water pollution

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Contamination of fresh water by pollutants, i.e., human and/or animal wastes, agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, industrial toxic waste, etc. Each presents particular risks to the environment, ecosystems, and human health. Human waste carries fecal-oral infections, such as gastrointestinal infections, polio, and hepatitis A; animal waste carries Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Escherichia coli O157, etc. Agricultural fertilizers can cause severe disruption of ecosystems, e.g., choking rivers and lakes. Industrial toxic wastes can be any of a wide range of substances, some of which are extremely dangerous to human health. Control of water pollution is an essential public health function, preferably conducted in collaboration with environmental and often agricultural experts because the problem is basically one of ecosystem management.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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