Consider this health perspective when you think about your lifestyle, the environment and lead

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 06/18/2006 - 21:32.

From my research on lead, I found the following observation from the Center for Disease Control, saying they classified the causes of disease and death as follows:

50 % due to unhealthy life styles

25 % due to environment

25% due to innate biology and

25% due to inadequate health care.

I've never thought about health so clearly, but it is a lifestyle altering realization. Live healthy, in a healthy place, or die worse than necessary as either a victim (if you can't escape bad environment) or a fool. So, in NEO do people have healthy lifestyles? Do we have a healthy environment? Do we - the media - the government - education - peers - focus on these issues, or on how we have so many great hospitals and medical researchers and that all that is the key to our future. What do you think?

Regarding lead... there's a bit of related background below, and there is much more found here.

Lead poisoning is an environmental disease, but it is also a disease of life style. Lead is one of the best-studied toxic substances, and as a result we know more about the adverse health effects of lead than virtually any other chemical. The health problems caused by lead have been well documented over a wide range of exposures on every continent. The advancements in technology have made it possible to research lead exposure down to very low levels approaching the limits of detection. We clearly know how it gets into the body and the harm it causes once it is ingested, and most importantly, how to prevent it! Using advanced technology, we can trace the evolution of lead into our environment and discover the health damage resulting from its exposure.

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Health is the key to solve environmental problems

Don't look for sustainability leadership or wisdom in NEO - go to World Health Organization and be real about sustainability...

Health is the key in motivating to solve environmental problems

Video message by Dr Maria Neira, Director, Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization

Go to the video file

The benefits of the environment -- such as fresh water, clean air and a relatively stable climate - are essential to life, preventing disease and sustaining good health, Yet the benefits are not equally enjoyed. The livelihood of the vulnerable populations depends on this for their most basic needs. Yet we continue to damage the environment through irresponsible practice. Ongoing destruction of our environment seriously threatens our health.

Around a quarter of the burden of disease is associated with environmental risk factors. Diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, lower respiratory infections and certain cancers are examples of some of the most serious communicable and non communicable diseases that can significantly be attributed to "modifiable" environmental hazards. Of the 102 major diseases reported yearly in the World Health Report, 85 are partly caused by exposures to environmental risk factors.

Children suffer a disproportionate share of environmental health burden. Globally, the per capita number of healthy life years lost to environmental risk factor is 5 fold greater in children under 5 years than in the total population.

We have ways of preventing deaths and disease from these environmental hazards. Environmental health interventions can make valuable and sustainable contribution towards reducing the global burden of disease and improving the well-being of people everywhere. For example safe sanitation would break the vicious cycle of faecal-oral pathogens by preventing them gaining access to drinking-water, and help reduce other pollutants in the environment. Many interventions can be cost-effective and have benefits beyond improving people's health -- benefits such as helping alleviate poverty and reducing gender inequalities.

Health, and the economic returns of a better population health, is the key to motivate leaders in solving environmental problems. Threats to health — a matter of deep personal concern to everyone — have the power to galvanize in pursuit of environmental recovery.

I ask that we work together to build on existing programs, take concrete actions according to local needs, and to preventing disease through healthy environments. Preventive action for improving water quality, reduce indoor air pollution, safe management of pesticides or poisons, and reduce hazard for injuries in the environment exist. There is much we can do that will benefit us now — as well as future generations—if we work together.

Thank you.

The percentages are not all

The percentages are not all that surprising to me, but I wonder if they are surprising to many people? Having spent much time in Europe the state of health in America really disgusts me. Its not so much the high cost of health care, medical insurance and drugs, its American's attitutde about their health that bothers me the most. So many Americas live their lives overweight, inactive, consuming foods that are literally poison. I meet people all the time that seem completely surprised that they are suffering from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure -- diseases that are largely preventable with a healthy lifestyle. So many American's seem to have the attitdude that medicine is there to bail them out after they have spent years abusing their bodies. The percentages seem to say that we should spend more on taking care of our bodies and the environment than on medical research and hospitals to undo the damage we are doing to our selves and our environment.