Main Types Of Pollution
Before discussing the main types of pollution, we need to understand what is pollution. Pollution is the introduction of harmful substances, particularly a contaminant or toxin, which produces some kind of harmful impact on the environment or living organisms.
Main type of pollution 1: Air pollution
Air pollution is one of the main types of pollution of the environment.
What is air pollution? Air pollution could be in the form of the emission of harmful chemical gases (e.g. carbon monoxide) or particulates (e.g. soot) in to the air. Air pollution could also be in the form of disturbances to the normal composition of the air such that there is an undesired effect on the environment or living things. An example of the latter is the over-emission of gases, such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, where the balance in natural cycles, like the carbon cycle
, is disrupted. Read more about the types of environmental pollution in the air.
The most common sources of air pollution include the burning of fossil fuels and other materials in oil refineries, power plants, factories, automobiles and other forms of transportation, as well as the incinerators. Fumes from aerosols and chemicals like paint also cause air pollution.
Read related articles on the causes of air pollution:
The main types of pollution gases in the air are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and nitrogen oxides. Read related articles on air pollution facts:
Air pollution adversely affects humans by causing cardio-respiratory problems among other health problems. Read about the other effects of air pollution on health.
On the environmental front, air pollution results in problems such as global warming and climate change, acid rain, Earth’s ozone depletion, etc. Read about air pollution effects on the environment.
Bearing in mind the main types of pollution effects, it is very important that everyone should do their bit to prevent air pollution.
There are simple ways to put a check on air pollution. In the area of air pollution solutions for cars, some simple strategies include car pooling, proper vehicle care and making use of public transport as much as possible.
Other tips on reducing air pollution include saving energy, practicing energy efficiency tips, planting more trees, opting for green and renewable energy sources, carbon emission reduction.
You could also get yourself involved in social awareness programs and help to share your knowledge about air pollution and its destructive effects on life and the environment.
Main types of pollution 2: Water Pollution
Water pollution is another one of the main types of pollution of the environment.
Water pollution could be in the form of any change in the physical, chemical and biological properties of water which has a harmful effect on living things. It could take place in various water sources, like ponds, lakes, rivers, seas and oceans. Read about the various types of water pollution.
One of the causes of water pollution is the release of waste into the water bodies, for example domestic wastes, industrial effluents, agricultural wastes, marine dumping (read about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch) and radioactive waste.
Other causes of pollution in the sea include events such as oil spills and atmospheric deposition (where pollutants enter water bodies through falling particles, dissolving in rain and snow, or directly dissolving in water). Read about the major 3 types of pollution in the sea and other ocean pollution causes.
The main types of pollution of the water bodies make it unfit for drinking and other uses. Polluted water also breeds viruses, bacteria, intestinal parasites and other harmful microorganisms, which can cause waterborne diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, and typhoid.
Water pollution not only affects land animals like humans, but also marine animals. Water pollution has been related to events such as ocean acidification and coral reef bleaching. Read about the effects of water pollution.
In short, given the critical role water plays in supporting life, water pollution is destructive to the entire ecosystem. Read more about water pollution facts:
Clean water is very precious – there are about 1 billion or more people who do not have excess to proper drinking water. Proper steps should be taken to conserve water.
Also, efforts should be made to stop water pollution. Water pollution solutions for the household include using non-toxic household cleaning products, for example organic laundry detergent and eco friendly home cleaners, instead of those containing toxic chemicals.
On a larger scale, solutions to water pollution globally include the proper treatment of domestic and industrial wastes or sewage (instead of dumping the untreated water into the sea), recycling grey water.
Efforts to educate people on how to stop water pollution and ways to stop pollution in the sea are needed. Only when humans are motivated to and learn how to stop pollution in water will our precious resource – water – be safe.
Main types of pollution 3: Land Pollution
Land pollution is another of the main types of pollution to the environment. Land pollution is mainly about the contamination and degradation of Earth’s land surfaces.
It occurs when waste from various sources – domestic waste, industrial waste, etc – are not properly disposed of, causing harmful substances and chemicals to leach into the ground. Read about various type of pollution on land.
In the landfills, non-biodegradable materials like plastic bottles, Styrofoam and cans can remain buried and intact for thousands of years, leaching chemicals into the ground over the years. Electronic products that contain heavy metals like lead and mercury also leach poisonous toxins into the ground. These chemicals and heavy metals sometimes reach the underground water system and pollute our water bodies. Read about land pollution facts.
That is why it is important to recycle, rather than just sending all your unwanted items to the garbage bin.
Environmentally unfriendly mineral exploitation practices and the misuse of soil by harmful agricultural practices can also lead to land pollution. Read about how such practices are cause of land pollution. Also, read more about soil pollution and soil pollution facts.
Land pollution can affect wildlife, plants and humans in many ways. Land pollution can exterminate wildlife and disrupt the balance in nature. The chemicals found in polluted land (eg. landfills, land where chemical pesticides are heavily applied) could be absorbed by plants, and be transferred to animals and humans who eat the plants. In turn, the chemicals could cause various health problems like respiratory problems, birth defects, skin diseases and even cancer in the animals and humans. Read about the dangers of pesticides.
Land Pollution can be prevented by the proper disposing of the litter. What is even better at reducing land pollution, or the various types of pollution, is to reduce your trash. Reducing consumption, reusing old items for new purposes or recycling are some ways to reduce our waste.
Also, environmentally friendly agricultural practices such as the use of organic fertilizers and organic pesticides, instead of conventional chemical based ones, could also help to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals introduced into the land. Read more about how to stop land pollution.
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