Pollution and Its Effects on Human Health

Pollution and Its Effects on Human Health

You and I are guilty of this — leaving a trail of unwanted waste thus harming the earth.Pollution is essentially any introduction of solid, liquid, gas, or energy that causes harm to the environment.

While everyone does it, it doesn't make it more permissible. Everyone wants to be free of diseases and live in a world of greenery and peace, that’s why it’s crucial to understand how pollution affects us. Let’s peel back the layers and uncover their impact on human health.

Understanding Different Types of Pollution

Meet the trio responsible for pollution and its effects on human health: air pollution, water pollution, and plastic pollution. Here are some key details about these different types of pollution:

Air pollution

Air pollution refers to the chemicals or particles in the air that harm the health of humans, animals, plants, and even buildings. Pollutants in the air can be in the form of gasses, solid particles, or liquid droplets.

Water pollution

When we think of water pollution, we typically think of trash thrown into a river, lake, or sea. But it goes deeper. Water pollution happens when there’s a chemical, physical, or biological component or factors (contamination), stripping it of its purpose. While some natural events are caused by water pollution such as floods, the majority of water pollution arises from human activities like factory dumping and irresponsible waste disposal.

Plastic pollution

Simply put, plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects (bottles, containers, bags, etc.) that are in the Earth’s environment which adversely affect humans, wildlife, and habitats. Based on a statistic used in the United Nations Environment Programme, the equivalent of 2000 garbage trucks carrying plastics are dumped into the world’s oceans, lakes, and rivers.

Impact of Air Pollution on Human Health

Air pollution can be more deadly than people realise. According to the United States National Library of Medicine, globally, seven million deaths were attributed to the joint effects of household and ambient air pollution

Here are the other detrimental impacts on human health:

Respiratory issues caused by air pollution:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Respiratory infection

Cardiovascular problems linked to air pollution:

  • Coronary syndrome
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Sudden cardiac death

How air pollution affects mental health

  • More prone to depression
  • Anxiety and psychoses
  • Neurocognitive disorders, such as dementia

Consequences of Water Pollution on Human Health

When water is contaminated and there’s poor sanitation, waterborne diseases are more prevalent, leading to these diseases:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Polio
  • Typhoid
  • Diarrhoea
  • Cholera
  • Dysentery

Beyond diseases, water pollution also has a lasting impact on the food chain and human consumption, especially in the bioaccumulation process whereby an animal eats another animal or organism and possesses the pollutants its meal had.

The lack of water and sanitation also causes long-term health issues like pneumonia and gastrointestinal illnesses. Such ongoing diseases inhibit one’s nutrient absorption leading to malnutrition, which is common in children.

Effects of Plastic Pollution on Human Health

The United Nations Environment Programme found that the human race produces over 400 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. Of these 36% are used in food and beverage containers and 85% of those end up in landfills or as unregulated waste.

From the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the sea, you’ll find plastics. We have forgotten about the harmful effects of plastic on human health and the environment. The tiny plastic fibres in cigarette butts are the most common type of plastic waste found in the environment, followed by food wrappers, plastic bottles, plastic grocery bags, plastic straws, and plastic bottle caps.

When plastics end up in the environment, they bind with environmental pollutants thus becoming part of the food chain, livestock, and local income. According to the non-profit marine conservation organisation Plastic Soup Foundation, Swedish scientists have shown that nanoplastics (plastic particles smaller than 1 μm) can penetrate the brains of fish and algae. The water fleas eat the algae, the fish eat the water fleas, and humans eat the fish, that’s how the effects of plastic pollution on human health start.

Based on a fact sheet by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, there are some deadly, key contaminants found in plastic pollution, causing chemical reactions that harm human health. These are just some of them:

  • Phthalates
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
  • Alkylphenols
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Metals (e.g. cadmium, zinc, aluminium)

And as far as diseases go, Nikki Posnack Ph.D. from George Washington University discovered a 10-year longitudinal study that found high exposure to BPA (found in plastics and plastic pollution) and was associated with a 46%-49% hazard ratio for cardiovascular mortality. More than cardiovascular, this horrid pollution causes respiratory and infectious complications too. According to one of the world’s leading medical journals, The Lancet, some of the harmful effects of plastic on human health include:

  • Endocrine disruption
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Stomach cancer
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue
  • Yellow fever
  • Zika virus

So, what can you and I do to stay safe? Disposing waste responsibly is a given, but we should also learn about the different plastic types and how they impact human health and the environment.

Reducing Plastic Pollution with SodaStream® Singapore

One SodaStream bottle replaces 2000 (in the US, it’s 3000) one-use plastic bottles for a family each year! SodaStream® Singapore is a sustainability-focused beverage company known for its reusable carbonating bottles since 1903. They ditch single-use plastics for stylish eco-friendly bottles, allowing consumers to create their own sparkling water at home, reducing environmental impact and promoting health-conscious choices.

Embrace the freshness and effervescence of homemade bubbles, free from additives and preservatives, for a crisp and delightful sip that elevates both well-being and environmental responsibility.

Choosing SodaStream® Singapore is not merely an ecological gesture; it is an investment in health.

Addressing Pollution and Inviting Change with SodaStream® Singapore

There’s still so much to do when it comes to ridding pollution, whether it’s plastic, air, or water. The key is to be conscious of how you dispose of waste and be aware of the illnesses that could potentially impact your life for the worse.

Join the fight against plastic pollution with SodaStream® Singapore by choosing our high-quality carbonating bottles over single-use plastic bottles. Start making a difference today!

















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Sparkle Note

Using non-SodaStream cylinders is not a good idea. All our CO2 cylinders are quality tested when refilled. SodaStream gas cylinders should only be maintained and refilled by SodaStream. Unauthorized refilling of cylinders by third parties could be risky. SodaStream only warrants the safety of cylinders refilled by us, and SodaStream is not responsible for products of any other company or brand, which may damage the Sparkling Water Maker and void the warranty.