What is Pollution?
Pollution, we hear it every other day at school, college and read about it in newspapers. So what is it? Pollution occurs when pollutants contaminate the natural surroundings; which brings about changes that affect our normal lifestyles adversely. Pollutants are the key elements or components of pollution which are generally 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/ thermal 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, whereas the non-point sources are hard to control. Let us discuss the different types of pollutions, 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 our daily lives for cooking, driving and other industrial activities; releases a huge amount of chemical substances in the air everyday; these pollute the air.
Smoke from chimneys, factories, vehicles or burning of wood basically occurs due to coal burning; this releases sulphur dioxide into the air making it toxic. The effects of air pollution are evident too. Release of sulphur dioxide and hazardous gases into the air 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 from the air; result is increase in asthma and cancer in the lungs.
Water Pollution has taken toll of all the surviving species of the earth. Almost 60% of the species live in water bodies. It occurs due to several factors; 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 nearby water sources have been contaminated by a corporation then it might be a good idea to hire an expert to see your options.
Also spraying insecticides, pesticides like DDT on plants pollutes 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 harms the aquatic beings but it also contaminates the entire food chain by severely affecting humans dependent on these. Water-borne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea have also increased in all places.
Soil pollution occurs due to incorporation of unwanted chemicals in the soil due to human activities. Use of insecticides and pesticides absorbs the nitrogen compounds from the soil making it unfit for plants to derive nutrition from. Release of industrial waste, mining and deforestation also exploits the soil. Since plants can’t grow properly, they can’t hold the soil and this leads to soil erosion.
Noise pollution is caused when noise which is an unpleasant sound affects our ears and leads to psychological problems like 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 occur due to nuclear plant malfunctions, improper nuclear waste disposal, accidents, etc. It causes cancer, infertility, blindness, defects at the time of birth; can sterilise soil and affect air and water.
Thermal/heat pollution is due to the excess heat in the environment creating unwanted changes over long time periods; due to 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 prominent excess 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 increase in pollution weather in air or water. The increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere leads to smog which can restrict sunlight from reaching 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 death of several wildlife species.
2. Human Health : The decrease in quality of air leads to several respiratory problems including asthma or lung cancer. Chest pain, congestion, throat inflammation, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease are some of diseases that can be causes by air pollution. Water pollution occurs due to contamination of water and may 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 greenhouse gases particularly CO2 is leading to global warming. Every other day new industries are being set up, new vehicles come on roads and trees are cut to make way for new homes. All of them, in direct or indirect way lead to increase in CO2 in the environment. The increase in CO2 leads to melting of polar ice caps which increases the sea level and pose danger for the people living near coastal areas.
4. Ozone Layer Depletion:Ozone layer is the thin shield high up 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 int to the atmosphere which contributed to the depletion of ozone layer.
5. Infertile Land : Due to constant use of insecticides and pesticides, the soil may become infertile. Plants may not be able to grow properly. Various forms of chemicals produced from industrial waste is released into the flowing water which also affects the quality of soil.
Pollution not only affect humans by destroying their respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological systems; it also affects the nature, plants, fruits, vegetables, rivers, ponds, forests, animals, etc, on which they are highly dependent for survival. It is crucial to control pollution as the nature, wildlife and human life are precious gifts to the mankind.
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Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.
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Essay on a Pollution Problem
Environmental pollution is one of the main threats for our planet. Pollution destroys the living environment and endangers human existence on Earth. No doubt, the economy finds many benefits in technological development. However, toxic emissions due to the work of factories, transportation, construction sites pollute the environment substantially. As the environmental pollution is a broad topic consisting of many sub-issues, there may be many approaches to building the consistent pollution essay. For instance, the pollution essay may concentrate on the various types of pollution, like sound pollution (noise pollution), water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution etc. Each paragraph of the essay will describe the separate type of the environmental pollution. Another suggestion is writing the pollution essay that highlights the consequences of pollution problems including the global warming effect, natural resources extinction, health problems of people and animals, the destruction of natural ecosystems, etc. The essay may also describe the causes of the pollution problems. Each paragraph, then, will be dedicated to one of the five main causes: industrial and technological development, transportation, agricultural activities, trading activities, and residences of people. Once you have selected the issue for the essay, you may draft the outline and move on to the analysis of the research and literature. The statistical data and approaches to pollution examination transform and improve over the time. So it is significant that you base your essay on credible and up-to-date sources. You may also look online for the essay sample on the pollution topic. However, you are encouraged to perform the research and develop your own paper first. The essay sample may be used as a practical tool and the structural example to follow.
Pollution Essay Sample
The population of our planet is increasing constantly. The population growth, unfortunately, has many adverse effects, one of which is the pollution problems. Pollution is a process of contaminating the environment in a way that it becomes unsafe to use. The contamination usually occurs through the chemical substances; however is not limited to tangible effects. The pollution can also take the form of the light, sound (noise pollution), or heat. The effects of pollution are devastative. The report of the NGO Pure Earth suggests that one of the seven deaths occurs due to pollution. Another comparison shows that pollution kills 60% more people than malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined. In this light, it is important to explore the various types of pollution and its effects on the environment and human beings.
One of the pivotal issues nowadays is the water pollution. The enlargement of the population means more trash and garbage. The rubbish dumps decay and the toxic substances permeate the soil going to the rivers and oceans. Moreover, tons of garbage are thrown directly into the water. There are even special islands for garbage in the oceans.
Even though the technological development offers various approaches to garbage utilization, most of the poor countries do not utilize innovative technologies. Thus, pollution becomes the leading cause of death in underdeveloped low-income countries. Nevertheless, water is contaminated not only due to regular garbage utilization. The plants, factories and mills are the key pollutants of the water. The process water from factories goes to the rivers and seas in neighborhood areas. In some rivers, the water is contaminated to the critical level and is banned from using. The fish and living environment of natural ecosystems are contaminated by dangerous chemicals that causes either the death of the entire ecosystems or hurts the consumers of the contaminated products (seafood, fish, water, salt).
Additionally, water is polluted by pesticides and fertilizations used in agriculture. The devastating effects of water pollution may be decelerated by installing the water purification mechanisms at factories and plants. These efforts should be promoted and enhanced on the governmental level. Moreover, states should develop the global programs of the environment protection as the problem is not limited to a particular territory or state. It is a universal hazard that requires combined efforts.
Another big humanity’s challenge is air pollution. Air consists of nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and inert gases. When the typical structure of air is altered, we can observe the effects of air pollution. The primary reason of air contamination is the effect of the burning fuels. The smoke floats in the air and most people breath it in. Further, it affects the health resulting in respiratory diseases, cancers and other problems. Another type of air pollutants are dangerous gases, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and chemical vapors. Those gases undergo the reactions in the higher atmosphere layers and return to the surface in the form of the dangerous chemicals (acid rains) that ruin the living environment. Moreover, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide create the so-called “greenhouse effect” when the radiation is absorbed while the heat is prevented from escaping. It is a natural process.
However, the high concentration of the gases makes Earth warmer and affects the natural processes on the planet. Thus, air pollution is one of the contributors to the global warming.
One of the least discussed problems is sound pollution. People tend to underestimate this problem because it is not possible to smell, see or touch it. However, noise pollution also has negative effects on the environment and people. The research shows that many illnesses are connected to noise pollution, such as hearing loss, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and speech interference. The industrial noises also affect the lives of animals. For example, whales’ navigation system breaks down due to the sounds of ships. Besides, the industrial noise makes wild species communicate louder which requires additional efforts and decreases their life spans.
The growth of population and technological progress have imprints on the ecological stage of Earth. The extraction of natural sources, work of factories and plants, and other products of human activity result in various environmental problems. The pollution of water, air and sound have extremely negative effects on our environment. The effects of the pollution include acid rains, detrimental diseases and illnesses of people and animals, and global warming. The environmental pollution is the global problem that calls for radical actions for environment protection and rehabilitation. More than that, the problem should be resolved on a global level by the united efforts of the global community.
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