Current living 15 August, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.
Contact with the air, water, sun, dust, plants, animals or chemical substances can all cause different conditions. Learn about seven of them.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the United States describes a few environmental diseases:
- Allergies and asthma: Allergy attacks sometimes occur after periods of heavy exercise or when weather conditions change. They may also be caused by contaminants or chemicals present in the air and in the home.
- Birth defects: When pregnant women are exposed to chemicals or drink alcoholic beverages, the harmful components in these substances reach the fetus. Some of these babies will be born with abnormal developments on their organs, tissues or body parts.
- Cancer: Cancer occurs when one or several cells multiply quickly, affecting the body’s organs and tissues as they spread. Over time, organs will lose their ability to perform their normal function. Some types of this disease are caused by contact with asbestos or chemical substances, or from radiation.
- Dermatitis: This is the medical term used to describe inflamed and irritated skin. Certain substances that are in paint, ink, cosmetics and detergents can trigger it. In some people, cloth, foods and certain medications can cause people to have a reaction.
- Emphysema: Air pollution and too much cigarette smoke can wear down the weak tissues of the lungs. When this happens, this organ does not expand and contract as it should. For these patients, each breath can be difficult.
- Infertility: This can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases, an infection or can occur as a result of contact with chemical substances from workplaces or in the environment. Too much coffee can temporarily reduce fertility in women.
- Immunodeficiency diseases: The immune system fights microorganisms, viruses and poisons that attack the body. When a foreign particle enters the body, these cells surround and destroy the “intruder.” Some chemical substances and drugs can weaken the immune system, causing the body to be more vulnerable to disease and infection.
Related article: The effects of air quality on your health