Pollution Hazards

Introduction to Pollution

Pollution is the physical, biological and chemical changes in our environment and the substances which are responsible for these changes are known as pollutants. Pollution can cause instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem. It refers to:

  • harmful fluids, gases, fluid or other harmful substances, which are liberated or introduced in the natural environment,
  • toxic materials, which makes the soil and air impure,
  • contaminants, hazardous substances or pollutants, which make environment unsuitable or unsafe,
  • introduction of untreated chemicals, which degrades the biological properties of freshwater bodies
  • Unwanted and intolerable level of energies such as radiation, noise etc.
What Are the Major Health Conditions Caused by Different Types of Pollutions?

Disorders Caused Due to Air Pollution

  • Asthma: This condition arises from the inhalation of poisonous gases that are in the polluted air. It also develops due to the constant suffocation brought on by air pollution.
  • Pulmonary Cancer: The cancer is caused due to the inhalation of the different carcinogens present in the polluted air through lungs.
  • Cardiovascular diseases: Serious conditions such as heart disease and stroke can occur, when the poisonous gases, particles, and poor quality air affects the cardiovascular system.
  • Allergies: A variety of pollutants in the air can worsen the allergy symptoms. These include irritation of the eyes, throat, and nose.
  • Contagious Infections: There is evidence that the toxic effects of new photochemical pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide are prone to be associated with infection.
  • Follicle Disorders: Follicle disorders can develop from the exposure to increasing levels of air pollution including dust, smoke, nickel, particulate matter, lead and arsenic, sulfur dioxide nitrogen dioxide and ammonia that settle on the scalp and hair. Pollutants migrate into the dermis, transepidermally and through the hair follicle conduit, resulting in oxidative stress and hair loss.
  • Skin Disorders: The increase in air pollution has major effects on the skin. Exposure of the skin to air pollutants such as ozone and cigarette smoke may lead to skin aging and inflammatory or allergic skin conditions such as eczema, atopic dermatitis, acne or psoriasis. However, skin cancer is among the most serious conditions caused due to air pollution.

Diseases Caused Due to Water Pollution

  • Typhoid: It is an infectious disease, which is caused by consumption of polluted water.
  • Diarrhoea: It is a most common condition, which is an indication that the digestive system is affected.
  • Cancer and Liver damage: These conditions are caused by chlorinated solvents, which can be found in polluted water.

Diseases Caused Due to Soil Pollution

Nerve and Brain Damage: These conditions can occur if you are exposed to soil, which is contaminated with lead.

  • Cancer: You can suffer from cancer if you are directly exposed to the soil polluted with weed killers, chromium, pesticides, and benzene.
  • Liver and kidney disease: These diseases also occur due to contact with soil which is polluted using a number of infectious chemicals.

Diseases Caused by Radioactive Pollution

Radioactivity is toxic as it forms ions on reacting with biological molecules. These ions can form free radicals that damage proteins, nucleus acids, and membranes. Radioactivity can damage DNA by destroying individual bases, which can result in cancers, birth defects, and even death. Others disorders that are caused by the radioactive pollution are an ulcer, swelling of bone joints, eye problems, Cancer, Lung Cancer, Skin Cancer and Bone Cancer.

Diseases Caused Due to Water Pollution
  • Typhoid: It is an infectious disease, which is caused by consumption of polluted water.
  • Diarrhoea: It is a most common condition, which is an indication that the digestive system is affected.
  • Cancer and Liver damage: These conditions are caused by chlorinated solvents, which can be found in polluted water.
How Air Pollution Affects the Human Skin?
  • Ozone in photochemical smog accelerates the skin aging, by diminishing Vitamin E levels in the skin, disturbing wound-healing processes and stimulating oxidative stress.
  • Skin exposed to pollution suffers a higher sebum secretion rate as compared to non-polluted areas.
  • Cutaneous pH tends to reduce when exposed to pollution.
  • Squalene and vitamin E are the main antioxidants at the skin surface. Squalene is reduced in polluted areas because it is mobilized to fight oxidative stress in the skin.
Role of Squalene in Defending Against Pollution

10–20 % of sebum is Squalene which is highly sensitive towards different types of Reactive Oxygen Species. Squalene appears as natural bio-markers of most oxidative reactions on the cutaneous tissue.

Squalene being an antioxidant can act as oxygen supplement. It is highly sensitive to singlet oxygen which is a very reactive oxidative species. It assists the oxygen delivery throughout the body. The antioxidants neutralize free radicals. Increased production of free radicals can result in oxidative stress, causing imbalance and leading to oxidative damage, cell death, tissue damage and finally disease. Inhalation of cigarette smoke and exposure to air pollution contribute a lot to the generation of free radicals.

Squalene can help a lot to deal with pollution by neutralizing the increased production of free radicals. Thus, a number of medical conditions can be prevented by using squalene as a health supplement which can occur due to increased free radicals.

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