Human body waste products and excretion may not be a pleasant topic of conversation. However, as I mentioned before monitoring what comes out is a valuable tool, for instance you can assess your body’s response to what you take in or an abnormality can be a sign of a health issue.
Human waste is any substance your body does not need to maintain homeostasis. Excretion is the process of removing these unwanted products through either the skin, urinary system, respiratory system or gastrointestinal system.
The primary organs involved in waste removal are liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin. Sometimes, human body produced waste is referred to as toxic because of the potential health effects caused insufficient removal.
Generally, human waste is produced during routine body functions, such as catabolism, metabolism and digestion.
However, the true meaning of waste is anything that’s unnecessary for homeostasis, so it could include other sources. For instance, your body likely contains a variety of environmental toxins that gain entry via air, water, food and skin contacts, which is waste and need to removed as well.
The human body is like a giant magnet that attracts and holds onto toxins. Heavy metals, partially oxidized fats, unassimilated proteins; cholesterol deposits, uric acid, plaque, lactic acid and the vast array of chemicals that pervade our water, air and food attach themselves in ionized form to joints, organs, arteries, nerves and tissues. These toxins disrupt normal body functions creating an environment for disease, allergies, and immune system problems.
When the human body cannot excrete toxins and waste, they accumulate and start to poison cells and cause diseases. We start losing energy and become vulnerable to chronic diseases. Detoxification – is a process of toxin and waste elimination, their neutralization and/or transfer to a condition, which is save to a human body.
A healthy body is supposed to be able to excrete toxins by itself. But, firstly, very few people can boast of an excellent health now. And, secondly, even a person with a very solid health being exposed to heavy stress and having an unhealthy lifestyle eventually accumulates too many toxins in his/her body.
Intoxication appears each time when you eat more than your body can digest and excrete respective waste. It disrupts the balance of the body functions, also called homeostasis. Many people feel the discomfort and try to restore their homeostasis by themselves just going in circles and trying everything they ever heard of – diets, diuretics, laxatives, enemas, fat reducers and other fancy methods. As a result various valuable elements that are necessary for normal life activity are washed out of the body, causing protein and vitamin deficiency.
The greatest number of toxic substances is accumulated in the intercellular space, and when the concentration of toxins and waste in the body approaches its threshold the body cell while preserving itself against poisons also stops passing the nutrients inside. As a result we have a situation when a body receives plenty of food and the cell starves.
A “hungry” and poisoned cell cannot produce healthy and full-fledged posterity. And then cells with some small deviations appear. During the cell fission such deviations multiply and at some point “the quantity turns into a different quality”. This leads to development of abnormal masses in the body, which result in severe and at times incurable diseases, anomalies and deformities. Fat-soluble waste is also accumulated in cells containing fatty tissue. Such cells are first of all located in our brain. As a result of waste accumulation the brain as moderator of all processes in a human body starts glitching.
The balance of various organs functions is being tilted and chronic diseases are aggravated. The nervous system jointly with the endocrine system represents a human body uniform regulation complex.
Waste accumulation results in dysfunction of various organs and systems of a human body. The first to suffer are the endocrine system: basal gland, thyroid gland (it accumulates heavy metals and its functions are severely disrupted); genital glands – reproductive hormones production is disrupted (hence sexual and fertility disorders); insular apparatus of the pancreas – hence the increased risk of diabetes.
Being embedded and accumulated in the cell structure, toxins cause the immune system overexertion. This results in the failure of the immune system when intoxicated cells of a body are perceived as foreign cells (the body does not recognize its own cells anymore) and pathological immune response is produced such as allergic reactions, autoimmune diseases, immune deficiencies, etc.
In 1962 Rachel Carson stated that for the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.
This statement was true then and continues to be true today. We all are exposed to a number of different chemicals, carcinogens, and toxins in our environment on a daily basis.
We are exposed to 6 million pounds of mercury and the 2.5 billion pounds other toxic chemicals each year.
Eighty thousand toxic chemicals have been released into our environment since the dawn of the industrial revolution, and very few have been tested for their long-term impact on human health.
According to the nonprofit organization, the Environmental Working Group, the average newborn baby has 287 known toxins in his or her umbilical cord blood. If a newborn is exposed to that many toxins, imagine how many YOU have been exposed to in your life!
The simple truth is that we are living in a sea of toxins and it is destroying our bodies and brains. And, most physicians today are still ignorant about the impact chemical toxins have on health. The role of toxins and detoxification in health has been largely ignored by medicine. Thankfully, scientists and practitioners are starting to recognize its importance in health.
The reason we age quickly over time is usually because we generate internal waste and toxins that accumulate within our bodies.
If waste builds up, we get sick. The key is to figure out how to enhance your body’s capacity to detoxify and get rid of waste while minimizing your exposure to toxins.
The human body was designed with the ability to heal itself in almost miraculous ways. However, your body can only do this if you give it everything it needs to function at its best.
Most of us experience a constant bombardment of low-level toxins. Germs and other toxic substances are all around us — in air, food and water, on plants and pets, and even on the surfaces of our homes and in our own bodies.
A toxin can be anything that not only has no nutritional or other value to the body, but also actually causes harm or costs the body valuable energy and resources just to get rid of it or store it in the tissues.
When your cells are working well and making energy properly they are fairly clean burning engines, making less trash. As cell function declines they start to pour a lot of black smoke out their exhaust, in the form of lactic acid and other inflammatory by-products. This changes the pH in the fluid around cells, stressing circulation to and from cells. Since you have 100 trillion cells, solving this problem or preventing it is a good idea. One key principle of detoxification is to make less cellular trash in the first place.
The accumulated toxins bind our enzyme systems and do not allow the body to produce enough energy for active, productive work and for fighting the diseases. And even when there is no appreciable disease the human body does not produce adequate response anymore and cannot cope with emergency situations on its own.
Therefore we are forced to intake the medications of chemical origin, which lead to even more waste accumulation in the body.
Today our wastes seem to miraculously vanish simply by flushing the toilet. But that’s where the problems begin.
Pollution problems resulting from the disposal of human waste are relatively new phenomena. For thousands of years, our body wastes were an intricate part of the planet’s natural recycling system, providing food and fuel for the microorganisms at the bottom of the food chain. But with the huge growth in world population and the concentration of that growth in urban centers, human waste has been disconnected from the cycle.
Since the birth of life on earth more than 3 billion years ago, countless species have thrived spectacularly, interacting in a dynamic balance with the planet. Living species have secured their long-term survival through a process of natural adaptation by trial and error, providing us with the most successful example of sustainability on this planet.
Nature in its entirety is a zero waste system. It is us who preached and dictated policies about what is waste and what is dirt.
“Human waste” is a term that has traditionally been used to refer only to human excrements, namely fecal material and urine, which are by-products of the human digestive system. When discarded, these materials are colloquially known as human waste.
When recycled for agricultural purposes, however, they’re known by various names, including night soil (when applied raw to fields in Asia) and human manure or more specifically humanure.
Thanks to Jan Drangart of Sweden who’s study shows the amazing value of residues from our body that can revitalize the agricultural soil.
Humanure is not waste – it is a valuable organic resource material rich in soil nutrients, in contrast to human waste, which is a dangerous discarded pollutant.
Humanure originated from the soil and can be quite readily returned to the soil, especially if converted to humus through the composting process. Admittedly, humanure is not as benign and easy to work with as grass clippings, but when properly recycled, it makes a wonderful soil additive.
It is a human give away to other systems on earth. Just like we receive give-aways from other natural systems. This is an unmatched sharing of life. This also is the ultimate and absolute example of recycling and economy of means that never produces waste. The order of the universe and nature does not exist without recycling. This is the only secret to sustainability. This is the missing phenomenon that is crucial and central to all waste generating systems that we have.
Feces and urine are examples of natural, beneficial, organic materials excreted by the bodies of animals after completing their digestive processes. They are only “waste” when we discard them. When recycled they are resources, and are often referred to as manures, but never as waste, by the people who do the recycling.
We do not recycle waste. It’s a common misuse of semantics to say that waste is, can be, or should be recycled. Resource materials are recycled, but waste is never recycled. That’s why it’s called “waste.”
Waste is any material with no inherent value that is discarded and has no further use. We humans have been so wasteful for so long that the concept of waste elimination is new to us. Yet, it is an important concept that must become imbued into human consciousness.
When a potato is peeled, the peels aren’t kitchen waste – they’re still potato peels. When they’re collected for recycling as a resource, no waste is produced.
Many people, especially compost, municipal, and academic professionals, nevertheless adamantly insist upon referring to these recycled materials as “waste.” This is called the “waste mentality.”
So what, in truth, is human waste? Human waste is cigarette butts, plastic six-pack rings, Styrofoam clamshell burger boxes, deodorant cans, disposable diapers, worn out appliances, unrecycled pop bottles, wasted newspapers, junk car tires, spent batteries, most junk mail, nuclear contamination, food packaging, shrink wrap, toxic chemical dumps, exhaust emissions, the five billion gallons of drinking water we flush down our toilets every day, and the millions of tons of organic material discarded into the environment year after year after year.
Humans have been tossing out trash for, well, close to forever.
Trash heaps and garbage pits are some of the best windows we have to ancient cultures. Future generations of archaeologists may try to understand us through mountains of disposable—and non-biodegradable—diapers.
Individuals often throw out goods without realizing that they are headed for a landfill and could be dangerous for the environment. No matter where people put these hazardous waste materials, there is always a chance that they could find their way into the ground, and eventually into our bodies.
We make way too much garbage! All that garbage started as things that were made, grown, or harvested from the Earth for us to buy, eat or use. The trouble is, the amount of things we buy and dispose of is becoming a problem. We are running out of resources to make all the things we need and running out of space to throw out all that garbage.
America is not only a land of industry and commerce; it’s also a land of consumption and waste, producing between 12 and 14 billion tons of waste annually. Approximately 210 million tons of that total constitutes our annual production of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), which is the trash each of us personally throws “out” every day.
In sheer material output, no one can hold a candle to the United States. From the diaper on the newborn infant to the plastic bottle dripping an IV solution into the comatose senior citizen, American life is awash in disposable products. The throwaways include hundreds of newfangled gadgets our ancestors never even imagined: safety razors and blades, ballpoint pens, milk cartons, plastic dishes and utensils, aluminum cans, reams and reams of computer paper, even use-and-toss cameras. Experts say a 1988 American threw away 100 times as much material as did a person living in the mid-1800s. I can only imagine what that number is now.
The generation of waste and the collection, processing, transport and disposal of waste—the process of ‘waste management’—is important for both the health of the public and aesthetic and environmental reasons.
Waste is anything discarded by an individual, household or organization. As a result waste is a complex mixture of different substances, only some of which are intrinsically hazardous to health. The potential health effects of both waste itself and the consequences of managing it have been the subject of a vast body of research.
Waste is the glue that holds the environmental movement together.
Yes, it may strike you as an excessive claim but it’s true. With a few exceptions, waste is the concept that pulls together virtually the entire environmental movement, with all of its focus on species, oceans, atmosphere, toxicity, justice, pollution etc. Even climate change.
The reason is simple.
The destruction of the earth, the planet and everything on, in or around it arises because we suffer from an economic system, commonly called capitalism though I would prefer it to be called “exploitationism”, that takes as its token, the exploitation, the gathering in, the theft if you will, of every possible resource, to be ground up, turned into quick profit and then the excesses strewn everywhere, anywhere, with no concern for the consequences.
It is the strewing of the no longer wanted excesses, which constitute what we call waste, or garbage.
The thief or the manufacturer or the businessman did not make these resources, for the most part, they are part of the commons. They belong to all of us and to no one, which is why the businessperson has to steal them. By rights, they have no rights to these resources.
But they garner to their organizations the means of power so that they can bludgeon anyone who challenges their wanton usage. They buy the politicians, they bend the laws to their purposes, they hire policemen and mercenaries; they own the armor; the guns and the tanks.
What are some of these resources that are grabbed so cavalierly? We know their names well. Any man did not make clean air, water and soil, but the theory of private ownership has been allowing them to be exploited for private profit for many centuries.
Yet the human economy of exploitationism is more brutally primitive. The mistakes of a fifty thousand years still hang around to weigh us down, and the mistakes of the last few hundred years of the industrial economy are contaminating the entire planet.
In addition, since loops are never closed on purpose (nature still distills dirty water into rain unbidden; bacteria attack organic matter without being asked) the basic resources are disappearing. The environmental movement mounts a desperate, rearguard action to preserve some of the more endangered resources such as biodiversity and clean water and air, but for the most part, the economic juggernaut of exploitationism rides on, grinding all conservative impulses into the dust.
Each human life, one can easily argue, is priceless. But we’re treating them as worthless.
Species diversity is a huge resource. A major one is human labor and intelligence. Humans are created in vast excess; they are raised by hopeful, loving parents and nominally educated by society, then used for profit. There is such an excess of human bodies and minds that the excess is discarded, disrespected, ignored. If huge swathes of humanity are forbidden by the economic system to ever know what it means to have adequate food and housing or to know an education, it makes no difference to the economy.
They are dispensable. If other communities must live among pollution from previous exploitation and waste that is not even on the public conscience except among those being exploited. Food, another resource, is created in vast quantities but not evenly distributed. Food has to be grown, that’s true, but using resources that no one could even dream of creating.
Food is consumed and turned into waste products that are collected but in a way that contaminates the outputs so badly that they cannot even go back to the soil if that is attempted. Sink based garbage disposal units are exalted under the banner of convenience, while resource conservation and the commons are pooh poohed as irrelevant. All the resources that become garbage are destroyed as inexorably as possible. Not only are resources stolen, but the economic system makes no attempt to restore those original resources, by closing loops, unless, by some kind of accident, it is possible to make still more profit by closing a loop.
By wasting food you are wasting the water, energy and natural resources used in its production and are contributing to landfill methane gas emissions- a potent greenhouse gas. And the worst part? Most of this food waste can be avoided.
Every time food is lost or wasted, all of the embedded energy that went into producing that food is also wasted. In other words, the dilemma is not just about the loss of the calories and the nutrients in the food itself. Nor is it solely about the squandered opportunity to feed the increasing number of malnourished people in our country and beyond, although that injustice alone should be reason enough to move us to act. Food lost and wasted is energy wasted.
It also represents the arguably unnecessary dispersal of pesticides, carbon, airborne particulates, and other pollutants associated with producing foods.
Most of us are likely unaware of how much food is wasted on a global scale: humans never consume approximately one-third of the edible foods produced worldwide.
That amounts to a stunning 1.3 billion tons of food wasted annually. In the United States, the food waste percentage is closer to 40 percent. In wealthier industrialized countries, food is lost and wasted throughout the entire food chain, but a significant amount of perfectly edible food is wasted at the end of the food chain. In poorer countries, food losses tend to occur more at the earlier parts of the food chain, with minimal waste closer to the consumer end.
Food loss and food waste in the United States are so enormous in terms of squandered nutrients, dollars, and energy that the overall impact is hard to fathom, in part because the results are relatively well hidden in Dumpsters and landfills relatively far removed from our daily orbits.
Somehow, we Americans each account for approximately 600 to 650 pounds of lost and wasted food, most of which we barely see or consider. And seldom do we connect food waste to energy waste.
But, during the last couple of years a somewhat sobering thought has been burbling to the surface of the American mind. For about 35 years we had assumed that when the end comes it will occur in a flash of nuclear devastation, reducing the planet (as Jonathan Schell put it in The Fate of the Earth) to a “republic of insects and grass.”
It should be clear that without the ability to wantonly discard garbage, the system would load itself up so heavily that the gears would be unable to turn. As the entire planetary surface is exploited and discarded, the burden would be insupportable.
Biology faces the same problem but handles it much more intelligently. What if all the carapaces and chitin of dead insects never went anywhere? By now our planet would probably be buried under a hundred feet of chitin (assuming insects could still live). Or if cellulose went nowhere, what would we do. Life would become impossible.
Now the suspicion is dawning that civilization may terminate in a less dramatic fashion: the human species slowly suffocating in its own non-biodegradable wastes.
As this mass rises inexorably, the resources of the earth shrink in direct proportion, and a host of other complications arise. A committee of scientists put the matter some thirty years ago in the massive Global 200 Report to the President (a report, incidentally, totally disregarded by the Reagan administration): “If present trends continue, the world in 2000 will be more crowded, more polluted, less stable ecologically, and more vulnerable to disruption than the world we live in now.
Serious stresses . . . are clearly visible ahead. Despite greater material output, the world’s people will be poorer in many ways than they are today.”
We are at a critical time, they believe, because the world cannot sustain humanity’s sheer numbers and consumption. In 2008, Global Footprint Network published a graph which represents its understanding of human consumption of resources as calculated through their studies of resource consumption in 201 countries. This graph illustrates the belief that humans are consuming a third more of the earth’s capacity than the planet is capable of sustaining. We, in other words, are running a resource deficit that cannot be sustained.
“It is difficult to overstate the urgency of reversing the trends of environmental deterioration.”
Traditionally, garbage has been dumped in landfills on the outskirts of cities or in lightly populated rural areas. That was the easiest way of getting rid of useless and disgusting leftovers.
Disposal has been, neither a well-respected nor highly paid profession, so haulers paid little or no attention to the environmental impact. But rising concern over buried nuclear wastes in the 1970s provoked a closer look at garbage burial grounds. It was soon discovered that in many places toxic chemicals had been oozing out of these landfills and into the groundwater for decades. They were not only nose- and eyesores, they were recognized for the first time as contributors to birth defects, cancer, and respiratory diseases.
Alarm bells rang, and a trash backlash movement, informally called NIMBY (Not in my backyard!), developed throughout the country.
Out of our passion for clean urban living we designed our sanitation system and directed all pipes from our bathrooms to rivers and seas, or out of the bounds of city and towns. For centuries it is continuing to gutter away the most precious vitamins our land needs. We now spend much more energy and budget with assisting technology in few countries for the chemical treatment plants of sanitary outpouring.
We felt very smart and prosperous to invent Biofuel and Biogas and thought it is a good recycling of so called biological waste. This recycling forced us to design more industries for starving lands. Fertilizers and insecticides with associated industries for packaging and spraying made us happy and gave us ‘mad cows’.
Many people make the mistake of describing the zero waste movement as simply recycling in a new suit when, at its heart; it is about the totality of the world’s resources and their allocation.
“Plato pointed out that the best leader in any society is the one who’s interested in the quality of common life,” he says, “one who leads by virtue, by morality, a person who has integrity and is above reproach. That’s why it’s not the loudest or richest or wiliest who makes the best leader, but one who inspires by a genuine concern to make life more livable.”
As human beings we often have formative events in our lives, which dramatically alter our view of the world. These events are most often caused by emotional or thought-provoking events, scenes or actions that affect us so deeply that we either change our previous views or modify them in such a way as to move our lives in a new and interesting direction.
Life altering events can, I think, be categorized into three areas or ways in which they affect us. They affect us sociologically, metaphysically and aesthetically; events in each of these categories then result in a psychological shift in our worldview.
These types of events often happen when people visit war torn or impoverished countries to provide aid after a disaster, and example would be the way that Sean Penn was affected by the affects of the earthquake in Haiti, or how people who went to assist after Hurricane Katrina were affected. Sometimes however, these events occur at what would otherwise be routine times, and dramatically change our worldview.
Regardless of the benefits or the hindrances of one’s education, we still find no waste in nature. One organism’s excrement is another’s food – it’s that simple. Everything is recycled through natural systems so waste doesn’t exist. Humans create waste because we insist on ignoring the natural systems that we are dependent upon.
We are so adept at doing so that we take waste for granted and have given the word a prominent place in our vocabulary. We have kitchen “waste,” garden “waste,” agricultural “waste,” human “waste,” municipal “waste,” “biowaste,” and on and on.
Yet, our long-term survival as a species requires us to learn to live in harmony with our host planet. This also requires that we understand natural cycles and incorporate them into our day-to-day lives. In essence, this means that we humans must eliminate waste altogether. As we progressively eliminate waste from our living habits, we can also progressively eliminate the word “waste” from our vocabulary.
I’m sure there are different reasons why the majority of Americans (and probably humans) rank environmental matters so low.
But these reasons don’t change the fact that we, indeed, lose many lives every day to pollution; and that we could very possibly extinguish the human species if we don’t get global warming and climate change under control.
It should be noted that when we do something that is against our grain – particularly if we repeat this and it becomes a pattern – in order to “live with ourselves” we go numb.
We shut off our feeling nature. We stop noticing. We kind of stop caring. (Sometimes we convince ourselves that we don’t care. We really do. We care very much. We just don’t know what our viable options are.) And, so to continue to survive we go numb.
It’s no joke.
Waste is an international problem. In our globalized economy, raw materials are constantly extracted, processed in factories, shipped around the world, and ultimately burned or buried in communities at an ever- increasing rate. Yet solving this problem requires much more than technical fixes: how we manage waste is part of a larger web of decisions about health, equity, race, power, gender, poverty, and governance.
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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