Earth Health Gap is everything between our body and our health to the planet we live in. Our body is not impenetrable and we know it. By eating and breathing, we are actually inviting nature inside our body.

By understand the gap between our body and Earth, we can realise how our behavior towards the environment affects our health. Therefore we can recognize our lifestyle choices that have big impact on our lives.

Hence environmental protection is not irrelevant to us. Whatever we do towards harming the environment, it actually comes back to us in with even more consequences.

Our body is a sophisticated machine

Our body is a design of nature and therefore its existence relies on the environment. That is why we live through breathing, eating and drinking nature’s products.

Even if our societies changed over time, we never have shifted from this single fact. We rely on Earth for only 100%.

One of the main essential life function of our body is to breath. Taking oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide from our body is essential in our physical and mental wellbeing.

Another necessary intake in our body is water. Being 70% of water it is only logical that our body needs to keep drinking it for our good health. Even our blood’s main ingredient is water.

Finally our body needs food as energy and without it we can only live about seven days (according to scientific evidence). Yet if we give our body ‘junk’ food we will not function well. Here applies the saying ‘junk in, junk out’.

Finding the connection of our body and the environment

There a number of ways our body connects with the outside world. In more specific these routes are pathways that we can intake but also outtake.

Imagine one road that has two lanes: one lane is taking food and oxygen towards our body and the other is removing carbon dioxide and wastes from it.

Of course there are many type of ‘roads’. On of them is inhalation. Hence you breath in oxygen and you breath out carbon dioxide. However you may also inhale other gases that can be dangerous for health.

One example is carbon monoxide poisoning. During a house fire, carbon monoxide is increasing formed. By inhaling carbon monoxide, our body tends to intake more this gas over oxygen. In this way are body starves for oxygen leading to unconsciousness.

Ingestion is the second pathway between our body and the environment. In more specific our body needs energy by intaking substances. Therefore we are consuming food and drinks, that have nutrients. However we can also eat or drink harmful substances, such as pathogens or poisons.

Finally we can absorb substances through skin. However due to various skin layers, we do not intake, if any, a high quantity of chemicals.

Earth provides us with all the nutrients and more

Earth give us all we need to live. However it can also be responsible for providing harmful substances. In addition our own human activities, like industrialisation and pollution, become rick for our health.

Nature give us the oxygen, the water and the nutrients. It lets us cultivate fruits and vegetables, for us and our livestock.

Yet we are polluting the environment and destroying the planet. Without control, we are damaging nature and therefore our health.

On the other hand there are also natural sources of harmful substances. In this case you need to have the knowledge of their magnitude to avoid them.

Science has the solution for the Earth Health Gap

Earth Health Gap is Earth science has a big impact on our lives. Primarily science is to make our life better and easier. Through science we are constantly altering our lifestyle, from technological innovation to industrial revolution.

Yet Earth science is always evolving to less conventional disciplines. For some decades now Earth science is studying the impact the geology to our health. This relative new discipline is called Medical Geology.

By studying how geological material and processes affect our health, we can take measures to prevent diseases to future generations. On example is asbestos, a mineral used constantly in the past but now is mostly prohibited due to causing lung diseases.

For similar examples occurring in cases all over the world, you can find in the book ‘Geology and Health: Closing the Gap‘. It is a collection of papers from earth scientists, biologists, and medical specialists on health issues of concern to people worldwide. The book demonstrates how human health and well-being now and in the future can benefit through coordinated scientific efforts.

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