How Water Quality is linked to Public Health
The human body consists of two-thirds of water. This water is divided into bags of fluids that have specific functions to perform for the body’s health. If the that goes into forming these fluids is not right, it will lead to diseases. That is why more than 5 million people die of waterborne diseases every year worldwide. This problem is more rampant in third-world countries that have poor infrastructure and lackadaisical governments.
The question of the link between public health and water quality can be gauged by considering several factors on which a person's long-term health depends. If a person does not drink enough water, many heath conditions can arise, one of which is dehydration that has adverse effects on the skin.
Secondly, chemical and heavy metals’ contamination of most water supplies cause a build up of such harmful substances in the body. If they do not get disposed as fast as they build up, many chronic diseases such as diseases is cancer. This should end any queries regarding the importance of water quality on public health.
Public treatment facilities of first-world countries like USA have taken adequate steps to prevent waterborne diseases, but precious little has been done about the chemical contamination and traces of hazardous heavy metals. The first thing that might come to your mind is to buy bottled water but that is not the solution. The bottled water manufacturing companies are under no compulsion to rid the water of chemical contaminants or heavy metals. That is a good option only in third-world countries where tap water contains contaminants that cause water-related or waterborne diseases.
Harvard University research analysts, Cutler and Miller published an article in 2005 titled, "The Role of Public Health Improvements in Health Advances: The Twentieth Century United States Demography - Volume 42. They stated that clean water technologies such as chlorination and filtration reduced mortality rates in major US cities between 1900 and1936. There was an even greater impact on child and infant mortality rates during the same period. The death toll from major water-related infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and others dipped from 39.3% to 17.9% from 1900 to 1936, corresponding with the introduction of clean water systems.
While it is clear that the third-world countries can do with such technologies to reduce their mortality rates, it would be still better if they opt for improved technologies of home purification that remove the ill effects of chlorination and heavy metals as well. That is advisable even for first-world countries.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Mar 23, 2011
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