How Does Pollution Affect Humans?

We live off the Earth…

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TheWorldCounts, 06 August, 2014

We live off the Earth…

Since we share everything on Earth with every living thing on the planet, what happens in one area affects everything too, no matter how far away. Pollution or the introduction of different forms of waste materials in our environment has negative effects to the ecosystem we rely on.

There are many kinds of pollution, but the ones that have the most impact to us are Air and Water pollution.

The Consequences of Pollution

How does pollution affect humans? In the following paragraphs, we will enumerate the consequences of releasing pollutants in the environment. We cause most of the pollution and we will suffer the consequences if we don’t stop. We are already seeing its effects in the form of global warming, contaminated seafood, increased cases of lung diseases and more.

More: Global Climate Change Facts

Air Pollution Effects

We release a variety of chemicals into the atmosphere when we burn the fossil fuels we use every day. We breathe air to live and what we breathe has a direct impact on our health.

  • Breathing polluted air puts you at a higher risk for asthma and other respiratory diseases.
  • When exposed to ground ozone for 6 to 7 hours, scientific evidence show that healthy people’s lung function decreased and they suffered from respiratory inflammation.
  • Air pollutants are mostly carcinogens and living in a polluted area can put people at risk of Cancer.
  • Coughing and wheezing are common symptoms observed on city folks.
  • Damages the immune system, endocrine and reproductive systems.
  • High levels of particle pollution have been associated with higher incidents of heart problems.
  • The burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are causing the Earth to become warmer. Read about the effects of Global Warming here.
  • The toxic chemicals released into the air settle into plants and water sources. Animals eat the contaminated plants and drink the water. The poison then travels up the food chain – to us.

More: How Pollution Affects the Environment

Water Pollution EffectsJust like the air we breathe, water is vital to our survival. We need clean water to drink, to irrigate our crops and the fish we eat live in the waters. We play in rivers, lakes and streams – we live near bodies of water. It’s a precious resource that can easily be polluted and the contamination can be transferred to us and affect our health.

  • Diseases such as amoebiasis, typhoid and hookworm are caused by polluted drinking water.
  • Water polluted by chemicals such as heavy metals, lead, pesticides and hydrocarbon can cause hormonal and reproductive problems, damage to the nervous system, liver and kidney damage and cancer – to name a few. Being exposed to mercury causes Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and death.
  • A polluted beach causes rashes, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, diarrhea, encephalitis, stomach aches and vomiting.
  • Water pollution affects marine life which is one of our food sources. Remember the stories of contaminated shellfish and how those who ate them died?

We live in an ecosystem where the action of one has the potential to affect the many. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what the action is. Our mistakes has polluted the environment that we live in and we are waking up and owning to the fact. We are trying to reverse the damage. The good news is that every positive action counts. The small effort you make towards a greener environment can start a healing ripple effect. We may still save what is left of our natural resources and make the world a better place to live in for our future generation.

If you’d like to know more about today’s environmental issues and what you can do to help, visit The World Counts: Stories.

Know the stories behind the everyday products that you buy, and find green products and ethical companies at Firmhugger.

Knowing is the first step to change.

References

  1. US Environmental Protection Agency: Health Effects of Air Pollution
  2. Wikipedia: Pollution

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