March 20, 2011

Future -Ge

Olfaction and taste are definitely two of my favorite senses, not only because I love food and they create flavor, but also because taste is a sense I associate with interacting with others, and smell is a sense that is closely related to memory.

As graduation draws nearer and nearer for us seniors, the reality of having to decide what we really want to do with our lives can’t be avoided. While some want to be doctors or lawyers or bankers or business people, I wonder if any of us gave any thought to how these professions and their work environments can affect our bodies.

I just recently came across a study about the taste and smell perception of sewage treatment and landfill workers. Using the Börstein gustometry method to test for smell sensation and the Elsberg-Levy olfactometry method to test for taste sensation, researchers tested landfill workers, sewage treatment workers, and laboratory workers before and after their working hours. As it turns out, those who worked in landfills and sewage treatments plants usually reported having higher thresholds for tastes and smells. The researchers concluded that these workers were more likely to develop taste and smell disorders than laboratory workers, perhaps because of the constant exposure to hazardous agents such as heavy metals, methane, carbon dioxide, and organic dusts in the work environment of waste management.

I know, I know, it’s not like any of my batchmates aspire to work at sewage plants or landfills, but it’s interesting to think about how the environment that we work in can affect our health and well being. Maybe in terms of stress level or temperature or workload or shift time or work space? Its important to think about how we’ll be able to deal with the environment we have to work in everyday.    

Kind of weird how college is ending and we’re thinking about careers now (AND THIS IS OUR LAST JOURNAL ENTRY FOR 135!). I wish life had a pause button, so I could click it whenever I felt like it was going by too quickly. I lost a friend last Monday, and I’ve been thinking about her all week. How she didn’t even get the chance to make it this far, and how amazing she would have been at anything she wanted to do with her life. But I guess that’s just how it is, sometimes. I miss her a lot and as I sit here thinking about my future, I am inspired to do my best at whatever I end up doing because she would have liked that :) And hopefully I don’t end up working at a sewage plant or landfill.

Bye sir! Thanks for a great sem and I’m sorry I won’t be seeing you guys in class next Wednesday. I’m sure everyone will do great :)

P.S. Follow my real blog at HAHA

Dżaman, K., Wojdas, A., Rapiejko, P., & Jurkiewicz, D. (2009). TASTE AND SMELL PERCEPTION AMONG SEWAGE TREATMENT AND LANDFILL WORKERS. International Journal of Occupational Medicine & Environmental Health, 22(3), 227-234. 

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