Satyamev jayateSatyamev Jayate season 2 seems to be highlighting issues that most of us think are inane. The subject of today’s episode Season 2 Episode 3 was garbage – something that is quite literally an ‘out of sight out of mind’ phenomenon for most of us. But what Aamir Khan brought to the forefront was that our waste never really leaves us — it gets converted into something; good or bad. Improperly disposed, our waste has many serious implications on our health, right from creating an unbearable stench to causing severe skin disease and even diabetes. One such compound that is released — especially when we burn our waste – is dioxin. A highly toxic substance that is known world over to cause serious health issues, it is rampant around areas where waste is incinerated.

Waste like bleached paper, tyres, medical waste and other chlorine containing substances emit dioxin. When burnt,  this colourless and odourless gas readily enters the environment either into the air, soil or water source. When this gas is inhaled or is eaten by animals that give us our regular meat and animal products  – like meat, fish, milk – this deadly chemical enters our body and accumulates in the fat stores of our body. This tainted fat is neither metabolised nor excreted leading to the slow and steady build-up of dioxin in our bodies.

What it does to our body:

Dioxin has been deemed the ‘bad boy’ of cancer causing chemicals. But that’s not all it does. Here are the ill effects of the noxious chemical:

1. Short term exposure to high levels of dioxin leads to the formation of skin lesions and diseases like chloracne (an acne like formation of blisters, blackheads and pustules) and patchy darkening of the skin.

2. One study published in the Environ Health Perspective found that the persistent exposure to dioxin causes erosion and malformation of the enamel of children’s teeth. [1]

3. Persistent exposure is also known to cause the formation of tumours in all sites of a person’s body that are capable of increasing the rate at which cancer spreads through the body.

4. Dioxin is also known to enter the liver (as it is the main organ in the break down of fat) and alter its function.

5. Dioxin is known to impair the nervous and endocrine system.[2]

6. A study published in the Annals of epidemiology found that dioxin can lead to thyroid disorders, leading to permanent damage to the gland. [3]

7. Another study conducted by the Environ Health Perspective found that dioxin is a key player in the impairment of one’s immune system. [4]

8. A study conducted in Italy found that dioxin greatly affects the reproductive organs of people – especially women. A known cause for endometrosis, dioxin has also been found to reduce a woman’s fertility.

9. The Journal of Medical investigation stated, in a study published in the year 2005, found that continuous ingestion and inhalation of dioxin is also known to cause diabetes. [5]

10. The worst effect of this chemical is on pregnant women and unborn babies. A large number of studies conducted in this field have found that ingestion of dioxin causes serious impairments in the development of foetuses. Babies born usually have developmental problems, low IQs, faulty reproductive systems and a weak respiratory system.

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  • NALINI PALIWAL

    yes it is actually a rare problem also