Ayurveda is a science of healthy living. It is a stream of knowledge that has been passed on from generations. Agad tantra is a branch of Astangayurved that deals with toxic substances present in our environment. Today, most deaths are known to occur due to chronic respiratory diseases that are caused due to pollution. Recent evidence confirms that in developing countries toxic substances in the environment are the major cause of health hazards. The process of pollution is an inescapable consequence in the lifetime of a person. The direct effect of pollution on plants, animals and soil can influence the structure and function of ecosystem, including self-regulation ability, thereby adversely affecting the quality of life.
Major pollutants are from air, water and soil.The presence of pollution in the surrounding atmosphere is in the form of substances like gases, mixture of gases, and particulate matter. These are mostly generated due to the hazardous activities by man. Further, these pollutants are seen to interfere with human health, safety and comfort. They also cause injuries to vegetables and animals resulting in contamination of the food chain. These pollutants are also seen in drinking water which on the other hand causes additional problems to humans.
SOURCES OF POLLUTION- The major source of pollution are-
Automobiles– Motor vehicles are a major source of air pollution in urban areas. They emit hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides etc. that are highly toxic to air.
Industries– Industries emit large amount of polluted air into the atmosphere. Combustion of fuels by industries and generation of heat and power by them produces pollutants like smoke, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and fly ash which are lethal. Petrochemical industries generate hydrogen fluoride, hydrochloric acid and organic halides that are again toxic. Many industries discharge their wastes from high chimneys at high temperature and high speed ,thus polluting the air we breathe.
Domestic source– Domestic combustion of coal, wood or oil are major sources of smoke, dust, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Another main source of air pollution is smoke caused by smoking tobacco.Disposal of industrial waste into water is the main reason for water pollution. Overuse of pesticides and insecticides leave our land breathless. Other sources of domestic waste are generated from burning refuse, pollutants emitted during the incineration process and through nuclear energy programmes.
Air– Presence of dust, gas, fumes, mist and smoke in the air result in air pollution. These are injurious to human, animal and plant life.
Causes of air contamination
- Emission of pollutants like hydrocarbons, carbon mono-oxides etc. from motor vehicle.
2. Air pollution released from various industrial units.
3. Improper and excessive use of coal, kerosene oil etc. in household.
4. Improper sewage system leading to the expulsion of various micro-organisms into the atmosphere.
Water pollution is known to be caused due to any disturbed chemical, physical and biological change in the quality of water. This has harmful effects on any living thing that drinks, uses or lives in it.
Major water pollutants
1.Organic pollutants e.g. Fats, oils and meat etc.
2.Inorganic pollutants e.g. Acids, salts and toxic metals etc.
3.Soil pollution due to unhygienic habits, various agricultural practices and incorrect method of disposing of solid and liquid wastes can result in water pollution.
Inorganic toxic compounds, organic wastes, organic pesticides and radio-nuclides.
The most dangerous metals that cause soil pollution are-
Cadmium, copper, nickel, zinc, and molybdenum etc.
Respiratory tract problem
The health effects caused due to pollution may happen early or may be delayed due to pollution. The immediate effects are borne by the respiratory system, thus resulting in a state of acute bronchitis. In case of intense air pollution the result may be fatal caused due to suffocation. The delayed effects that are usually linked with air pollution are chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, bronchial asthma, emphysema and respiratory allergies.
Lead is known to poison the body systems and it is particularly dangerous in children who are just developing their brain and nervous system. Elevated levels of lead in the body of children have been associated with impaired neuro-psychological development due to loss of IQ, poor school performance and behavioral difficulties.
|NOXIOUS AGENT||SOURCES||ADVERSE EFFECT|
|Oxides of nitrogen||Automobile exhaust, heater, gas stoves, wood burning stoves||Respiratory tract disease, bronchial hyperactivities, impaired lung defects|
|Hydrocarbon||Automobile exhaust, cigarette smoke||Lung cancer, respiratory disease|
|Ozone||Automobile exhaust, high attitude aircraft cabin||Cough, respiratory tract irritation, Broncho constriction|
|Sulphur dioxide||Power plants, smelter, oil refinery||Exacerbation of Asthma, COPD, Respiratory tract irritation|
Ayurveda is a basic science of life. We can understand that pollution is the major cause of respiratory tract infection because it is caused by different pollutants that adversely affect the health of humans. When we are exposed to polluted environments we are subjected to many health hazards that are related to respiratory tract infection. This results in diseases like bronchial asthma, COPD, cough etc. Continuous use of automobiles, refineries, power plant, use of petrol may generate many pollutants like SO2, CO2, Hydrocarbons, ozone etc. These pollutants cause depletion in the ozone layer and decrease the greenhouse effects. Other reasons of environmental pollution include cutting of plants, continuous use of vehicle, urbanization and industrialization.
Garima,M.D.Scholar, P.G.Department of agad tantra, Rishikul Campus Hardwar, UAU, Emailemail@example.com