Environmental Pollution Effects on Human Health
Environmental pollution is the gravest challenge planet earth & their dwellers are facing today. Environmental pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change.
Causes of environmental pollution are many including industrial wastes, massive conventional energy demands, travel emissions, fuel burning, agrochemicals, wastes disposals, oil spillage, soil erosion, deforestation etc.
All these environmental pollutants have adverse health impacts including allergy, respiratory disorders and harmful impact on internal organs. Based on pollution impacts on health we broadly classify environmental pollution into following listed three types air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution.
Air & Water Pollution are considered major factors in the incidence and progression of diseases – termed as Silent Killers.
Effects of Air Pollution
Air pollution occurs due to gases like carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxides (NOx), ammonia (NH3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), methane and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), organic & inorganic particulates. Air pollution may cause allergy, pulmonary disease, respiratory infections, lung cancer, heart disease and even deaths.
No one is exception but people particularly get more impacted include
- People with asthma
- People with heart disease
- People with respiratory diseases
- People with diabetes
- Elderly people
- Pregnant women
WHO data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air.
Facts about Air Pollution
- Air pollution kills 7 million people every year, 4 million of whom die from indoor air pollution.
- Airborne pollutants are so tiny that they can pass through many of our body’s protective armors.
- Children are highly affected by air pollution.
- Indoor air pollutants are often 2-5 times higher then outdoor level.
Air quality is measured with Air Quality Index (AQI). The AQI provides the public score of air quality that runs from 0 to 500, index crossing 150 is considered unhealthy. How can i protect my family from impacts of air pollution?
Is Air Pollution Worse Inside vs. Outside?
Yes, the levels of indoor air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor level according to EPA. So in other words, sometimes the air inside can be more harmful than the air outside. Can i monitor quality of air at my home from anywhere, anytime?
Common indoor air pollutants sources are fine particles, toxic gases, smoke, asbestos, excessive moisture, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), household products, chemicals, materials used in furniture, electronics etc.
Effects of Water Pollution
Water pollution occurs when contaminants are introduced in water bodies e.g. lakes, rivers, ground water and oceans.
Sources of water pollution are the contaminants that may come from agricultural runoffs, industrial wastes, oil spills, leakage from sewer lines, acid rains and other pollutants. These types of water pollution becomes the major host of water-borne diseases including Cholera, Typhoid, Dysentery, Diarrhoea, Amoebiasis, Paratyphoid, Dysentery & Malaria.
Statistics show that contaminated water is estimated to cause 4 million deaths every year.
Like AQI, quality of drinking water can also be measured by taking samples for testing Total Dissolved Solids (organic & inorganic substances), color, acidity level (pH) etc. Total Dissolved Solids, are the inorganic salts and organic matter in water to measure the degree of water hardness.
The lower the TDS level, the purer the water is. TDS for drinking water is below 300 mg/litre – this range is classified as soft water while water with higher TDS is considered hard water or contaminated water. Find out what’s inside your Drinking Water?
Facts about Water Pollution
- Fresh water on earth is only 2.5% of the total water on the planet.
- Around 70% of industrial waste & 80% of domestic sewage is dumped to water.
- Contaminated water is the main cause of various diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and typhoid.
- Despite improvements in some regions, water pollution is on the rise globally.
- By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.