Environmental diseases are real.
The negative effects that pollution can have on the population are well established. While the science may not be exclusive on exactly how much pollution effects health, there are several diseases and health conditions where a firm connection has been established.
1. Birth Defects – Birth defects are caused by a wide variety of pollutants, ranging from radiation to cigarette smoke. These lead to all types of birth defects.
2. Lead Poisoning – Exposure to lead can be fatal. It can disrupt the functioning of the brain, kidneys, liver, and several other organs. Lead poisoning can occur due to intervention from air pollution, or it can be drunk in the water if it becomes polluted.
3. Mercury Poisoning – Mercury damages the body in much the same way as lead, and very small quantities can do a great deal of damage. Mercury can often be found in fish due to water pollution.
4. Asthma and Allergies – Exposure to pollutants and allergens has an impact on the likelihood of an individual developing asthma or allergies, which leads to difficulty breathing. While deaths from asthma or allergies are reliably rare, they do occur, and they are a major inconvenience for the people who suffer from them.
5. Emphysema – A disease of the lungs that makes it difficult to inhale and exhale. Air pollution is known to increase the likelihood of emphysema, which can be fatal.
6. Cancer – There are several carcinogens which are known to exist but are not regulated. A carcinogen is a substance which is known to increase the likelihood that an individual will develop cancer. Carcinogens work by disabling the reproduction of cells in the body, causing a mutation to occurrence. This causes the cell to become cancerous, meaning that it replicates but no longer fulfills its normal purpose.
7. Parkinson's Disease – This disease which effects the brain and motor skills is more likely to occur as a result of exposure to certain pesticides, as well as other pollutants. While genetic factors make a person more likely to develop Parkinson's before the age of 50, it does not seem to influence whether or not a person will develop it later on in life.
8. Dermatitis – This is when the skin becomes irritated or inflamed. There are chemicals found in household products such as detergents, varnishes, paints, and cosmetics that can lead to irritation and inflammation of the skin.
9. Autism – This brain disorder affects a person's ability to think, to understand how others are thinking, to learn languages, and emotional development. The disease is growing more common. Many scientists suspect that this is due to exposure to certain chemicals during fetal development.
10. Lupus – A longer term disease that causes the immune system to attack the body. Prolonged exposure to silica dust can double or quadruple a person's susceptibility.