Unclean Water is a World Health Concern

While people from all regions of the world learn in one way or another that unclean water is dangerous to drink, the actual health effects are not nearly as well-known to those living in areas with access to clean water. The many pathogens and chemicals present in non-potable water can affect your health in ways as minor as nausea and cramping or as dramatic as "blue baby syndrome" and diarrhea².

 Many people think of vas something incurred from certain fast food restaurants remedied with some water and bland food, but for those without access to clean water, the effects are far scarier and cyclical. In fact, the World Health Organization found diarrhoeal disease to be the fifth largest cause of death (2.18 million) in the world in 2000¹. A statistic shocking to those living in the first world, it's a morbid concern in many countries. This is because diarrhea often stems from drinking water tainted with bacteria. Upon ingesting these bacteria, our body becomes negatively affected and through a combination of bacterial infection and immune system response, we attempt to vacate the water through vomiting or diarrhea. We then have not processed the water and continue to be dehydrated. Without a properly clean source of water, the citizens enter a cycle of ingesting tainted water as they are literally dying of thirst and exacerbate their gastrointestinal symptoms.


This is a scary statistic, but is not one without remedy. Advances in accessibility solutions, clean water education, and through a global relief effort, diarrhoeal disease has dropped not only in the millions of deaths (to 1.39 million), but also by ranking (8). With a difference of 800,000 people, that's akin to saving the lives of every citizen in the entire country of Bhutan. Water pollution is a global epidemic attributed to and preventable by the global population.


Sources
¹http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/
²http://www.halton.ca/cms/One.aspx?pageId=15092