Impact of Pollutants on Human Health UGC NET

There are several types of pollution that harm the environment. But what we as humans don’t realise is these pollutants are harming the human health as much as it does to the environment. Whether the pollution is caused by natural activities or human activities, it is dangerous for human health in every way. 

How are Humans Responsible for Pollution?

Humans are greedy for more and never satisfied with enough. People want more than enough which has resulted in overexploitation of natural resources and its misuse. The consequences of this is several forms of pollution which is harmful for humans itself. 

Pollution can be in any form such as solid, liquid, or gaseous. Everything around us has resulted in pollution, for eg: water, air, soil, etc and no one is more responsible for this outcome than human beings. 

Impact of Pollutants on Human Health 

We will understand the several forms of pollution and the impact of each kind of pollutant on human health. 

1). Air Pollution 

Air pollution is the release of harmful substances like smoke, dust, gases, particles, etc into the air. It is any chemical, physical or biological changes in the air due to release of pollutants that brings changes in the air quality. 

Impact on Human Health

• Air pollution can damage the respiratory organs and cause respiratory diseases. 

• According to the World Heath Organisation (WHO), air pollution causes 43% of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) cases. COPD is a condition by exposure to particle pollution. 

• 29% of lung cancer is caused by air pollution according to the World Health Organisation. 

• Ozone is an air pollution that causes itching of eyes, pneumonia, and respiratory diseases like asthma if there is too much exposure to it. 

• Carbon dioxide at a 40% level and higher is dangerous and affects organs like brain and cardiovascular system. 

• Other impacts of air pollution are skin irritation, fatigue, headaches, coughing, fever, chest pain, liver damage, digestive problems, anxiety, nausea, and irritation of eyes, nose and throat. 

2). Water Pollution

Water pollution is the contamination of any form of water bodies such as oceans, lakes, rivers, etc usually by human activities. The mixture of contaminants and water bodies leads to the causing water pollution degrading the water quality which is harmful for humans and the environment. 

Impact on Human Health 

• High levels of chlorides in water is harmful for the respiratory and endocrine systems. 

• Exposure to benzene and other petrochemicals can result in cancer. 

• Water pollution disrupts food chain and affects aquatic life that many people eat as sea food which causes sickness like diarrhoea and vomiting . 

• Water is an important source for cooking. Contaminated water which humans use for drinking and cooking can lead to various illnesses like hepatitis, cholera, and typhoid.  

• Other diseases that can be caused by contaminated water are jaundice, skin diseases, rashes, stomach aches, gastroenteritis, kidney and liver problems. 

3). Soil Pollution

Soil pollution is the presence of detrimental chemicals in soil that degrades the quality of soil. The contamination of of soil is harmful for humans, plants, animals and the environment. 

Impact on Human Health 

• Soil pollution destroys vegetation and disrupts the food chain. 

• Humans may consume food from contaminated soil which can cause several sicknesses. 

• Polluted soil can cause Central Nervous System (CNS) depression. 

• Other causes of soil pollution are vomiting, nausea, headache, coughing, harm to kidney and liver. 

4). Noise Pollution 

Noise pollution is unwanted sound that is loud and painful to the ears. The intensity of sound is measured in decibels (dB). The lowest sound a human ear can hear is 1 dB. Sound that is above 85 decibels is regarded as noise. 

Impact on Human Health 

• The main effect of noise pollution on human health is it can damage the eardrums and lead to hearing loss. 

• Noise pollution disrupts sleep of a person which causes uneasiness and discomfort to mind and body. 

• Other issues of noise pollution are increased blood pressure, heart disease, hypertension, headaches, insomnia, cardiovascular issues, irritability, stress, etc.