Effect of Water Pollution

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

Man’s health to a large extent is dependent on access to clean potable water. Unfortunately, not everyone on the planet has access to this vital resource. Some individuals have access to water but such water is polluted. Polluted water could be a carrier of many diseases and when it is ingested into the human system, it could have negative implications for human health. Persons who use polluted water are in danger of contracting water-borne, water-hygiene, and water-contact or water-habitat vector diseases.

Waterborne infectious diseases are those in which the pathogen is present in water and taken when the water is consumed. Most of the pathogens could be from human feces and diseases transmitted by the consumption of fecal contaminated water that are known as “fecal-oral” diseases. Examples of fecal-oral diseases include cholera, typhoid, amoebic dysentery and diarrhea. Water-hygiene diseases are ones which occur due to the lack of adequate clean water for maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness.

Examples of such diseases are tinea, scabies, pediculosis (lice) and skin and eye infections. Water-contact diseases are contracted when an individual’s skin is in contact with pathogen infested water. An example is schistosomiasis (bilharzizsis) in which the eggs of the pathogen (schistosomaspp.) are present in the feces and or urine of an infected individual. Water-habitat vector diseases are transmitted by insect vectors that spend all or part of their lives in or near water. Examples include malaria and filariasis as well as onchocerciasis which has the aquatic fly as its vector (Bartram and Balance, 1996).

The Ghanaian Times reported an increase in cases of kidney diseases, and according to Dr. Amoako Atta (head of the renal unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital), the use of mercury by illegal miners is a contributory factor.In a study conducted by the Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis, the occurrence of mercury in the environment was reported to be as a result of its use in the gold recovery process where the inorganic form of the metal is either washed into rivers or readily vaporized into the atmosphere. The concentrations of mercury found in fish were three times higher than levels deemed safe by the United States EnvironmentalProtection Agency (USEPA).

In addition, chemicals in the river can be harmful to the skin and the entire human body. Mercury affects the renal system, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory system.One report estimated that 5 tons of mercury is released from small scale mining operations in Ghana eachyear.A study in five selected communities (Sanso, Anyinam, Anyinamadokrom, Abombe and Tutuka, in the Obuasi Municipality) on mining activities near AngloGold Ashanti’s operations and their health impact found that residents suffer from malaria, skin diseases, diarrhea, fever, colds and catarrh. Malaria accounted for about 42% of the diseases reported in the study, followed by respiratory infections (27%) and skin diseases (17.7%).Fever, diarrhea and other symptoms were reported by 13.6% of the respondents in the study area.

At Sanso, it was noted that the prevalence of skin diseases was largely due to contamination of water bodies with chemicals which some residents are dependent on for water, food and other domestic purposes. The high occurrence of skin diseases at Anyimadokrom is due to its proximity to AngloGold Ashanti’s Pompola treatment plant where chemicals such as arsenic (sulfur dioxide) are used.

The Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis (2011) published a report on the “Human Health Risk Assessment and Epidemiological Studies from Exposure to Toxic Chemicals” in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality, Prestea Huni Valley District and Cape Coast Metropolis in Ghana. This study found that oral ingestion and dermal contact of water and soil/ sediments samples as well as oral ingestion of cassava contaminated with elevated levels of toxic chemicals such as arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, mercury and zinc led to elevated levels in whole blood and blood serum of residents in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality and PresteaHuni Valley District as compared to residents in the Cape Coast Metropolis. Unfortunately, water from the Pra, Ankobra, Birim Rivers and other water bodies which communities along these stretches of the river depend upon are extremely polluted and local communities can no longer rely on them.

In Ghana, the endemic nature of Buruli ulcer in communities adjacent to mining activities suggests that proximity to artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a risk factor for this disease, as it is the case of the higher prevalence of Buruli ulcer in the Amansie West District.An increased risk of infection was not associated with direct participation in mining or contact with mine pit water in a case-control study in Ghana, but land use changes that often accompany ASGM activities such as streambed disturbances have been proposed as a mechanism for the spread of Buruliulcer.


Cite this paper

Effect of Water Pollution. (2021, Feb 16). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/effect-of-water-pollution/



What are 3 effects of pollution?
Pollution can cause respiratory problems, harm wildlife and their habitats, and contribute to climate change.
What are 4 effects of water pollution on humans?
Water pollution can cause a number of health problems in humans, including gastrointestinal illnesses, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. It can also lead to death.
What are the 10 effects of pollution?
1. Pollution can cause a variety of health problems in both humans and animals. 2. Pollution can also damage the environment, causing problems for plants and wildlife.
What are the effects of water?
There are two positive effects of procrastination. The first is that it allows you to take a break from a task that may be stressful or overwhelming. The second is that it can give you time to gather more information or resources before beginning the task, which can lead to a better outcome.
We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out