Pollution Effect On The Environment


Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment. These harmful materials are called pollutants. The addition of any substance (solid, liquid, or gas) or any form of energy (such as heat, sound, or radioactivity) to the environment at a rate greater than it can be dispersed, diluted, decomposed, recycled, or stored in some harmless form is referred to as pollution, also known as environmental pollution. is the release of toxic substances into the environment. Pollutants are the name for these dangerous substances. pollution, also called environmental pollution

Environmental pollution is the introduction of harmful materials caused by pollutants into the environment. Pollutants are the various impurities that have found their way into the environment due to both human activity and natural causes, thus leading to pollution. These chemical compounds are harmful to both life and the environment.

Although natural occurrences like forest fires and active volcanoes can result in environmental pollution, the word pollution typically suggests that the contaminants have an anthropogenic source—that is, a source produced by human activity. Ever since the first time that large groups of people gathered and stayed for a long time in one location, pollution has been a part of humankind. Indeed, the remains of ancient human communities, such as shell mounds and rubble piles, are often used to identify them. As long as there was enough room for each person or group, pollution was not a major issue. However, pollution became a problem with the creation of permanent settlements by a large number of people, and it has remained a concern ever since.

Plastic bag garbage on beach. (pollution; land fill; trash; water pollution; waste)
One of the most pressing environmental issues facing the earth is the pollution of the waters, lands, and atmosphere. Test your environmental knowledge. Ancient cities were frequently filthy, filled with trash and human waste. When coal was utilized as fuel starting around 1000 CE, it significantly increased air pollution, and when coal was converted to coke for iron smelting starting in the 17th century, it made matters worse. Water and air pollution, as well as the buildup of solid waste, were major issues throughout the 19th century, particularly in crowded urban areas. Pollution, however, became a global issue as a result of the rapid expansion of industrialization and the tremendous rise in the human population.

By the middle of the 20th century, the general public had grown more and more conscious of the importance of preventing pollution in the surroundings of the air, water, and land. In particular, the release in 1962 of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring focused attention on the environmental damage caused by incorrect use of pesticides such as DDT and other persistent chemicals that accumulate in the food chain and alter the natural balance of ecosystems on a global scale. Major environmental laws, such as the Clean Air Act (1970) and the Clean Water Act (1972; United States) were enacted in reaction to reduce and control environmental pollution in many different nations.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988 to help address greenhouse gas emissions, giving voice to the growing conviction of the majority of the scientific community about the reality of anthropogenic global warming. According to a 2018 IPCC special report, since the beginning of modern civilization, average global temperatures have risen by between 0.8 and 1.2 °C (1.4 and 2.2 °F). Most of this warming over the second half of the 20th century can be attributed to human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels.

Types of Pollution
There are different types of pollution, which are either caused by natural events (like forest fires) or by man-made activities (like cars, factories, nuclear wastes, etc.) These are further classified into the following types of pollution:

Besides these 4 types of pollution, other types exist such as

  • light pollution
  • thermal pollution and
  • radioactive pollution.

The latter is much rarer than other types, but it is the deadliest.

Air Pollution

Air pollution refers to the release of harmful contaminants (chemicals, toxic gases, particulates, biological molecules, etc.) into the earth’s atmosphere. These contaminants are quite detrimental and in some cases, pose serious health issues. Some causes that contribute to air pollution are:

  • Burning fossil fuels
  • Mining operations
  • Exhaust gases from industries and factories

The effects of air pollution vary based on the kind of pollutant. But generally, the impact of air pollution ranges from:

  • Increased risk of respiratory illness and cardiovascular problems
  • Increased risk of skin diseases
  • May increase the risk of cancer
  • Global warming
  • Acid rain
  • Ozone depletion
  • Hazards to Wildlife

Among the other types of pollution, air pollution is theorized to have a planet-wide implication. Scientists have even speculated an apocalypse-like scenario where air pollution if left unchecked, can bring about an extreme form of global warming called the runaway greenhouse effect. Though this is purely speculative, it is a phenomenon that has already occurred on Venus.

Water Pollution

Water pollution is said to occur when toxic pollutants and particulate matter are introduced into water bodies such as lakes, rivers, and seas. These contaminants are generally introduced by human activities like improper sewage treatment and oil spills. However, even natural processes such as eutrophication can cause water pollution.

Other significant causes of water pollution include:

  • Dumping solid wastes in water bodies
  • Disposing untreated industrial sewage into water bodies
  • Human and animal wastes
  • Agricultural runoff containing pesticides and fertilizers

In our environment, the effects of water contamination are quite noticeable. Additionally, harmful substances can bioaccumulate in living things and then move up the food chain until they reach people.

Among the different forms of pollution, water pollution has a particularly negative impact on people. For example, a severe episode of water contamination in Japan in 1932 rendered the whole city’s residents permanently ill with neurological disorders and mental illness. Although the initial cause was not clear, acute mercury poisoning was ultimately determined to be the cause. After being discharged into the nearby water, methylmercury eventually bioaccumulated inside the fish. Following the consumption of these fish by the local populace, negative consequences and neurological illnesses started to appear.

Other consequences of water pollution include:

  • Disruption of the ecosystem
  • Threats to marine life
  • Increased risk of water-borne diseases
  • Increases toxic chemicals (such as mercury) in water bodies
  • Eutrophication

Soil Pollution

Soil pollution, also called soil contamination, refers to the degradation of land due to the presence of chemicals or other man-made substances in the soil. The xenobiotic compounds adversely damage the soil’s natural composition and modify it. These have a profound direct or indirect impact on life. For instance, plants will absorb any hazardous compounds found in the soil. It moves up the food chain since plants are environmental producers. Although soil contamination’s impacts are less obvious than those of other types of pollution, their ramifications are nonetheless extremely clear.

Some of the common causes of soil pollution are:

  • Improper industrial waste disposal
  • 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. Specific wastes, such as radioactive waste become particularly hazardous when they are not well-contained. A well-documented example is a nuclear accident in Chornobyl, which has left an area of 2,600 kmuninhabitable for several thousand years.

Other effects of soil pollution include:

  • Loss of soil nutrients, which renders the soil unfit for agriculture
  • Impacts the natural flora and fauna residing in the soil
  • Degrades vegetation due to the increase in salinity of the soil
  • Toxic dust (such as silica dust) can cause respiratory problems or even lung cancer

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution refers to the excessive amount of noise in the surrounding that disrupts the natural balance. Usually, it is man-made, though certain natural calamities like volcanoes can contribute to noise pollution.

In general, any sound that is louder than 85 dB is regarded as harmful. Additionally, how long a person is exposed affects their health. For comparison, the volume of a typical conversation is about 60 dB, while the volume of a jet taking off is about 15o decibels. As a result, noise pollution is more noticeable than other forms of pollution.

Noise pollution has several contributors, which include:

  • Industry-oriented noises such as heavy machines, mills, factories, etc.
  • Transportation noises from vehicles, aeroplaairplanes
  • Construction noises
  • Noise from social events (loudspeakers, firecrackers, etc.)
  • Household noises (such as mixers, TV, washing machines, etc.)

Pollution caused by Noise has now become very common due to dense urbanization and industrialization. Noise pollution can bring about adverse effects such as :

  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Hypertension (high BP)
  • Communication problems

Environmental pollutants

pollutant or novel entity is a substance or energy introduced into the environment that has undesired effects, or adversely affects the usefulness of a resource. These may arise naturally (such as minerals or extracted chemicals like oil) or may have human-caused origins (i.e. manufactured materials or byproducts from biodegradation). When pollutants are present in sufficient quantities to have noticeable detrimental effects on the environment or public health, pollution results.

the various Pollutants we have are:

1. Stock Pollutants

2. Fund Pollutants

3. Light Pollutant

Worst Toxic Pollutants In The World

  1. Carbon Dioxide
  2. Plastic
  3. Heavy Metals
  4. Nitrogenous Wastes
  5.  Ozone.
  6. Sulfur Dioxide
  7. Radioactive Waste


Effect of pollution on the environment

Effects of Air Pollution

Greenhouse gases, such as the methane produced by cattle and the fossil fuels emitted by factories and automobiles, contribute to air pollution and accelerate climate change by increasing the earth’s temperature. Climate change then exacerbates a certain sort of air pollution, creating a vicious cycle. Smog, a yellowish or blackish fog sometimes known as “ground-level ozone,” is produced when sunlight reacts with pollutants from burning fossil fuels. Additionally, as a result of wet conditions and a prolonged pollen season, climate change increases the number of allergic air pollutants, such as mold and pollen.

Other effects are:

  • Air pollution can lead to an imbalance of ecosystems.
  • Eventually, pollution particulates return to earth and contaminate the soil.
  • Acid rain is a result of air pollution and can harm plants. In addition to changing soil chemistry, acid rain also affects plant growth.
  • Air pollution has an impact on animals as well; it can harm reproduction and lead to abnormalities in reproduction.
  • Animals may additionally experience health and respiratory problems as a result of air pollution.
  • Another significant factor contributing to global warming is air pollution. Storms and cyclones, which are more damaging natural disasters, can be brought on by global warming.
  • Burning some chemicals may produce compounds that could cause cancer.

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Effects of Soil Pollution

Animals and plants are endangered by soil pollutants, most of which come from industrial sources, deforestation, and inappropriate waste management. Chemically contaminated soil progressively loses its ability to support plant life, including crops. As a result, residents may become malnourished and food production may be hampered. Anyone who eats food that has been tainted by soil contaminants runs the risk of getting sick. Through skin contact or inhalation, toxic soil can potentially make people sick.

Effects of Water Pollution

Pollutants in water resulting from trash, oil spills, sewaspillpil, ls, and run-off from agricultural fields, construction sites, and factories affect native plant and animal species. Drinking contaminated water caused by sewage overflow may cause sickness and digestive problems in humans. Pollutants such as mercury in fish and seafood can lead to serious health problems, especially in children and pregnant women.

When water is poisoned, many animals die. Six months after the 2010 BP oil spill, which affected 16,000 miles of the U.S. coastline, over 8,000 animals were reported dead. Animals are also often injured or killed by solid waste discarded in the water.

Effects of Car Pollutants on the Environment

Both short-term and long-term environmental consequences are brought on by vehicle pollution. Many different gases and solid materials are released through car exhausts, affecting the environment and human health as well as contributing to global warming and acid rain. Another source of pollution is engine noise and gasoline spillage. The biggest source of air pollution in the US is caused by cars, trucks, and other kinds of transportation, but automobile owners can lessen the environmental impact of their vehicles.

Global Warming

One of the main factors contributing to global warming is car pollution. One-fifth of the United States’ total greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, are produced by cars and trucks. Global temperatures rise as a result of greenhouse gases’ ability to trap heat in the atmosphere. Without greenhouse gases, the Earth would be covered in ice. However, since pre-industrial times, excessive combustion of fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, has increased global temperatures by 0.6 degrees Celsius, or 1 degree F, and this trend will continue over the ensuing decades. Global warming has an impact on agriculture, wildlife, sea levels, and natural environments.

Human Health

Human health is negatively impacted by automobile emissions such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter. High quantities of particulate matter—airborne metal and soot particles—are released by diesel engines. These irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs, induce allergies, and create respiratory issues when extremely small particles lodge deep inside the lungs. Ozone is created when sunlight, nitrogen dioxide, and hydrocarbons react. Ozone is good in the upper atmosphere but bad at ground level. It causes chest discomfort, coughing, and difficulty breathing by inflaming the lungs. Another exhaust gas, carbon monoxide, interferes with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, making it especially deadly to young children and those with heart conditions. Other car pollutants that harm human health include sulfur dioxide, benzene, and formaldehyde. Noise from cars is also harmful, damaging hearing and causing psychological ill-health.

The Effects of Littering on the Environment & Animals

As humans use up natural resources, they also produce waste products that get ingested by the planet’s many ecosystems. Jars, bottles, water pollution, soil runoff, and waste plastic are just a few examples of man-made items and byproducts that can be detrimental to the planet’s ecosystem and the creatures that call it home. The harm may be chemical—fertilizers generating algal blooms—or physical—six-pack rings strangling marine life—but in any case, it may have a long-term negative impact on the local flora and fauna.

Effect of Plastic Waste

Plastic waste, such as supermarket bags, quickly fills landfills and frequently clogs drains. Animals like turtles and dolphins may swallow plastic when it drifts out to sea. Plastic harms the animals’ health by robbing them of nutrition and obstructing their intestines and stomachs. It is indigestible to animals, who typically die as a result of the obstruction. Plastic fragments may also become entangled around the bodies or heads of animals, harming or killing them.

The Effects of Water Pollution on the Environment

The Effects of Water Pollution on Plants & Animals
  • Water pollution is a serious threat impacting over 40 percent of U.S. rivers and 46 percent of lakes, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency figures.
  • Water pollution drastically affects human health; in fact, it can kill. In 2015 alone, a study revealed that waterborne illnesses caused 1.8 million deaths worldwide.
  • It can cause contamination of drinking water – thereby contributing to waterborne illnesses.
  • Water pollution also affects the ecosystem – it can cause a phenomenon called eutrophication. This can cause fish and other aquatic organisms to die.
  • Toxic elements dissolved in water can make their way to humans through fish or other aquatic organisms.
  • Water pollution also leaches chemicals into the soil that may impact the growth of plants or other food crops.

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