Thursday, April 25, 2024
Environmental Management

Effects of Contaminated Water on Man

Sometimes, we ask ourselves questions such as what are the contaminates in water, what are their concentration levels, and do they pose short or long term health risks at those levels?

Finding answers to these questions is not easy. The answers depend on where you live (country, city, surrounding land use, etc.), the primary source of drinking water (confined or unconfined aquifer or surface water), water supplier (private or community well, small or large municipal water system), and what is happening at any moment as water travels from its source through the treatment/distribution system to the faucet.

Specific effects of contaminated water are described below;

Nitrate– is a common pollutant in water in the agricultural regions. High levels of nitrites or nitrates in the water supply can interfere with infants’ ability to absorb oxygen and can lead to “blue-baby” syndrome (methemoglobinemia), which can result in death.

Exposure during pregnancy is possibly linked to neural tube defects, although studies have not ruled out other causes.

Arsenic – May cause low birth weights, spontaneous abortions, and other problems. Other compounds like lead, mercury; DDT, etc. have also been implicated as having harmful effects on the developing fetus in pregnant women.

Pesticides– Malignancies (in children) linked to pesticides in case reports or case-control studies include leukemia, neuroblastoma, Wilms’ tumor, soft-tissue sarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and cancers of the brain, colorectum, and testes. Although these studies have been limited by nonspecific pesticide exposure information, small numbers of exposed subjects, and the potential for case-response bias, it is noteworthy that many of the reported increased risks are of greater magnitude than those observed in studies of pesticide- exposed adults, suggesting that children may be particularly sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of pesticides.

Effects of Contaminated Water on Man

Biological Contaminants Escherichia coli (E. coli), giardia and cryptosporidia cysts can all cause gastro-intestinal problems where dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting may be more severe and rapid than in adults.

These contaminants can cause death. In some people, particularly children under 5 years of age and the elderly, E. coli infection can also cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail.

In summary, water is an essential part of human life, but which must be used in a sustainable way. Introducing a material which could alter the property / attribute of water is an attempt to pollute it. This will have negative effects on mankind.

Read Also : Solid Waste Management Complete Guide

Freshwater is the non-saline part of the planet-wide water cycle. Water pollutants can be classified into microbial, inorganic, pesticides and herbicides, organic chemical and radioactive pollutants’

Water management is desired because water is very important for human survival. The physiochemical properties of water include pH, alkalinity, cations, anions, turbidity, transparency, nutrients, biological components, etc. Polluted water can cause health problems to man.


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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