As a druid I love the element of Air. I love to be outside breathing deeply of the air around me. Of course that air needs to be clean not polluted and that brings me to my blog today. I am continuing the theme of life before pollution. Or was there no pollution in the air when I was young? Actually the air was more polluted then where I lived in my childhood than it is today but a lot of the pollution was different. I lived on the edge of a very industrial area, potteries, mines, steel and brick making plus many other types of manufacturing. The smoke was horrendous and you did not put your washing out on the line when the wind was blowing the wrong way bringing the smoke into your garden. Bronchitis was common as was asthma. Then the Clean Air Act came into force and things changed.
Now we have different kinds of air pollution. Farmers spray chemicals on their fields and a lot of it stays in the atmosphere. Even liquid manure gives off ammonia, a poisonous gas. But what about the silent polluters, the radio waves and other electromagnetic waves of our mobile phones, their masts and the electricity pylons. I am sensitive to such things in the air. I can’t walk by an electricity pylon as it makes me ill. The same with mobile phone masts and there are many of them now. They seem to spread like wildfire.
Many years ago Rachel Carson wrote the book ‘Silent Spring’ mainly about the effects of the insecticide DDT. A recent book has been written about the electronic silent spring, the pollution of our technology. But there is also air pollution in our homes caused by things like scented candles, not all of which are natural, and those air fresheners which many people love but which cause me to cough and splutter for a long time. Many of the fumes from these are toxic and affect our nervous system. We need to think about the items we use in the home and outside in the garden and be aware of what happens to our bodies when we breathe in these toxic fumes.
There are many more ways of polluting the air but I am sure you know most of them. So let’s think about how to make our air cleaner as well as our seas, rivers and streets. A big job but if we all did our bit then it would improve. One last thought, many of us have central heating. What is in the steam that is emitted when the boiler is on? That steam goes out into the air we breathe. What effect does it have on that air?