Environmental Health Hazards

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Environmental Health Hazards

By world standards, Australia has excellent air and water quality, a fact which most of us take for granted. But leading expert in environmental assessment and building biology, Nicole Bijlsma, poses the question "Can we afford to be so complacent?" In this podcast, Nicole takes us through the extent of these environmental hazards and highlights for us the enormity of the problem.

Covered in this episode:

[01:03] Welcoming back Nicole Bijlsma
[02:46] Today's topic: Access to Clean Water
[03:16] All water on the planet is recycled
[04:00] "We assume it's clean, when the reality is, it couldn’t be further from the truth"
[04:29] Common, un-thought-of sources of contamination
[05:00] The health implications of roadways as a source of contaminants
[07:00] These contamination issues deemed  irrelevant to health practitioners!
[08:03] Statistics:  Disease as a result of breathing air
[09:38] How can we effectively filter our water?
[10:46] Understanding realities of acid vs. alkaline water and their application to health
[11:57] We're only just beginning to unravel the complexity of water
[13:27] Sources of contaminants in our water & purification processes
[18:31] Safest ways to transport water now that plastics are a problematic?
[20:36] Best options for accessing clean drinking water
[25:48] How to access details of what's in your tap water from your local area
[26:52] The recently highlighted issue of lead contamination from taps
[27:50] Nicole's paper on PubMed (provided in references below)
[28:34] The load on people and the environment and who is affected?
[30:47] Wrapping up - and plans for future podcasts with Nicole

Research Explored in this Podcast

Bijlsma N, Cohen M. Environmental Chemical Assessment in Clinical Practice: unveiling the elephant in the room. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016 Feb;13(2):181

Additional Resources

Nicole's Website: Building Biology
Nicole's Article on Drinking Water
Nicole's Article on Water Filters (including KDF)
The Australian College of Environmental Studies


Other Podcasts with Nicole include:


The information provided on FX Medicine is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional in the event something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.

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Nicole Bijlsma

Nicole Bijlsma is a woman of passion, and her passion lies in environmental medicine. Nicole was a former naturopath and acupuncturist with 15 years of clinical experience who changed her career pathway to become a building biologist after noticing a strong correlation with many of her patients illnesses and health hazards in their home. Nicole is the author of the best seller Healthy Home, Healthy Family, was a columnist for Body+Soul (Herald Sun) and is frequently consulted by the media to comment on health hazards in the built environment (The 7PM Project, Sunrise, The Today Show, The Circle, Channel 7 News, Today Tonight, Channel 74, ABC radio, Fox FM, numerous webinars and podcasts).

Nicole has thirty years experience lecturing at tertiary institutions in nutrition, Chinese Medicine and environmental medicine, and has published in peer-reviewed journals. Her extensive knowledge in environmental medicine has seen her speak at various conferences both in Australia and abroad (USA, Thailand and New Zealand). Nicole single handedly established the building biology industry in Australia, was the former President of the Australasian Society of Building Biologists and established the Australian College of Environmental Studies in 1999 to educate people about the health hazards in the built environment. The college is the only institution in Australia to provide nationally accredited training in Building Biology and Feng Shui. Nicole is currently completing her PhD investigating health hazards in the built environment under the supervision of Professor Marc Cohen at RMIT.