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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 31 Mar 2011
World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that, one-fourth of the diseases we are fighting today are due to pollution. Read on to know more about the health hazards caused by pollution and what you can do to counter it.
How pollution affects you –
Respiratory diseases – Breathing polluted air causes a host of respiratory diseases, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Asthma, Bronchitis, Emphysema, Lung cancer etc. Research shows that people who breathe polluted air have decreased lung function.
Emphysema, infact, is a serious condition, in which lungs loses its elasticity and is irreversible!
Apart from the ones mentioned above, lack of pure air may also cause giddiness, confusion. The dust in air may lead to wheezing or burning sensation in eyes.
Cancer – WHO strongly believes that the incidence of cancer has increased steeply in the past decade and pollution could be the main reason for it. Infact, a study revealed that breast cancer, apart from lung cancer may be linked to air pollution as well.
Heart Diseases – Polluted air affects heart and makes a person susceptible to stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Microbial diseases – By consuming water contaminated by sewage water, one may contract diseases cause by microbes.
Organ damage – Industry discharge often contains toxic metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, etc. Farmers spray pesticides on crop, which often contains mercury. These heavy metals may often percolate through the soil with rain water and contaminate the ground water. Or, these heavy metals are consumed by sea creatures, which affect us when we eat it.
The food we eat contains pesticides. Most heavy metals cause multiple organ failure.
Climatic change – Unexpectedly hot summer, incessant rains, harsh winters, climate change today is a reality, owing to global warming (increase in average temperature of the planet). Climate change has claimed a few precious lives worldwide and the number is set to increase for the worse.
What you could do –
Pollution is affecting us today. But the fact is, pollution is created by us! Thus, solution for the same lies in our hands! Here’s a list of things you can do –
- Switch to products of organic farming (which doesn’t use pesticides)
- Reduce the usage of car. Switch to a bike, cycle, public transport, or walk!
- Compost. Recycle. More about it here.
- Save energy at home. More about it here.
- Harvest rain water. It is the only way to naturally increase the level of groundwater.
- Ventilate your home better to ward off indoor pollution.
- Avoid buying products which harm the environment. You can search the internet for a list of it.
- Avoid purchasing items made from wood.
- Use recyclable batteries. Though they cost more, it is cheaper and greener, in the long run.
- Dispose product that may contain any heavy metal – such as batteries, thermometer, tube lights, CFLs carefully, by giving it to a recycler.
- Don’t waste water. It’s a precious resource.
- Plant a tree. That really is the easiest and the most powerful step of all!
- Spread the knowledge to everyone, so that everyone contributes to it.
- Urge the government to switch to greener technology, enforce stricter emission norms, ban harmful chemicals’ use and encourage recycling. Government’s policy dictates how green a country can be.
The ramifications of pollution is evident everywhere! Let’s do our bit to keep the planet clean. It might seem like a very small step, but if we collectively take small steps, it would a giant leap for a greener tomorrow!
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