Types, Causes and effects of pollution – Class 10 – SEE Notes
December 6, 2019
[caption id="attachment_3390" align="alignright" width="300"] Types of pollution[/caption]
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms.Pollution, contamination of Earth's environment with materials that interfere with human health, the quality of life, or the natural functioning of ecosystems(living organisms and their physical surroundings).According to the Blacksmith Institute, at present the top ten most polluted places are located in Azerbaijan, China, India, Peru, Russia, Ukraine and Zambia.Forms of PollutionPollution exists in many forms and affects many different aspects of Earth's environment. The major forms of pollution are listed below
Land Pollution: The degradation of the Earth's land surface through misuse of the soil. It includes visible waste and litter as well as pollution of the soil itself. Among the most significant soil contaminants are hydrocarbons, heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Water Pollution: The chemical, physical, or biological materials that degrade the quality of the water and affects the organisms living in it. The major pollutants are pesticides, heavy metals, and non-degradable, bio-accumulative, chemical compounds. Water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries.
Air Pollution: The accumulation of chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere. The six major types of pollutants are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, particulates, sulfur dioxide, and photo-chemical oxidants.
Light Pollution: It includes light trespass, over-illumination and astronomical interference.
Noise Pollution: Unwanted sounds that are carried by the air, have an irritating and detrimental effect on humans and other animals.
Radioactive Contamination: Resulting from radioactive rays, such as nuclear power generation. Example - the 1986 Chernobyl' nuclear reactor accident.
Causes of PollutionEnvironmental pollution is growing in both developed and developing countries. But it has become more serious in developing countries like Nepal due to the following reasons:
High population growth rate: The high population growth rate is one of the major problems of natural resource management. High population growth directly contributes to environmental degradation because in order to fulfill the needs of growing population natural resources are to be utilized.
Wide-spread poverty: The wide-spread poverty leads to the overuse of natural resources because the poor people use natural resources to fulfill their basic needs.
Inadequate public awareness: Most of the people of Nepal of rural areas are still uneducated. They are ignorant about the scientific use of available resources. Therefore, they use resources available to them in their own way which may cause environmental pollution.
Use of unnecessary chemicals: Use of unnecessary chemicals in agriculture is another reason for environmental pollution. Nepalese farmers don't have adequate knowledge about the scientific use of harmful chemicals in their farm.
Use of traditional skills and technology: The traditional skill and technology leads to excessive use of natural resources. Therefore, traditional skills, knowledge and technology should be modified.
Lack of natural resource management: There is lack of natural resource management practice in Nepal. Most of the people are not aware of the benefits of natural resource management.
Human Activity: The ultimate cause of pollution is human activity itself. Pollution is a human contribution to nature. All of them contribute to pollution in one way or other and therefore cause miseries.
Natural Reason: Pollution can also be the consequence of a natural disaster. For example, hurricanes often involve water contamination from sewage, and petrochemical spills from ruptured boats or automobiles.
Effects/ Impacts of Pollution
Health Effects: Adverse air quality can kill many organisms including humans. Ozone pollution can cause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease,throat inflammation, chest pain, and congestion. Oil spills can cause skin irritations and rashes. Noise pollution induces hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress, and sleep disturbance. Mercury has been linked to developmental deficits in children and neurological symptoms. Older people are majorly exposed to diseases induced by air pollution. Those with heart or lung disorders are under additional risk. Lead and other heavy metals have been shown to cause neurological problems. Chemical and radioactive substances can cause cancer and as well as birth defects.
Environmental Effects: Pollution also has a dramatic effect on natural resources. Ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, coral reefs, and rivers performs many important services for Earth's environment, Any or all of the ecosystem functions may be impaired or destroyed by pollution.
Atmospheric change: The unscientific use of natural resources like water,forest and mineral has resulted many problems in the earth surface. The atmosphere is being polluted due to the global warming, green house effect, increase in the quantity of carbon monoxide and decrease of ozone layer in the atmosphere.
Natural calamities: The rapid deforestation has resulted uneven, unnatural irregular and scarcity of rainfall. As a result, floods, landslides and storms have become very common in the country like Nepal.
Economic Issues: The tremendous cost of pollution cleanup and prevention.The global effort to control emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas produced from the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal or oil, or of other organic materials like wood, is one such example.
Prevention and control measureThere are some common measures to control, combat and manage the pollution which include :
For Air Pollution
The establishment of more smokeless zones.
Control over the kinds of fuel used in cars, aeroplanes, power stations, etc.
For water Pollution
Every intelligent people should be wise enough not to pollute water in any way.
By research and legislation the pollution of water bodies, even though not entirely prevented, must be effectively controlled.
For Land Pollution
Anti-litter campaigns can educate people against littering.
Organic waste can be dumped in places far from residential areas.
Inorganic materials such as metals, glass and plastic, but also paper, can be reclaimed and recycled.
ConclusionPollution is the addition to the ecosystem of something which has a detrimental effect on it. Although some environmental pollution is a result of natural causes such as volcanic eruptions, most is caused by human activities. One of the most important causes of pollution is the high rate of energy usage by modern, growing populations. International agreements have also played a role in reducing global pollution. Regulations and legislation have led to considerable progress in pollution in cleaning up some air and water Pollution in developed countries. Nongovernmental citizen groups have formed at the local, national, and international Level to combat pollution problems worldwide.