Pollution denotes contaminating the natural environment in such a way that it has adverse effects on all living beings. Major types of pollution are air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution, plastic pollution, radioactive contamination, soil contamination etc. Exposure to any kind of pollution for a long time can cause major health problems. Let us learn in details about the health problems that are caused by various types of pollution.
Health effects of Water Pollution :
Water Pollution has become one of the greatest threats to mankind. Majority of the world’s surface water is polluted at present. This gives birth to several dangerous water-borne diseases. Every year 3,575,000 people (mostly children) die from water-borne diseases. Some of the most common infectious diseases that are spread through water contamination are typhoid, dysentery, malaria, cholera, paratyphoid fever, jaundice etc.
Chemicals that are found in water as a result of human activities negatively affect our health:
- Petrochemicals present in water are carcinogenic.
- Pesticides have ill-effects on our nervous system.
- Nitrogen restricts oxygen supply to the brain.
- Arsenic damages the liver and also causes skin cancer.
How does Air Pollution make you sick?
Polluted air can make even healthy persons sick. People who are mostly the victims of air pollution are athletes who workout outdoors, children below the age of 14 who play outside regularly, pregnant women, elderly citizens and outdoor workers.
Particulate Matter or PM is a mixture of sulfates, smoke, soot, nitrates, metals, dust etc. these particles present in the air affects both heart and lungs.
- Temporary health issues caused due to polluted air are coughing, irritation of nose, eyes, and throat, chest tightness etc.
- Effects of long-term exposure to polluted air are the reduction of the function of our lungs, asthma, irregular heartbeat, chronic respiratory problems in children etc.
Nitrogen oxides and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) together form ground-level ozone. The presence of ground-level ozone in air is highest during early evening and afternoon. Health problems caused due to ground-level ozone include:
- Chest pain, wheezing, headache, dry throat, and nausea
- Reduction in resistance power to infections
- Weakness while performing athletic activities
- Aggravated respiratory ailments like bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema
- Lung damage
Noise Pollution and the health hazards of Noise Pollution:
Just like air and water pollution, noise pollution is equally dangerous for the health of humans. Presently, it has increased to a great extent. Common sources are vehicular traffic, sounds produced by music system, vacuum cleaner etc, the sound generated by the factories, sound crackers etc. The impacts of noise pollution are:
- If the sound level is above 70 decibels, it is damaging to the ear.
- Disturbances in sleep is also an effect of noise pollution.
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Mental health deterioration
- Poor cognitive status
Thus, pollution of the natural environment by the humans is severely affecting the health of humans and other living individuals. In order to save ourselves from such health issues, initiatives should be taken to stop people from polluting the environment we live in.