Living Near Landfills

A popular item of discussion on DiseaseProof is the benefits of only feeding kids organically grown fruits and vegetables, as it relates to limiting their exposure to pesticides. In previous posts Dr. Fuhrman has discussed the merits of organic food in detail, and has made the case that produce isn't such a huge source of toxins. The real concern is preserving chemical-free surroundings:
We must be careful not to expose our children to chemical cleaners, insecticides, and weed killers on our lawns. Chemicals used in pressure-treated wood used to build lawn furniture, decks, fences, and swings sets have been shown to place children at risk. When children are around, we must be vigilant to maintain a chemical-free environment.
In some cases this is easier said than done. According to Reuters New York State has nearly 900 hazadarous waste sites and contaminated bodies of water, as a result children living near these areas have a higher frequency of respiratory infections:
Dr. David O. Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment, at the State University of New York at Albany, said these results are consistent with the hypothesis that simply living near a waste site constitutes a risk of exposure to contaminants, presumably by air transport, and that these chemicals can reduce immune system function and lead to more infections…


… Carpenter, who reported the study this week in Germany at the annual meeting of the European Respiratory Society, told Reuters Health: "Our major finding is that children living near to waste sites, whether landfills or contaminated bodies of water, are hospitalized more frequently with acute respiratory infections," compared to children living in "clean" areas.
It may seem obvious, but Dr. Carpenter’s study comes to an important conclusion:
Carpenter said this study shows that exposure to organic pollutants and other contaminants can harm health and just living near to a contaminated site may cause exposure.
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Howie Jacobson, PhD - September 8, 2006 7:29 PM

There's a lot that we as individuals and parents can do to keep our kids healthy - good quality organic fruits and vegetables, exercise, enough rest and relaxation, fun family activities - but until we look beyond individual health and family health to community health, the wellness of the entire tribe, we're all at risk.

It's crazy and tragic to think how wealthy one family has to be to enjoy clean water, truly fresh air, a healthy natural environment, safety for kids to run around without constant supervision, and high quality food. Is our civilization so poor that only the super-rich can afford what should be the birthright of every one of us?

One of the things Dr. Fuhrman is doing that's so important is continually reminding us of the importance of a clean environment for the health of our children. And the double-dose of good news is, when we let go of our addictions to processed foods and build our diets around locally grown and organic plants, we contribute mightily to healing that environment.

So thanks, Doc!

Steph - May 23, 2010 12:22 PM

My family purchased a home in a newly developed subdivision. Later, we found out there was a huge landfill not even a mile from our house. It smells terrible, but we've pretty much became used to it over 4 years. Our company complains about the smells. I was just wondering, is it harmful to live this close to a landfill?

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