What is pollution?

23 Dec

Without a doubt as I was growing up in Melbourne Victoria Australia, I understood the meaning of pollution. In those years cars used leaded petrol and the discharge from the exhaust contributed to what I knew as smog. That smog was responsible for a range of illness in children, and it was very likely a major contributor to childhood asthma. Then again, there were other chemicals that also contributed to asthma, especially in an adult population.

This is something that is dear to my heart because I believe that my descent into rhinitis, hay fever and slight asthma derives from an experience in my pre-teen year. The particular incident occurred as a result of a factory that manufactured fly spray emitting particles into the air somewhere around the time that we just happened to be in that neighbourhood. The product concerned was Hunter fly spray. The factory released pyrethrins into the air. The reason that I have always suspected that I was exposed to this particular pollution is due to the fact that to this day I remain sensitive to the use of fly sprays containing pyrethrins. If anyone uses Mortein or similar sprays, then I find that my nose clogs up and I cannot breathe. I end up gasping for air. On top of that, I have to add here that a recent invention that hit the market in Australia, that is fly spray where the can would automatically spray into the air was just as bad for my respiratory system. This might explain why I became so ill at the beginning of this year, due to swallowing too much of that fly spray!! In the meantime, I continue to struggle with hay fever…

Now, I am not and never have been against the efforts that were made to clean up the air from smog. The introduction of the catalyctic converter for motor vehicles was the catalyst that allowed cars to run on unleaded petrol without all the pings and car engine damage. The result has been that both Melbourne and Sydney are virtually smog free. In the bad old days whenever we approached near an oil refinery, especially one that was near Sydney,  I would end up with a headache. However, that is no longer the case.

My point here is to show that I understand what real pollution actually means, and how an insignificant person such as myself was affected by oil refineries, paint fumes, bleach and a range of other items, and that the fumes actually made me quite sick. For this reason I actually applaud the legislation that has brought about positive change.

My other point is that the push on global climate change or man made globull warming has led to a redefining of the meaning of pollution. Instead of referring to the tangible and measurable things like air monitoring due to pollution from cars, these days there is talk about the pollution of light bulbs. Really?  The way in which these emissions are defined is actually quite a joke. Turning on a light in my home does not cause pollution.  There is nothing in my home where this can be easily measured.

Wait there is more. It is not just light bulbs that have been under attack, but there are things such as the electricity generating power stations that are alleged to be polluters. Really? They mostly emit steam.

If that is not enough to get anyone started then how about this one: an odourless, and colourless gas, that is carbon-dioxide is considered to be a pollutant. Really? We breathe out carbon dioxide!!

Then there are what I consider to be false comparative measurements for example comparing the cost of making a plastic bag vs making a cloth bag. Really? You can use the cloth bag over and over again, so why is it less efficient to use something that is re-usable?

The truth is that these folks cannot get their facts straight and it is more than time that we all began to question this “collective wisdom” because most of it is found to be “wanting”.

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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in health issues, pollution


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