Water pollution occurs when unwanted materials are introduced into the water and changes the water quality. It is harmful to the environment, human health, and it causes morbidity and mortality. Industrial pollution includes a wide array of wastewater discharged out of various industries. Water is an essential natural resource used for drinking and other domestic purposes in our lives. There is a great association between water pollution and human health. There are toxins in industrial waste that cause immune suppression, respiratory diseases, cancer, reproductive failure and acute poisoning. It also causes infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and kidney problems. These diseases are spread through polluted water.
1. Contaminated Water Leads to Immune Suppression.
This condition describes the loss of immune functions in the human body. Consuming contaminated water can leave the body completely vulnerable to attacks. This water causes infections from the ingested chemicals and ends up targeting the human immune cells. Since the body cannot defend itself, then other minor infection can lead to fatality due to immune suppression.
2. Leads to Spread of Infectious Diseases
Research indicates that many of the life-threatening illnesses caused by microbes are spread through contaminated water. Diseases such as cholera, typhoid, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, skin discolouration and kidney problems have led to fatalities worldwide. The elderly and infants are at high risk of contracting such illnesses due to a weak immune system. Additionally, study shows that people with complete compromised immunity, such as those who have severe AIDS and Cancer die fast when exposed to contaminated water.
- Leads to Reproductive Failure
Chemicals discharged into water by industries affect the female reproductive system. The chemicals have serious reproductive effects in childhood, adolescence and even adults. The reproductive problems caused by contaminated water include recurrent pregnancy loss, infertility, ovarian function, and endometriosis. The pollutants interfere with the hormonal functions and could be passed to the next generation. Water pollution does not only ruin the reproduction activities of humans but also animals.
- Leads to Skin Diseases and Infections
People are exposed to skin diseases when they use water polluted by industries. Society uses water for a variety of functions such as washing clothes, bathing and also swimming. If the water used contains chemicals, then the exposed individual may experience skin reactions. These reactions can be severe and end up causing effects such as skin cancer, skin rashes, chemical depigmentation, and connective tissue diseases. Society has a duty to protect water sources to ensure that the water used is clean.
- Contaminated Water Can Lead to Chronic Kidney Disease.
Heavy metals like mercury, lead and cadmium released by industries into water are very harmful. They are linked to causing chronic kidney diseases. Kidney transplantation and dialysis are the only treatment available, which are expensive procedures. Water traced with these elements is hazardous when used for domestic purposes such as cooking and drinking. Industries have the obligation of ensuring such waste does not end up putting human life at risk.
- Leads to Direct Damage of Plants and Animal Nutrition
Human beings depend on plants and animal as food. Water pollutants are killing seaweeds, fishes, crustaceans and other sea organisms which serve as food. This reduces our sources of food, causing food insecurity. Water pollutants also reduce the quality of food produced through irrigation. Nutrients in the plants are reduced hence affecting our health after consumption.
- Causes Gastrointestinal Illness
Gastrointestinal illness refers to diseases that affect the human digestive tract. The track involves the stomach, small intestine, large intestines and rectum. The increase in bacteria level in water has led to the development of gastrointestinal illness. The symptoms of the diseases include diarrhoea with mucus and blood. People must avoid and prevent contamination of the water that they use. These efforts prevent such severe health conditions.
- Can Lead to Cancer
Nitrogenous chemicals found in industrial waste cause cancer. People who are exposed to polluted water for a longer period of time end up with chronic cancer. There is a higher mortality rate due to cancer in rural areas more than in urban areas. This observation is proved to be accurate because people from rural settlements lack facilities for water treatment. The intake of untreated water for a long period causes chronic cancer, which is difficult to cure.
- Leads to Viral Diseases Like Hepatitis
Hepatitis is an infectious disease that mainly affects the liver. It is acquired from the intake of polluted water that contains the hepatitis virus. It can also be easily transmitted by eating foods that have been cleaned with contaminated water. It has symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, fever and weight loss. The disease is dangerous and easily causes death. Industries should purify their waste to prevent such health problems. Further, industries should have proper disposal methods and ensure that human life is not put at risk.
- Leads to Parasitic Diseases Such as Cryptosporidiosis
The parasite Cryptosporidium parvum causes this illness. Often transmitted to human through ingestion of contaminated water. The symptoms associated with this disease include diarrhoea, stomach upsets, among others. We ought to be careful enough to avoid such a disease because it is resistant to disinfection. Secondly, it causes a great threat to the human immune system. Eventually, this illness leads to death.
Consumption of contaminated water has very severe consequences for human health. At all cost, we should ensure that society, in general, is protected from such adverse effects. It is the community’s duty at large to preserve the environment and water source to secure a safe future and preserve human health. Finally, industries should have strict procedures and protocols for disposing of industrial waste. A violation of these procedures should be taken seriously and ought to punishable to protect human health.Image by Peter H from Pixabay