What is Pollution

waste management problem

Pollution, we hear it every day at school and read about it in newspapers. So what is it? Pollution occurs when pollutants contaminate the natural surroundings.

What does it mean for our normal lifestyles? Pollutants are the key elements or components of pollution which are the waste materials of different forms. Pollution disturbs our ecosystem and the balance in the environment. With modernization and development in our lives pollution has reached its peak, giving rise to global warming and human illness.

Pollution occurs in different forms; air, water, soil, radioactive, noise, heat and light. Every form of pollution has two sources of occurrence, the point and the non-point sources. The point sources are easy to identify, monitor and control, the non-point sources are hard to control. Let us discuss the different types of pollution, their causes and effects on mankind and the environment as a whole.

Types & Causes of Pollution

Air Pollution is the most prominent and dangerous form of pollution. It occurs due to many reasons. Excessive burning of fuel which is a necessity of daily living for cooking, driving and other industrial activities releases a huge amount of chemical substances in the air everyday and these pollute the air.

Smoke from chimneys, factories, or vehicles burning. This releases sulfur dioxide into the air making it toxic. The effects of air pollution are obvious too. Global warming and acid rain causes global warming and acid rain, which in turn have increased temperatures, erratic rains and droughts worldwide, making it tough for the animals to survive. We breathe in every polluted particle of the air, resulting in asthma and cancer in the lungs.

Water Pollution has taken over the earth. Almost 60% of the species live in water. It occurs due to several factors as the industrial wastes dumped into the rivers and other water bodies cause an imbalance in the water leading to its severe contamination and death of aquatic species. If you suspect that water sources have been contaminated, then it might be a good idea to hire an expert to see your options.

Also spraying insecticides and pesticides pollute the ground water system and oil spills in the oceans have caused irreparable damage to the water bodies. Eutrophication is another big source, it occurs due to daily activities like washing clothes, utensils near lakes, ponds or rivers. This forces detergents to go into water which blocks sunlight from penetrating, thus reducing oxygen and making it inhabitable.

Water pollution not only affects the aquatic environment, but it also contaminates the entire food chain by severely affecting humans. Water-borne diseases like cholera, diarrhea have also increased in all places.

Soil pollution occurs due to incorporation of unwanted chemicals into the soil from human activity. Use of insecticides and pesticides absorbs the nitrogen compounds from the soil. Release of industrial waste, mining and deforestation also exploit the soil.

Since plants cannot grow properly, they cannot hold the soil and this leads to soil erosion. Noise pollution is caused when noise has an unpleasant sound which affects our ears and leads to psychological problems such as stress, hypertension, hearing impairment, etc. It is caused by machines in industries, loud music, etc.-

Radioactive pollution is highly dangerous when it occurs. It can happen due to nuclear plant malfunctions, improper nuclear waste disposal, accidents, etc. It causes cancer, infertility, blindness, defects at the time of birth, it can sterilize soil and affect air and water. That’s why there is an increase of dumpster rental in California, as these are used to make sure junk and waste materials are properly discarded to the local landfill.

Thermal pollution is due to excess heat in the environment coming from the huge number of industrial plants, deforestation and air pollution. It increases the earth’s temperature, causing drastic climatic changes and extinction of wildlife.

Light pollution occurs due to excessive illumination of an area. It is largely visible in big cities, on advertising boards and billboards, in sports or entertainment events at the night. In residential areas the lives of the inhabitants is greatly affected by this. It also affects the astronomical observations and activities by making the stars almost invisible.

Effects of Pollution

  1. Environment Degradation: Environment is the first casualty for increasing pollution in the air or water. The increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere leads to the fall of the earth. Thus preventing plants in the process of photosynthesis. Gases like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide can cause acid rain. Water pollution in terms of oil spill may lead to the death of several wildlife species.
  2. Human Health: The decrease in air quality leads to asthma or lung cancer. Chest bread, congestion, throat inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disease are some diseases that can be caused by air pollution. Water pollution occurs due to contamination of water and can pose skin related problems including skin irritations and rashes. Similarly noise pollution leads to hearing loss, stress and sleep disturbance.
  3. Global Warming: The emission of CO2 is leading to global warming. Every other day are new cars and new vehicles. All of them in a direct or indirect way do increase CO2 in the environment. The increase in CO2 leads to the melting of the polar ice caps which increases the sea level.
  4. Ozone Layer Depletion: The ozone layer is the thin shield in the sky that stops ultra violet rays from reaching the earth. As a result of human activities, chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were released to the atmosphere which contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer.
  5. Infertile Land: Due to the constant use of insecticides and pesticides, the soil may becomes infertile. Plants may not be able to grow properly. Various forms of chemicals produced by industrial waste are also being introduced into the water, which also affects the quality of the soil.

Pollution not only affects humans by destroying their respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological systems, it also affects the nature, plants, fruits, vegetables, rivers, lakes, forests, animals, etc, on which we are highly dependent for survival. It is crucial to control pollution as the nature, wildlife and human life are precious gifts to the mankind.

If only we could respect wild life more! Urban sprawl represents, along with intensive agriculture, one of the main damage to soil quality. In Europe 9% of the territory is artificial. This means that instead of accommodating nature or fields, the soil supports arrangements that make it partially or completely impermeable. This nibble is progressing four times faster than population growth and is accelerating. Between 2006 and 2014, 60 000 hectares of agricultural land and 20 000 hectares of natural areas disappeared each year.

Every ten years, the equivalent of an average region disappears. Urbanization, which affects 80% of agricultural land, concerns land with the best agronomic potential, fertile land and peripheral urban areas. Between staying or eating, should we choose? Not really: a better thought out development, repopulated city centers, depolluted and redeveloped urban wasteland are all solutions in face of this gourmand urbanization of soils.

Pollution, we hear it every day at school and read about it in newspapers. So what is it? Pollution occurs when pollutants contaminate the natural surroundings. What does it mean for our normal lifestyles? Pollutants are the key elements or components of pollution which are the waste materials of different forms. Pollution disturbs our ecosystem…