environment pollution
Image source - http://bit.ly/2SwHiBa

This article is written by Arya Mishra, a student of Banasthali Vidyapith, Jaipur. This article talks about the environmental degradation its causes and various issues in health.


The environment plays a very essential role in the life of human beings. It has a direct connection with the health and well-being of human whether they reside in urban areas or rural areas. The contamination of the environment due to human activities could cause malnutrition and diseases, insalubrious and shortening of lifespan.

The enjoyment of human rights and its relation with the people who live in it was the first time addressed at the UN conference on the Human Environment in 1972. It was the UN’s first major conference on international environmental issues, it was marked as the turning point in the development of environmental policies.

Download Now

The damage caused to people and networks by corrupted condition like-perilous drinking water to vanishing untamed life is progressively observed by numerous individuals as an issue of rights being abused.

It has been explored that environment degradation consequence affects the health of people and their rights to healthy life. As per the World Bank report, between 1995 to 2010, India was the only country that made the fastest progress regarding environmental issues and in improving environmental degradation all over the world. Environmental degradation is the root cause of deaths, diseases and disability in, particularly developing countries. It has grave health implications in the global south, UN warns Africa, Asia, the Middle East could see millions of premature death by 2015. Scientists and experts who compiled the sixth Global Environment Outlook report, 2019 released at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi are calling for urgent action to deal with the issue of land degradation, air pollution, and Biodiversity loss and improve climate change mitigation, disaster management, water management.

The report which has been published by the UN Environment Program asks Nations to limit the potential negative effects of population growth, economic development, and climate change. The impact of environmental risk factors on health are extremely varied and complex in both clinically significance and severity. The effect of environmental degradation on human health can range from death caused by cancer due to air pollutants present in the air to problems resulting from noise. Due to the indirect effects of air pollution in the environment, millions of people have died. In India, many cities are getting populated day by day. According to a survey it was found that Delhi is the most populated cities all over the world. The population has increased very fast in the last few decades and it’s alarming. Nitrogen oxides, suspended particulate matter, carbon monoxide, lead, sulphur dioxide, etc are some of the residual air pollutants.

Environmental Degradation

A connection and connection between physical condition and prosperity of people and social orders are multi-overlay and multifaceted with subjective and quantitative perspectives. The expression “Condition” is commonly confined to encompassing condition. Environment basically means the surroundings in which we leave. They are dependent on the activities like physiological functioning, production, and consumption. It is our duty to keep our environment safe and clean and if we will not keep it clean then it will harm us only. Due to environmental pollution, a lot of problems are faced by human beings and animals.

Natural debasement is the breaking down of the earth or retrogression of the earth through the utilization of advantages, similar to, air, water, and soil. The idea of environment degradation is as old as ‘human civilization’ but its concerns were neglected for too long. The first international concern was held in Stockholm in 1972 on the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHD) which prepared an “Action plan for human development”. Later in the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) report in 1987 advocated an idea of “Sustainable development” says that anything that fulfills the present need of a person without destroying the future needs. Later on, the Rio assertion on Environment and advancement which held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 gives further enhancement for the ideas.

Thousand years of Ecosystem Assessment was directed to evaluate the outcomes of environmental change for human advancement and furthermore to set up the activity expected to upgrade the preservation and maintainable utilization of biological systems and their commitment to human prosperity on the logical premise. Thousand years Ecosystem Assessment (MA) discovers four principle discoveries. These are as:

(a) Over the previous 50 years, people have changed biological systems more quickly and widely than in any spam of time in mankind’s history, to a great extent to fulfill quickly developing needs for sustenance, crisp water, timber, fiber, and fuel. This has brought about a significant and to a great extent irreversible misfortune in the assorted variety of life on earth. 

(b) The progressions that have been made to biological systems have added to considerable net gains in human prosperity and financial improvement, yet these additions have been accomplished at developing expenses as the corruption of numerous environment administrations, expanded dangers of non-straight changes, and the worsening of neediness for certain gatherings of individuals. These issues, except if tended to, will significantly decrease the advantages that future ages get from biological systems. 

(c) The corruption of biological system administrations could deteriorate during the primary portion of this century and is a boundary to accomplishing the Millennium Development Objectives. 

(d) The test of turning around the debasement of biological systems while satisfying expanding needs for their administrations can be somewhat met under certain situations that the Millennium Assessment considered, however, these include critical changes in arrangements, establishments, and practices that are not as of now underway.

The Right to Pollution Free Environment was pronounced to be a piece of Right to Life under Article 21 of The Indian Constitution if there should be an occurrence of Subhash Kumar v. Province of Bihar and Ors2. Right of Life is a Fundamental Right which joins the benefit of joy in defilement free water and air for full fulfillment for the duration of regular day to day existence. 

M.C. Mehta v. Association of India 3, For this situation, The Apex Court conveyed its notable judgment in 1996 giving different bearings including prohibiting the utilization of coal and cake and guiding the businesses to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). 

Everywhere throughout the world, numerous ecological issues are looked at by individuals. Air, water contamination, clamor contamination, and contamination of the indigenous habitat are the difficulties for the world. According to the reports circumstance in India was more terrible between the years 1947 to 1995. Contamination is a noteworthy test for India.

Constitutional interpretation of the environment

  • From the 42nd Amendment, 1976 the Constitution of India added Article 48A and 51A (g) which comes under the DPSP (Directive Principle of State Policy) and Fundamental Duties respectively.
  • Article 48A of the Indian Constitution states that “The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.”
  • The Supreme Court of India in case of Sachidanand Pandey v. State of West Bengal, held that the court is bound to bear in mind the above said articles 48A and 51A (g) whenever a case related to Environment problem is brought to the court.
  • Indian constitution has also amended the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments, 1992. Schedules 11 and 12 of constitutions which contain environmental activities can be undertaken by panchayats and municipality respectively. Following principles are laid down according to public trust:
  1. The polluter pays principle.
  2. The precautionary principle.
  3. Sustainable development and inter-generational equity.
  • Article 51A (g) talks about “To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures.”

The Court if there should be an occurrence of Damodar Rao v. S.O. Metropolitan Corporation, held that the regular sullying and spoliation which is continuously hurting and dirtying the air should moreover be seen as signifying encroachment of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.Article 21 peruses as No individual will be precluded from securing his life or individual opportunity except for as shown by strategy set up by law.

Causes of environmental degradation

The real reasons for nature corruption are present- day urbanization, industrialization, over populace development, deforestation and contamination and so forth. Ecological contamination alludes to the debasement of value and the amount of normal assets present in the earth. Different human exercises are the essential reasons for condition corruption. These have incited the adjustments in the condition that have ended up being destructive to every living being. It’s the consequence of the dynamic interchange of financial and innovative activities. Neediness remains an establishment of a couple of natural issues.


The Population is the premier significant wellspring of improvement, yet it is the real wellspring of ecological corruption when it surpasses the cutoff points of the emotionally supportive networks. Populace impacts the earth basically through the abuse of normal assets and the creation of squanders which lead to the loss of biodiversity.

India contributes 17 percent of the world population on just 2.4 percent of the world’s land area. India’s current annual growth rate is 1.08 percent. The country as a whole has a population density of 416 people per square kilometer.


Poverty can be said to both cause and effect of environmental degradation. There is a complex circular link between poverty and the environment. Inequality foster unsustainability because the poor are the one who rely on natural resources more than the rich. In addition, degraded environment can quicken the procedure of impoverishment, again in light of the fact that poor area depends straightforwardly on normal resources of the earth. A speeding up in destitution easing is basic to break connect among the environment and poverty.

In India, 21.9 percent of the populace lives below the national poverty line in 2011 statistics.

 Click Above


Lack of opportunities for gainful employment in villages and the ecological stresses are leading to an ever-increasing movement of poor families to towns. Megacities are emerging and urban slums are expanding with them. 

In the case of Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra, Dehradun v. State of Uttar Pradesh6, presented the idea of “Sustainable Development”. An NGO named RLEK recorded an argument against limestone quarrying in the valley in 1987. It was expressed that the changeless resources of humanity are not to be depleted in one age. The regular assets ought to be utilized with imperative consideration and care so biology and condition may not be influenced in any genuine manner.

Rapid and unplanned expansion of cities has resulted in the degradation of the urban environment. This has widened the gap between demand and supply of infrastructural services such as housing, transport, education, sewerage, recreational amenities, and infrastructural services, thus depleting the environment resources base of the cities. The result of all this is the growing trend in deterioration of water and air quality, production of wastes, the proliferation of slums and undesirable land-use changes, all of which contribute to urban poverty.

Arbitrary land-use policies

Legitimate utilization of land assets can ease various ecological issues, inability to execute land the board arrangements can prompt land corruption of the most noticeably terrible kind. Extraction from land as in the event of mining exercises leaves them unusable for development and home. These depleted mines demonstrate that the characteristic assets are quick diminishing and leaving the land contaminated beyond repair.

Defective agricultural policies

With the fast development in population in India, there is the comparing increment in the interest for nourishment. In view of this, there is an increment of development of harvests by the utilization of unsafe synthetic concoctions to the dirt. The Land is getting dirtied when splashed by destructive pesticides like DDT. At that point that dirt is presented to overgrazing, to moving to farm, leaving it helpless against disintegration. This prompts tearing in real streams and supplies. This straightforwardly prompts desertification and debasement of land quality and expanded contamination.


Techno-anti-extremism is the convergence of the considerable number of exercises on innovation including industries. The world went into the new period of industrialization around 1760. As per environmentalists the fast contamination of air, land, and water is the consequence of this quick industry arranged a way of life. 

The enterprises like mining, paints and synthetic concoctions are progressively inclined to influence the earth since they used to discharge specific issue, which is known as Respirable Particulate Matter (RPM); these do contaminate the air as well as is breathed in by city tenants. 

It is the primary driver of asthma and lung disease among the urban populace. Indeed, even newborn children are helpless against this. Fly cinders delivered by the electric powerhouses causes lung blockage and contaminates water bodies. This causes the most immediate damage to living beings.


There has been an enormous increment in the private vehicles recently. The more number of vehicles the more is the rate of contamination causing brown haze. This makes conjunctivitis the people. Exhaust cloud is the consequence of vehicular contamination, and hydro-carbons discharged from motors are the significant reason for the formation of low-level ozone that is risky to individuals.


With the turn of the century, there has been an enormous increment to living in urban zones.

Deforestation causes major biological issues the ordinary issue is a carbon-oxygen adjustment of nature. The establishments of the tree hold the earth and foresee its breaking down. Deforestation brings about the loss of the topmost layer of the dirt. The downpour is influenced because of deforestation and it likewise builds air contamination.

Issues in health

The earth influences our wellbeing in different ways. The communication between human wellbeing and condition has been examined and ecological dangers have been demonstrated to influence human wellbeing either straightforwardly or in a roundabout way by presenting individuals to hurtful operators and by disturbing life-supporting biological systems. 

Consistently, five youngsters in creating nations kick the bucket either from intestinal sickness or loose bowels. Consistently, around 100 kids pass on because of introduction to indoor smoke from strong energizes. Consistently, about 1,800 individuals in creating urban communities bite the dust in light of presentation to urban air contamination. Consistently, about 19,000 individuals in creating nations kick the bucket from unexpected poisonings. 

Condition elements are the underlying driver of huge infection trouble, especially in creating nations. An expected 25 percent of death and sickness all-inclusive, and about 35 percent in districts, for example, sub-Saharan Africa, is connected to ecological risks. Some key territories of hazard incorporate the accompanying: 

  • Dangerous water, poor sanitation and lack of cleanliness kill many people all over the world and especially in India. 
  • Indoor smoke from strong energizes slaughters an expected 1.6 million individuals yearly because of respiratory illnesses. 
  • Jungle fever slaughters over 1.2 million individuals yearly, generally African youngsters younger than five. Ineffectively planned water system and water frameworks, insufficient lodging, poor waste transfer and water stockpiling, deforestation and loss of biodiversity, all might contribute elements to the most well-known vector-borne illnesses including jungle fever, dengue, and leishmaniasis. 
  • Urban air contamination created by vehicles, businesses and vitality generation slaughters roughly 800 000 individuals every year. 
  • Accidental intense poisonings execute 355000- individuals all inclusive every year.
  • In making countries, where 66% of these passings occur, such poisonings are connected determinedly with a nonsensical prologue to, and the wrong usage of, toxic engineered inventions and pesticides present in word related just as family unit conditions. 
  • Ecological change impacts including continuously over the top atmosphere events, changed instances of disease and effects on agricultural age, are assessed to cause in excess of 150 000 passings consistently. 
  • The fundamental elements record to urban air contamination are developing ventures and expanding vehicular contamination, businesses discharge and copying petroleum product murders thousand lives and many experiences the ill effects of respiratory harm, heart and lung ailments.
  • In India’s biggest urban communities like Mumbai and Delhi around one-portion of kids under age 3 give indications of exposure to lead.

As a rule, minimal effort answers for condition and medical issues works. For example, simple filtration and sanitization of water at the family level significantly improves the microbial nature of water and diminishes the danger of diarrhoeal sickness requiring little to no effort. Improved stoves diminish air contamination to indoor. Better stockpiling and safe utilization of synthetic concoctions at different network levels decreases exposures to dangerous synthetic substances, particularly among little children, who investigate, contact and taste the items found at home. Moms who get the data they have to comprehend the natural dangers present in their homes and networks are better prepared to make fitting move to lessen or dispose of introduction. 

WHO’s projects and activities on water and sanitation, vector-borne illnesses, indoor air contamination, synthetic security, transport, bright radiation, nourishment, word related well being, sanitation and damage avoidance all location issues basic to the ecological well being and prosperity of youngsters. These projects bolster mindfulness raising, preparing and support; get ready instruments for recognizable proof of key perils and appraisal of well being impacts; and give direction to policymakers, experts and networks on “good practice” solutions.


In the last 65 years due to excess extraction of natural resources environment degradation has been at its peak. It is a known fact that environmental degradation has a direct effect on the health of living beings. We at this time are only left with few places where pollution is less. Human activities are the ultimate driver of environmental degradation. Adverse impacts occurred from dirty water, outdoor and indoor air pollution; deforestation causes soil erosion and natural disaster which claim millions of deaths every year. Urban air pollution has grown in the last few decades is alarming. 

As per the World Bank estimation, between 1995 through 2010, India has gained quicker ground on the planet, in tending to its ecological issues and improving nature quality. However, India has far to go to accomplish regular quality like those had a great time by made countries.


  1. kravchencko and Bonine, Human Rights and the Environment
  2.  (1991) 1 SCC 498
  3.  (1997) 2 SCC 353
  4.  AIR 1987 SC 1109
  5. AIR 1987 AP 171
  6. 1985 AIR 652, 1985 SCR (3) 169



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here