Creating Waves of Awareness
Increase of China Air Pollution Linked to Asthma and In Increased Suicide Rate
Psychological studies find a link between air pollution and asthma.
DECEMBER 2013| Record air pollution cancels flights in Shanghai with the City's pollution index ranged between 23 times and 31 times the levels recommended by international health officials
JUNE 2013 | Air pollution will become the biggest health threat in China unless the government takes greater steps to monitor and publicise the dangers of smog, the country's leading respiratory disease specialist warned this week. Lung cancer and cardiovascular illnesses are already rising and could get worse in the future because of factory emissions, vehicle exhausts and cigarette smoke, Zhong Nanshan, the president of the China Medical Association, told the Guardian.
January 2013 | Very, very, very bad air quality reported. United States Environmental Protection Agency readings of particulate matter reaching above 500 indicate China's air quality goes off the chart. You will receive reading on the US Embassy @BeijingAir Twitter feed. These readings have caused an uproar in China and abroad. How can people find out what's in the air they breath every day and learn to take action? What types of long term chronic and short term acute disease will happen?
Allay Fears, Beijing Offers Air Monitor Center Tours | We know airborne toxins and gases which are naked to the human eye cause the most risk to health and life. [smaller than 2.5 micrometers, or 2.5 parts per million] These elements and particles may be left out of calculations shown at monitoring centers, which will now be open to a small number of public Beijing citizens, who apply to visit via an online application process.
The Chinese people have gathered the public United States data posted on the internet and social networks that shows air quality measurements . Like the wellspring of public outrage of Occupy Wall Street [#OWS], the Beijing citizens have petitioned for an improvement in air quality and truthful declarations of actual data readings.
LA Times | China pledges to curb air emissions.
Approximately 1 million people commit suicide around the world each year. That is only an estimate and real numbers may increase the number of people lost due to the stigma related to suicide and many other reasons.
We continually learn the varied reasons behind acts of suicide that also include physiological changes due to toxic poisonings from environmental substances that change brain chemistry, emotions and mental stability, etc.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY
Everyone around the world may participate in WSPD events and even posting a banner on your website may heighten awareness about this ever increasing problem.
The public, charitable organizations, communities, researchers, clinicians, practitioners, politicians and policy makers, volunteers, those bereaved by suicide, other interested groups and individuals can join with the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the WHO to focus public attention on the unacceptable burden and costs of suicidal behaviors.
You may download the World Suicide Prevention 2012 Day banners in over 40 languages, World Suicide Prevention Day brochure, World Suicide Prevention Day Suggested Activities sheet and World Suicide Prevention Day 2012 Toolkit. Learn about all the activities around the world for this special day.
The American Journal of Psychiatry has published a study that shows a direct link between students living in polluted areas of Taiwan who have asthmatic symptoms and the doubled rate of suicide.
You would think that somebody would make note of this correlation and want to clean up the environment to eliminate the root cause of this devastating illness and emotional cry for help from a younger generation.
This was a statically significant report with 168,000 questionnaires filled out by both students and parents. Along with demographic information they provided information about their respiration symptoms and allergies. Typically asthmatics have difficulty breathing and wheezing episodes during exercise, change in weather, which is worse at night.
The study was not perfect, but the quantity of information brings up important points. We do not know how many of these children would have been suicidal from obesity or depression alone.
If you've been reading my blogs on suicide, you know that teen suicide is on the rise and veterans are at risk. Those who suffer from depression and sadness from all causes also have a risk of suicide. It appears all these epidemic diseases lead to a life of suffering and desire to escape. In the case of asthma, we are looking at a combination of childhood obesity, poor nutritional and exercise habits and most likely family dynamic dysfunction. You can imagine how feeling different, ostracized from a group of teens during these tender years could contribute to depression.
Asthma includes frightening symptoms when a person struggles for a breath of air. Typical symptoms include exercise induced wheezing, nightly cough. These symptoms combined with severe wheezing were associated with elevated suicide risk. And, the more asthma related symptoms the higher the risk for subsequent suicide.
Air Quality and Pollution Forecasts | Check your state's ozone level and air quality
At Home and Abroad China is not so far away
"Pollution from China is having an effect in the U.S., and we need to recognize how that is affecting both our background ozone levels and also particulates that are reaching the West Coast," said study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences co-author Don Wuebbles, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The more we pollute the higher the rates of suicide. That means polluting and spewing toxins into the air from hydrocarbons, and the words that fill our hearts and minds about the downward spiraling economy.
Bloomberg Report | Suicide rates in the U.S. tend to rise during recessions and fall amid economic booms, according to study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicides reached a record high of 22 people per 100,000 in 1932 during the Great Depression, CDC officials said in a report published online today in the American Journal of Public Health. That was double the rates seen in 2000, when 10 people per 100,000 took their lives as the economy prospered.
Global pollution of the air we breath, the household contaminants of household cleaners and air "fresheners" contribute to our universal consciousness of not having enough clean air to sustain us. I am truly surprised at those who can make decisions to improve quality of life by treating outcome, rather than root cause. If air pollution will reduce asthma and physical toxins in the body, this would alleviate the mental need to escape from discomforts, pains and emotional imbalances leading toward suicide.
Surely, we do need mental health counseling for these afflicted, and heightened awareness by teachers and care-takers, as Dr. Chian-Jue Kuo, from the National Taiwan University in Taipei said. However, in addition to 'family' counseling, I think our efforts should be directed toward cleaning up the air we breath.
This is a tall order in countries where the source of energy is coal, or even worse industries that emit unseen gaseous poisons into the air. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is spewing tons of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. My friend said that it is raining droplets of oil.
Now that we understand the relationship between air-pollution and asthma, perhaps we could project that asthma must also be on the rise in China, a country heavily reliant upon coal burning power plants.
In addtion, the exhaust from millions of cars spews more fumes into the air. Besides an epidemic of polluted waterways, the increase in inhalable particulates in cities like Beijing must increase asthma for all inhabitants. Remember that high stratosphere air currents move these pollutants across continents and states.
Officials struggle to improve air quality by shutting down noxious factories and tightening auto emission standards, but coal is also used to heat homes. We also need to clean up our home in the United States where 5 million barrels of oil have been dispersed into the air, land and water ways.
Acid rain which turns cleansing rain water into an acid bath for all living things is a major problem in China.
Using one of my most favorite quotes, "If we heal the earth, we heal ourselves." We must take responsibility on an individual level for our environment, only through institutionalized legislation can we make the most profound impact. Countries around the world have put into effect pollution preventative measures. Referring to the United Nations, “One person alone cannot save the planet’s biodiversity, but each individual’s effort to encourage nature’s wealth must not be underestimated.”- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Make a list of steps and actions you can take today to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
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