A new study released by the U.S. Geological Survey has unveiled that there is an “extremely high concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAH in your carpet at home which is tracked in by the souls of your shoes.” The simple act of walking across the parking lot can bring these intruders into your home.
PAHs can be found everywhere in the environment like the soil, air and water. 10 times more the level of PAH can be found in urban areas than in rural areas. Exposure to PAH is also possible near hazardous waste sites and near areas where gasoline, wood and coal have been burned and even some water supplies have been tainted with low levels of PAH.
PAH is a widespread organic pollutant that is formed by incomplete combustion of carbon and can be in any fuel like coal, diesel, wood, incense and tobacco and is known to be a potential cancer instigator and quite toxic to sea life. The environmental hazards of PAH to the human body are damaging.
PHA pollution during a woman’s pregnancy is related to conflicting birth outcomes including premature delivery, heart malformations and low birth weight. Lower IQ and childhood asthma has also been associated with this. The cord blood of exposed infants shows that DNA damage has been associated with cancer. Follow up studies have shown a higher level of developmental delays at age three and increased behavioral problems at ages six and eight.
One of the greatest sources for exposure can be from cigarette smoke. Think about that the next time you’re about to light up. You can reduce your exposure to PHA by eating less smoked and charbroiled foods, reducing the use of wood burning stoves and fireplaces, also in decreasing the use of coal tar based shampoos and cosmetics. I once had a friend who always made his guest take off their shoes whenever they entered his home. I recall his profession being that of a scientist. His six children where some of the healthiest that I had ever seen and they also ranked high in their classes.