Environment-Related Diseases - Dalia Nilufar
God has created the whole universe in a very fascinating way. When we look around the nature- the blue sky, the majestic mountains, the green forests with various wildlife, the silky valleys, the golden sand dunes, the pristine glaciers and icebergs, the gorgeous falls, fountains and rivers along with the vast oceans with magnificent sea life, we can surely understand that all the factors of the nature are interdependent. The balance is maintained by the ecosystem.
But unfortunately, we now witness the environmental hazards caused by the pollutions and the natural disasters frequently throughout the world which adversely affect people’s health. We come across the hazards like biological, chemical, mechanical, physical and psychosocial.
The air pollution by smokes, dust, carbon particles, moulds in air ducts, obnoxious gases, allergen like pollen give rise to various ailments like headache, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, hay fever, asthma , cancers specially by tobacco smoking and other respiratory diseases and in some cases, leading to premature deaths. The children are more vulnerable than adults that lead to increased rate of infections in highly polluted areas. The depletion of ozone layer increases the risk of skin cancers, especially for the fair complexioned people.
The noise pollution by the high volume and frequency of the noise level of the industries and music, indiscriminate use of horns of the motor vehicles and other noises cause headaches and loss of hearing in the long run.
The untreated waste water and unsafe drinking water kill thousands of people a year - unfortunately most of them are children. Water gets contaminated by improper disposal of human, animal, industrial and other toxic wastes, various pathogens, pesticides, etc which give rise to diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, typhoid, paratyphoid and so on. Arsenic poisoning occurs when the fresh ground water level of the deep tube-wells gets contaminated with Arsenic. The beach swimming can be hazardous if the sea water is contaminated with nuclear and other industrial waste.
Dumping of car-chemicals on the ground or into the storm water drain pollutes the ground which becomes hazardous to health. Using fertilizers contributing to overgrowth of Algae, overharvesting nature’s feeders like oysters, use of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, etc. cause nature’s imbalance leading to environmental hazards. Antibiotics, hormones used in animals which in-turn, get consumed by people create health hazards. The patients having antibiotic-induced diarrhoea are another headache of health problems. One should be careful about ultra violet rays, x- rays, other cosmic rays, radon and other natural sources of radioactivity. Industrial hazards constitute chemical, vibration, explosive materials, toxic and e-waste, Lead in painting and others. Harmful exposure to chemical products can lead to skin diseases, chronic bronchitis, nervous system dysfunctions and cancers.
Animals and vectors like mosquitoes, flies, and ticks can transmit diseases. Through mosquito bites we may acquire malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Rift valley fever, lymphatic filiriasis, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile fever and so on. Fleas from rats can transmit plague. Black flies may give River blindness. Sand flies may cause Leishmaniasis and Phlebotoms fever. Tse tse flies transmit African sleeping sickness and Triatomine bugs may produce Chagas disease-American sleeping sickness. Affected animals like dogs can transmit Rabies and through cattle- anthrax disease.
We should try to take precautions at home to reduce the frequency of acquiring atmosphere related diseases by following hygiene of washing hands before eating and after going to toilet, using safe water, proper disposal of human and animal waste, proper attention to food storage, not hoarding rubbish and papers (for rats, cockroaches, flies), not accumulating rain water in pots and containers outside(for mosquitoes),timely immunizations for children, adults, pets and cattle, use of insect repellants and mosquito nets, regular vacuuming of carpets and rugs, avoiding allergens if detected, using gloves to avoid contact dermatitis, avoiding sunburn, using sunscreen cream, sunglasses, wide-brim hats. All of us should be alert and careful to keep our environment as friendly as possible.339