Monday, April 13, 2015

Letter K: The Choose Your Poison #AtoZChallenge

     A mysterious disease is ravaging areas of Sri Lanka.  It has doctors, researchers and even the World Health Organization stumped. The AP reports from Konketiyawa that in one village up to 10 people a month die from CKD-UE (chronic kidney disease, unknown etiology).
     Unlike kidney failure due to diabetes, hypertension or rampant drug abuse, this fairly recent condition has no known cause; and while those lucky enugh to live close to a dialysis center may hang on for a few years, many die within months.  While the outbreak in Sri Lanka was recently featured in several newspapers, the ailment has also struck farmers in Nicaragua and El Salvador, as well as in Egypt and India  The cause could be some new bacterial invader yet to be identified; some researchers postulate that it is an effect of multiple bouts of severe dehydration suffered by these denizens of arid regions.
     But this particular condition has appeared within the last 20-25 years, and is found predominantly in rural areas and among farming families. Therefore many believe that the causative agent, in all probability, is an environmental poison or toxin, especially since Sri Lanka is a heavy user of fertilizer and agrochemicals. I've come across two mentions of the weed killer glyphosate (brand name: Roundup), although no conclusions have been drawn and Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup, has been dismissive.
     We are surrounded by poisons every day.  Many are manmade, and serve a purpose which we believe to be beneficial; and yet, even if they are used to feed the starving or rid us of vermin, we can never lose sight of the fact that they are, and always will be, poison. We bathe the land and ourselves with them at our own peril.

*I couldn't find a specific poison beginning with k so I went with kidney disease possibly caused by poison.

4 comments:

  1. Roundup? Crossing that off my list of products I use.

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    1. I've been trying to cut way back on herbicides, pesticides, etc. As long as the weeds are green...who cares?

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  2. It's hard to walk the dogs when the farming begins. Weeds get sprayed and I don't want my babies in it.

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    1. I don't blame you. Most of the farmers in my area are Amish or Mennonite and use tilling to control weeds - and manure to fertilize. It smells atrocious, but at least it's a natural smell instead of chemicals!

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