Rising ‘pollution’ is one of the major challenges in the modern world. Pollution poses a major threat to our ecosystem. It is important to address the issue of pollution for ensuring a bright future for the upcoming generation.
Environmental pollution can adversely impact human health, it can cause several respiratory infections. Allergies, asthma, eye irritation and nasal obstructions are after effects of pollution.
It destroys animal habitats. Phenomena like global warming and acid rains endanger our whole ecosystem. Air, water, noise, radioactive, and soil pollution are the five major types of pollution.
Air pollution or contamination of air is the most prominent type of pollution. Inorganic and organic particles, gasses like ammonia, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and chlorofluorocarbons are the major air pollutants.
Causes of Air Pollution
Smoke emitted by factories and vehicles are a major source of air pollution. Smoke produced by burning woods and atomic plants are also hazardous to the environment.
Effects of Air Pollution
Both natural and human made factors contribute significantly to air pollution. It affects human health adversely, mainly the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Pollution related illnesses include lung cancer, heart diseases, cognitive impairment, depression, and adverse perinatal outcomes.
Air pollution is responsible for climate change, acid rain and ozone layer depletion.
How to control air pollution?
- Promote use of renewable sources of energy. (For example solar power, wind energy etc ..)
- Construct long fireplaces in industries.
- Plant trees on roadsides and at homes.
- Prefer public transport over private vehicles.
Human activity is responsible for water pollution or aquatic pollution. Water pollution negatively impacts its supply chain and usage. Reservoirs, lakes, rivers and seas are examples of water bodies.
Causes of Water Pollution
Sewage discharges, industrial and agricultural releases, and urban runoff are primary reasons for water pollution.
Water pollution can be divided into two categories, groundwater pollution and surface water pollution. Dumping wastewater in water bodies will endanger aquatic habitats. Using dirty water for drinking, bathing, and washing increases the risk of contracting waterborne diseases.
Effects of water pollution
Water pollution will affect the environment in a negative manner. There will be shortage of drinking water and an increase in waterborne diseases. It may even lead to eutrophication (overabundance of nutrients) killing fishes and other aquatic animals.
How to control water pollution?
- By managing water consumption.
- It is mandatory to cut back on wastewater output.
- By minimizing use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
- Avoid dumping plastic materials in water bodies.
Noise pollution is also referred to as sound pollution. The spread of noise has varying effects on human or animal activities, mostly harmful.
Causes of Noise pollution
Noise pollution or noise disintegration may be the result of poor urban design. Loud music, engines and horns of vehicles, electric generators etc are the major reasons for noise pollution in residential areas. Several other human ‘inventions’ contribute largely to noise disintegration.
Effects of Noise Pollution
Noise pollution can affect the health and behavior of individuals. Health issues associated with noise pollution include heart problems, high blood pressure and irregular sleep patterns. Cognitive function also gets affected by noise pollution. Noise exposure at work can cause hearing loss and ear bleeding as well.
How to control noise pollution?
- Improving vehicle design can help in reducing road traffic noise.
- Sound-proofing technology helps in decreasing noise pollution.
- Prohibiting loud music, loud speakers and night-time use of electrical equipment.
- Limiting the usage of firecrackers helps in reducing both air and noise pollution.
- A ‘greenbelt’ of trees can function as a noise absorber.
The presence of radioactive chemicals in unanticipated or undesirable places is referred to as radioactive contamination or radiological pollution.
Radioactive decay of the pollutants proves harmful for the environment. The various forms of radiation and their energies prove fatal for living beings on the planet.
Causes of Radioactive Pollution
Natural and man-made factors are responsible for radioactive pollution. Detonation of a nuclear bomb or a containment breach will contaminate the environment and prove harmful for the living organisms. Some striking examples for contaminated regions are areas around the Chernobyl and Mayak nuclear disasters.
Effects of Radioactive Pollution
Low levels of radiation exposure might only affect the cell membrane and cause minor skin irritation. Acute symptoms of atomic radiation also include wounds brought on by nausea, diarrhea, hair and nail loss. On the contrary, high radiation exposure can swiftly kill the victim. In such cases, the victim dies of anemia, infection or bleeding. When the soil gets contaminated, the nutrients are destroyed making the soil poisonous and infertile.
How to prevent radioactive pollution?
- Make use of proper radioactive waste disposal techniques.
- Radioactive materials should be marked with a warning label, proper guidelines should be given for handling it carefully.
- Nuclear waste can be recycled. For example, it can be used as fuel in another reactor. Such practices help us in protecting the environment.
- Protective clothing should be provided for workers in nuclear power plants.
Soil contamination or pollution is caused due to the presence of human-made chemicals or as a result of some other changes in the natural soil environment.
Causes of Soil Pollution
Industrial activities, agrichemicals, and inappropriate waste disposal systems are the primary causes of soil pollution. Petroleum hydrocarbons, insecticides, lead, and a few other heavy metals are the major soil pollutants.
Effects of Soil Pollution
Several health hazards and pollution of water supplies beneath the soil are the major damages due to soil pollution. To add on to it, plants growing in soils with high concentrations of heavy metals tend to transport toxic metals up the food chain!
How to control soil pollution?
- Minimal usage of fertilizers and pesticides.
- Developing efficient cropping methods.
- Proper waste disposal.
- Managing grazing and other forest activities.
- Planting grasses which helps in binding soil along rivers and slopes (for avoiding erosion).
It’s important to act responsibly for building a clean and green environment!
Check your knowledge
Answer) Air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, radioactive pollution & soil pollution.
Answer) Smoke emitted by factories and vehicles are a major source of air pollution.
Answer) Industrial activities, agrichemicals, and inappropriate waste disposal systems are the primary causes of soil pollution.