Environmental

Pollution and the effects on our bodies

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”
― Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Pollution has harmful effects on the body as well as the environment.

The air that you breathe…

Air pollution can cause both short term and long term effects on health and many people are concerned about pollution in the air that they breathe. Even more so, people with lung conditions and those caring for them.

Most air pollution is the product of:

  • Vehicles and traffic
  • Power generators
  • Combustion from space heating

Not only do they pollute the area they are released in but they travel a long distance.

The gases you take in…

Certain gases can irritate the airways of the lungs and increase the suffering of people with lung disease: Nitrogen dioxide, Sulphur dioxide and Ozone.

Carbon monoxide can prevent oxygen from getting to the blood and in turn, the heart.

Fine particles can also go into the lungs and worsen lung or heart disease.

Are you curious about the air pollution in your area?

Find out more about pollution across the UK here:

The latest pollution summary.  

Historical data.

Information on science and research. 

Air pollutants.

Advice on preventing and minimising pollutant emissions.

Environmental Permitting and other environmental legislation.

Forecasts.

Can you feel it in your waters?

Water pollution causes severe health risks to humans and animals, and unfortunately, it is sometimes the cause of death.

Statistics have shown that around 80% of the world’s wastewater is poured, untreated, back into lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater. Contaminated water kills more people each year than all forms of violence combined. Contamination occurs when harmful substances are released into our water – chemicals or microganisms. Toxic substances from factories, farms, towns, boats and other properties flow into our waters. We often see news headlines where big oils spills happen from ships or rigs.

Water pollution causes millions of deaths each year.

  • Waterborne pathogens, in the form of disease-causing bacteria and viruses from human and animal waste, are a major cause of illness from contaminated drinking water
  • Diseases spread by unsafe water include cholera, giardia, and typhoid. Even in wealthy nations, accidental or illegal releases from sewage treatment facilities, as well as runoff from farms and urban areas, contribute harmful pathogens to waterways
  • Even swimming can pose a risk. health issues such as skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, and hepatitis from sewage-laden coastal waters
  • Chemicals and heavy metals from industrial and municipal wastewater contaminate waterways as well. These contaminants are toxic to aquatic life—most often reducing an organism’s lifespan and ability to reproduce—and make their way up the food chain as predator eats prey. That’s how tuna and other big fish accumulate high quantities of toxins, such as mercury.

Read more about pollution and everything you need to know.

As we all know, pollution is a serious and worrying problem. Here is what people around the world are saying:

“Urban air pollution is set to become the biggest environmental cause of premature death in the coming decades, overtaking even such mass killers as poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water, according to a new report.

Both developed and developing countries will be hit, and by 2050, there could be 3.6 million premature deaths a year from exposure to particulate matter, most of them in China and India. But rich countries will suffer worse effects from exposure to ground-level ozone, because of their ageing populations – older people are more susceptible.”

Air pollution, the biggest killer?

“Evidence shows that a number of chemicals that may be released into the air or water can cause adverse health effects. The associated burden of disease can be substantial, and investment in research on health effects and interventions in specific populations and exposure situations is important for the development of control strategies. Pollution control is, therefore, an important component of disease control, and health professionals and authorities need to develop partnerships with other sectors to identify and implement priority interventions.”

Read more from the NCBI.

Pollutants are everywhere. They can be found in the water that we drink, the air that we breathe and the food that we eat, and they are taking a toll on our health. In 2015, pollution was estimated to have caused almost 9 million deaths worldwide — three times more than those from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
Pollution can have a negative impact on health at any point in a person’s life. Often, the full effects are not seen for decades.

“Man cannot handle technology.
It’s in our landfills.
It’s in our oceans.
It’s in our food chain.”
― Anthony T.Hincks

Let’s all do our best to reduce pollution in whatever way we can.

How can we become environmentally friendly?

 

 

 

References:

https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/air-pollution/effects

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-02481-5

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** The content on this site should not be used as medical advice, we are giving our readers information and insights. If you are concerned about your health or need medical advice please see your doctor. If you are struggling with any issues please talk to someone – don’t suffer in silence. **

 

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