Environmental pollution is a popular issue after World War II. It can be said that pollution is the result of our social development through the means of science. Pollution is the product of our scientific achievements being applied for the improvement of human facilities.
Science is the root of development of the human society and it also the cause which has brought up many problems in the human society. One such havoc caused by the social development of the human society is pollution. Environmental pollution has become the biggest problem to the human race on this planet. Pollution is adding impurity to our environment; our environment consists of earth, water, air, plants and animals. Pollution in our environment will hamper the core of existence of man and nature.
Due to deforestation earth is becoming warmer; if this continues our earth will become a desert or will be covered with sea and will cause destruction of mankind.
Pollution is one of the biggest killers, affecting more than 100 million worldwide.
Pollution in the environment is the presence of contaminants in the natural environment, which causes adverse changes and health hazards to human beings and nature.
Pollution is the circumstance where the natural components in the environment are damaged or replaced by hazardous chemical substances or energy which can create a imbalance in the system and number of health hazards to nature and humans. Such components are known as pollutants and may be gases (causes air pollution); solids/liquids (can cause water and soil pollution) or noise (causing noise pollution). All these components cause imbalance to the natural environment either directly or indirectly.
There are many causes for pollution.
- Air pollution can be caused by both human and anthropogenic sources.
- The main contributors for air pollution are human-made pollutants due to activities like combustion, construction; mining, agriculture and warfare are significant.
- Emissions from motor vehicles are one of the leading causes of air pollution.
- Pollution sources that are stationary include chemical plants, coal-fueled power plants, petrochemical plants, oil refineries, nuclear waste disposal, large live stock farms, incinerators, factories producing PVC, metals, plastics and other heavy industry.
- Pollution from agriculture comes from clear felling, burning and spraying of pesticides and herbicides. Humans are the primary cause of global warming since 1950s.
- Soil contaminants include chlorinated hydrocarbons, heavy metals, solid hospital wastes, lead, fuel. Ordinary landfills are the source of chemical substances entering the soil environment.
- Water pollution can be caused by discharge of toxic pollutants like pesticides, heavy metals and non-degradable chemical compounds into fresh or ocean waters.
- The sources of these can be industries, chemical, heavy metal, hospital wastes. They also can be untreated or partially treated sewage water.
Pollutants are substance or energy which when introduced into the environment causes undesired effects or adverse effects on useful resources. These pollutants may be gases, liquids, solids or high pitched sounds. Gaseous pollutants are produced during the manufacturing process by most industries. Gaseous pollutants are also emitted by vehicles and burning of fuel and other substances. Some of the common gaseous pollutants are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia gas.
The major types of pollution are as below:
Air Pollution : It is caused by the release of chemicals and particulate matter into the atmosphere. Gaseous pollutants include carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, CFCs,nitrogen oxides,etc. Gaseous pollutants are usually produced by industry and motor vehicles.
Noise Pollution : includes roadway noise, aircraft noise, industrial noise and high intensity sonar.
Soil Pollution : occurs due to release of chemicals by spill or underground leakage.
Water Pollution : is caused due to discharge of waste water from industrial and commercial waste into surface waters; untreated discharge of domestic sewage, chemicals into flowing surface waters and disposal of waste and leaching into ground water; eutrophication.
Thermal Pollution : is the change of temperature in the natural water bodies caused by human influence.
Light Pollution : Light pollution includes light breaching, over illumination and astronomical interfere.
Littering : Littering is throwing of inappropriate man-made objects into public and private properties.
Radioactive Contamination : is a result of nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons research, development and manufacture.
Visual Pollution : It can result due to the presence of overhead power lines, billboards, open trash, and municipal waste.
- Impure air can kill many organisms including human beings.
- Pollution can cause heart disease, throat inflammation, respiratory disease, congestion, and chest pain,. Water pollution cause due to contamination or drinking water by untreated sewage cause about 14,000 deaths per day.
- Oil spills can cause skin irritations and rashes. Noise pollution can cause hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress, and sleep disturbance.
- Mercury contamination can cause developmental defects in children and neurologic problem.
- Older people are more susceptible to air pollution.
- Pollution caused due to lead and other heavy metals cause neurological problems.
- Chemical and radioactive contamination can cause cancer and birth defects.