Different forms of harmful chemicals have been released into the soil, water and air from our activities. Chemicals which can cause serious health effects, poisoning or death when ingested, inhaled or absorbed have been classified as toxic chemicals (Worldometers, n.d.). Industrial activities are major sources of chemicals into the environment. Worldometers (n.d.) estimated 310 kg of toxic chemicals being released every second in the world.
Fluoride, mercury, PCBs, perchlorate, chlorine, lead, arsenic, dioxin, DDT, MtBE, and DCPA are toxic chemicals which can be found in water (Global Healing Center, 2015). Sources, distribution and environmental effects of toxic chemicals are different. Chlorine used in disinfection, arsenic and lead occurring naturally in water, PAHs and PCBs has various toxic effects. Bio accumulative properties of mercury and lead have adverse effects on aquatic organisms and human beings (Department of Ecology, n.d.). Fluoride is carcinogenic and it has adverse effects on bone structure and acute reactions (Holistic healing, n.d.). Manganese has been identified as a neurotoxin associated with learning disabilities and deficits in intellectual functions in children (Zoni and Licchini, 2013 cited in Villanueva et al., 2014). Nitrates in drinking water have been found to have carcinogenic effects on oesophagus, stomach, bladder and colon (Villanueva et al., 2014).
Inhalation, Ingestion and direct contact with toxic substances are possible pathways of exposure to toxic chemicals (Department of Health, 2013). Toxicity could be produced by inhaling or breathing gases, vapours, dusts or mists or ingesting or swallowing of food, drink and other substances and touching the toxic substance with eyes or skin (Department of Health, 2013).
Department of Ecology (n.d.) Controlling Toxic Chemicals in Puget Sound. [Online] Available at http://www.ecy.wa.gov [Accessed on 30 March 2015].
Department of Health (2013) What You Know Can Help You- An Introduction to Toxic Substances [Online] Available at www.health.ny.gov [Accessed on 31 March 2015].
Global Healing Center (2015) What Other Toxic Chemicals in Water Affect My Health? [Online] Available at www.globalhealingcenter.com [Accessed on 30 March 2015].
Holistic Healing (n.d.) Fluoridation/Fluoride : Toxic Chemicals in Your Water [Online] Available at http://www.holisticmed.com [Accesse on 31 March 2015].
Villanueva, C.M. , Kogevinas, M. , Lordier, S. , Templeton, M.R., Vermeulen, R., Nuckols, J. R. , Nieuwenhuijsen, M. J. and Levallois, P. (2014) Assessing Exposure and Health Consequences of Chemicals in Drinking Water: Current State of Knowledge and Research Needs. Environmental Health Prospect. Vol 122 (3), pp. 213-221
Worldometers (n.d.) Toxic Chemicals [Online] Available at www.worldometers.info [Accessed on 30 March 2015].
Zoni, S. and Lucchini, R.C. (2013) Manganese Exposure Cognitive Motor and Behavioural Effects on Children : A Review of Recent Findings. Curr Opin Pediatr 25: 255-260 Cited In Villanueva, C.M. , Kogevinas, M. , Lordier, S. , Templeton, M.R., Vermeulen, R., Nuckols, J. R. , Nieuwenhuijsen, M. J. and Levallois, P. (2014) Assessing Exposure and Health Consequences of Chemicals in Drinking Water: Current State of Knowledge and Research Needs. Environmental Health Prospect. Vol 122 (3), pp. 213-221