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How does water pollution affect humans?

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Quick Answer

EduGreen states that water pollution affects humans by causing health problems, particularly water-borne diseases. Sources of water contaminants include pesticides, sewage, nutrients, synthetic organics and acidification of surface water.

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How does water pollution affect humans?
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Contaminants and chemicals in drinking water cause adverse effects on health, explains EduGreen. These contaminants include arsenic, lead, petrochemicals, heavy metals, chlorinated solvents and high levels of fluoride. People have been found to suffer from arsenic skin lesions due to high concentrations of arsenic in water. Contaminated water tends to spread water-borne diseases, which are typically infectious and are spread directly or through flies and filth. Fecal waste, which is prevalent in places with poor sanitary conditions, causes various intestinal diseases. Disease-producing agents, such as bacteria, virus, parasitic worms and protozoa, travel through water sources and interfuse directly through people handling water and food. Other common water-borne diseases that affect many people in tropical regions include cholera, hepatitis, typhoid and dysentery.

The Water Pollution Guide explains that water pollution often harms humans after long-term exposure. Heavy metals are toxic to marine animals that consume them and subsequently to people who eat these animals. Some of them are carcinogenic, and some can cause birth defects. Industrial waste is also harmful to humans and causes acute poisoning, reproductive failure or immune suppression.

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