Pollution is a cause of grave concern for the whole humankind. The last century has seen the rise of this menace to gigantic proportions, so much so, that it has spread its tentacles to envelope the entire nature and the world.
Pollution is popularly categorised as air pollution, water pollution and noise pollution respectively.
Air pollution is that form of pollution which refers to the contamination of air, irrespective of indoors or outdoors. It occurs when harmful gases, dust and smoke enter into the atmosphere and make it unhealthy for humans, animals and plants as the air becomes dirty. Air pollution is a by-product of the unprecedented industrial growth that we have seen in the last few decades.
The establishment of large scale factories belching out smoke, fumes and chemically hazardous waste, has now started having a telling effect on the environment. This coupled with the unprecedented growth of automobiles and the ever-increasing human population, are some of the factors that are making air pollution a cause for concern.
The effects of air pollution are all-pervasive. The immediate consequence is the reduction in oxygen content in the air, the release of potentially harmful gases causing asthma and even lung cancer. They also damage plants and crop yields. Global warming and ozone depletion are other fallouts of the same.
Similarly, water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (example lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). Water pollution occurs when chemical wastes and plastics are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove the harmful compounds. It has led to dwindling aquatic life in rivers and oceans. This also adversely affects the soil where river water is used for irrigation.
The third category which is noise pollution is the presence of excessive noise that may harm the activity or balance of human or animal life. The source of most outdoor noise worldwide is mainly machines and transportation system-motor vehicles, aircraft and trains.
Noise pollution can cause hypertension, high-stress levels, hearing loss, sleep disturbances and other harmful effects.
The threat from all the three kinds of pollution looms large before the Earth putting at risk the healthy existence of life.
It is essential to control all three forms of pollution. To control air pollution, environmentalists suggest emission norms for vehicles and industries. Also, extending and preserving the green cover is one of the measures to combat air pollution as trees inhale carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air.
Population also plays a big role in this, as the increase in population leads to more usage of resources and hence, more pollution.
Besides, the Indian government has also set emission caps for industries. To control water pollution, the government has set-up enforcement and monitoring agencies to oversee that industrial waste is discharged into water bodies only after proper treatment. The government has also taken steps to curb the noise generated by industries through licensing etc. and discouraging honking, late-night loud music etc.
While the government is doing its bit to combat all kinds of pollution, it is also our responsibility to lend a helping hand in this monumental task.
It is common to cuss nature when it comes to devastation due to its unpredictability but this is something we owe to ourselves and to our future generations, for this evil if not kept under check can obliterate life on Earth.