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Effect of Pollution (Air, Water and Land) on Health:The Modern Plague

24 September, 2020 Syed Zubair

With the industrial revolution in the 19th century, humanity has taken great strides forward in the field of production and science. This was partially due to our growing knowledge of the various fossil fuels around us as well as how to utilize them to the best of their potential in the field of production.

However, with the rise of the use of Fossil fuels and their products, we have given rise to a new problem that threatens the way of life as we know it. This is the rise of pollution, a dangerous phenomenon that both effects the environment as well as the people around. The overuse of fossil fuel and fossil fuel-based products has led to a rise in the level of pollutants in the environments around us in the environment. These pollutants can be called foreign substances that adversely affect the environment as well as the organisms who live in the ecosystem.

Different Kinds of Pollutions:

There are three main kinds of pollutions, differentiated by the medium they affect. These are

  • Air Pollution
  • Water Pollution
  • Land Pollution

While these mediums may differ, they all have the shared characteristics that they have damaging and negative effects on the environment around us. And through the contaminated environment, they also have an influence and effect on the living creatures in the environment.

What is Air Pollution?

Air pollution is the presence of a foreign or harmful substance in the air/atmosphere that is harmful or has poisonous effects. These effects can range from mild breathing discomfort when inhaled, to rashes and allergic reactions on contact with skin. In some cases, these may be harmful only to specific organisms and in other cases, they may be damaging to all organisms. In some cases, the pollutant doesn’t even directly affect the environment. It may be dissolved in water and affect the environment by polluting the rainwater.

What is Water Pollution?

Water pollution is the addition of harmful or unnatural chemicals and substances to natural water and water sources. These harmful substances and chemicals then contaminate the water sources- like streams, rivers and reservoirs- which can negatively impact the aquatic life that lives in them, and have harmful health consequences for people who drink this water or use it in some form in their daily lives.

What is Land Pollution?

Land pollution the depositing of liquid and solid waste underground or on the surface of the land. This waste may contaminate the soil, groundwater around and can spread the poisonous and harmful substances contained in them to the soil and water around from where it might enter plant and animal bodies, leading to harm and poisoning of humans. It can also lead to other problems like the disfigurement of public areas and indirectly lead to the breeding and spread of other diseases not related to pollutants such as mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue.

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Effects of pollution on us:

Air pollution is classified as the cause of over 8.9 million deaths every year, globally. This means that we see someone dying due to air pollution every four seconds. Thus, the UN has classified air pollution as the world’s worst environmental health risk, and the 4th most lethal killer. This polluted air has increased the risk of suffering from asthma as well as other respiratory diseases. It also increases the risk of people developing cancer and damage to their immune system.

Water pollution faces a similar increase in recent years, with a similar increase in its effects as well. We see 280 billion tons of our groundwater being polluted every year, almost twice as much as we did in the 1960s. we’ve seen an increase in the risk of diseases like amoebiasis, typhoid, rashes hepatitis, gastroenteritis, and hookworm, to name just a few. The chemicals that pollute water are difficult for our body to excrete and certain chemicals like mercury and lead tend to accumulate in our bodies, so even trace amounts of these pollutants can lead to serious health risks in the future and even affect our children.

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As Land Pollution progresses, the topsoil degrades, which leads to a significant reduction in the yield of crops and plant life living in that area. We also see the contamination of groundwater as well as an increase in the risk of wildfires. It also forces wildlife to abandon their habitats due to degradation and the poisoning of their food sources, which can potentially affect our own food sources and lifestyle. The direct effect it has on human health includes breathing disorders, a rise in cancer as well as birth defects, and skin diseases.


the damage being caused by pollution and the harmful effects we see now is only the beginning of the threats posed by pollution. Not only does it directly pose a threat to our lifestyle and our health, but it’s also indirect effects range into many different directions and can potentially devastate the planet and other species who share it with us.

While it seems a daunting and difficult task, everyone is entitled to the chance to breathe clean air, have clean water to drink, and safe places to live. Hence, we must all put in the best of our efforts and thoughts to help each other however we can.