Recently the news of Keith Richards (of the Rolling Stones band) snorting his dad's ashes made for a lot of jokes on the net and talk shows. Slate's Explainer looked into this matter and whether this practice was healthy, deadly, or what, and you can read what Torie Bosch's research came up with in the April 6th edition of Slate here.
This story led me to reflect upon all the hazardous substances we inhale everyday. For instance, we who reside in the Hawaiian Islands have been inhaling VOG which is the volcanic aerosols in the air from the Big Island volcanoes. This Vog is blown over from the Big Island to my island, Maui, and it makes one tired and irritable amongst other effects. If you wish to learn more about the health impact of vog, click here.
Not only do we inhale vog, we also inhale the chemicals from cane burn (only in certain areas of Maui) which has long been documented as toxic. The chemicals from cane burn make the eyes and throat itchy, and this is why some folks have to move from certain areas of South Maui which gets the brunt of the cane burn.
Who knows what everyone inhales in our overloaded, polluted environment worldwide? I would imagine the list is a long one. If there aren't solutions put into practice soon, we may all be hanging out at oxygen bars and walking around with little white masks on our faces as many Asians do.