Last week our guest columnist on Cleaning up The Mess, architect DAVID FOJO, called indoor air pollution a silent killer. This week he focuses on Electro-magnetic pollution.
Electro-magnetic pollution is becoming a significant issue of the new millennium as the information age reaches full stride. In the last few years there have been numerous exposés on US national television, documenting the many ill effects attributed to these silent and now all-too-pervasive fields. Indoor air pollution is an even better documented health problem that is generally agreed to be a much worse problem than outdoor air pollution.
Last week our guest columnist on Cleaning up The mess architect DAVID FOJO, called indoor air pollution, a silent killer and said it was rated at between 7 and 70 times worse than outdoor air pollution. This week he gives us some basic hints on how to improve the quality of our indoor environment.
It is my view that electromagnetic pollution and indoor air pollution are significant contributors to many of our modern day epidemic diseases, such as allergies, insomnia, hyperactivity and cancer. As I sit here writing this article on the dangers of electromagnetic pollution on my laptop computer, I am faced with the same dilemma we face now in the building industry—how to strike a sane and practical balance between enjoying the marvellous advancements of modem technology without compromising, or better yet, while enhancing our health. We are just now discovering that many building technologies may have a deleterious effect on our health, but until scientific research proves something absolutely one way or the other, I recommend a course of prudent avoidance.
On September 17, the Energy Chamber of T&T joined hands with the Heroes Foundation to clean-up Quinam Beach and Vessigny Beach, as part of the International Ocean Conservancy’s Beach Clean-up campaign. Hundreds of volunteers from Energy Chamber member companies, members of their families and community groups turned up on Vessigny beach, La Brea, and Quinam beach, Siparia, early on Saturday morning to pick up garbage from the beach and the coastline besides the main beaches. For the Energy Chamber, this effort was part of our wider initiatives to promote the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) amongst our members and the business community more generally. The beach clean-up reflects not just our objective of ensuring that companies have a positive impact on the environment, but also to encourage the spirit of volunteerism amongst our membership. We were especially pleased to partner with the Heroes Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that seeks to provide guidance and mentorship for young people in T&T.
Today’s guest columnist and in the upcoming series on Cleaning up The mess is architect DAVID FOJO, who holds a master’s degree in environmental design from Yale University. Fojo claims that indoor air pollution, a silent killer, is rated as between seven times and 70 times worse than outdoor air pollution.
Besides the very high exposure levels to EMFs that we are subjected to, we are also indecently exposed to many other toxins in our indoor environment, especially in our air and water and visually. With the “advances” of modem building technology, healthy fresh air in our homes has unfortunately become a rarity. Dozens of major studies have been done on the quality of air in modern homes by fairly reliable organisations such as the World Health Organization and the Environmental Protection Agency. Depending on which study you read, indoor air pollution is rated as between seven times and 70 times worse than outdoor air pollution, which as you know is bad enough to begin with.
Various factors including unplanned urbanisation have led to more frequent dengue outbreaks recorded between 1997 and 2010 in T&T. Studies conducted in T&T at the University of the West Indies and Carec reveal the incidence of dengue has not been controlled adequately because of a lack of resources, poor management practice in the dengue and vector control programmes and resistance to insecticides in mosquitoes. There are no vaccines available for dengue so only the control of the mosquito can lead to the control of dengue transmission and spread.
The dengue viruses (Den 1-4) are transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The female mosquito acquires the virus while feeding on the blood of infected humans. Infected humans are the source of the virus for uninfected mosquitoes. The mosquito lives in close association with humans in the urban and suburban environments. Therefore, dengue is generally considered a disease of urban areas, and its epidemiology is highly related to the biology of the mosquito vector, the environment and human behaviour.