Environmental Pollution: MAKING THE PLANET UHEALTHY FOR LIVING

Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment .Pollution may muddy landscapes, poison soils and waterways, or kill plants and animals. Humans are also regularly harmed by pollution. Long-term exposure to air pollution, for example, can lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer and other diseases Pollution may muddy landscapes, poison soils and waterways, or kill plants and animals. Humans are also regularly harmed by pollution. Long-term exposure to air pollution, for example, can lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer and other diseases.

Environmental pollution has existed  for centuries. But evidence suggests that since With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, humans were able to advance further into the 21st century. Technology developed rapidly, science became advanced, and the manufacturing age came into view. With all of these came one more effect, industrial pollution. Earlier, industries were small factories that produced smoke as the primary pollution.

POLLUTANTS

Environmental pollutants are chemicals that have ended up in the environment as a result of human activities and that are hazardous to health. They can be classified into primary and secondary pollutants. Primary air pollutants that are formed and emitted directly from particular sources. Examples are particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur oxide. Secondary air pollutant that are formed in the lower atmosphere by chemical reactions. The two examples are ozone and secondary organic aerosol (haze).Secondary pollutants are harder to control because they have different ways of synthesizing and the formation are not well understood. They form naturally in the environment and cause problems like photochemical smog.

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: Air Pollution, Water Pollution, Soil Pollution ,Noise 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 any physical, chemical or biological change in the air. It is the contamination of air by harmful gases, dust and smoke which affects plants, animals and humans drastically. There is a certain percentage of gases present in the atmosphere. An increase or decrease in the composition of these gases is harmful to survival. This imbalance in the gaseous composition has resulted in an increase in earth’s temperature, which is known as global warming. In most cases, air pollutants cannot be seen or smelled. However, that does not mean that they do not exist in high enough amounts to be a health hazard! Additionally, a number of gases are linked to the so-called “greenhouse effect”, which means that those gases retain more heat and thus contribute to the overall global warming. The most common example of a greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, which is emitted from many industrial processes. Another example is methane, which is also an explosive gas

Light pollution

Light pollution is artificial brightening of the night sky caused by man-made lightening sources, which has a disruptive effect on natural cycles and inhibits the observation of stars and planets. It is also known as photo pollution or luminous pollution and basically is the misdirected or obtrusive of natural light by excessive artificial light. More than 80% of humanity lives under skies saturated with artificial light. Light pollution is excessive, misdirected, or obtrusive artificial (usually outdoor) light. Too much light pollution has consequences, it washes out starlight in the night sky, interferes with astronomical research, disrupts ecosystems, has adverse health effects and wastes energy.

Noise pollution

Noise pollution above permissible limits in city

Noise pollution is unwanted or excessive sound that can have deleterious effects on human health, wildlife, and environmental quality. Noise pollution is commonly generated inside many industrial facilities and some other workplaces, but it also comes from highway, railway, and airplane traffic and from outdoor construction activities. Noise is more than a mere nuisance. At certain levels and durations of exposure, it can cause physical damage to the eardrum and the sensitive hair cells of the inner ear and result in temporary or permanent hearing loss, known as noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing loss does not usually occur at SPLs below 80 dBA (eight-hour exposure levels are best kept below 85 dBA), but most people repeatedly exposed to more than 105 dBA will have permanent hearing loss to some extent.

Water Pollution

Water pollution happens when toxic substances enter water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans and so on, getting dissolved in them, lying suspended in the water or depositing on the bed. This degrades the quality of water. Not only does this spell disaster for aquatic ecosystems, the pollutants also seep through and reach the groundwater, which might end up in our households as contaminated water we use in our daily activities, including drinking. Water pollution can be caused in a number of ways, one of the most polluting being city sewage and industrial waste discharge. Indirect sources of water pollution include contaminants that enter the water supply from soils or groundwater systems and from the atmosphere via rain. Soils and groundwater contain the residue of human agricultural practices and also improperly disposed of industrial wastes.

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