October 27, 2020

Pollution- Types, Causes, Effects and Prevention

The presence of contaminated poisonous gases in the natural environment resulting in unfavorable changes is called pollution. These days pollution is screaming the heights. It has been a serious health issue. The greatest problem that the world is facing in this scenario is environmental rush which is becoming a threat on the whole world. The shattering pollution is causing irreparable damage both to the environment and the society living there.

The harmful material causing pollution can be either natural or due to the causing of human activity. Harmful materials are called pollutants which contaminate the air, water and soil. With the span of time pollution is becoming a world problem. Major types of pollution are air pollution, land pollution and water pollution. Therefore increase in uses and demands have given rise to various other types of pollution such as plastic pollution, noise pollution and light pollution.


Pollution


The adverse situation of pollution in today’s time has been started since ages when early man used fires. If referred to the article of 1983 of the Journal namely “Science” then it specifically explains the high amount of pollution in the prehistoric times by looking at the soot which was found on large amount on ceilings. It is assumed that the soot was accumulated due to insufficient ventilation for the fires.

With the tickling of time the graph of pollution experienced an adverse effect. In Industrial era, the untreated chemicals and wastes from the factories were dumped in the streams. It is commonly said that “Industrial Revolution gave rise to Environmental Pollution”. Hence as a result the increasing pollution is having an adverse and negative effect on both human and animal life.

History of Pollution:

Pollution has been taking places since ages when in prehistoric times people use to follow the norm of “slash and burn”. The pollution has never been such a problematic issue till people started rushing towards the idea of permanent settlement.

With the increase in advancement when coal was started using as fuel caused sufficient and effective air pollution and began to effect the environment when coal was converted to coke for smelting the iron. With result in Middle Ages Europe faced extravagant diseases from plague to cholera and then to typhoid. Time passing by the environment saw a declining graph as the industrialization and congestion of settlement started causing solid wastes in the urban revolution.

If focused on the publication of the book “Silent Spring” written by Rachel Carson’s which specifically limelight the issue of pollution and the damage which the inappropriate use of pesticides is causing which as a result accumulates in the food chain effecting both the human and animal life. As a result of all the happening it is imbalancing the ecosystem.

People had become aware the need to protect the natural environment from the harmful and poisonous acts of human beings.  This had lead to the sustaining the environment and great efforts are put both by the government and the public. Various steps are taken such as waste water treatment, waste management, recycling, air pollution control and solid waste management. Therefore it is observed that all the efforts are excelled by the level of problems countries are facing due to excess of pollution in the environment.

The burden over the land and the sea is increasing due to heavy use of plastic. Not only is this but the emission of harmful gases from the factories and transportation causing heavy destruction to the environment and the overall health being of public.

Types of pollution:

Till now we have learned that pollution is a procedure which contaminates air, water and land making it irreparable to some extent. There are various types of pollution emerging with times which are discussed below:

1.) Air pollution:

The release of harmful and poisonous gases, chemicals, etc in the environment impose serious health issue to the general public. “Air Pollution refers to the physical, chemical and biological change in the environment”. The ratios of different types of gases are present in the natural surroundings, but the increase or decrease of such gases leads to harmful effects on the well being.

Some of the causes of air pollution:

a.) Transportation: The major reason of greenhouse gases is the heavy use of vehicles such as trucks, cars, buses, etc. and this causes various different types of diseases within people.

b.) Factories: The quality and the natural environment is brought to zero due to the poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide, chemicals, etc are released from the industries and factories.

c.) Combustion of fossil fuels: The burning of fossil fuels emits heavy amount of sulphur monoxide.

d.) Household products: For example, a freshly painted house gives the odor of chemicals which pollutes the environment as well as affects the health.

Effects of Air Pollution:

  • Heavy emission of greenhouse gases due to mentioned above reasons has lead to misbalancing the natural environment which has resulted in increasing the temperature which is called Global Warming.
  • Global Warming has lead to submerging various islands and hence increasing the sea levels. In addition to this many glaciers are melting due to increase in Earth’s temperature.
  • Excess of pollution had made extinction of animals or has forced them to shift from their habitat to another place. The emission of pollutants on water bodies also effect the aquatic life.
  • The combustion of fossil fuels emits harmful gases such as sulphur monoxide and nitrogen which later fuse with the natural air resulting in acidic rain.

2.) Land Pollution:

Soil Pollution is referred to the degradation of soil due to manmade chemicals infused in soil. These chemicals affect the quality of the soil and making it worse. Therefore this affects the food chain. As we all are aware of the fact that any chemical present in the soil will directly enter the plants and hence disrupt the food chain.

Causes of Land Pollution:

  • The increase in population has lead to heavy demand of food which is forcing the farmers to produce products using fertilizers and pesticides in order fulfill the quick demands of food. As a result the uses of chemicals are releasing harmful toxins in the soil therefore reducing the quality and degrading the growth of plants.
  • The wastes released from the factories and industries are emitted in the form of solid on the land.
  • The commonly performed practiced “deforestation” leaves the soil exposed to the wind which carries away the essential nutrients from it which results making the land incapable of growing the plants.
  • The household and other solid waste are disposed off irresponsibly which affects the land, degrading the quality of the soil. Therefore there are various types of waste which even takes thousand and millions of years to decompose.

Effects of Land Pollution:

  • Degrades the quality of the soil which makes the land incapable of further vegetation.
  • Effects the natural environment.
  • The excess use of pesticides and fertilizers reduces the producing power of the soil.
  • Deforestation causes change in the rain cycle.
  • The plants which are grown on the contaminated soil effects the food chain causing various diseases in the people.

3.) Noise Pollution:

Noise pollution is the increasing levels of noise which disturbs the natural surrounding making it worsen to handle. Mostly noise pollution is created by unbalanced human activities; therefore at times natural events such as bursting of volcanoes can also result in noise pollution. When the noise coming from vehicles, planes, domestic places and industries reach the higher level that it becomes harmful for the well beings then it is referred as “Noise Pollution”.

According to the reports of World Health Organization it is remarked that noise above 75 decibels is unbearable and reaching up to 120 decibels affects the health. Increase in noise is directly related to the health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, hearing loss, etc.

Noise from construction of buildings, loudspeakers, domestic chores, vehicles, airplanes, industries or factories, etc all constitute to noise pollution which at one level becomes harmful. Underwater noise pollution due to sailing of ships even affects the marine life.

Causes of Noise Pollution:

  • Construction areas and road pavement causes heavy rate of noise in the surroundings.
  • Noise made by animals such barking of dogs causes near about 80 dB of noise.
  • The noise produced by the vehicles on road amounts to most of noise pollution. The noise from horns of cars or other vehicles are most painful noise.
  • The noise produced from the aircraft and jets are the fewer but the decibels are quite high.
  • The noise reaching from pubs and restaurants can also be stressing.

Effects of Noise Pollution:

  • Excess and intolerable noise can affect both human and animal life causing attacks of fatigue, anxiety, depression, etc.
  • Noise pollution affects the health of the people making them face various diseases such as hypertension, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, headaches, etc.
  • Noise Pollution effects the day-to-day ability of human’s performance. This initiates the sleeping behavioral issues.
  • Increase in noise leads to lack of focus and concentration which as a result makes it difficult for people to study.

4.) Water Pollution:

Water pollution refers to the contamination of water due to emerging of chemicals, industrial wastes, sewage, fertilizers and pesticides into the water. This happens due to the activities undertaken by the humans, therefore natural events such as eutrophication also leads to water pollution.

Various human and natural activities lead to depletion of water making the quality poorer which effects the health and toxic the environment.

Causes of Water Pollution:

  • Agriculture causes direct pollutants in the water as the use of pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, herbicides, etc runs off the water.
  • Incapable treatment of sewage water causes water pollution. Therefore the water without being treated goes back to the nature making it more toxic.
  • Major dumping of wastes such as papers, tetra packs, plastic, glass, etc in water streams, seas and lakes leads to water pollution as these wastes takes even hundreds of years to get decomposed.
  • Factories and industries produce a lot chemical and poisonous waste which is dumped into the seas, lakes and canals.
  • Combustion of fossil fuels reacts to acidic rain which flows to lakes, seas and streams and causes water pollution.

Effects of Water Pollution:

  • Water pollution leads to water borne diseases which can be harmful.
  • Water pollution badly affects marine life and improper balance of ecosystem. The higher amount of chemicals changes the quality and the color of the water harming the natural environment.
  • Exposure to such harmful water can affect the general public badly which leads to various diseases such as typhoid, cholera, diarrhea and many skin infections.

Prevention of Pollution:

Sustaining the environment refers to relocating the sources back to nature. Pollution prevention regards to protecting and hence conserving the environment making it better for humans and animals to live in.

Some of the steps for preventing the nature are mentioned below:

  • Using environmental friendly fuels.
  • Switching to public transports in order to minimize the level of air pollution.
  • Following the concept of reuse and recycle.
  • Not opting the method of “slash and burn” as it leads to degrading the quality of the soil.
  • Say No to Plastic Bags.
  • Reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides as it affects the food chain, harming various well beings.

Conclusion:

Sustaining the environment is utterly important to upgrade the quality of nature and society. It contains three stages namely economic development, environmental conversation and social responsibility. It should be sole responsibility of each individual to prevent the environment from depleting.

Helping the planet “Earth” from the hazardous activities of humans can be only protected by taking up as a responsibility. This can start by “Saying No to Plastic Bags” and thus following the norm of “Reuse and Recycle”.

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