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Chemical Pollution has Outstripped Earth's Ability to Cope, say Scientists

Chemical pollution has reached the tipping point. The global ecosystems that support our lives are buckling under the strain. It’s time to restore environmental balance and stability. In September 2022, The World Counts put this into context with the latest terrifying statistics:

  • More than 250 billion tonnes of chemicals are produced a year. That’s over half a million dollars in chemicals every second.
  • Human bodies hold a cocktail of 700 synthetic chemicals that are not naturally part of human body chemistry.
  • In a study of 420 people, nearly all had arsenic, lead, nitrate, and chloroform in their bodies.
  • Industrial toxins are routinely found in new-born babies and their mothers’ breast-milk.
  • The snow at the peak of Mount Everest is so polluted that it doesn’t meet drinking water standards.

Society Can No Longer Cope with the Rate of Chemical Pollution

In this news post, we review new research findings and recommended actions. We also explain how simply switching everyday chemical cleaning and pet care products for probiotic versions reduces the environmental burden.

Although not all chemicals are toxic (even water can be classed as a chemical), many are not meant for living beings and natural ecosystems. A study published on 18th January 2022 in Environmental Science & Technology, and reported in The Guardian, shows that we are now ‘operating outside the planetary boundaries for novel entities.’

Chemical pollution is out of control. The study captures the planetary scale of the problem:

Chemical pollution is one of nine planetary boundaries, renamed the “novel entities boundary”. The study defines novel entities as “new substances, new forms of existing substances and modified life forms”. 

The high rate of annual production and release of novel entities into the environment has now outstripped Earth’s capacity to cope. Chemical pollution has reached our planet’s natural threshold, and yet the production of novel entities continues to rapidly increase. The chemical industry is the second largest manufacturing industry globally. In fact, there was a 50-fold increase in global production since 1950, and this is projected to triple again by 2050 compared with 2010. 

And we’re just not keeping up. The necessary safe management, risk assessments and monitoring are not always done. Safe disposal capacity is often limited.

As a result, chemicals are disrupting the vital, global ecosystems that underpin human life and health. They are accumulating in the environment and in organisms and are altering physical, chemical and biological processes on land, in the oceans, and in the atmosphere.

The study includes additional environmental burdens generated by chemical use:

  • The unknown impact of unintended by-products of production, transformation products and impurities.
  • Plastic pollution affects climate and biodiversity and harms animal and aquatic life though entanglement and ingestion.

It’s Time for Urgent Action

The scientists recommend urgent action. There is no time to wait. Continuing as we are risks large-scale and irreversible environmental disruption. Unfortunately, they also note that despite these actions, many novel entities and/or their associated effects will persist and continue to pose a threat.

The key recommendations are:

  • Reduce and cap the production and release of harmful chemicals.
  • Prioritise reducing synthetic chemicals that degrade slowly and accumulate in the environment.
  • Reduce plastic pollution.

How Probiotic Products Help the Return to Safe Operating

The long-term effects of cleaning chemicals on health are worse than you think… 90-95% of cancer today is driven by environmental and lifestyle factors. One ten-year study showed cleaning operatives (excluding smokers) were 58% more likely to develop lung cancer than office workers. It’s time to protect them…

And our pets are not safe either; humans are actually in second place behind dogs… dogs are now the most cancer-stricken animals on the planet. Their smaller bodies are even more susceptible to the chemical soup. Read Dr Conor Brady’s article and our news post on Polluted Pets to find out more.

Although this all sounds frightening, there is an easy solution that immediately reduces the environmental burden: Simply switch to probiotic cleaning and animal care products. This small change is a big step in the right direction.

1. Ingredients are Safe and Naturally-Sourced

Ingredients are vegan and animal cruelty-free, non-polluting, biodegradable and naturally-sourced. They do not contain chemicals of concern, carcinogens or toxins. The core ingredient is healthy ‘good’ bacteria (probiotics), from plants. Unlike harmful chemicals, they are safe for the environment and the user. Some products do contain small amounts of surfactant, but these are counted and far below harmful levels.

Our news post Only the Best Probiotics – How Science and Ethics are Leading the Way is essential reading! The post explains the four manufacturing foundational pillars that ensure environmental and user safety. These include years of detailed scientific research, regulation as an ally not an obstacle – and the reassuring motto ‘No Compromises Allowed’!

2. Supports the Circular Economy

The need to move from a chemical-based disposable ‘linear economy’ to a sustainable ‘circular economy’ is essential.

Chemical products support a Linear Economy. This operates on a ‘take-make-dispose’ model, with a clear beginning and a clear end. It relies on continually using new resources to produce products and then discard them after use.

Probiotic products support a Circular Economy. This operates on a ‘restorative and regenerative’ model and has economic and environmental benefits that are missing from the linear system. It centres around the prevention of waste by re-using biological and technical products and services wherever possible. This focuses on the best and most efficient use and re-use of resources and ‘closes the loop’. It retains the value of the products we use, reduces resource depletion and pollution and contributes to a cleaner environment.

The overall goal of a circular economy is to retain the value of the products we use and throw nothing away. All our Provilan cleaning and animal care product ranges are ‘Clever Akafen’ certified as having a low ecological impact. They support the circular economy and facilitate this necessary change.

3. Prevents Toxic Waste – Waste Becomes a Resource

Probiotic cleaning products are not hazardous to people or the environment. In fact, the helpful probiotic bacteria are safe and change the meaning of waste. They do not cause pollution or environmental damage or require expensive, safety-conscious waste management at the end of their useful life.

When you discard the helpful probiotics down the drain after use, they carrying on working for you. They safely continue to clean and reduce pollution from wastewater, drains and inside pipework. They reduce organic waste, harmful bacteria, oils and fats and unpleasant sewage odours.

This ‘bonus’ action improves the quality and safety of discharged water and reduces the toxic burden on the environment. It also extends the life cycle of your cleaning products and maintains their value after use. It fulfils the key circular economy criteria ‘preserve and extend what’s already made’.

Read more in our news post: Water Pollution: How Probiotic Cleaning Products Help

4. Reduces Plastic Pollution

Although many people try to recycle their plastic cleaning product bottles, there is a problem when the contents are toxic and harmful chemicals. Toxic chemicals and a circular economy are naturally incompatible.

All our eco-friendly probiotic products have recyclable containers made using ocean recycled plastic. Read more in our news post: Toxic Chemicals and a Circular Economy: Naturally Incompatible

5. Keeps Working After Application

Whereas chemicals destroy all microorganisms in their path, the helpful probiotics thoroughly and naturally deep clean at a microbial level to restore healthy environmental balance. They have a slow-release, natural mechanical action, and keep working effectively for several days after cleaning stops. This means the probiotics continue to work between applications, creating an increasingly healthier environment with every use. 

This longer-lasting, deep cleaning action also increases the value of your cleaning products. It can allow you to extend your cleaning intervals and reduce your product usage over time.

You Can Make a Difference Just by Re-Thinking the Products You Choose 

Sometimes all you have to do to make a difference is re-think the products that you choose and use.

The planet cannot sustain chemical pollution much longer. The time to move from chemicals to environment-protecting, probiotic cleaning and pet care is now. Why wait any longer?

Contact us to find out more.

Switching to probiotic-based cleaning products will improve your environmental ‘green’ credentials and social responsibility. All products are hold the SDK ISO:14.024 circular economy label from the Ministry of Environment in Luxembourg. Find out more: https://www.sdk.lu/images/PDF/Ressourcenpotential/Flyer-Ressourcenpotential-Neuprodukte-2019-EN.pdf