Harmful Effects of Pollution That May Leave You Alarmed
What is the world’s scariest and potent killer? Did you just mention a drug or a chemical? Your answer may just raise the dead and risk a visit to a psychiatrist of repute in your neighborhood! Pollution is the silent damager raising its enormous head, steadily killing hundreds of plant species, animals and humans at a frightening pace. Energy crisis, fuelled by growing fossil fuel dependence is a looming danger- a ticking time bomb for human defacement. As a frightening reality, harmful effects of pollution are just spilling over and the result is more than disheartening! As economies in the developing world flourish, pollution assumes a different meaning for most people. We are the chief polluters of nature and it has its own way of playing havoc with life around us. Millions perish the world over because of the harmful effects of air, water, sound, soil, thermal, radioactive and light pollution.
Effects of Air Pollution
Air pollution and its indirect effects on us is a topic worth of many discussions in the political circles, environmental conferences and business meets. Exposure to air pollution leads to suppressed lung growth and bronchitis among the young and old. Air pollution also, pulmonologists aver, causes serious heart conditions inducing heart attacks in later life. Many also complain of chronic diabetes that ails the adult population the world over. Air pollution, ENT specialists conclude, kills three million adults every year prematurely. This is a figure that is more than malaria and HIV/ AIDS combined. In India, for instance, fossil fuels account for more than 70 per cent of all fuel consumption. In a growing economy power stations use these to power energy. With higher levels of sulphur-dioxide in the air, doctors often caution against using rice cookers and indoor rice gas cookers, as these are harmful for the air tract or our thoracic cavity. Ozone layer depletion is direct fallout of air pollution. This may lead to bronchial disorders and gradual death of life forms. Air pollution also increases the presence of particulate matter in air and stirs up by harmful gases in the air. The iron and steel industry in countries such as the US, India and China also discharge huge amounts of poisonous chemicals such as arsenic and lead.
Effects of Water Pollution
Water borne diseases such as Typhoid, Amoebiasis and Giardiasis are few of the infectious diseases spread due to pollutants existing beyond permissible limits. Ascariasis and hookworms are common among the rural poor dependent on stagnant water bodies for daily water needs. Urban dwellers may also face common skin rashes, ear aches and pink eye. You can also contract infections of the small intestine and alimentary canal. These include hepatitis, gastroenteritis, diarrhea and vomiting along with stomach aches. With fresh water sources around the world threatened by water pollution, water resource management has mostly taken a back seat.
Effects of Land or Soil Pollution
While industries depend on thermal and fossil fuels for producing goods, many also create harmful industrial wastes that are dumped into vast landfills and water bodies. These effluents may pollute the soil and the ground water deposits. Direct contact with such soil may cause cancer and leukemia in people. Lead in soil can be especially hazardous and can have damaging effects on brain growth. Polluted land with high levels of mercury can damage kidneys, cause neuro-muscular blockage; depress the central nervous system and cause headaches, nausea and fatigue.
Effects of Noise Pollution
Any sound that is beyond the permissible limits by laws of a country or region can be harmful for the overall growth and development of human beings. Noise beyond certain decibel levels can often damage hearing, cause irritation in people and reduces the tolerance level in most. Many people also face hypertension and undue fatigue. Heightened and continuous sound levels cause fatigue and affect confidence levels for a longer period of time. Consistent high level noise also affects mental sharpness and weakens decision power in most humans.
Effects of Thermal Pollution
A very common reason why thermal pollution occurs is because of the use of water as a coolant by power plants and industrial manufacturers. This water is then discharged into empty lands and local water bodies. The temperature difference often kills several plant and animal species and is toxic for human use. High toxicity in water and soil, leads to death and cancer along with genetic deformities in new born babies.
Effects of Radioactive Pollution
Radioactive pollution takes place when radioactive wastes disintegrate into the atmosphere. These potent and noxious beta rays cause cancer and mutative diseases in people at large. The harmful radioactive fumes often pollute the air. Nuclear energy generated by nuclear reactors can sometimes leak into populated neighborhoods causing radioactive contamination and the spread of life threatening diseases. Radioactive pollution is the worst form of pollution that has disastrous immediate and long term effects.
Effects on Light Pollution
With major advancement in science and technology, cities often resort to excessive lighting causing extreme discomfort in the eyes. Retinal damage can lead to blindness in people and excessive light may also cause headaches and migraines. Light pollution can be very troubling for many in certain developed countries where the emphasis of lighting up public spaces is huge.
What we can do to protect against the damaging effects of pollution?
Pollution in all its various forms can be frightening for all of us. According to the UN Health Report 2017, nearly fifty percent of all deaths the world over are due to the harmful effects of pollution. And the numbers keep growing with each passing year, unsettling weather and global warming are just about the tell tale signs of problems afflicting us. With a steady focus of using unconventional sources of energy to power industries, such as the wind, solar and hydropower to name a few, the emphasis should be on sustainable development that is for the long run. Scientists and economists predict that pollution and its harmful effects not just damages nature and kill living forms on Earth; it can also drastically dent economic growth by lowering annual GDP rates. The main idea is to reverse the over dependence on fossil fuels for short term benefits and opt for a long term plan that alters hardened perspectives and promotes a cleaner and greener future for a pleasurable living experience.