Air Pollution, Cancer Deaths and the WHO

air pollution in LondonThe media is currently publishing updates from the World Health Organisation, WHO, showing that air pollution is killing us.

That this is regarded as news is odd really. Back in the 1950s in London, my home town, we had the “Pea Soupers” – thick fogs caused mostly by householders burning sulphur rich coal in their homes.

Some of the horror of those times and a little science too is well explained here

“The London smog, compared with a normal fog or even other urban smogs, was especially lethal because it contained high quantities of sulphur oxides (from the cheap sulphurous coal) that reacted with the moisture in the air to produce a dilute, but lung-corrosive, sulphuric acid mist. The killer brew, to some people, triggered massive inflammation of the lungs – in other words thousands of people died almost through suffocation.”

More examples of these “killer Fogs” here

Hundreds of people died. In a major episode of fog in 1952 4000 extra deaths were recorded in the space of a few days! Further info in the Wiki

Eventually the government stirred itself into action and passed “the Clean Air Act” banning the type of coal concerned and London air got cleaner and those of us suffering from asthma had an easier time of things.

As the years went by our new clean and sweet air was tainted by the number of cars increasing on the roads.

And the asthma cases got more common again!

We need another clean air act! And this time we get vehicles to stop burning fossil fuels! Electric only has to be the rule!

Given the above when the WHO published recent data showing Cancer deaths I barely batted an eyelid.

Air pollution has been killing thousands all round the world for decades and whether they die from asthma or heart attacks or cancer hardly matters. A loved one dead may be a minor statistic to the authorities but it is a major life event to anyone else.

But Cancer is iconic. It inspires a unique and characteristic fear quite unlike any other disease so I guess that is why folks are noticing deaths now that in other causes of death would just slip under the radar.

From the point of view of a health conscious person wanting to help themselves as much as possible then avoiding exposure to toxic fog and smog is desirable. Sometimes however we have to work in polluted cities at least for a while.

So we turn to self help methods to build our defenses and detox the body.

1. First we can limit our exposure. We may not be able to live in a less polluted place right now but we should avoid needless exposure. Some people run and exercise near heavy traffic and this can be easily avoided.
2. Eat an anti-oxidant rich diet. The body needs lots of nutrient to counter act the toxic gas we breathe in and Vitamin C would be a main helper on this task. The toxic fog causes inflammation so several grams of vitamin C would be useful as well as a few desert spoons of ground flax seeds. Including greens and onions daily would give the body much needed support from these powerful plant families.
3. Many herbs can be used to give extra energy and support. Some for general endurance like Ginseng and others such as lobelia and thyme specially target the lungs
4. Personal help from a health practitioner is strongly recommended in such a trying situation so that your personal strengths and weaknesses can be accounted for.

We always have the option of responding with intelligent action s using the natural healing power of nature whenever we encounter tough circumstances. A good diet along with appropriate stress reduction can get us through most challenges.

Smog and other environmental challenges come and go and are best dealt with knowing how powerful your own choices are and how powerful natural remedies are.


London Smog gwire

Alex Newell ND

I'm Alex Newell and I am a Physicist who retrained as an Osteopath and Naturopath when my own health began to decline in my 30's. In fact I kept training and asking questions and began writing books and blogging over the last few years. The purpose of this blog, is to help those with an interest in Natural Health Care to improve their health and detox and chelate industrial chemicals out of the brain and body in a safe and effective way. Please feel free to ask questions and contact me

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