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Increasing interest in environmental health and conservation has also increased a focus on dentistry’s environmental footprint.  In 2008 The Academy of General Dentistry published an article on dentistry’s attempts to “go green”, which featured Integrative Dentistry as one of a handful of offices nationwide who are pioneering this effort.  Conservation of basic resources is an important aspect of environmental health.  In the next series of posts we will highlight ocean conservation, as being fundamental to our health and to the health of succeeding generation.

Our beautiful blue planet is covered with 75% water, which regulates its temperature and produces more than half of the air we breathe.  It is the only substance on earth that can be found in solid, liquid and gas forms, and 97% of it is found in the oceans

The oceans are consistently impacted by Nature itself and by human activity. About half the gases worldwide that contribute to the greenhouse effect are absorbed into the ocean, which delays the effects of global warming.  Carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases, also makes the ocean water more acidic and less hospitable for aquatic life.  Just as acid/alkaline balance is important for the body’s health, it is also important in the ocean.  In April 2009, President Obama signed legislation to address the environmental and economic impact of acidic ocean waters.

Going to the beach is one of the things we like most about the California lifestyle. It is also a major economic resource, with beach related recreation and tourism accounting for over 80 billion dollars in 2001.  Yet each year beach closings and advisories caused by other factors deter more people.  In 2006, university researchers found that 1.5 million people get sick each year in coastal Los Angeles and Orange County alone.  One source of pollution in our local beaches is sewage and toxic runoff from Tijuana, another is pesticides and fertilizer from agriculture.