• Water Quality
 
  • The quality of drinking water is a powerful environmental determinant of health. Drinking-water quality management has been a key pillar of primary prevention for over one-and-a-half centuries and it continues to be the foundation for the prevention and control of waterborne diseases.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO), being a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), has a wide range of functions, which include promoting (in cooperation with other specialized agencies) the improvement of nutrition, housing, sanitation, recreation, economic or working conditions with a bearing on health and other aspects of environmental hygiene. One of the main roles of WHO is to establish international norms to protect human health.
  • As per one of the WHO's reports, there are several variants of the faecal-oral pathway of water-borne diseases' transmission. These include contamination of drinking-water catchments (e.g. by human or animal faeces), water within the distribution system (e.g. through leaky pipes or obsolete infrastructure) or of stored household water as a result of unhygienic handling. Millions of people are exposed to unsafe levels of chemical contaminants in their drinking water.
  • This may be linked to a lack of proper management of urban and industrial wastewater or agricultural run-off water potentially giving rise to long-term exposure to pollutants, which can have a range of serious health implications. Or, it may be linked to naturally-occurring arsenic and fluoride, which cause cancer and tooth/skeletal damage, respectively.