For the last 48 years, Earth Day has been celebrated every year on 22nd April across the world – to spread awareness about the need for environmental protection, and to acknowledge the fact that the atmosphere is degrading day by day and collective efforts need to be taken to save it from depletion.
Air and water pollution levels are rising in many countries across the globe. The rising level of pollution is of great concern; it is not only polluting the environment but also affecting the health of every living being. Environmental pollution has many aspects and the resultant health hazards include diseases in almost all organ systems.
There are numerous diseases caused by Air and Water pollution that one should be aware of in order to take preventive steps to stay health.
Diseases caused by Air Pollution
Due to our over-dependence on automobiles, the need for petroleum products is increasing on a daily basis, as the generation of energy adds pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide to the air. These gases convert into acids and pollute the atmosphere and the air we breathe, leading to many air-borne diseases such as:
Asthma is a chronic disease in which inflammation is caused by the air passages of the human body and the person finds it difficult to breathe. Asthma is caused by the particulate elements, oxides of sulfur and nitrogen and ground-level ozone.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
COPD is a disease that may be caused by air pollution. A person suffering from COPD has airways and air sacs that lose their shape and become distended or floppy, making difficult to breathe properly.
Cardiovascular diseases involve problems related to the blood vessels, the heart, or both. The poisonous gases, particles, and poor quality of air can affect the cardiovascular system, resulting in stroke and heart disease. The extent of exposure to the pollutants can ascertain the degree of the disease and infection.
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Lung cancer is one of the major causes of cancer deaths in both men and women in the U.S. and worldwide. Lung cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells in one or both lungs caused by air pollution as well as smoking. The abnormal cells can develop into tumors and impair the lung from performing basic functions over the time.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can lead to breathing problems, severe cough, and fever. Pneumonia usually starts when you breathe the germs into your lungs and can get worse with continued breathing of the polluted air.
Diseases caused by Water Pollution
Water is considered to be the essence of life, and access to clean water is necessary for every living being, though it is not available in abundance. Contamination of water causes many hazardous diseases. The following are the examples of diseases that can occur from water pollution.
This is one of the most common diseases caused by environmental pollution and is actually an indication that the digestive system is out of order. It may also include stomach inflammation. It can range from a mild, temporary condition, to a possibly life-threatening one. It ends in the passage of loose, watery stools that can cause dehydration in the patient. It is important to take professional help and proper medication to treat the person suffering from diarrhea.
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Malaria is a life-threatening blood disease caused by a mosquito carrying Plasmodium parasite. Water pollution has resulted in the increased breeding of parasite-carrying mosquitoes. Water pollution results in the increased breeding of the parasite-borne by the mosquito. This disease causes high fever, headache, and shivering. In worst cases, it can lead to complications like severe anemia, coma, and even death.
Across the world, there are millions of people who get affected by Typhoid. It is a bacterial infection that can lead to a high fever, diarrhea, confusion and even vomiting. This disease is contracted by consuming contaminated food or water.
Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. It’s commonly caused by a viral infection and is most commonly transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by feces from a person infected with hepatitis. Avoiding unsanitary conditions is one of the best preventive actions to stop it from spreading.
Dysentery is an intestinal inflammatory disease which is a combination of nausea, abdominal cramps linked to severe diarrhea. In cases of severe dysentery, one may also experience a high fever and traces of blood in the fecal matter. Contaminated water and food are the major causes of it.