Cleaning septic tanks and sewerage systems in India is often accompanied by loss of life because we still ask humans to get into septic tanks and manholes to clean them. It doesn’t have to be this way. We have a natural solution that is much easier and better for the environment too.
One of the biggest issues affecting health, hygiene, sanitation, air and water quality and how our cities step into the future is urban waste management. Mountains of garbage dotting landfills all over urban India are not just an eyesore but an urgent crisis we need to resolve immediately.
Everywhere you go, you will see the virtues of antibacterial cleaning being touted by all and sundry. But the entire antibacterial approach to cleaning is actually causing us more harm than we know and we need to ask ourselves if antibacterial chemicals deserve a place in our homes, offices and environment.
Many household cleaning products – not limited to floor and bathroom cleaners alone – are loaded with combinations of harmful chemicals with proven ill-effects on human and animal health and also the environment. Here are the most harmful ones you need to watch out for.
Sanitation is crucially interlinked with health and nutrition in more ways than one may immediately realise. In India alone, the lethal effects of the link between inadequate sanitation and ill-health is visible in some very dismal numbers, especially in the health of India’s children.
Brazil and India have similar trajectories in industrialisation, population, rapid urbanisation and the need to implement quick solutions for civic issues. But Brazil has cracked the urban sanitation demon, providing workable solutions for its society and lessons for India.
Superbugs and drug-resistant bacteria are one of the biggest threats to human health across the world right now. There is growing evidence that shows a link between antimicrobial resistance and the use of biocidal chemical cleaners. We have actually been cleaning our way to ill-health all this while.
Poor sanitation, lack of access to clean water, and inadequate personal hygiene are responsible for an estimated 88% of childhood diarrhea in India. Taking action to improve health requires understanding the factors that influence exposure to faecal pathogens and the various pathways in which they are exposed to human beings.
It is crucial to examine what goes into our waste water, and know and understand where it goes once it leaves our home. It is time to start examining what we put in our cleaning products and how toxic the waste water we create is. Because the health of our waterways, oceans and all the living beings depends on it.
With limited access to sanitation facilities, Nigeria has historically been among the top countries in the world seeing open defecation. Apart from the environmental challenges, this is also blooming into a full-blown health crisis for the country.