Pollution has become the most discussed word on our planet in recent times. Everyone from children to presidents are interested in it now. What makes the pollution become discussed so vigorously nowadays. Here, we discuss about pollution and its different kinds in brief. Each kind of pollution shall be discussed in detail under those heads.
In the simplest terms pollution means the addition of harmful substances to our environment /surroundings that make it difficult for us to live in.
There are different kinds of pollution. Some are obvious and others not so much. Let’s discuss some of them here.
Again air that we breathe in daily is not as clean as we want it to be. One would have noticed the higher occurrences of breathing and skin diseases, hotter or colder climates than normal. Have you seen smog hanging over your city? These are just few of the things happening because of Air Pollution.
- Burning of fossil fuels- Our industries run smoothly using coal, charcoal, petroleum and its products and natural gas. Burning these substances gives out energy in large amounts which is so essential. At the same times many noxious chemicals are also released in the smoky residue. When these substances such as sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and minute dust particles are released into the air without being filtered they contaminate the air.
- Smoke fumes released from Vehicles – The most dangerous substance created in the exhaust fumes of a car is carbon monoxide. As the number of cars and other vehicles increase on the road, remember that we are adding to air pollution.
- Cutting down our trees – Trees are particularly, our most magnificent friends in fighting air pollution. This is because they can to an extent clean our air for us. They do this by taking in Carbon dioxide and releasing clean Oxygen. But due to need for land space and for raw material for our factories, these are now being cut down without limits.
- Use of aerosols released Chlorofluorocarbons which are also used in refrigerants. It was the CFCs that caused the hole on the ozone layer.
- A lesser known air pollutant is methane released from swamps and cattle!
Read more about What is Air pollution and its causes
Water is not spared from the effects of pollution. This does not just affect humans but also the aquatic life in our rivers, lakes, ponds, seas and oceans. What causes water pollution?
- Farming residue- The surplus chemical fertilizers, pesticides etc. used in farming run off the land and enter the local water bodies poisoning the water
- Industrial wastes products- the liquid wastes of the industries located near rivers, seas and other water bodies are released directly into them. These should first be treated to remove the toxic by-products and then disposed. But many times this is not followed correctly and leads to water contamination.
- Untreated Household wastes- All cities and towns must have well planned sewage and waste water treatment facilities that clean up the waste produced by residents of that place. If these do not function properly the waste is not treated and then dumped into local water bodies.
- Oil tanker spills- In addition to industrial waste polluting the seas, oil tanker spills caused by natural disasters or manmade accidents create grave danger to the marine wildlife in the oceans. An severe example of this was the BP Oil spill Or Gulf Mexico oil spill (2010)
Read more about What is Water pollution and its causes , effects , types & prevention methods
Did you know that our land was getting polluted affecting our crops, animals and the very food that we eat?
- Commercially driven agricultural practices- These include overuse of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and weedicides. Continuous use of the land season after season without allowing it to replenish itself is also an unhealthy practise.
- Overgrazing by herds
- Dumping solid waste in untended grounds, indiscriminate burning of plastics leave chemical residue in the soil sometimes damaging it beyond repair.
- Heavy industry activity such as oil drilling and mining contribute to land contamination
- Nuclear waste, construction and road debris waste
- This is a subtle kind of pollution where the effects are not obvious but present any way.
- Exposure to constant noise emanating from loud speakers, firecrackers and loud machines lead to increased blood pressure and temporary or long term deafness.
- Psychological stress and sometimes depression also result from excessive noise.
- Even constant honking from vehicles or use of loud volume with headphones can have deleterious effects.
Read more about What is Noise pollution , its causes , effects & solution
Nuclear contamination is one which is not commonly seen but when it occurs it has devastating effects on the whole environment of the area
- It occurs when natural or man-made disasters or accidents cause damage to nuclear plants and reactors. This causes leakage of radioactive material into the air soil and water causing instant damage to all living things in that area.
- The outcome does not end there. The radioactive substances continue to remain active in the environment causing damage for years to come making the land inhabitable.
- Most popular examples of large scale nuclear contamination were the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and more recently Fukushima Daichii Nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.
Read more about What is Nuclear Energy Pollution , its causes , effects and prevention
Again a lesser known type of pollution caused by excessive light at night. These affect the body rhythms and sleep cycles of humans and even other beings.
- Migratory birds are distracted from their usual routes by city lights.
- Excessive lights have been known to affect even children’s sleep cycles.
Can something too hot be harmful? Of course it can .
- Excessive heat generated by engines, machines and industries heating up the atmosphere and changing weather patterns
- Excessively hot effluents released into water bodies raising their temperature of these and destroying their delicate habitat
As we see there has been damage done to the environment. We need to find ways to repair this damage the best we can if we wish to see future generations thriving on Planet Earth. It is important as individuals Communities, corporates and governments to take steps to make sure we can make a difference.
We should be so glad if we happen to be living in a place, where pollution rate is much less. Like in all other countries, the pollution rate of United States has risen to a very great extent. The pollution started ringing its siren, when the country started off its industrial revolution. According to the studies by the end of the year 2014, the state California had the highest rate of pollution among the country.