The ear cannot close naturally; it has no lid, no muscle, no reflex that could consciously create a barrier between our acoustic perception and the outside world. We listen to sounds from the start of life and for the duration of our entire life.
By 2050, 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in towns and cities. Urban living brings many benefits, but city dwellers worldwide are seeing a rapid increase in noncommunicable health problems, such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.
Heatwaves undoubtedly bring a certain joy at the opportunity to be out in the sunshine. But as the planet heats and weather records tumble, increasingly normal bouts of baking heat aren’t all sun and games.
Reviews of hundreds of studies show that a growing number of chemicals—in pesticides, flame retardants, and certain plastics—are linked to widespread health problems, including infertility, diabetes, and impaired brain development.