What Makes Raw Sewage Fumes Harmful to the Body?
Breathing in raw sewer fumes is not just unpleasant; it is also damaging to the body. Raw sewage is composed of a number of gas compounds, including ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulphide. In high levels, these gases can become toxic. High levels of carbon dioxide and methane, particularly, will displace oxygen. Also, biological contaminants and industrial solvents can get airborne, causing negative health effects.
The Problems Caused by Gases
Ammonia and Hydrogen sulphide have odours forewarning their presence, while carbon dioxide and methane do not. Since carbon dioxide and methane replace air oxygen content, nitrogen in the air increases too. For each five per cent of methane, one per cent oxygen is displaced. The air that many living things breathe contains 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, and decreasing oxygen through displacement can cause asphyxiation as well as tissue damage.
Industrial Toxin Fumes
Any industrial and consumer products poured down the drain can end up along the rest of the sewage. Fire retardants, cleaning products, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and solvents mixed in with other raw sewage might instigate the formation of toxic gas. Vapours from bleach, a cleaning product, are too strong for the respiratory system to take in, and will eventually damage it. Also, once surfactants like alcohol ether sulphate, alcohol ethylate, and alkyl benzene sulphonate become airborne, they can cause the mucous membranes to become irritated.
Airborne Biological Contaminants
Volatilisation is defined as the gaseous loss of one substance to the atmosphere. When raw sewage is agitated, biological contaminants can be volatilised, although this kind of microbial suspension does not last long. When a person breathes suspended microbial contaminants, he or she can get infected with a wide range of micro-organisms and viruses. Parasites and bacteria cause a wide range of diseases that have symptoms such as fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, and cramps. Fungal infections can cause lung problems and other allergic reactions.
Other Ways Raw Sewage Affects the Body
Subtle signs that you have been exposed to gas can include coughing, headaches, mucous membrane irritation, and nausea. These can happen if raw sewage goes back up into a structure. Those working with raw sewage every day may be exposed to a high concentration of fumes, and, therefore, are no strangers to dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, and eye irritation.
Numerous studies have taken a look at the effect raw sewage has on professionals in the sewage treatment field. According to a scientific journal, occupational exposure to fumes, bio-aerosols, sewage dust, and gases were contributors to oxidative stress, a mechanism that leads to lung impairment. Another study said that those who work at wastewater treatment facilities can develop infections pretty fast.
Dealing with Raw Sewage
When raw sewage backs up into the home, the best way to deal with it is to leave it to a professional plumber from a reputed plumbing company. Reputed plumbers have the correct training and, therefore, are capable of making the correct decision on the best procedure to do to sort out a certain plumbing problem.