Since an adult human body is made of 70% water and the planet is 70% water, it can be deducted that water is pretty important stuff. When one thinks of water it is hard to conceive of any living organism that does not need water for its survival. There may be some odd creatures known by a few specialized scientists who live only on sunlight. But for the common man, it is a known fact that water sustains life. It is for this reason that the care of our water is by far one of the most senior responsibilities of mankind.
The quality of water on our planet is of some concern because we cannot afford to run out of water. For many people water is pretty easily accessible. It is either obtained from a nearby river or your faucet. But what if the water that you have in your glass is not as pure as it looks. Have you ever wondered what actually happens to all the chemicals that we put down our drains and toilets? Over and above the usual battle that is fought with industry, to curb pollution, how many birth control hormones, anti-biotics, painkillers etc are excreted in urine and where does it go?
Although the purifying processes in sewerage treatment plants do eliminate a number of chemicals, there are some alarming signs that there are enough of these left to have a significant impact on the environment.
Tom Castello, of NBC, recently reported on the condition of the water in some American rivers and this is what he had to say:Its what they discovered in the white sucker fish thats got veteran scientists concerned.Dr. John Woodling of the University of Bouders Colorado, stated, Ive done a lot of studies throughout my career which extended back as far 1973. This is the very first time that what I have found scared me.Dr. David O. Norris of the University of Boulders Colorado added This fish has the characteristics of both male and female.
And scientists have found lots of them in three Colorado Rivers, all of them downstream from sewerage treatment plants. In Boulder Creek, female White Suckers out number males 5 to 1 and 50% of the males also had female sex tissue. The cause, researchers say, is that there is too much oestrogen in the water, a natural female hormone that is found in every sewer system, but in addition certain chemical compounds and detergents and soaps can mimic oestrogen.
There are a couple of points of origin for all this oestrogen. The first is the urine of many millions of women on hormonal contraceptives and hormone replacement treatments. There is also a substance called xenoestogen which is an artificial oestrogen. This manmade oestrogen can be found in many plastics and contaminate water by leaching into it. Xenoestrogen can also be found in plant fertilizer, some insecticides, paints, resins etc.
Sewerage works just cant remove all the oestrogen present in the water. High estrogen levels were present in 80% of Americas Rivers. This same phenomena has now become a growing problem in European rivers. Every male fish in some European rivers shows pronounced female characteristics. We are finding this problem right across northern Europe, it is clearly widespread, according to Professor Alan Pickering of the Natural Environment Research Council.
Along with alarming and unexplained fish mortality the world over, the recent death of 30 crocodiles in the Kruger National Park in South Africa plus other indicators, it is clear that there is now evidence that contaminated water is affecting humans as well, with increased numbers of men growing breasts. There are also a number of hormone related cancers that have substantially increased. Breast and testicular cancer have tripled in the UK over the last 30 years. Although contaminated drinking water may not be the cause or sole cause of this increase, it would be prudent for mankind to remove this additional factor in fighting the cause of cancer.
Where does that leave mankind? Like many environmental issues that we face today a little goes a long way. Using a few simple steps can help to people to alleviate the pressure on the planetary water system. The first and primary thing is to minimize the chemical influence that we have. This can be achieved by getting rid of chemicals that we use in our homes every day. There are some incredible products available. Look into this at your local store, find good products and use them.
Here are a few of the things that everyone can do to help:
- Make your own garden fertilizer from vegetable peels.
- Replace cleaning fluid with biodegradable cleaners. There are powerful biological microorganism products that actually enhance the environment while cleaning.
- Do not throw car oil or transmission fluid down your drains. Contact your local waste disposal company to have this properly disposed of or even recycled.
- Recycle your plastics. This way they dont end up in landfills where they can solely seep their xenoestrogens into the water table.
- Use Baking Soda to neutralize odors in your home. Sprinkled some baking soda on a damp sponge or cloth, this can be used as a gentle non-abrasive cleanser for kitchen counter tops, sinks, bathtubs, ovens, and fiberglass. It will eliminate perspiration odors and even neutralize the smell of many chemicals if you add up to a cup per load to the laundry. It is a useful air freshener, and a fine carpet deodorizer.
- White Vinegar and Lemon Juice are acidicthey neutralize alkaline substances such as scale from hard water. Acids dissolve gummy buildup, eat away tarnish, and remove dirt from wood surfaces. These are also good for cleaning windows.
- There are many essential oils, such as lavender, clove, and tea tree oil (an excellent natural fungicide), that are very antiseptic, as is grapefruit seed extract. Use one teaspoon of essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle (make sure to avoid eyes). This can be used to treat skin ailments and around the house as a disinfectant