Toxic pollution is rarely visible, pollutants often find their way into our bodies through seemingly 'safe' sources. The majority of pollutant exposures derive from inhalation of contaminated dust, soil, through plants or gases and ingestion of contaminated water.
Pure Earth (New York, NY, formerly known as "Blacksmith Institute) and other organizations identified DALYs (Disability-Adjusted Life Year or DALY) for:
- Lead (Pb)
- Chromium (Cr)
- Mercury (Hg)
- Asbestos (naturally occurring, fibrous silicate minerals)
Health impacts based on the example of lead: Lead can be the cause of neurological, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular problems. Lead exposure during pregnancy can be the reason of miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weights, premature births and birth defects. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) states that lead is a possible human carcinogen. In addition to the above-mentioned examples, many other chemical elements with similar health effects have to be added.