Replication of water bottles in the traditional way used by Native Californian Indians gave scientists a new fact to study. Scientists told that the people may have suffered health issues due to the process used to manufacture these bitumen lined bottles.
The journal Environmental Health published this study. The researchers started with the thought that had bitumen; a material taken from petroleum has any impact on the health of ancient Californian Indians. Bitumen is formed out of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are connected to various health problems like cancer, hormone imbalance, organ damage and developmental impairments. Today, burning of fossils fuels, food processing and tobacco smoking have exposed modern humans to hazardous PAHs.
Ethno historical records and various archaeological evidences helped scientists to study use of bitumen. They found that bitumen was used by Californian Indians to seal water containers, fixing arrow heads and as a material for producing smoke signals.
By: Bhavna Sharma