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The Danger of Burning Plastic

It is important for your own health and the health of your family to be environmentaly conscious. Of course we need to reduce, reuse and recycle however, the answer is not to weigh the rubbish. This only creates a burn it to save money mentality. The education just isn't in the schools to warn about the dangers of burning rubbish and meanwhile the cancer rates are on the rise and burning plastic is one of many reasns why.

Why are cancer rates so high?

Open burning of plastic waste is simply dangerous to your health and the health of the environment. Plastic such as PVC (polyvinylchloride) is common in such things as bottles and jugs, plastic packaging and blister packs, etc. When these are burnt in the house, carbon monoxide, dioxins and furans are released into your air. Whilst carbon monoxide is a pretty well known poison, dioxins and furans are not. Studies have linked dioxins and furans to cancer and respiratory disease.

Dioxin is a toxic organic chemical that contains chlorine and is produced when chlorine and hydrocarbons are heated at high temperatures. To inhale dioxin or to be exposed to its fumes can cause many deadly results. Toxic components inhaled through smoke from burning plastic materials may cause hormonal imbalance and sex behavioural orientation of your newborn baby. As a result, the child could begin exhibiting behaviour, in total contrast to his or her sex - changes from male to female sexual characters or vice versa. Researchers have established that inhaling burnt plastic materials have altered sexual characters of birds (from male to female). They have discovered the same defects can easily occur in human beings. Plastic should never be burned in the open air. There are recycling options available for many of these products.

Toxic gases emitted by burning plastic materials - dioxins and furans - can also cause cancer, impotence, asthma and a myriad other allergies to human beings. Young Danes have reported exceptionally low sperm counts compared to the previous generations, testicular cancer has increased by 55 per cent between 1979 and 1991 in England and Wales. Fewer boys are being born in Seveso, Italy, where toxic dioxin was released. Some girls are achieving puberty earlier than others.

Oil  fired or wood stoves simply do not reach high enough temperatures to destroy many of the dangerous chemicals created when plastic burns. Municipal solid waste incinerators such as the double chambered incinerators at the Energy from Waste Plant can reach a temperature of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit (982 C), providing plenty of oxygen to complete the burning process. Oiled fired and wood stoves only tend to smoulder and smoke, releasing plumes of toxic fallout into your backyard and the surrounding community making your street as polluted as down town Tokyo! The ash is also potentially hazardous and not appropriate to spread on the soil. Do yourself and the world a favour. STOP BURNING PLASTIC NOW! If your neighbours burn plastic, report them to your local council. Remember, good health is about good food, clean water and clean air. This is not mamby, pamby, hippy rubbish!

Carina is available to lecture for your group or institution on this subject.

Carina Harkin BHSc.Nat.BHSc.Hom.BHSc.Acu. is a practitioner of 11 years, complementary medicine lecturer of 4 years and mother of six in Galway, Ireland who practices what she teaches.

For an appointment call Carina directly on 083 34 66 333.

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