There are many factors that affect the quality and cleanliness of water, but how risky is drinking saline water on a daily really?
Collaborative research funded by the Indiana University Bloomington, USA; has exposed how increased levels of salt via potable water systems in coastal regions are increasing cardiovascular and other diseases. Climate change, which leads to sea level rise, is one of the primary drivers of water salinity. Over extraction of ground water and construction of canals and dams are some contemporary activities that aggravate the situation further.
Drinking water high in salinity has been found to influence cardiovascular health, with a close relationship to diarrhea and abdominal pain. According to the coastal study in Asia aimed at establishing whether drinking water high in salinity has an impact on health, has shown increased hospital visits and an array of other negative health effects in coastal areas.
We know that the worlds freshwater, meaning water low in salt concentration (less than 0.05%) – makes up to 1% of all planet's water bodies. Rather minuscule, considering the ever-increasing global drinking water requirements.
Seawater contains higher amounts of dissolved salts/solids (from 15,000 milligrams per liter (mg/l) to over 40,000 mg/l of total dissolved solids). Water that has only 1,000 – 15,000 mg/l dissolved salts/solids is Brackish.
Households exposed to high salinity demonstrate a higher frequency of hospital visits than the low salinity-exposed households. People exposed to high salinity seemed to lack awareness regarding salinity-inducing health effects. Water salinity is a public health concern that will continue to rise due to climate change. Therefore, raising awareness about the health risks of water salinity is essential for the government to frame policies and mitigation strategies to control this emerging threat.
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