As the world gets more and more polluted, so do the diseases. Environmental pollutants come from a range of different sources and each of them has a unique and harmful effect on us. Knowing them can go a long way in helping us understand how we can curb them.
Some common pollutants that affect us include:
All of the waste that is flushed down drains ends up as sewage which is usually dumped in large water bodies. Since most of it is untreated it has an immediate and negative impact on the environment and the people who use that water. This includes the promulgation of water borne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera.
Raw sewage also comprises of large amounts of biodegradable organic compounds. When this enters large bodies of water it uses up oxygen that marine life needs to survive.
Synthetic organic compounds
Some synthetic compounds such as detergents, fertilizers and pesticides don’t dissolve quickly and eventually end up in the main water supply. Since some of these are also carcinogenic, they also cause chronic health issues that can prove fatal.
On exposure, these harmful substances can cause nausea, chemical burns, and convulsions among other health issues.
Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no color or scent which makes it incredibly difficult to detect even via basic tests. Usually combustion, furnaces, gas stoves and car emissions generate large amounts.
Overlong exposure or generation of this gas can lead to a number of health conditions such as dizziness, confusion, fainting spells and even death.
Sulfur dioxide is considered to be one of the most dangerous air pollutants in the environment since it reacts with other pollutants in the air. The result is the production of several oxides of sulfur each which have their own negative effects that are harmful for the environment.
The main sources of sulfur dioxide are power plans, metal extracting facilities, volcanoes, ships and trains that burn sulfur content for energy. The resulting fumes can cause respiratory issues and cause indelible harm to the environment at large.
Batteries comprise of several different heavy metals that are harmful for the environment. These include mercury, lead and cadmium which are regularly dumped in oceans by power plants and factories.
This also includes radioactive waste that is regularly dumped by factories that discard waste fuel in large amounts. This is usually done via sewage which goes right into the sea and is carried by ocean currents to our waterlines. Chemical waste may not be a common pollutant but it does result in serious health conditions one of them being cancer.
Lead is a dangerous substance that has indelible effects on the environment and our health. While efforts have been made to curb it with the introduction of gasoline that is free of this harmful substance, we still have a ways to go.
For instance it is still present in the atmosphere due to aircrafts fuel combustion and through emissions from metal crafting plants. In addition, lead is also generated from the treatment of toxic waste such as battery acid.
With prolonged exposure, this harmful substance poisons the air, soil and water which ultimately affects crops.
Nitrogen dioxide is a highly sensitive gas that reacts to other substances very quickly leading to the formation of ground level ozone. The main source is fuel combustion and power plant missions.
This harmful substance has a negative impact on the environment and on human health as well. It leads to fine particle pollution which can cause coughing, wheezing and a high susceptibility to other respiratory illnesses.
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