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Environmental Pollution in KSA
Environmental Pollution Health Issues
Saudi Arabia has a big population and is one of the most important oil sources globally. It
has around 18 percent of the world's oil reserves and considered as the world’s largest exporter
of petroleum. The production of oil for combustible uses and its wastes is considered a pollution
source in the air, soil, water, and even food because it uses several chemical compounds in the
processes. Unfortunately, these environmental pollutions may cause various health issues among
Air pollution occurs when harmful amounts of a particle are present in the air. Air
pollutants can be classified as anthropogenic (man-made) sources and natural sources. An
example of a man-made source is incomplete combustion of gases in the fossil fuel industry
while a natural source’s example is dust present in a land that has little and or no vegetation
areas. These pollutants can introduce health diseases and contribute to global warming too. The
global way of measuring air pollution is air quality index (AQI). Their different entries to scale
but the results are comparable, the scale depends on a number of the particulate matter present in
the air from (0-50) particulates, which is in the green zone and represents no health risks and safe
for living. From (301-500) particulates the purple zone is hazardous and it’s not safe and people
may catch serious diseases like cancer.
Also, other health issues caused by air pollution include breathing problems, chronic
disease, premature mortality, and increased hospitalization (Nayebare, 2017). Air pollution is
considered to be associated with stroke, heart and respiratory diseases, and affecting maternal
and child health.
Pollution affects water bodies such as groundwater, seas, and aquifers as a result of
human activity. Any disturbance of the water chemical property can lead to the sickness of
people using it for drinking, bathing, and cooking. In Saudi Arabia scarcity of freshwater led to a
focus on the use of the red sea on the west coast and Arabian Gulf in the east. Those waters are
subjected to much containment such as dumping of untreated water after being used in industrial
application and this affects the aquatic life and led to health problems of people consuming it.
Desalination in Saudi Arabia is the major cause of creating huge volumes of chemicallaced brine that is risking and contaminating the food chains because they are mostly untreated.
Because of this people are affected by water-borne diseases like typhoid, cholera, paratyphoid
fever, dysentery, jaundice, amoebiasis, and malaria (Siddiqi, 2016). Water-borne diseases
account for thousands of deaths every year.
Soil pollution is that the land becomes unavailable because of the presence of harmful
chemicals. Usually, these chemicals come from improper waste management in industry or
pesticides that farmers use while farming. In Saudi Arabia, one study was done in Jeddah city
showing that samples gathered from different locations found traces of heavy metal like lead,
zinc, and chromium. These metals can hugely impact the integrity of the soil and could transfer
to the food which local people consuming it and lead to heavy metal poisoning.
Soil is getting contaminated because of the underground fuel leakage from gas stations in
the country (Lim, 2018). Many symptoms appear in people who are contaminated with soil
pollutants like chest pain, fatigue, eye irritation, rash, coughing, lung problems, and nausea.
There are also long term diseases like leukemia which is caused by a contact with soil
contaminated with chemicals (e.g. gasoline, benzene), damage on the nervous system caused by
metal in the soil (lead), and affecting especially children, neuro-muscular damage and central
nervous system depression, kidney, and liver damage which is caused by chemicals like mercury.
Food sources in Saudi Arabia are from either animals or vegetables. Livestock animals are
mostly affected by air pollution and aquatic life is affected by water pollution. So, food pollution
is always related to other sources of pollution, and its problems will be solved if ot...
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