Category Archives: eco-health

Skateboarders: Unsung Social Heroes

dailyn

Have you ever considered the social relevance of skateboarding?  An article out this week looks at the impact that skateboarders have on our physical and social environments.

I love the fact that people are out there studying this stuff.

The paper, published in Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, basically says that we should take skateboarders more seriously.  It explains how skateboarders “ascribe new meanings and pleasures to otherwise mundane built forms,”  declaring that skaters have created an “alternative ethic of care for built environments… that transforms ordinary urban spaces into temporary autonomous play zones.”

The author, focusing on the skate scene in Chicago, write: An alternative sustainability model emerges from waxing ledges and other spatial tactics that seek to care for built environments through play….Waxing ledges contributes to a vision of the city that fosters collective uses and creative experimentations with built environments. Unintended pleasurable engagements with architectural forms challenge prescribed uses by welcoming unexpected encounters. Furthermore, waxing ledges fosters communal land-use practices…Skate boarders scout, usurp, and maintain spots of spatial desire by practising an ethic of care for the built environment that transforms ordinary urban spaces into temporary autonomous play zones . The spaces crafted through the ethic of care outlined above are both subject to an urban politics of disciplined accommodation and figure as groundwork towards resistance to punitive spatial regulation.  

Read more here.


Group Therapy On The Go

Here’s a beach sculpture –aka sand castle– I created in Long Beach Island, NJ about 24 hours after completing my first coed sprint triathlon.  It’s a self-portrait inspired by the minor torment I felt during the final two miles of the run.

Have you ever considered doing a race?  Don’t over think it.  Just register, train and show up.  Then let the magic happen.  A little like group meditation, the communal experience is truly a mind body one. Read about upcoming fitness events near you at active.com

Related alternahealthgrrrl content:  All You Need Is Psychosocial Support


Chemical Sensitivity, Simplified

Alternahealthgrrrl followers have to know that I’m a huge fan of Dr Leo Galland and his smart website, Pill Advised. Don’t miss his recent post, Are Chemicals Making You Sick? The Hidden Health Problem of Chemical Sensitivity on the Huffington Post Healthy Living channel.

People who are intolerant of chemicals in everyday products or the environment often find their problems ignored or brushed aside by other people, even their doctors.

Over the past 30 years I’ve routinely asked patients about intolerance to chemicals, foods and drugs and found a normal bell-shaped curve of distribution: Most people in my medical practice have some degree of chemical intolerance, a small percentage are sensitive to just about anything that’s synthetic and a small percentage report no sensitivity at all.

Where a person sits on that curve may change, depending upon numerous factors, which include infection, toxic exposures, nutritional depletion, and life stress. (More)

Related alternahealthgrrrl content: The Racket Known As Flame Retardants; Air Pollution Linked to Kids’ Anxiety + Attention Problems; What Siberian Husky Sled Dogs Reveal About Our Human Bodies


Diesel Exhaust Definitely Causes Lung Cancer, Confirms WHO

Diesel engine exhaust is definitely carcinogenic in human lungs, according to a scientific working group of the World Health Organization after a week-long meeting to review the evidence. Follow the story on MedPage.com


Beware of Moth Balls, Floss & Other Household Hazards

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Don’t miss Dominque Browning’s story in Time this week, The Ever-Increasing Hazards of the Household.


Are folding bikes the future?

The Daily Good explores the promising potential of foldable bicycles in Fold My Ride: The Bike That Could Change Transit as part of their Bike Nation series.

This spring, bike sharing came to South by Southwest for the first time in the festival’s history—something of a late arrival, given the crowd that assembles in Austin every year. When I stopped by to check it out, I was surprised to find not the usual cruisers-for-rent but instead a collection of foldable bikes.

Folding bikes are the black sheep of the bike community, neither respected by hard-core cyclists nor frequently used by the average citizen. But a new global company called Tern Bikes is out to change that perception—and, in the process, change transit.  (Read more from Tim Fernholtz, GOOD business editor)


The Racket Known As Flame Retardants

Illustration thumbnail: Reducing your risk                                                 

As Nicholas Kristof writes in this weekend’s column, Are You Safe On That Sofa?, the Chicago Tribune series, Playing with Fire,  is a must-read. (Click here to see the package) It’s about the history behind the “protective” toxins in our furniture known as flame retardants.

The chemicals embedded in our household upholstery are toxic to humans, and, according to this investigation, useless. But that’s not the news. Experts have known for some time that endocrine disruptors and other ubiquitous chemicals are linked to cancer, fetal damage, child development problems and fertility problems.  The real story? It turns out that flame retardants’ whole reason for being was just to protect the tobacco industry.  The “protect-people-from-fires” thing was just a smokescreen.

I hope my mom reads this report.  This is the reason I insisted on organic cotton clothing for my newborn and why we need real public health policies and laws like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to protect us from industrial chemicals and the corporations that profit from them.

Bravo to reporters Patricia Callahan, Sam Roe and Michael Hawthorne!

Related alternahealthgrrrl.com content:  Toxins on Shoes and Other Environmental Exposures to Avoid; Lyme Disease Alert! + DEET alternatives that protect without toxins;  Air Pollution Linked to Kids’ Anxiety and Attention Problems; What Siberian Husky Sled Dogs Reveal About Human Bodies.