Water Pollution Effects on Humans

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Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Water Pollution Effects on Humans

This essay will examine the effects of water pollution on human health. It will explore the sources of water pollution, the types of contaminants, and their short and long-term impacts on communities and ecosystems. On PapersOwl, there’s also a selection of free essay templates associated with Cancer.

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The world population is increasing every day, bringing with it several pollution problems. Water pollution is one of the biggest examples, which generates devastating effects on human beings, such as poisoning with heavy minerals, bacterial diseases, and serious skin problems. The degree of the consequence will depend on the exposure of the person and the type of contamination that is in the water during their contact. Sometimes, the damage generated could be irreversible, concluding in chronic diseases or even death. Because of this, during the last few decades many researches were conducted to analyze the effects of water pollution on humans, and the results were overwhelming.

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Poisoning with Heavy Minerals

Poisoning with heavy minerals and metals is more common than we think. One of the most studied in the last years is Arsenic, which is classified as a metalloid and is the responsible of the biggest negative impact over humans in the world (Schwarzenbach, et al. 2010, p. 118). According to Rene Schwarzenbach (2010), only in Bangladesh more than 35 million people were exposed to the risks of water with high levels of arsenic, and around 6 million people in Bengal (India) suffered the consequences of ingest water with arsenic. The author explains in his article that some of the effects of water polluted with high levels of arsenics are high blood pressure, neurological dysfunction and even different types of cancer. Other studies in different countries concluded in catastrophic results. For example, Allan Smith and Craig Steinmaus from the School of Public Health of the University of California explained in their article (Smith, 2009, p 108) that drinking water with arsenic while pregnancy could increase fetal loss and stillbirth rate considerably. Moreover, they evidenced that adult exposed to water contaminated with arsenic in early life developed diseases such as lung cancer, bronchiectasis, and myocardial infarction; Most of them concluding in fatalities. Consequently, poisoning with water contaminated with arsenic causes serious effects in human health, entailing in most of the cases to the death.

Bacterial and Viral Diseases

Perhaps the most common effects of water polluted in humans are the bacterial and viral diseases. Mehtab Haseena et al. from the Department of Zoology of the University of Gujrat in Pakistan describes in his article (Haseena, et al., 2017, July 17) that the symptoms produced by bacterial diseases such as diarrhea commonly are fever, abdominal pain, headache, and nauseas; But if the contamination was produce with the salmonella bacteria the consequences could conclude in death. On the other hand, the authors said that viral diseases such as hepatitis and gastroenteritis could lead to the death, while poliomyelitis could produce serious and irreversible consequences as permanent paralysis of some parts of the body. Therefore, water polluted with bacteria and virus usually generates grave impacts on human health and some of them produce irreparable damages.

Skin Problems

Water pollution can produce several problems in the skin after prolonged and continued direct contact with it. As was exposed in the article Water Pollution Effect on Humans (All About Water Filters, N.D.) “”Humans who interact with the water (polluted) are more prone to receiving burns, welts, and other skin problems simply from being out in the water too long.”” Moreover, some research developed over divers who constantly dove on extreme water polluted such as Kishon River in Hiafa Bay, Israel concluded that due to the extended skin contact with polluted water added to its transpiration process, the divers usually presents body burns (Ritchel et al., 2003). In addition, divers in some cases develop skin cancer with a low probability of fatality. Hence, the impact of water pollution on humans is not only related to the ingesting of it, but also to the continue contact in diving and swimming activities.


Polluted water can produce an enormous consequences in the health of the humans. The effects are going to be different depending on the exposure level and the type of contaminant agent. Usually, the continuous consumption of contaminated water could lead to serious damages in the health including permanent paralysis and death. Poisoning with arsenic is one of the most dangerous consequences of drinking water polluted. On the other hand, bacterial and viral diseases can be produce because of water contaminated concluding in catastrophic results. Damage in human health can be also produced as a result of the continuous contact between skin and the polluted water. People who dive or swim in constantly in contaminated water sources are prone to develop skin diseases as chronic irritation, body burns and also skin cancer. Therefore, water pollution represents a huge risk to human health.

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Water Pollution Effects on Humans. (2019, May 23). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/water-pollution-effects-on-humans/