One of the serious issues faced by our modern world is environmental pollution, and it is one the most significant challenges that the world is facing in our day. Without a doubt, Environmental pollution has existed for centuries. But, it began to be a severe issue following the industrial revolution in the 19th century. Pollution generally takes place when pollutants pollute the natural surroundings, and it can bring about changes that affect our everyday lifestyles unfavorably. Environmental pollution also results in environmental degradation. Evidence suggests that since the industrial revolution, environmental pollution has been growing day by day and resulting in severe damage to the earth. Hazardous waste, toxic chemicals, suspended particles are affecting both humans and animals on daily basis. Many of the toxins, chemical and plastic have found their way in ecological food chain. traces of such harmful substances are found in living organisms which is a serious problem.
Pollutants are the main elements of pollution which are usually waste materials of diverse types. Environmentalists consider that pollution can disturb our ecosystem and also the steadiness in the environment. With modernization and urban growth, the rise of factories across the world, the development in the field of technology, the increasing use of vehicles and growth in our lives, pollution has hit the highest point. Environmental pollution is a primary reason for giving rise to global warming and many if the incurable human diseases. Pollution happens in different forms such as air, water, soil, radioactive, light, noise, and heat.
The effects of pollution are undoubtedly many and extensive. Extreme levels of pollution are causing scores of harm to human health, animal health, tropical rainforests, as well as the large environment. All kinds of pollution including air, water, soil pollution, etc. have an impact on the environment. Following are main types of pollution:
- Air Pollution
- Water Pollution
- Land Pollution (soil pollution)
- Noise Pollution
- Radioactive/ Nuclear Pollution
- Thermal Pollution, etc
- Light pollution
One of the most common types of pollution is water pollution. Generally, water pollution is the contagion of any body of water including lakes, groundwater, sea, oceans, etc. A few examples of water pollution include raw sewage and waste water running into the lake or streams; Industrial waste drips polluting groundwater, the illicit putting of stuff or items within bodies of water, etc. The most explicit kind of water pollution affects surface waters including oceans, lakes, and rivers which are used as drinking water. Sewage, Nutrients, Chemical waste, radioactive waste, etc. can make water polluted. Water pollution also results in death of water bodies, kill organisms and fish, crabs, birds; seagull.s, dolphins, etc.
Increased use of non degradable material and especially the use of plastic is a large contributor in water pollution. Plastic material such as carry bags, plastic straw, bottles etc are choking our drains and harming marine and aquatic life. Serious problems have emerged because of increased plastic content in aquatic organisms. The increased level of contaminants in water and exploiting existing natural resources has resulted in water crisis in many urban areas. This has resulted in acute shortage of drinking water or high level of contamination which makes the water unfit for drinking purpose. Increased soil pollution too have an direct impact on water quality as the underground water gets affected by those toxic contaminants. This type of pollution also results in various types of environmental degradation
Air Pollution is another main environmental pollution faced by our world today. Air pollution takes place when damaging stuff including particulates and biological molecules are dumped into Earth’s atmosphere. It results in diseases, allergies or premature death in humans. Air pollution can bring harm to other living organisms such as animals and food crops that we eat. In general, air pollution is the pollution of air by smoke and dangerous gases, chiefly oxides of carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen. Exhausting fumes from vehicles, natural gas, the burning of fossil fuels, Radiation spills or nuclear accidents, destructive off-gassing from things such as paint, plastic production, and so on can cause air pollution.
Greenhouse effect, global warming are well known issues cause because of burning of fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, natural gas resulting in increased emission of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, heavy metals in atmosphere. Out of various kinds of pollution, air pollution is the major contributor to global warming.
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Soil Pollution is severe environmental pollution that our world is facing now. Soil pollution takes place when the existence of toxic chemicals, pollutants or impurities in the soil is in high. It presents a high risk to plants, wildlife, humans and indeed, the soil itself. The surplus, escalating the use of chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers is one of the main features causing soil pollution.
The primary cause why the soil becomes impure is on account of the presence of human-made waste. Human-made waste products are full of chemicals, and it can lead to soil pollution. Industrial activity, agricultural activities, waste disposal, accidental oil spills, acid rain, etc. are the main reasons for soil pollution. Effects of soil pollution include the effect on the health of humans, effect on the growth of plants, decreased soil fertility, toxic dust, changes in soil structure, etc.
Massive cutting of trees, referred to as deforestation is a major contributor of land pollution and soil pollution. The roots of trees which binds the soil gets lost with time because of running water & also because of strong winds. In hilly and mountain areas, trees play even a much more important role and keeps big rocks in place. Because of activities such as blasic, cutting of trees and construction in hilly areas, occurrences of landslides have increased.
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Noise pollution has become more of an environmental issue since the industrial age. It is disturbing or extreme noise that can harm the activity or balance of human as well as animal life. The cause of most outdoor noise globally is primarily originated from machines and transportation systems, motor vehicles engines, factory machine sounds, aircraft, and trains. Noise pollution can result from machines, construction activities, and music performances. Noise pollution can cause tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, hypertension, high-stress levels, and other destructive effects on humans. It causes uneasiness and damage to living being’s mental and physical health.
Radioactive/ Nuclear Pollution
Radioactive pollution is a different type of pollution, it is caused because of radioactive contamination (radiological contamination). Such pollution is not very common in everyday life but of particular concern where radioactive material and radioactive substances are used. The risk of radioactive contamination increases in vicinity of Nuclear thermal power plants, factories, in major hospitals etc and can cause serious problems if the radiation and exposure is not controlled. Generally, the use of such harmful substance is very careful manner in controlled environment. This is because of the widespread and long lasting damage in case of any leak or contact with such substance. Dealing with radioactive waste becomes particularly important because of the lack of safe disposal of such waste, thus mishandling of radioactive waste can cause huge damage.
Some other Main types of pollution that we must be careful include:
- Light pollution: It is a broad term that denotes many problems that are caused by the useless, ugly, and pointless use of artificial light. Specific types of light pollution consist of light trespass, over-illumination, glare, light clutter, and sky glow.
- Thermal pollution. It denotes the sudden increase or drops off in the hotness of a natural body of water which may be ocean, lake, river, sea or pond by human influence. A general reason of thermal pollution is the use of water as a coolant by power plants and business firms.
- Radioactive pollution: It can happen because of the release of radioactive stuff or high-energy elements into the air, water, or soil on account of excessive human activity, either by mistake or intentionally.
Considering the large impact of various type of pollutions, not only developed countries like United States, United Kingdom, Japan etc needs to be concerned but each and every single individual should care about it. It is a collective responsibility to save our natural resources. United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals also puts emphasis on saving environment.