BlogNEETEnvironmental pollution: Air, water and soil pollution

Environmental pollution: Air, water and soil pollution

Environmental Pollution is defined as introducing contaminants into the natural environment that results in negative change. Pollution can be any substance (solid, liquid, or gas) or energy (such as radioactivity, heat, sound, or light).

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    Pollutants are either foreign substances/energies or contaminants that exist naturally. . Although natural events can cause environmental pollution, the term pollution generally implies that the contaminants have an anthropogenic source — that is, a source created by human activities. Pollution is frequently classified as either point source or nonpoint source pollution.

    Pollution killed 9 million people worldwide in 2015. Air pollution, light pollution, litter, noise pollution, plastic pollution, soil contamination, radioactive contamination, thermal pollution, visual pollution, and water pollution are all significant types of pollution.

    Air pollution is caused by both natural and man-made (anthropogenic) factors. Human-made pollutants from combustion, construction, mining, agriculture, and warfare, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly important in the air pollution equation.

    Automobile emissions are a significant cause of pollution in the atmosphere. Mexico and Japan are at the top of the list of air pollution emissions. The primary stationary pollution sources are chemical plants, coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, petrochemical plants, nuclear waste disposal, incinerators, large livestock farms (dairy cows, pigs, poultry, etc.), and PVC factories, metals production factories, plastics factories, and other heavy industry.

    Agricultural air pollution is caused by modern practices such as clear-felling, burning natural vegetation, and pesticide and herbicide spraying.


    A natural disaster can also cause environmental Pollution. Hurricanes, for example, frequently involve sewage contamination of water and petrochemical spills from ruptured boats or automobiles. When coastal oil rigs or refineries are involved, larger-scale and environmental damage is not uncommon.

    When accidents occur, some sources of pollution, such as nuclear power plants or oil tankers, can produce widespread and potentially hazardous releases. In the case of noise pollution, the motor vehicle is the dominant source class, accounting for approximately 90% of all unwanted noise globally.

    While carbon dioxide is necessary for photosynthesis, it is also referred to as pollution because increased gas levels in the atmosphere affect the Earth’s climate. Disruption of the environment can also highlight the link between pollution areas normally classified separately, such as water and air pollution. Recent research has looked into the possibility of long-term rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide causing minor but significant increases in the acidity of ocean waters, as well as the effects on marine ecosystems.

    Environmental Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the environment that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms or harm the environment. These contaminants can take the form of chemical substances or energy such as noise, heat, or light. Pollutants can be naturally occurring substances or energies, but they are considered pollutants when they exceed natural levels.

    Pollution occurs when the environment cannot promptly process and neutralize harmful byproducts of human activity (poisonous gas emissions) without causing structural or functional damage to its system.

    The other cause of environmental pollution is that the natural environment does not know how to decompose unnaturally generated elements (i.e., anthropogenic pollutants). On the other hand, humans do not know how to decompose these pollutants artificially.

    It may take many years for the environment to attempt to decompose the pollutants; in one of the worst cases, radioactive pollutants, it may take thousands of years for decomposition to be completed. It is essential first and foremost because it has a negative impact on critical environmental services such as the provision of clean air and clean water, both of which are essential to life on Earth as we know it. People are to blame for pollution.

    Water pollution has an impact on our environment because it affects the living conditions of people and plants. Pollution has the potential to cause our environment to begin and end. How will we make paper and grow vegetables if we don’t have clean water for plants and trees? This is why the big idea impacts the environment, and people are the primary source of pollution.

    Types of environmental pollution

    As previously stated, there are various types of environmental pollution, either caused by natural events (such as forest fires) or by man-made activities (like cars, factories, nuclear wastes, etc.) These are further subdivided into the following pollution types:

    • Pollution in the Air
    • Pollution in the Water
    • Pollution of the Soil
    • Pollution caused by noise

    Aside from these four types of environmental pollution, there are also light pollution, thermal pollution, and radioactive pollution. The latter is much rarer than the others but is the most lethal.

    Environmental pollution

    Air pollution

    The release of harmful contaminants (chemicals, toxic gases, particulates, biological molecules, and so on) into the earth’s atmosphere is called air pollution. These contaminants are incredibly harmful and, in some cases, pose serious health risks. Some of the factors that contribute to air pollution are as follows:

    • The use of fossil fuels
    • Exploration and mining
    • Exhaust gases emitted by industries and factories

    The effects of air pollution differ depending on the type of pollutant. However, the widespread impact of air pollution ranges from:

    • The risk of respiratory illness and cardiovascular problems is increased.
    • Skin diseases are becoming more common.
    • Cancer risk may be increased.
    • Warming of the planet
    • acidic Rain
    • Depletion of ozone
    • Wildlife dangers

    Among the other types of pollution, air pollution is thought to have a global impact. Scientists have even speculated on an apocalyptic scenario in which unchecked air pollution can cause an extreme form of global warming known as the runaway greenhouse effect. Though this is purely speculative, it is a known occurrence on Venus.

    Water pollution

    Water pollution is the introduction of toxic pollutants and particulate matter into bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and seas.

    Human activities such as improper sewage treatment and oil spills are commonly responsible for introducing these contaminants.

    Water pollution can, however, be caused by natural processes such as eutrophication. Other significant sources of water pollution include:

    • Dumping solid waste into bodies of water
    • Disposing of untreated industrial sewage into bodies of water
    • Waste from humans and animals
    • Pesticide and fertilizer-laden agricultural runoff

    Water pollution has a significant impact on our environment. Furthermore, toxic chemicals can bioaccumulate in living beings and make their way up the food chain, eventually reaching humans.

    Water pollution, more than any other type of pollution, has the most disastrous effects on humans. For example, in 1932, a severe case of water pollution rendered an entire city in Japan unable to function for decades due to neurological diseases and mental illness. However, the immediate cause was unknown, but it was eventually determined to be acute mercury poisoning. Methylmercury was dumped into the bay and ultimately bioaccumulated inside the fish. These fish were then consumed by the local population, resulting in the manifestation of ill effects and neurological diseases.

    Other adverse effects of water pollution include:

    • Ecosystem disintegration
    • Marine Life Threats
    • Water-borne disease risk has increased.
    • Increases the concentration of toxic chemicals (such as mercury) in bodies of water
    • Eutrophication

    Soil pollution

    Land degradation caused by the presence of chemicals or other man-made substances in the soil is referred to as soil pollution, also known as soil contamination. The xenobiotic substances alter the natural composition of soil and have a negative impact on it. These can significantly impact people’s lives, either directly or indirectly. Toxic chemicals in the soil, for example, will be absorbed by the plants. Because plants are producers in their environment, it is passed up the food chain. The effects of soil pollution are less noticeable compared to other types of pollution, but their consequences are significant.

    The following are some of the most common causes of soil pollution:

    • Inadequate industrial waste disposal
    • Oil spills Acid rain caused by air pollution Mining operations
    • Agrochemicals and intensive farming (like fertilizers and pesticides)
    • Accidents in the workplace

    Noise pollution

    Noise pollution is excessive noise in the environment that disrupts the natural balance. Noise pollution is typically man-made, though natural disasters such as volcanoes can contribute to it. In general, any sound that exceeds 85 decibels is considered harmful. In addition, the length of time an individual is exposed affects their health. A normal conversation is around 60 decibels, while a jet taking off is about 15o decibels. As a result, noise pollution is more visible than other types of pollution.

    Several factors contribute to noise pollution, including:

    • Heavy machinery, mills, factories, and other industrial noises
    • Transportation noises from automobiles, planes, and so on.
    • Noises from construction
    • Noise from social gatherings (loudspeakers, firecrackers, etc.)
    • Noises from household appliances (such as mixers)

    Water pollution causes

    Nature can sometimes cause it when mercury filters from the Earth’s crust, polluting oceans, rivers, lakes, canals, and reservoirs. However, the most common cause of poor water quality is human activity and its consequences, which we will now discuss:

    • Warming of the planet: Rising global temperatures due to CO2 emissions heat the water, reducing its oxygen content.
    • Deforestation: Felling trees can deplete water resources and produce organic residue, which can serve as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
    • Agriculture, industry, and livestock farming: Chemical dumping from these industries is one of the primary causes of water eutrophication.
    • Dumping of garbage and faeces: According to the UN, more than 80% of the world’s sewage ends up in seas and rivers untreated.
    • Transportation by sea: Plastic pollution in the ocean is primarily caused by fishing boats, tankers, and cargo shipping.
    • Spills of fuel: Leakage from the transportation and storage of oil and its derivatives pollute our water resources.

    Effects of water pollution

    Water quality degradation harms the environment, human health, and the global economy. The World Bank’s president, David Malpass, warns of the economic consequences: “Deteriorating water quality is stifling economic growth and exacerbating poverty in many countries.” The explanation is that when biological oxygen demand — the indicator that measures organic pollution in water — exceeds a certain threshold, the growth of the regions within the associated water basins falls by one-third. In addition, here are some of the other ramifications:

    Biodiversity destruction: Water pollution depletes aquatic ecosystems and causes uncontrolled phytoplankton proliferation in lakes (eutrophication).

    The food chain has been contaminated: Toxins introduced into foods by fishing in polluted waters and using wastewater for livestock farming and agriculture can harm our health when consumed.

    A scarcity of potable water: According to the UN, billions of people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation, particularly in rural areas.

    Disease: According to the WHO, approximately 2 billion people are forced to drink contaminated water, exposing them to diseases such as cholera, hepatitis A, and dysentery.

    Get the most Important Questions in Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and Biology.


    Question: What are the various types of pollution?

    Answer: Among the various types of pollution are:

    • Pollution of the atmosphere
    • Pollution of the water
    • Pollution of the soil
    • Pollution from radioactive sources
    • Pollution caused by noise

    Question: What are the various types of pollutants?

    Answer: Pollutants are classified as follows:

    Primary Pollutants: These are pollutants emitted directly from sources such as volcanic eruptions, fossil fuel combustion, and so on.
    Nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, and other pollutants fall into this category.

    Secondary Pollutants: These are pollutants that are formed when primary pollutants react in the atmosphere and are not directly emitted from the sources. As an example, consider ozone.

    What exactly is radioactive pollution?

    Radioactive pollution is pollution caused by the release of radioactive substances into the atmosphere during activities such as nuclear explosions and mining for radioactive ores, among others.

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