basis. And fracking has increasingly moved into residential areas, causing adverse health effects that cross generations.
Child and adult standing on a hill overlooking a smoggy industrial landscape with a large smokestack spewing smoke drifting to the right
Screenshot from a youtube video shows warm moisture exhausting from a dryer vent to cold air, visible at least 3 dozen feet from the building.
Laundry product chemicals are not visible and will travel much further.
This may seem trivial to some of you, but for a growing number of people, it has become a serious, disabling health hazard, one that severely restricts daily life.
Rising cloud of hot, toxic fumes from road asphalt.
While the clouds may no longer be visible, the fumes are released for many days, if not weeks after fresh asphalt is laid.
Edmonton area refinery (normal) emissions photo © Marie LeBlanc 2018
What happens when an oil and asphalt refinery explodes?
Smoke from Wisconsin refinery explosion poses health risk
Are you prepared to evacuate from your home on a moment’s notice?
Those living near Superior explosion
unsure when they can return
Too bad we can’t just stop breathing when there are
disabling pollutants in the air.
Often, these pollutants get into our water too.
Too bad we all need clean water to survive.
Drifting pollutants are a form of toxic trespass and cause short and long term health injuries.
Pollution and toxic trespass can happen in the same room as something or someone who is smoking or using materials or products that emit VOCs, via an open window, or in an apartment building between units, or between neighbours and the neighbourhood, or even between cities and countries.
People who are adversely affected by pollution and need clean air to breathe, have to avoid other people’s pollution. But how?
Where is there that other people’s pollution can be avoided?
There is no away!
Even if we try to create bubbles, the pollutants can seep in.
NOAA released a study about how those previously thought to be trivial household products now pollute outdoor air in cities as much as vehicle exhaust!
(some of us have known this for a long time)
VCPs are volatile chemical products made with petroleum based chemicals. They include fragrances, laundry products, misnamed air “fresheners”, pesticides, paints, inks, adhesives, cleaning products, and personal care products like lotions, hair care, shaving, perfumes, and other cosmetic products.
Shouldn’t we all have the right to clean air, water, and a healthy environment?
If you use volatile products or burn something, please think about how others around you are affected, even if it doesn’t seem to affect you now.
If there’s any chance it will affect someone else, please don’t pollute!
Some choices we can make personally, but in the end, since not everyone does the right thing because they can (especially the corporations who profit from polluting) some options need to be regulated for the benefit of public health, for now, as well as for the well-being of future generations.
Those regulations don’t happen unless we push for them.
Clean air is good for all of us, in fact, it’s essential!
Dirty air can harm your brain and stress the body
Studies show pollution can alter brain function in students and
Let’s all do everything we can do make sure the air is safe and healthy for everyone to breathe
And there’s more!
If all that wasn’t enough,
we now have other invisible pollutants to deal with!
Did you know that technology emits wavelengths that
affect us and others too?
Have you ever tried to see how many wireless networks you can pick up inside your home?
Our walls do not shield us from the waves being emitted from other people’s wifi or from the s-meters that have been installed almost everywhere.
If wifi radiation was visible, here’s what some of it would look like:
Using wired technology is safest for many reasons. It’s more secure, less vulnerable to hacking, it’s faster, and it’s better for our health.
Modern conveniences aren’t always good for us
We don’t always see the effects of what we do, but we can learn
about the likelihood of our impacts on the world, and
make changes based on the greater good.
There’s more and more evidence of how being mindful in the present moment and caring about others while doing things yields better results
for us and for everyone’s health and happiness.
Our actions affect others.
Let the effects be good.
It got longer than I intended! Hopefully not too long!
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Thank you. Thoughtful and accurate .