The deterioration of the environment generates diseases that were previously reduced to the older population, but which currently affect younger people and in a more virulent way, so medicine has proposed to study the causes and effects of these new emerging pathogens .
The doctor specializing in Pediatrics, Neonatology, Stomatology and Addictions, Pilar Muñoz-Calero, expert in Environmental Medicine and president of the Alborada Foundation and promoter of the Pathology and Environment Chair of the Complutense University of Madrid explained to EFEverde the progress made to find the relationship between emerging diseases with the deterioration of the environment.
But currently there is a range of pathologies that are multi-casual and one of the causes and common denominator of many of them is related to the environment, with the environment, that is, related to what we eat, drink or breathe inside our houses as well as abroad.
For Muñoz-Calero, “the products we use, for example, for cleaning, contain a multitude of potentially toxic substances that cause a series of pathologies and if these substances did not exist, these pathologies would not exist either, but they are found in the environment where we move. ”.
Diseases that have to do with physical sensitivity
“Perhaps, within the framework of emerging diseases that are the most unknown and the most harmful, there are fibromyalgia, fatigue syndrome, self-sensitivity, or the type of pathologies that are more unknown, although increasingly frequent, that have to see with physical sensitivity ”, Muñoz-Calero stressed.
"But we can also talk about other more frequent diseases, which are autoimmune (in which the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body by mistake), such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, hyperactivity in children, asthma, allergies, food intolerances or cancer ”.
"Among these diseases we could speak of a new paradigm that has common characteristics such as those that refer to chronic inflammatory hypersensitivity diseases", added the scientist.
What is happening at present is that "more frequent diseases that previously appeared at an age from 70 or 75 years are now appearing in younger people, even at the age of between 30 and 40 years."
For Muñoz-Calero, other diseases such as macular diseases, (which affect the central area of the retina of the eye, for example), “are pathologies that were suffered at quite late ages and, however, they are getting ahead in age, apart from to increase the frequency and incidence of its appearance ”.
According to the environmental doctor “one of the causes is that the use of a multitude of pesticidal substances that are not toxic in themselves, however some of them would fall within the group of hormonal alterations, that is, substances that can cause changes in DNA ”.
These hormonal changes cause "problems with estrogens that are linked to breast or prostate cancer and many of the substances that cause them are found in the plastics or phthalates of some pesticides."
In the human body, “the receptors of these estrogens do not know how to differentiate between those that are natural and those that are not, and they cause many problems related to thyroid diseases. There are some toxins in the environment, such as some of these products or substances that are used as fire retardants that are used in homes, and that many of them have already been made mandatory because they are flame retardant ”.
Have more information and apply common sense
To try to reduce the consequences of the impacts that the deterioration of the environment produces on our health, Dr. Muñoz-Calero stressed that “we can do many things, trying to have more information about how we live and applying common sense, which I think we have lost, because we really have daily information on the emission of the multitude of substances found in the environment ”.
All these substances that are called xeniobiotics (compounds of a chemical structure that do not exist in nature but have been developed by man in a laboratory) “are those that the body cannot assimilate, so we will have to question ourselves, ask ourselves and ask ourselves what all this is doing in the body ”.
These are substances “that do not belong to life and that the body cannot convert into proteins, carbohydrates or lipids, but somehow the body tries to eliminate them and, otherwise, what it does is simply accumulate your information".
"Given this barbarity that is being committed of such an immense emission of potentially toxic substances that are on the market, of which new ones appear every day, something would have to be done to protect citizens by offering more information, in addition to asking and require tougher regulations. We cannot wait for the evils to be greater to take precautions ”.
"There are many diseases, especially that are producing premature aging due to stress, but not only to work stress as everyone thinks, but it is a metabolic and oxidative stress when being in contact with this amount of oxidizing substances", he indicated the environmentalist doctor.
"What these substances are really causing is an alteration that makes us have a preponderance of all degenerative and chronic inflammatory processes, as well as hypersensitivity that characterize all these pathologies," concluded Pilar Muñoz-Calero.
By Isabel Martínez Pita