Polly stayed on her bed all day wondering what exactly had happened to her. She went out the previous day, only to wake up to see bumps on her body. What made it worse was her body was itchy. She couldn’t stop scratching, and her skin was turning red every minute. What was going on? She pondered on what the problem could be. She didn’t change her body lotion. She didn’t eat anything strange as well.
Oh yes! Slowly, the answer came to her. She went to the beach the previous day with her friends. She had swum in the water with them for some time, but it was not up to thirty minutes. Could that be the cause of her rashes? Was the water polluted? She stood up and walked to her table where her laptop was. It was time for her to do more research and get educated.
When you hear pollution, what do you think? air pollution? light pollution? noise pollution? water pollution? You see, there are many forms of pollution. No matter the type, we are all affected one way or another. Here are some ways pollution affects us:
- Water pollution may cause death or other chronic diseases: Water is essential to our survival. We drink water, bathe with water, and cook with water. If water becomes polluted, it has serious health consequences. Those that drink it may develop a short term or long term disease. Farmers who water their crops may suffer a loss because of contamination. Those who eat the food grown by farmers may also develop a health problem. Coming in contact with the water can cause skin problems or even eye problems. Remember Polly’s story?
- Air pollution causes asthma: Many people who breathe in polluted air are at risk of having asthma and other respiratory diseases. When too much dust is in the air, how do you react? Don’t you sneeze over and over again? Your nose might even get a little watery. That’s just one form of air pollution.
- Littering leads to injury: Pouring litter all over the place is also a kind of pollution. Little children are most susceptible to this type of pollution because they can step on broken glass bottles. Also, if oceans or rivers are littered, it will affect wildlife in these places adversely.
7 Facts About Pollution
Have we proven without reasonable doubt that pollution affects us all? Now, here are some facts you may or may not know about pollution:
- Pollution is one of the biggest global killers: Research has shown that among other global diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDs, and Malaria, pollution also ranks as one of the top five. You might wonder why and how, but think about it. Water can be polluted with lead. Lead is a harmful chemical substance. Anybody that drinks that water may die instantly. Only an autopsy would reveal that he or she died because of lead. What will be the cause? Polluted Water.
- Animals and mammals die as a result of pollution: Over 1 million seabirds and sea mammals are killed every year as a result of pollution.
- Industrial waste is dumped into the water annually: Each year, individuals and companies dump over 1.3 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, storm water, and industrial waste into the US water.
- People die every day as a result of drinking unclean water: Studies have shown that about 5,000 people die every day because they drink contaminated water. Wow! Isn’t that scary?
- Air is terribly polluted in Beijing: If you spend twenty-four hours in Beijing breathing the air, it is equivalent and has the same health effect as smoking 22 cigarettes.
- Americans account for 30% of the world’s waste: It is quite strange that Americans make up about 6% of the world’s pollution, yet they are responsible for about 30% of the world’s waste. We believe this is credited to industrial waste.
- Livestock waste is the primary contributor of soil pollution: During the rainy season, water runs over fields and into rivers. The water usually carries waste from livestock which is quite harmful to humans.
4 Health Hazards of Pollution
As you have noticed, water or air cannot be contaminated, and there will not be health consequences. Many people have diseases because they were in proximity with a form of pollution. The rashes Polly experienced is just one of them. Here are many other health hazards of pollution:
- You may suffer from lung cancer: Did you notice the fact we mentioned up there about Beijing? Air pollution has the singular effect of making your lungs weak. If you keep breathing in polluted air, you might start wheezing and coughing. Later, if you go for a checkup, the doctor might tell you your lungs has problems.
- You may suffer hearing loss, high blood pressure, or insomnia: The fact is noise pollution is one of the most neglected pollutants. You probably think it’s not an important form of pollution. How would you like to live next to a factory? Would your feelings be the same? Some health hazards of noise pollution are insomnia, high blood pressure, stress, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and much more.
- Chemicals and radioactive substances are the causes of cancer: Can you remember that we mentioned a toxic substance called lead before? Lead has been linked to cancer in many people. Other chemical and radioactive substance can also cause defects to a baby who is in a pregnant woman.
- You might suffer from chronic bronchitis: Urban pollution is responsible for this health hazard. Chronic bronchitis is a long-term illness from which the person that suffers it might never recover. Breathing in tobacco, smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, and other forms of things in the air can cause this.
Have you seen that pollution affects us all? Yes, all of us! You are not exempted from the equation as well. The best way we can conquer this is to spread awareness that we all live in this world together. The destructive activities of one person will affect us all no matter how we rationalize it. The earth is ours! The world is ours! Let us live in it the right way!
Photo Credit: Viral Nova