In this article essay on pollution, we have discussed all the major sources of pollution, and the effect which is caused by environmental pollution. At the end of this essay on pollution, we have discussed some important measures to control environmental pollution. This essay on pollution covered all the major types of pollution. At the conclusion of this essay on pollution, we have suggested some important measures to curb pollution.
What is Pollution?
Pollution is defined as an addition or excessive addition of certain material to the physical environment (land, water, and air), making it less fit or unfit for life.
The pollutants are the materials or factors that cause an adverse effect on the natural quality of any component of the environment. For example, radioactive substances from nuclear plants, smog from automobiles and factories, chemical from factories, sewage, etc. are the common pollutants. These factors lead to environmental pollution.
Causes of Pollution
The following are the main causes of environmental pollution:
- Uncontrolled growth in the human population.
- Rapid industrialization.
- Uncontrolled exploitation of nature.
- Forest fires, strong winds, volcanic eruptions, radioactivity, etc.
Types of Environmental Pollution
The few major types of Environmental Pollution are given below:
Air pollution in India is one of the major environmental problems. It is aggravated because of four developments that are industrialization, rapid economic development, increasing traffic, and growing cities.
The presence of one or more contaminants in the atmosphere for such duration and in such quality as it becomes injurious, or dangerous to human welfare and health, plant or animal life. Air pollution is the contamination of the air by the discharge of harmful substances.
Sources of Air Pollution
- Carbon Monoxide (co)
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Chloroflorocarbons (CFC)
- Nitrogen dioxide (NOx)
Effect of Air pollution
Air pollution can cause serious health and environmental issues like:
- It can damage the environment.
- Increase in chronic health diseases.
- The main reason for climate change.
Water pollution is defined as the addition of certain, substances to the water such as inorganic, organic, radioactive, biological, heat, which degrades the quality of water in such a way that it becomes unfit for use. It is not only confined to surface water, but it has also spread to the groundwater, sea, and ocean.
Sources of Water Pollution
Water pollution in India is also a very serious problem and the following are the sources of water pollution:
- Iron and Steel plant
- Chemical plants
- Soap and Detergent
Effect of Water Pollution
Effect on aquatic ecosystem
The dissolved oxygen (DO) reduces by the polluted water content thereby, eliminates sensitive organisms like fish, molluscs, and plankton, etc.
Effect on Human health
- Polluted water is a source of water-borne diseases like jaundice, cholera, typhoid, etc. because it contains worms, protozoa, parasitic, bacteria, and viruses.
- Water contaminated with cadmium can cause itai-itai disease also called ouch-ouch disease (a painful disease of bones and joints).
- Fluoride contaminated drinking water can cause neuromuscular disorders, bone and teeth diseases.
Nuclear and Radioactive Pollution
The spontaneous emission of electrons (beta particles), proton (alpha particles), and gamma rays (short wave electromagnetic waves) due to the disintegration of atomic nuclei of some elements are known as Radioactivity. These cause radioactive pollution or nuclear pollution.
Sources of Nuclear and Radioactive Pollution
The natural source of radioactive pollution includes cosmic rays from terrestrial radiation from radionuclides present in the earth’s crust such as thorium-232, uranium-238, radium-224, etc., or from space.
- Nuclear power plants
- Nuclear weapons
- Transportation of nuclear material
- Disposal of nuclear waste
- Uranium mining
- Radiation therapy
Effect of Nuclear and Radioactive Pollution
The effect of the radioactive pollution depends upon:
- Energy releasing capacity.
- Rate of diffusion.
- Rate of deposition of the pollutant.
- The effect of radioactivity is influenced by many environmental factors such as rainfall, wind, temperature.
Thermal pollution is the rise or fall of the temperature of a natural aquatic environment caused by human influence. This has become increasing and most current pollution. Owing to the increased call of globalization everywhere.
The temperature of the water is increased by the dumping hot water from power plants and factories or removing trees that is deforestation which reduces the shades which are given by the tree cover to the water bodies and allowing the sunlight to increase the water temperature and the release of cold water which lowers the temperature caused the thermal pollution. Like other pollution, thermal pollution also affecting the lakes and a vast number of streams and water bodies.
Source of Thermal Pollution
- Power plants creating electricity from fossil fuels.
- In industrial facilities, water acts as a cooling agent.
- Deforestation of the shorelines.
- Soil erosion.
Effect of Thermal Pollution
The temperature of the water rises because of thermal pollution which affects the organism in the following ways:
- It decreases the oxygen supply in the water which affects the ecosystem composition.
- The warm water also affects the Primary producers because the plant growth rate increases with the increase in water temperature, resulting in species overpopulation and a shorter life span. This will cause algae to bloom.
- The denaturing of life-supporting enzymes caused by the increase in water temperature because within the quaternary structure of the enzymes it breaks down the hydrogen and disulfide bonds.
The most common sector which contributes to the pollution is the industries or the factories, the pollution caused by these industries can be in any form chemicals, solid waste to e-waste. Today the e-waste and chemicals form a large section of the pollution caused by the industries.
E-waste is the discarded and end-of-life electronic products ranging from computers, equipment used in the devices. They are popularly known as electronic waste (E-waste).
Sources of Industrial Pollution
- Lead used in glass panels and gaskets in the computer monitors.
- Printed circuit board (PCB).
- Mercury used in flat panel displays.
Effect of Industrial Pollution
- Lead can cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys, and other organs.
- Mercury can damage the brain and kidneys.
- Chromium VI causes damage to DNA and is extremely toxic in the environment.
- Exposure to the beryllium can cause lung cancer and also creates skin diseases.
Read About: Soil Pollution
Measures to Control Pollution
- To control, the pollution government of India enacted the water prevention and control of pollution act 1974, which made it mandatory for the government to make a pollution control board.
- Safe disposal of radioactive waste.
- Safety measures against nuclear accidents.
- Reducing chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Afforestation and reforestation.
- Solid waste treatment.
- Hot water should be cooled before it released into the rivers.
- Reducing the traffic and the vehicles.
- Scaling up public transportation.
- Selection of sustainable fuel to control the air pollution.
- Proper implementation of Environment Protection Act 1986.
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