Environmental pollution occurs when pollution causing contaminants contaminate the environment. Disrupting the balance of our ecosystem and affecting our day to day lifestyle, it has become a great danger to humans and other living organisms on earth. The main cause of this pollution is due to the development and modernization of our lives, with science and technology, human potential has grown enormously. This is a global problem widely seen in all nations including the developing nations regardless of their developmental status.
Air pollution is characterized as all of the negative impacts of any pollutants that contribute to atmospheric pollution and ecosystem degradation. It is caused by both human and natural activities, consisting of several types of contaminants including solid liquid and gas materials.
There many health risks related with these air pollutants, some of these risks include respiratory or lung infections caused by particulate matter in the air that has harmful chemicals such as arsenic, nickel and lead. Cancer, asthma, bronchitis is caused by tobacco smoke. Being exposed to ozone gas can make our eyes burn or itch. The increased amount of carbon monoxide is the air we inhale can cause confusion and loss of focus and slow reflex his is because the carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the brain, heart and other organ of oxygen.
To prevent air pollution, reduce the amount of times that we use motorcycles and cars as carbon monoxide is released by the combustion of fuel and instead walk, bike or use public transportation. Stop the use of tobacco, tobacco is not only affecting the person who is smoking but also affects the people who are around that is inhaling the smoke. Reduce the amount of home appliances that contribute to air pollution such as AC’s and refrigerators as they release CFCs which deplete the ozone layer and increase the amount of ozone gas. Use healthy and environmentally household products and materials.
Nurses can help protect people by being aware of and teaching the community and patients about the air quality in the community, make recommendations to reduce exposure to emissions and promote steps that reduce the emissions.
Water pollution is the contamination of water due to the chemical substances and waste material that are released into the water degrading the quality of water. As water is a universal solvent many substances can dissolve easily into the water. Some of these chemicals are invisible making it less traceable.
Nurses can teach the community that dumping of toxic waste directly into water bodies and local areas without adequate treatment is the source of water contamination. These toxic chemicals are ingested by marine animals and are a major threat to public health. This also results in decreased oxygen content in the rivers and lakes. Systematic use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture also lead to water pollution. When human and animals take in water from these contaminated rivers and lakes, this adversely affects health. Explain to people that impure water can be detected from its color.
The health risks of water pollution include waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, jaundice, amoebiasis and malaria. Toxins in industrial waste are the major cause of immune suppression, reproductive failure and acute poisoning. The blame for cancer and blue baby syndrome rests with nitrogen chemicals. In rural areas, the mortality rate due to cancer is high than in urban areas because urban populations use filtered water for drinking while rural populations do not have purified water facilities and use unprocessed water. Poor people are at higher risk of disease because of insufficient sanitation, hygiene and water supply. Contaminated water has significant negative effects in those women who are exposed to chemicals during pregnancy that is impairment of fetal health.
To prevent water pollution and health risks, conserve water because the less water we use the less it can wash down the drains and into gutters, taking with it contaminants. Use pesticides sparingly or fertilize gardens using compost. Hold the water vehicles in good working order, if there is an oil leak repair it immediately and correctly dispose of the oil after changing used oil. Advocate to provide water purifying facilities to poor rural populations. Teach people about the importance of water sanitation and hygiene, educate people on how to purify water on their own, raise awareness about the waterborne diseases and how to prevent it.
Noise pollution is commonly characterized as daily exposure to elevated levels of sound which can cause adverse effects in humans or other living organisms. According to the world health organization. Sound rates below 70dB are not harmful to living organisms, no matter how long or constant the exposure is. Exposure to excessive noise above 85dB for more than 8 hours can be hazardous. When you work close to a busy road or highway for 8 hours every day, you are most likely subjected to traffic noise levels about 85dB.
Sources of nose pollution are industrialization; construction sounds like drilling or other heavy machineries in operation. Poor urban planning; congested houses with large families sharing small space and fights over parking, basic amnesties. Household activities; household sounds, from television, music, vacuum cleaners, fans & washing machines. Airports, with continuously elevated air traffic sounds; flight departures or landings.
Noise exposure can be harmful to our bodies in many different ways.
hypertension is a direct result of noise exposure over a prolonged period of time causing elevated blood pressures. Hearing loss can be caused directly by noise pollution, either listening to noisy music in your ears or being exposed to loud construction noises at work, heavy air or land traffic or specific events where noise levels exceed unsafe thresholds, such as about 140 dB for adults or 120 dB for children. Sleeping disorders are mostly triggered at night by continuous air or land traffic and have become a severe problem in that they can impair everyday productivity and lead to severe illnesses.
Infant growth. Children are particularly prone to noise exposure, and it is known that a variety of auditory-pollution-related disorders and dysfunctions affect them, from hearing loss to psychologically and physically. Children that routinely use high-volume music players often end up having hearing dysfunctions.
To prevent effects of noise pollution, Use earmuffs while being exposed to high levels of noise. Maintain a level of around 35 dB in your house at night, and around 40 dB in your house daytime. If feasible, choose your residential area as far away from heavy traffic as you can Prevent excessive use of earphones, particularly at high sound levels. Nurses can offer advice and information to their patients and fellow workers on how to reduce noise pollution.
Nursing staff can guide strategies in campaigning for environmental issues, educating themselves and their patients in a variety of healthcare settings and in the community with the goal of mitigating or removing adverse health effects and the impact of environmental attack on health. Nurses may integrate community risks in nursing evaluation, help build strategies to minimize or remove environmental health threats, continue promoting health and well-being in communities.
In a nutshell, it would be fair to assume that if human existence is to be maintained on the earth pollution is very important to be regulated. It may be in various types, but if, along with strict regulations, the masses can be properly informed and educated, pollution can be regulated and the health of the people will be getting better every day.
- Balali-Mood, M., Ghorani-Azam, A., & Riahi-Zanjani, B. (2016). Effects of air pollution on human health and practical measures for prevention in Iran. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 21(1), 65. https://doi.org/10.4103/1735-1995.189646
- Noise Pollution | Environmental Pollution Centers. (2017). Environmentalpollutioncenters.Org. https://www.environmentalpollutioncenters.org/noise-pollution/