Diseases caused by Air Pollution

National Pollution Control Day: How Harmful is Pollution?

  • India houses twenty-two of the 30 most polluted cities in the world. Source- Greenpeace
  • Fourteen of the fifteen most polluted cities of the world are in India. Source- The WHO

Pollution, which is the introduction of pollutants into the environment, either naturally or by human activity remains as one of the most debated topics across the world. Different types of pollution harm the quality of air, water, and soil, of which air pollution registers the highest number of fatalities especially in developing countries like India.  

Over recent years, indoor air pollution from cooking smoke, paint fumes, pet hair residue, has been the cause of infectious diseases and allergies. Indoor air pollution and toxic microparticles are related. Long term exposure may lead to congestion of the nasal tract and other health problems as dangerous as cancer.

Diseases Caused by Air Pollution  

Air pollution may cause respiratory troubles like chronic bronchitis, and other lung ailments which could lead to fatality. A most common of these are-

Respiratory Problems

Air pollution can trigger chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Asthma whose symptoms are severe among the children and the elderly. 

Lung Cancer

Gone are the days when smoking was the reason behind lung cancer, new evidence explains that indoor air pollution can also be carcinogenic. People who live in closed congested spaces with limited ventilation are more susceptible to lung cancer. Air pollution may be caused by adhesives and chemicals used in furniture that release formaldehyde fumes, a known cause for cancer.  

Heart Diseases

Polluted air significantly reduces air quality. The harmful air pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, get mixed within the bloodstream impacting one’s cardiovascular activity.

Pregnancy and Neonatal Hazards

Indoor air pollution can be fatal to expectant mothers. Their unborn child may develop a weaker immune system or have a lung disorder at birth. Besides, Neonatal(s) who breathe more air than adults can also be impacted by the dangers of air pollution in their formative years.

Shortened Life Spans

Air pollution also affects one’s life span and wellness. Those who live in severely polluted places with weaker air quality index levels have shorter life spans. For instance, studies point out that citizens living in a metro city like Delhi whose air quality is rated as “poor” may live three years less than their counterparts who live in a cleaner environment.

Diseases caused by Water Pollution

80% of Diseases are Waterborne, Reports the WHO.

The common causes include radioactive waste, excessive use of pesticides, fertilizers that indiscriminately pollute the water sources. Improper sewage disposal is another cause of water pollution that contaminates the drinking water supply, causing stomach upsets, digestive issues and dysentery. Faecal contamination on untreated drinking water produces toxins in the digestive tracts.  

Besides, Hepatitis whose symptoms include liver infection, fatigue, high fever, jaundice and loss of appetite, is caused by contaminated water. Hepatitis is fatal and the reason behind 1.5 lakh annual deaths in India alone. Another stomach concern, Gastroenteritis is caused by Norwalk virus, rotaviruses whose symptoms include vomiting, headache and fever. Gastroenteritis can be dangerous among infants, young children and disabled persons.

Diseases caused by Light Pollution

Light pollution created by artificial lights illuminating from buildings is a common sight, which means most of us can no longer experience truly dark nights.

We all have a biological clock, that adheres to a circadian rhythm consisting of a sleep-wake pattern governed by the day-night cycle. Artificial light at night can disrupt that cycle and affect our health causing diabetes, breast cancer, depression and sleep disorders.

Diseases caused by Soil Pollution

Improper waste disposal (e.g., landfills); acid rain, mining and contact with contaminated surfaces pollute the soil and groundwater. Soil pollution may enter our bodies directly, through groundwater contamination, inhalation of dust or soil particles, or indirectly through food by consuming vegetables and fruits which is grown in the contaminated soil.

Environmental soil contamination exposure may increase the risk for developing a series of conditions like headache, nausea and vomiting, chest pain, eye irritations, fatigue, coughing and lung problems and skin rash.  Gasoline, benzene contamination causes Cancer (leukaemia), presence of lead (Pb) in the soil leads to nervous system damage, while mercury (Hg) in the soil causes kidney and liver damage.   

National Pollution Day

The country observes the National Pollution Control Day every year on Dec 2nd, to spread awareness about the malignant effects of air pollution and honour those who have lost their lives in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

The National Pollution Prevention day aims to spread awareness about managing and controlling industrial pollution and also makes people and industries aware of the importance of pollution control acts.

Pollution Fatalities

  • 2019 witnessed 1,16,000 infant deaths by air pollution alone in India.
  • Long-term exposure to outdoor and household air pollution has contributed to over 1.65 million annual deaths, across all age groups.
  • The onset of winter exacerbates air pollution in several Indian cities.
  • Unfit drinking water causes one death every 10 seconds.
  • More than two billion people worldwide use a drinking water source contaminated with human waste.  
  • Contaminated drinking water annually causes 4,85,000 diarrhoeal deaths.
  • About half of hospital beds worldwide are occupied by patients who suffer from a water-borne disease.

Pollution Disease Care with Gigadocs

The winter season marks the onset of allergies and other infectious diseases. Increased air pollution levels add to smog, which continues to be harmful to senior citizens, children, and those with respiratory conditions like emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma.

Consulting a digital doctor from the privacy and comfort of your home can prove to be extremely beneficial and secure especially when the number of Covid-19 cases is increasing. Gigadocs practice management app, lets you consult telemedicine doctors at your convenient time over a phone or a video call.   

Book a digital appointment for seasonal infections, water-borne diseases, orthopaedic specialists, dentist or a paediatrician on the Gigadocs app.  

Young parents can check the next immunization dates for their children on Gigadocs Vaccination Schedule Chart, which gives the vaccination schedule based on a child’s date of birth. Download the Gigadocs App from-  

To know more and schedule a Virtual Consultation demo, e-mail, at info@gigadocs.com

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