With the advancement of society, the quality of our natural resources has been degrading. The quality of living has been improved a lot with technological innovations and so are the environmental and health hazards- due to pollution.
In this article, let us have a glance at pollution, its causes, types of pollution and other related details about pollution. Also, the effects of pollution on the environment and living beings are given in detail.
What is Pollution?
Pollution can be defined as the introduction of substances that contaminates the environment and cause adverse effects on the natural surrounding. Pollution not only damages the ecology but also affects the living conditions of living beings to a great extent. The substances that cause pollution are called pollutants which can be solid, liquid or gases.
Pollution can be of several forms and if left unchecked, can cause different environmental hazards. Pollution can be either caused by natural events (like forest fires, etc.) or by man-made activities (like cars, factories, nuclear wastes, etc.).
Types of Pollution
The major forms of pollution include land, air and water. In recent times, noise, light and plastic pollutions are also garnering huge attention from the environmentalists. Each of these types is explained below.
Air pollution refers to the addition of contaminants (chemicals, harmful gases, particulates, biological substances, etc.) in the atmosphere which pose a great threat to both society and health. Some causes that contribute to air pollution are:
- Burning of fossil fuels
- Mining operations
- Gases from industries and factories
The effects of air pollution are varying and pose extreme threats to living standards. Some effects of air pollution are:
- Health problems like respiratory and heart problems
- Global warming and acid rain
- Ozone depletion
- Hazards to wildlife
Several measures have been taken to keep air pollution in check and it is extremely important for every individual to prevent air pollution to keep the air healthy and breathable.
Also, read about Steps to Control Air Pollution
The contamination of water bodies with harmful pollutants refers to water pollutions. The introduction of contaminants is generally due to human activities like improper sewage treatment, oil spills in water bodies, etc. Few of the causes that contribute to the pollution of water are:
- Dumbing of solid wastes in water bodies
- Disposal of toxic sewage water from industries
- Oil leakage from the cargo ships
- Domestic Wastes
- Human and animal wastes
- Agricultural wastes containing pesticides and fertilizers
These reasons are major sources of water pollution. The effects are varying and deadly. Some effects of water pollution on our environment and on living beings are:
- Threatens the marine life
- Disrupts the ecosystem
- Risks the health of living beings
- Causes several water-borne diseases
- Increases the mercury level in water bodies
It is necessary to understand that the effects of water pollution are not immediate and can take years to show its impact. It is important for all individuals to take measures and try reducing water pollution.
Also, read about Water Pollution And Its Control
Soil pollution, also called soil contamination refers to the degradation of land due to the presence of chemicals or other human-made substances in the soil. The xenobiotic substances alter the natural composition of soil and affect it negatively. Some of the common causes of soil pollution are:
- Improper waste disposal by industries (electronic and nuclear wastes)
- Oil Spills
- Acid rain which is caused by air pollution
- Mining activities
- Intensive farming and agrochemicals (like fertilizers and pesticides)
- Industrial accidents
The effects of soil pollution are numerous and hazardous. It affects both the natural environment and living beings negatively. Some of the most notable hazards of soil pollution are:
- Loss of soil nutrients
- Affects the natural flora and fauna residing in the soil
- Degrades vegetation due to the increase of salinity of the soil
- Creates toxic dust
- Soil becomes unfit for agriculture
These were only a few effects of soil contamination. As soil pollution can lead to deadly consequences, it is important for every individual to preserve the soil and prevent the alteration in the soil structure.
Also Read about Soil Profile
Noise pollution is generally man-made and refers to the excessive amount of noise in the surrounding that causes disruption in the natural balance. In terms of decibels, noise is a sound which is above 80 decibels. Noise pollution has several contributors which include:
- Industrialization noises from heavy machines, mills, factories, etc.
- Transportation noises from vehicles, aeroplanes, etc.
- Construction noises
- Noise from social gatherings due to loudspeakers, firecrackers, etc.
- Household noises due to mixers, TV, washing machines, etc.
The noise pollution has now become very common due to heavy urbanization and improper planning. Noise pollution can cause adverse effects on living beings like:
- Causes hearing problems
- Sleeping disorders
- Communication problems
- Increases blood pressure and heartbeat rate.
Learn more about Pollution, its types, causes, effects on our environment, and other related topics @ BYJU’S Biology