A new study has revealed that exposure to water and air pollution is weakening our immunity system and hindering our body’s capacity to ward off toxins and infections.
Researchers at Munich’s Technical University have found a direct link between an increase in our exposure to waterborne and airborne particles and deterioration in our health.
Also read: Piecemeal Action Will Not Help Tackle Plastic Pollution, Only Massive Changes Can
The Research Made Into The Effects Of Pollution
The researchers revised recent scientific findings on the effect that contaminants have on our mucosal system. It is an inner membrane that is the lubricant in our body and stands as the initial line of protection against toxins and infections.
The paper was published in Biophysics Reviews. Co-author Oliver Lieleg says that the mucosal barriers act as an important line of defense and protect several systems in our body. But the mucosal system is vulnerable to constant water and air pollutants. It is there to help us only if we can protect it from these pollutants.
But our constant exposure to the nano and microparticles in our polluted environment is gradually destroying our mucous barrier. Water and air pollution act on the vulnerable mucosal system in 4 different ways.
Our mucosal barrier turns leaky with structural changes that cause holes. This allows toxins and pathogens to enter our bodies using these particles. The cells begin to produce either too little or too much mucus, both inimical to a healthy body. The mucus quality also goes down.
Also read: Microplastic Pollution: The Biggest Culprits Are The Cars We Drive
It is important to retain all the components of mucus. Any contamination with microplastics, black carbon, and other pollutants has a negative effect and can lead to alteration of the mucus function and structure. While natural causes like volcanic eruptions can affect this fine balance, it is human pollution that has led to the maximum disruption.
Pollutants have allowed microparticles and contaminants in the air like water contaminants like microplastics and soot contaminants to enter our system. Microplastics are a part of every natural water body are entering our body through seafood and water.
Simple regular activities like eating, drinking, and breathing are exposing us to these pollutants. Even foods considered safe, like honey, contain high elements of pollutants that are exposing our bodies to toxins.
Recent research both on animals and humans have shown that exposure to pollution even for short periods can cause heart and respiratory ailments and also lead to various forms of cancer. It also impairs embryonic development. Though the mechanism through which they occur needs to be studied more, it is apparent that exposure to various forms of pollution is compromising our mucosal function and structure and leaving us vulnerable to various diseases.