Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. These contaminants can have dire effects on entire ecosystems, making life more difficult for humans, plants and animals. Children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to the health effects from these toxins. In many cases, exposure to pollution has a cumulative effect on the body. There are different types of pollution such as Air Pollution, Water Pollution, Noise Pollution, Land Pollution, Radio Active Pollution, Noise pollution which are constantly contributing in various chronic diseases.

1. Diseases Caused by Air Pollution
Air pollution consists of solid particles and gases. It has to be mentioned that although air pollutants get in our bodies through the respiratory tract and lungs, they could get absorbed in our bloodstream and circulate affecting various other parts and organs. The effects of air pollution involve a large variety of illnesses, starting with the simple irritation of eyes, nose mouth and throat or reduced energy levels, headache and dizziness, but also involving more serious conditions of which the most common are: • Respiratory and lung diseases including: o Asthma attacks

o Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease –COPD o Reduced lung function o Pulmonary cancer – caused by a series of carcinogen chemicals that through inhalation o Mesothelioma – a particular type of lung cancer, usually associated with exposure to asbestos (it usually occurs 20-30 years after the initial exposure) o Pneumonia o Bronchitis o Emphysema • Leukemia – a sort of blood cancer usually associated to exposure of benzene vapors (through inhalation) • Birth defects and immune system defects • Cardiovascular problems, heart diseases and stroke: Second hand smoke has been shown to increase the incidence of heart diseases, and carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are also contributors. Air pollution has been shown to cause heart disease as air pollutants enter into the lungs and seep into the blood vessels, producing an inflammatory response and raising heart rate (an increased risk especially due to particulate matter) • Neurobehavioral disorders - neurological problems and developmental deficits due to air toxins such as mercury (which is the only volatile metal in elemental form) • Liver and other types of cancer – caused by breathing carcinogenic volatile chemicals • Premature death

According to a Cornell University study, air pollution from smoke and various chemicals kills 3 million people a year!

2. Diseases Caused by Water Pollution
Water pollution can affect us directly or indirectly. We can be subjected to waterborne diseases directly through consumption of contaminated water or through bathing in a polluted area. Conversely, we can be affected indirectly by consuming produce that was irrigated with polluted water or by eating fish or other animals that have been contaminated. While the most common water pollution diseases involve poisoning episodes affecting the digestive system and human infectious diseases, water pollution may cause a large variety of health diseases including: • Infectious diseases caused by pathogens (usually microorganisms) from animal fecal origins, of which the most common occur in developing countries involving: o Typhoid o Giardiasis o Amoebiasis o Ascariasis o Hookworm • Diseases caused by polluted beach water including: o Gastroenteritis o Dhiarrhea Diarrhoeal diseases account for about 3 million deaths throughout the world and India accounts for approximately a third of this tragedy


o Encephalitis o Stomach cramps and aches o Vomiting o Hepatitis o Respiratory infections • Liver damage and even cancer (due to DNA damage) – caused by a series of chemicals (e.g., chlorinated solvents, MTBE) • Kidney damage caused by a series of chemicals • Neurological problems - damage of the nervous system – usually due to the presence of chemicals such as pesticides (i.e., DDT) • Reproductive and endocrine damage including interrupted sexual

development, inability to breed, degraded immune function, decreased fertility and increase in some types of cancers – caused by a series of chemicals including endocrine disruptors – which • Thyroid system disorders (a common example is exposure through perchlorate which is a chemical contaminating large water bodies such as Colorado River) • Increased water pollution creates breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes killing 1.2-2.7 million people a year • Minamata Disease • A series of less serious health effects could be associated by bathing into contaminated water (i.e, polluted beach water) including:
o Rashes o Ear aches o Pink eyes


According to a Cornell University study, water pollution accounts for 80% of all infectious diseases! According to the same study, unsanitary living conditions account for more than 5 million death a year! The Worldwide water pollution diseases account for 25 million deaths annually.

3. Diseases Caused by Soil Pollution
Heavy metals, pesticides, solvents and other man-made chemicals, lead and oil spills are some of the common contaminants that lead to soil pollution. Soil pollution changes the natural environment of the soil, killing beneficial microorganisms and creating a pathogenic soil environment. Diseases caused by soil pollution are contracted from direct contact with the contaminated soil, from inhaling airborne contaminants, from water run-off or from crops grown in the contaminated soil. While exposure to soil pollutants is in general less problematic than that to air and water pollution, it may have serious effects to children who usually play in the ground, being in closer proximity to potential pollution. Additionally, children may accidentally swallow soil particles while playing in the ground. Soil pollution may cause a variety of health problems starting with headaches, nausea, fatigue, skin rash and/or eye irritation and potentially resulting in more serious conditions, of which, the most common soil pollution diseases include:

Cancer: Exposure to benzene, chromium, weed killers and pesticides
are carcinogenic, and prolonged benzene exposure may lead to leukemia. Benzene is a liquid chemical that comes from natural sources including forest fires and is found in gasoline, crude oil and cigarette smoke and is used in chemical synthesis, according to the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention. Benzene interferes with cellular function, decreases red blood cell production and compromises the body's immunity by decreasing white blood cells and antibodies. Longterm effects of benzene exposure include anemia, irregular menstrual cycles in women and leukemia as reported by the Department of Health and Human Services. High levels of benzene exposure are fatal.

Brain and Nerve Damage: Some children exposed to leadcontaminated soil have experienced brain and nervous system damage, which has impeded their brain and neuromuscular development. Nervous system damage is caused especially by Pb in soil and affecting especially children.

Kidney and Liver Disease: Lead exposure from soil also puts people
at risk for kidney damage. Exposure to soil contaminated with a combination of mercury and cyclodienes increases the risk of developing incurable kidney damage. Exposure to PCBs and

cyclodienes may cause liver toxicity as well.

Malaria: In tropical regions where rainfall is heavy and raw sewage or contaminated water may mix with the soil that people and children come in direct contact with, malaria outbreaks are common. Malaria is caused by protozoa that thrive in soil. Rain water helps the protozoa and its mosquito carriers propagate, resulting in malaria outbreaks.

Other Diseases: Human deforestation activities disturb and diminish the natural habitat of many disease-carrying animal species, bringing

them into closer proximity to human and domesticated animal environments for alternative food sources and shelter. Diseases caused by bat, rodent and ape droppings that cause soil pollution include the Ebola virus in the Congo, the Nipah virus in Malaysia and the hantavirus and West Nile virus in the United States, as related in "The Spread of New Diseases: The Climate Connection" by science journalist Sonia Shah. As long as soil pollution exists from chemical irresponsibility and climactic disturbances caused by humans, humans will remain vulnerable to diseases caused by soil pollution.

4. Diseases caused by radioactive pollution
Radioactivity is toxic because it forms ions when it reacts with biological molecules. These ions can form free radicals, which damage proteins, membranes, and nucleic acids. Radioactivity can damage DNA

(deoxyribonucleic acid) by destroying individual bases (particularly thymine), by breaking single strands, by breaking double strands, by cross-linking different DNA strands, and by cross-linking DNA and proteins. Damage to DNA can lead to cancers, birth defects, and even death.

Others diseases includes The Diseases include blood in cough, Ulcer, Swelling of bone joints, Cancer, Lung Cancer, Skin Cancer, Bone Cancer, Eye Problems.

5. Harmful Effects and Diseases caused by Noise Pollution
On Human Being, Animal and Property: Noise has always been with the human civilization but it was never so obvious, so intense, so varied & so

pervasive as it is seen in the last of this century. Noise pollution makes men more irritable. The effect of noise pollution is multifaceted & inter related. The effects of Noise Pollution on Human Being are as follows:

It decreases the efficiency of a man:- Regarding the impact of noise on human efficiency there are number of experiments which print out the fact that human efficiency increases with noise reduction. A study by Sinha & Sinha in India suggested that reducing industrial booths could improve the quality of their work. Thus human efficiency is related with noise.

Lack of concentration: - For better quality of work there should be concentration, Noise causes lack of concentration. In big cities, mostly all the offices are on main road. The noise of traffic or the loud speakers of different types of horns divert the attention of the people working in offices.

Fatigue:- Because of Noise Pollution, people cannot concentrate on their work. Thus they have to give their more time for completing the work and they feel tiring

Abortion is caused: - There should be cool and calm atmosphere during the pregnancy. Unpleasant sounds make a lady of irriative nature. Sudden Noise causes abortion in females.

It causes Blood Pressure:- Noise Pollution causes certain diseases in human. It attacks on the person’s peace of mind. The noises are recognized as major contributing factors in accelerating the already existing tensions of modern living. These tensions result in certain disease like blood pressure or mental illness etc.

Temporary or permanent Deafness:- The effect of noise on audition is well recognized. Mechanics, locomotive drivers, telephone operators etc. All have their hearing. Impairment as a result of noise at the place of work. Physicist, physicians & psychologists are of the view that continued exposure to noise level above. 80 to 100 db is unsafe, loud noise causes temporary or permanent deafness.

According to a recent research by the World Health Organization, noise pollution has been found to be one of triggers leading to heart disease. In the U.K. alone, 101,000 people died of coronary heart disease in 2006. The study suggests that 3,030 of these heart deaths were caused by chronic noise exposure. Not just heart disease, the WHO study also suggests that noise pollution is also the cause of disturbed sleep, tinnitus, and severe irritation among people.

Research in recent years has shown that exposure to constant noise can cause an increase of the stress hormones like adrenaline, noradrenalin, and cortisol in the body. Stress, as we know can cause heart failure, immunity problems, hypertension, and strokes.


[1] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; About Air Toxics,
http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/allabout.html , Date Accessed: 25/3/2012


Air Pollution Diseases, http://www.environmentalpollutioncenters.
org/air/diseases/ , Date Accessed: 25/3/2012


Diseases Caused By Water Pollution, http://www.exhibitingourselves.org
/health-info/diseases-caused-by-water-pollution, Date Posted: 2

July 2010,

Author: Abi Elfath, Date Accessed: 25/3/2012 [4] Water Pollution Diseases, http://www.environmentalpollutioncenters.org/ water/diseases/, Date Accessed: 27/3/2012 [5] Diseases Caused by Soil Pollution, http://www.gardenguides.com/90493diseases-caused-soil-pollution.html, Date Accessed: 27/3/2012


Noise Pollution, http://sharvani-shukla.blogspot.com/2008/01/noisepollution.html, Date Posted: 5 Jan 2008


Noise pollution triggers heart disease: WHO Study,

Date Posted: January 20, 2012 [8] Radioactive Pollution - Biological Effects of Radioactivity,
http://science.jrank.org/pages/5691/Radioactive-Pollution-Biological-effectsradioactivity.html, Date Accessed: 6/4/2012