Water pollution occurs when a body of water becomes contaminated, usually by chemicals or microorganisms. Water pollution can make water toxic to humans and the environment. Water is an essential resource for all life on earth. When a water source becomes contaminated through contamination, it can lead to human health problems such as cancer or cardiovascular disease. This article examines the causes of water pollution, how it can affect human health, and what people can do to prevent it.
Water is a natural resource that all living things need. Clean water is also used in manufacturing and for social and economic development. However, according to the United Nations (UN), 2.2 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water. The United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide the following statistics on water pollution:
- More than half of the world’s population does not have safely managed sanitation.
- Around 2 billion people live in countries with high water stress, which means that less water is available than is needed.
- Experts estimate that by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in arid environments.
- Around 785 million people lack basic drinking water supplies.
- Since the 1990s, water pollution has worsened in almost all rivers in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Sources of Water Pollution
Water is sometimes referred to as the universal solvent because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid. However, this ability means that the water is easily susceptible to contamination. The following are just a few of the many ways water contamination can occur.
Wastewater and Waste
After use, the water becomes wastewater. Sewage can be domestic, such as B. Water from toilets, sinks, or showers, or commercial, agricultural, or industrial use. Wastewater also refers to rainwater that washes oil, grease, road salt, debris, or chemicals from the ground into water bodies. The UN estimates that 80% of wastewater returns to the ecosystem without treatment or reuse. In 2017, the United Nations found that 2 billion people around the world did not have access to facilities such as toilets or latrines. The organization also found that 673 million people defecate outdoors.
The agricultural industry is one of the largest consumers of freshwater. In the US, it accounts for about 80% of the country’s water use. Agriculture is also the primary source of river and stream pollution in the United States. Agriculture causes water pollution from storm water. When it rains, pollutants such as fertilizers, animal waste, and pesticides are washed into the waterways from farms and pollute the water. Pollutants from agriculture usually contain high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen, which promote growth of algal blooms. These flowers produce toxins that kill fish, seabirds, and marine mammals, and harm humans. Even when these algal blooms die off, bacteria produced as the algae decompose consume oxygen in the water. This lack of oxygen creates “dead zones” in the water where fish cannot live. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that there are approximately 245,000 square kilometers of dead zones worldwide.
Plastics and waste
We produce around 1.4 billion tons of waste every year. 10% of this annual waste is plastic. Due to the widespread use of plastic, experts estimate that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of waste enter the oceans every year. Plastic and garbage can get into the water in many ways:
- Debris falling from ships
- Garbage blown into the sea from landfills
- Rubbish washed down rivers into the sea by people discarding used items such as food wrappers, people discarding their rubbish on beaches.
- Once in the water, plastic, and rubbish can harm marine life and human health. Fish can eat garbage, mistake it for food, and end up dying.
When plastic breaks down, micro plastics are formed. These are small pieces of plastic less than 5 millimeters in size. Fish can consume this micro plastic, which can then be consumed by humans. It kills more than a million seabirds every year. Plastic waste is also responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 marine mammals each year.
Oil pollution can occur when tankers spill their cargo. However, oil can also enter the sea through factories, farms, and cities, as well as through the shipping industry. Difficult to remove. If disposed of incorrectly, it can enter the water and make it dangerous to people, marine life, and the environment.
Water Pollution and Human Health
Below are some negative ways water pollution can directly affect human health. Micro plastic intake a person can ingest micro plastics through drinking water or by eating contaminated shellfish. They had micro plastics in their digestive systems. Humans have also discovered them in salt, beer, and other foods. Studies show that micro plastics can cause oxidative stress, inflammatory reactions, and metabolic disorders in humans. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Humans are exposed to elevated levels of inorganic arsenic from drinking contaminated water, using contaminated water in food preparation and watering food crops, in industrial processes, eating contaminated food, and smoking tobacco. Long-term exposure to inorganic arsenic, primarily through drinking water and food, can lead to chronic arsenic poisoning. Lesions and skin cancer are the most characteristic effects. Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water and food can cause cancer and skin lesions. It has also been linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It has been linked to adverse effects on cognitive development and increased deaths in young adults.
A recent study suggests that exposure to chronic arsenic harms erectile function. The potential pathways of arsenic exposure leading to ED include the inhibition of the sex hormone level, or reduction of NOS activity to impair the functions of penile smooth muscle and blood vessels. Cenforce 100, Vidalista 20 and Vilitra are an ideal treatment for ED but avoiding arsenic in water is the best possible option to avoid ED altogether.
Consumption of water contaminated by sewage
WHO points out that around 2 billion people worldwide use a drinking water source with fecal contamination. Diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis A and polio.