Deaths from dirty water and related diseases
Globally, this year
Humans have established communities and flourished around sources of clean, drinkable water since the beginning of time. It’s vital to our survival.
Do you know that you can survive several days without food but not without water? It’s heartbreaking to know that millions of people worldwide do not have access to this most basic need, and are dying of thirst and water borne diseases.
Freshwater sources around the world are threatened by water pollution. Not only are we managing our resources poorly through wastage, we are also thoughtlessly dirtying it.
The main sources of water pollution are the following:
Almost everything that is a byproduct of our civilization is polluting our drinking water. Governments, through various Clean Water Acts and water resource policies have sought to regulate the discharges of pollutants in the water to minimize pollution and contamination. From 1990 to 2006, an additional 1.6 billion people had access to safe drinking water. But we are not acting fast enough and most factories still find a way to dump their toxic wastes in the sea, unseen.
How does water pollution affect humans? Try drinking untreated water nowadays and your body will immediately react to it. You will get a stomach ache at the least. Water-borne diseases account for the deaths of 3,575,000 people a year! That’s equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every hour, and the majority of these are children.
Infectious diseases can be spread through contaminated water. Some of these water-borne diseases are Typhoid, Cholera, Paratyphoid Fever, Dysentery, Jaundice, Amoebiasis and Malaria.
Chemicals in the water also have negative effects on our health.
Pesticides – can damage the nervous system and cause cancer because of the carbonates and organophosphates that they contain. Chlorides can cause reproductive and endocrinal damage.
Nitrates – are especially dangerous to babies that drink formula milk. It restricts the amount of oxygen in the brain and cause the “blue baby” syndrome.
Lead – can accumulate in the body and damage the central nervous system.
Arsenic – causes liver damage, skin cancer and vascular diseases
Flourides - in excessive amounts can make your teeth yellow and cause damage to the spinal cord.
Petrochemicals – even with very low exposure, can cause cancer.
These are just to name a few.
Water pollution is a known threat to humans and we can do our part to help keep our waters clean.
There’s a long way to go, but as we mature as a society and as our technologies progress, we can improve our methods of protecting our water supply. Right now, everyone just needs to do their share, from their end.
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