Even if you live in the country, you are probably breathing polluted air. From campfires to jet engine exhaust, the obvious polluter – automobile exhaust fumes – there are cigarette smoke and chemicals emitted by industry – as well as ozone.. (Ozone is a form of oxygen that is a bluish irritating gas of pungent odor and it is a major agent in the formation of smog.) Many pollutants can be airborne over long distances, and all can enter your system.
Smog contains a long lineup of chemical nasties, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and tiny particles of everything from asbestos to soot, that can settle deep in the lungs and cause general havoc.
You should be especially aware of this fact if you work outdoors in a large city. You may be exposing yourself to more than one ton of pollutants – including heavy metals, carbon monoxide, and ozone – every year.
A high concentration of or long exposure to any one of these chemicals can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, bronchitis, pneumonia, headaches, inability to concentrate, chest pain and, in some cases, lung cancer. Breathing polluted air changes the way that the lung cells do business.
Smog can make the lung cells vulnerable to attack by bacteria and viruses. Smog can kill cells, making the lungs less efficient at doing their job of gas exchange (absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide).
Many of the harmful interactions between the noxious substances in smog and lung cells happened during the chemical process known as oxidation. During oxidation, free radicals, which are unstable molecules of harmful chemicals, snatch electrons from the healthy molecules that compose the cells in order to balance themselves. This starts a chain reaction of electron stealing. The end result is serious damage to cells.
(See article Free Radicals and Antioxidants)
The hormone system is very sensitive to environmental chemicals. These contaminates can mimic hormones. The body gets confused and the artificial “hormone” connects to the cell receptors. When the cell receptors are full up with these false hormones, the real hormone cannot find a place to connect to the cell (sort of like trying to find a parking space in NYC). As time goes by, these receptor get full. The glands don’t have a place to send their hormones to and the body can weaken. One of the main symptoms of this is accumulation of fat as the cells cannot burn it anymore. This is not only when you get older as younger people exposed to these environment toxicity develop the same problems Weight gain is a symptom of a physical problem. It is not the problem. Finding the correct problem can be found in these pollutants.
There are such things as Endocrine disruptors. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is doing research on this. And endocrine disruptor is and environmental poison that mimics, blocks or otherwise disrupts the normal function of hormones. These disruptors are pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, plastics, solvents, heavy metals, The EPA found that 90-95% of all pesticide residues are found in meat and dairy products.