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Victor Leo Ferreira Lima Writing 4

We hear more and more about the issues involving the environment. Many people,
however, do not have any real notion of how dangerous is to have the main elements of nature
in danger due to pollution. When people start to think about countless problems generated by
having their environment polluted, including their own health, they will probably change their
mind and posture. By now, we have to be concerned about the main parts of the nature which
are being destroyed quickly.
One of the main element which has problems with pollution is the soil. Direct contact
with soil may seem distant to most people, especially for those living in large cities. However,
the consequences of a poor quality of the soil we walk on may be closer than most people
think. There are three different ways soil can enter the body directly: eating, inhalation and
though skin lesion. Assuming soil as our primary source of food to sustain ourselves, the
contamination leads to adverse consequences for human health. Crops and plants grown on
polluted soil absorb much of the pollution, and then pass these on to us. According to European
Journal of Soil Science, some chemical elements found in polluted soils such as aluminum,
chromium, arsenic, Benzene, Mercury and others, could cause serious diseases like leukemia
and different types of cancer (Oliver). In addition, Soil pollution may cause economic loss.
Polluted soil is not used to grow grains because grains which grow in these polluted areas will
also be contaminated, and they cannot be consumed.

Water pollution is another big problem we have to handle. The problem becomes worse
in underdeveloped countries. According to WHO (World Health Organization), it estimated that
80% of all diseases and over one third of deaths in developing countries are caused by
contaminated water, and on average, up to one tenth of the productive time each person is lost
due to water-related diseases. Sanitation problems increase the risks to the health of the
population considerably. Contaminated microorganisms contains generators of diseases such as
typhoid, diarrhea, worms and other many fatal diseases waters. Due to poor living conditions,
developing countries do not have easy access to water treatment, and most disease is
transmitted through the recycled water due to poor quality of filtering. Even the contamination
of sea water leads to problems such as earaches, rashes, inadequate breathing, stomach
infections and vomiting. Moreover, the consumption of contaminated water results in adverse
effects on the body's organs, causing serious damage to the heart and kidneys. Besides, in the
aquatic world, water pollution causes the death of marine animals such as turtles that confuse
plastic bags with jellyfish, their favorite food, dying suffocated. Thus, the entire food chain is
impaired. Pollution can also cause the uncontrolled growth of plants such as algae, which
finishes off balance the pH and the oxygen level in the water, killing more species of fish and
other marine animals.
Finally, one of the elements that have been attacked the most by man, the air.
According to British Medical Bulletin, high concentrations of air pollutants found in large cities
cause acute and chronic disorders of the respiratory tract. Besides it influences on mortality
(Katsouyanni). The highest incidence of pathologies such as asthma and bronchitis is associated
with changes in the concentrations of various air pollutants. Basically, the effects are divided

into two groups. The first one is short-term problems (in the days of high concentration of
pollutants): Irritation of the mucous membranes of the nose and eyes; Throat irritation;
Breathing problems with worsening of pulmonary emphysema and bronchitis. The second
group is medium and long term problems (15 to 30 years living in places with a lot of pollution):
Generation of pulmonary and cardiovascular problems; Development of heart disease;
Decreased quality of life; Decreased life expectancy (up to two years); Increased chances of
developing cancer, especially lung; Changes in hormone levels in men and in semen quality;
Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and anxiety disorder; Weakening of the immune system, reducing the
power of action in the body fight viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms.
The problems revealed above leaves no doubt about which direction we should take.
We are still destroying the environment through depletion of resources including air, water and
soil. Scientific studies have shown that the more we pollute these elements of nature, the
problems will become more demanding to deal with, such as issues related to human health,
economic and environmental problems. Therefore, we expect people to change their posture in
order to strengthen awareness environment of our society. Then we can guide our measures
urban management towards a healthier environment for us and our descendants.

Works Cited
Folinsbee, Lawrence J. "Human Health Effects of Air Pollution." Environmental Health Perspectives 100
(1993): 45. Web.
Harrison, Roy M. "Air Pollution and Human Health: Where Does the Latest Evidence Lead Us?" Air
Quality & Climate Change 47.4 (2013): 28-31. Web. 20 July 2014.
Katsouyanni, K. "British Medical Bulletin." Ambient Air Pollution and Health68.1 (2003): 143-56. Web.
30 July 2014.
N. Skouloudis, Andreas, and Pavlos Kassomenos. "Combining Environment and Health


Systems for the Assessment of Atmospheric Pollution on Human Health." Science of The Total
Environment 488-489.1-3 (2014): 362-68. Web. 20 July 2014.
Oliver, M. A. "Referees for the European Journal of Soil Science in 2012."European Journal of Soil
Science 48.4 (1997): 573-92. Web. 25 July 2014.