Scientists are now warning gardeners that a mysterious substance found in soil is causing a sudden spike in heart disease.
According to reports, doctors have found substances in soil that can have “harmful effects on the cardiovascular system.”
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Timetotimes.com reports: Experts at the Mainz University Medical Center in Germany said air, water and soil pollution is responsible for at least nine million deaths each year.
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They stressed that more than 60 percent of pollution-related deaths are related to heart problems such as strokes, heart attacks, heart rhythm disturbances and chronic coronary heart disease.
In their article in the Journal of the European Society of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Research, the authors stated that soil pollutants include heavy metals, pesticides and plastics.
They state that contaminated soil can lead to increased oxidative stress in the blood vessels, which in turn leads to heart disease.
Dirty soil can enter the bloodstream when inhaled.
Soil contaminants also end up in rivers, forming dirty water that can later be used.
Pesticides have also been linked to cardiovascular disease.
The experts added that while people working in agriculture and the chemical industry would be most at risk, the general population could also receive pesticides from contaminated food, soil and water.
The experts said: “While heavy metal soil contamination and its association with cardiovascular disease is a particular problem in low- and middle-income countries because their populations are disproportionately exposed to these environmental pollutants, it is becoming a problem for any country in the world due to to the growing globalization of food supply chains and the uptake of these heavy metals by fruits, vegetables and meats.”
They also looked at cadmium, a heavy metal that occurs naturally in small amounts in air, water, soil and food, and comes from industrial and agricultural sources.
Their analysis showed mixed results regarding the relationship between cadmium and heart disease.
In their analysis, they found that emergency room visits for cardiovascular disease in Japan were 21% higher on days with high exposure to Asian dust.
This dust is dangerous because it is usually contaminated and airborne.
Professor Münzel added that more research is needed on the combined effects of multiple soil pollutants on cardiovascular disease, as we are rarely exposed to just one toxic agent.
“Urgent research is needed into how nano- and microplastics can cause and exacerbate cardiovascular disease.
“Until we know more, it seems reasonable to wear a face mask to limit exposure to windblown dust, filter water to remove contaminants, and buy food grown in healthy soil.”