Air

Air is our most important element. We can live without food for about three months, without water for about ten days, but can’t survive without air for more than a few minutes. We breathe in air about 20,000 times a day and use about 10,000 liters or 13 kilos of air. In fact about 50% of all the energy we need comes from the air we breathe. From our first cry till the day we die, every cell in our body is dependant on oxygen in the air. Each deep breath oxygenates the blood that in turn circulates to every cell in the body. Environmental toxins in the air follow right along and are consequently stored all over the body in fatty tissues.

Apart from accidents that release harmful chemicals or gas, the negative effects of environmental toxins are seldom life threatening so we don’t have to use gas masks. That is most of us don’t. The real effect of environmental toxins is first noticed later and varies from person to person, often depending on their natural ability to detoxify. Air pollution has several known negative effects on health. The commonest are asthma, cancer and allergies. According to research, toxins in the air also contribute to sweating, emotional roller coaster, memory loss, muscle pain, sleep disturbances and depression.

40% of all children in Sweden have one or another form of allergy. Asthma is known to be an environmental illness like MCS – Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Most people think that pollen is the main cause of asthma and allergy, but in reality most sufferers of pollen allergy would fare better if the air was cleaner as was proven in the Swedish SALUT study.

The classic symptoms are:
Congestion
Coughing
Depression
Dizziness Eyes
Irritation
Fatigue
Feeling of sickness
Headache
Hoarseness
Infection
Irritation
Itching
Memory loss
Nasal catarrh
Smarting pain
Tiredness

Despite warnings of deterioration of outside air, research shows that the air we breathe inside is the gravest threat to our health. As most people spend around 80-90% of the day inside we are lucky in that improving indoor air is possible. The problem with indoor air is that it's not just one environmental toxin that creates a problem, it is the accumulated effect of many pollutants at once that are the real threat.

The first step is to air your home, school and office daily. We can furnish with plants, making use of the research done by NASA to remove formaldehyde and other common pollutants of indoor air. If you want to know more, get someone to translate the book Kanariefåglarna ryter to English!

A sustainable future

Each of us can affect our environment by reducing unnecessary use of energy, by driving a car that gets good mileage or by choosing a hybrid next time around and by turning off the engine instead of idling. The difference between clean air and polluted air is decisive for the future of mankind. It is estimated that present day production and consumption overreaches long-term... ecologically sustainable by about 25% according to researcher Stefan Edman in his report to the Swedish government Bilen, Biffen, Bostaden (The car, the steak and the home).

14% of the world's richest consume 56% of the world's resources, and according to Edman this means that we need three or four more planets if we were to provide a similar material standard to the whole world as the one currently enjoyed in the EU or US. Certain aspects of the present development are in some cases quite impossible. Our standards must change and become sustainable worldwide, nationally and locally. Sustainable development is a development that satisfies today's needs without jeopardizing the possibility for future generations to meet their needs. When you get down to the nitty-gritty all we're talking about is solidarity and justice, now and for future generations. For our children and grandchildren.