What About Radiation and Chemical Pollution?
“I LIVE in Moscow not far from the Institute of Atomic Energy. They say that here there is a high level of radioactivity. This may explain why I am frequently sick. Tell me, are we threatened by radiation?”
That letter, published in the Soviet newspaper Trud, illustrates a growing concern by many since an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Industrial radiation and other forms of pollution have seriously affected our health.
Radioactive wastes from power plants and other sources also spell danger. “Plutonium is highly toxic and remains dangerous for incredibly long periods, on the order of 100,000 years,” writes physicist Ian Barbour. How to dispose of such wastes safely, no one knows!
Furthermore, Time magazine recently reported that in one country alone there are some two thousand chemical dumps and over a hundred and eighty thousand chemical lagoons. Since half the population is dependent on that country’s underground water supply, it is feared that these wastes plus pesticides from farmlands are contaminating the water below. As a result, some people, when they find a source of safe water, haul it home for their family’s drinking supply.
Industries around the world have ravaged rivers, lakes and seas. Polluted seafood has caused much suffering. For example, cases of death or permanent damage from mercury poisoning to the inhabitants of the Japanese fishing village of Minamata several years ago have reached over fourteen hundred.
Matters are made worse when individuals introduce harmful chemicals into their own bodies. Such harmful chemicals include those from smoking and the many forms of drug abuse.
Dr. Higginson, director of the International Agency for Research in Cancer, even claims: “There is good circumstantial evidence that 80-90% of all cancers are dependent, directly or indirectly, on environmental factors . . . and at least 90% of these factors are chemical in nature.”
Aside from breaking harmful habits, little can be done by any one individual to improve the situation on the worldwide level. Yet, do not despair! There is good reason for hope that the fight against sickness will definitely be won!
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Chemical, radioactive and other types of pollution are causing injury and death