Leeuwenhoek had stolen and peeped into the fantastic sub-visible world of little things, creatures that had lived, had bred, had battled, had died, completely hidden from and unknown to all men from the beginning of time. Beasts these were of a kind that ravaged and annihilated whole races of men ten million times larger than they were themselves. Beings these were, more terrible than fire-spitting dragons or hydra-headed monsters. They were silent assassins that murdered babies in warm cradles and kings in sheltered places. It was this invisible, insignificant, but implacable-and sometimes friendly- world Leeuwenhoek had looked into for the first time of all men of all countries. ~Microbe Hunters
Friday, 2 August 2013
Black Lung in Kathmandu
If you decide to change career paths and work in a coal mine, you will most likely develop a condition known as Black Lung, in which your lung, quite literally, turns black from inhaling coal dust. The same thing can happen if you live in an area full of smog and pollution, like Beijing, China or Kathmandu, Nepal. Instead of developing COPD or a serious health issue from working in a coal mine, city-living causes black deposits in the lung. My Pathophysiology professor told us last year that as a pathologist, he could tell the difference between a city dweller and country folk, just by examining their lungs. It doesn't cause any harm, unless you have severe asthma or other underlying health conditions. It is just simply a staple that you have experienced technology.
In some places in the world, particularly heavily-populated Asian cities, people like to wear masks to prevent exposure to the excessive amounts of smog and pollution in their air. If someone was to come in contact with such a city, they may develop a sore throat or cold-like symptoms due to the increased contamination of air. Kathmandu, for example, does not have any environmental laws against pollution, so their air is more contaminated, than a city like Toronto, Canada, where we have strict environmental laws to protect our city, our health and the overall global environment.
In the summer of 2014, I will be traveling to Kathmandu to volunteer in a hospital. The health concerns of the country do not include smog-filled air, so I am going to lend a hand and also gain experience in a clinical lab. I am going with my friend, Sean, who wants to be a doctor, so he will also receive great hands-on experience.
If you would like to find out more, or donate to help us volunteer, please visit this website we made for fundraising, we are extremely grateful for any and all contributions and good-will messages. We also have a linked FaceBook page if you are curious. Let me know what you think!
Darn good and sure of it,
p.s. if you click the links and find out my real name, please don't become my stalker and stand outside my window at night. That's all.