The Biological Effects of Pollution
Pollution is caused by humans and is the presence or introduction of something dangerous or harmful into the environment. Many people know this, but what is more interesting are the effects that it can have on biological life, including us.
Firstly, mutagens (substances that cause mutations in genetic material such as DNA) can cause your body’s cells to malfunction, possibly leading to negative effects on health. According to genome.gov, “Examples of mutagens include tobacco products, radioactive substances, x-rays, ultraviolet radiation, and a wide variety of chemicals.”
Air pollution is also a severe threat to life on earth. The primary causes of man-made air pollution include vehicle emissions, petroleum products, natural gas used to heat houses, byproducts of manufacturing, and electricity generation, notably coal-fueled power plants, and gasses from chemical manufacture. Pollutants in the air can harm animals by disrupting endocrine function, causing organ damage, increasing sensitivity to stressors and illnesses, lowering reproductive success, and even causing death.
Water pollution is classified as the contamination of water sources by pollutants, so the water is unsuitable for drinking, dining, washing, wading, and other purposes. Chemicals, waste, pathogens, and parasites are all examples of pollutants. All types of pollutants ultimately end up in water. Because of their extremely sensitive skin, amphibians such as frogs and salamanders are the poster children for the detrimental impacts of water pollution. They have the unusual capacity to absorb oxygen via their skin, but this also makes them vulnerable to absorbing harmful toxins. Pesticides, nitrogen-based fertilizers, and heavy metal pollutants all endanger these animals. These contaminants frequently enter water systems through runoff after heavy rain. These contaminants, in addition to immediately harming frogs, can also damage their immune systems. Every year, around 1 million marine species (including mammals, fish, sharks, turtles, and birds) are killed by plastic trash in the water (UNESCO Facts & Figures on Marine Pollution). It is now believed that there are 100 million tons of plastic in the world's seas.
Pollution is one of the biggest threats to life on Earth, and it is crucial that change should happen to counteract the damage that is being done to biological life on this planet.