Water pollution

The access and the quality of the potable water influence in the correct development the children.

Most frequents pollutants:

Pathogenic microorganisms

Both the pathogenic microorganisms and the chemical substances jeopardise the quality of the water. The water polluted by pathogenic agents can cause to manifold diseases of diverse gravity. The most common ones are the infections that attend with diarrhoea, which is one of the most frequent causes of children mortality in the countries on the way to development.

Desinfection subproducts

There are many chemical polluting agents around us that can be found in the potable water. Disinfection subproducts (DSP) are formed during the disinfection, by the reaction of the disinfectant (for example, chlorine) with the organic matter. The levels vary remarkably according to the origin, the quality of the water and the treatment of purification. Although there are hundreds of DSP, the most frequent ones are the Trihalomethanes (THMs). They are volatile and permeable to the skin, for their inhalation and the skin absorption are quite usual when showering, bathing and going to swimming pools. The exposure to these compounds during pregnancy has been associated to several adverse effects. The most consistent evidences relate this exhibition to retardation of the intrauterine growth and certain congenital malformations.

Swimming pools constitute an environment with elevated levels of disinfectants and subproducts of the disinfection, that are needed to maintain the hygienic conditions. Some of these compounds irritate the respiratory routes and bring the potential risk to produce respiratory symptoms in children. Nevertheless, many studies have not found a clear association between attendance to swimming pools and respiratory symptoms in children, probably because attending to swimming pools also implies a beneficial physical activity for the health.

Nitrates and metals

Potable water can contain many other polluting agents such as nitrates, arsenic, lead, etc., that have also been associated to several adverse effects of the pregnancy.