The foods that we eat and the air we inhale significantly affects our toxic load. Toxic load is the accumulation of foreign molecules or chemicals in biological systems. The accumulation of toxic compounds can be calculated by obtaining the product of chemical concentration and time (Health and Safety Executive, 2008). Other scientists use amperometric and potentiometric biosensors in determining toxic loads. These methods utilize enzymes such as aldehyde dehydrogenase, cholinesterase, peroxidases, acetolactate synthetase and acid phosphatases.
Enzyme-based methods take advantage of enzyme inhibition to determine toxic load. We can however estimate our toxic load depending on the exposures of toxic or xenobiotic compounds. There are a number of chemicals that are being taken from the food we eat, drink, the air we breathe and other products that touch our skin. Some of the chemicals include major pollutants such as mercury, lead and lithium which accumulate in our systems.
Some batteries that power our laptops, phones and handheld devices are made of lithium and mercury. Because of poor e-recycling, these elements get to the soil and enter the food web and into human systems. The accumulation of these chemicals may have serious neurological problems in humans among other negative effects (Health and Safety Executive, 2008). Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), an ingredient in pesticides gets into our bodies through inhalation or taking foods that have pesticide residues.
Flame retarding chemicals such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) have been known to cause significant neurological and reproductive problems in rats and mice although little is known about their effects in humans (National Geographic). We are constantly exposed to a variety of other chemicals and it is estimated that the toxic load for chemicals such as 1, 2-Dichroethane could be as high as 3. 6 X 105 ppm. min (Health and Safety Executive, 2008). Exposure to 1, 2-Dicholoroethane occurs through inhalation and may cause serious kidney and lung disorders.
The food we eat contributes to significant accumulation of toxic chemicals. Carcinogenic compounds commonly in preserved foods have the potential of causing cancer. Majority of additives used to improve the taste of foods or add color to foods contain chemical elements that can cause serious harm to human health. For instance, preserved fish in supermarkets have significant amounts of mercury. The increasing need for fish proteins has made fish consumption to peak. The more we consume the preserved fish, the more we increase our toxic loads.
We use cars on a daily basis and avoiding car use is near impossible. There is an increased level of toxic chemicals from car effluents in the United States. The car effluents produce heavy metals such as lead and mercury that further increases the toxic load in our bodies. These heavy metals get into our systems through the lungs and cause serious changes in our systems. The working of the hormones as well as the normal function of the immune system can be affected by the increased toxic loads in our bodies (Health and Safety Executive, 2008).
In general, it is important to know the levels of toxic chemicals in our bodies. Chemicals in our homes, the foods we take and the water we use contribute to increased toxic loads. The factories and gas emissions from cars also contribute to an increased toxic load in our bodies. This has resulted to an increase in disease cases among populations and it is now time to be cautious on how we relate with Mother Nature. If we abuse the environment, the environment will hurl back the insults with equal or greater magnitude. Work cited: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
“ToxFAQs™ for 1,2-Dichloroethane (1,2 Dicloroetano). ” ToxFAQs™. Retrieved May 17th, 2010 <http://www. atsdr. cdc. g ov/tfacts38. html> Health and Safety Executive. “Assessment of the Dangerous Toxic Load (DTL) for Specified Level of Toxicity (SLOT) and Significant Likelihood of Death (SLOD). ” Retrieved May 17th, 2010 from: <http://www. hse. gov. uk/hid/haztox. htm> National Geographic. “The pollution within. ” April, 2006. Retrieved May 17th, 2010 from: <http://ngm. nationalgeographic. com/2006/10/toxic-people/duncan-text/1>