Pollution is a combination of any kind of matter or energy in amounts that are harmful to living things. Pollutants can come from natural sources, like minerals and volcanoes, but most pollution comes from human activities, such as driving cars, burning fossil fuels, and making products in factories.
What are the 3 Types of Pollution?
Pollution is categorized into three basic groups: air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution. These can be further divided into other types of pollution, such as thermal pollution, radioactive contamination, and light pollution.
Air Pollution: Air pollution is the most common and dangerous form of pollution. It occurs due to many reasons. Excessive burning of fuel which is a necessity in our daily lives for cooking, driving, and other industrial activities releases a huge amount of chemical substances in the air every day. These pollute the air. Reasons for air pollution are also smoke from industries, transportation, and other factories which release harmful chemicals into the air. This has caused various health problems in human beings and affected their breathing system immensely.
Land Pollution: Land is getting polluted day by day because of various wrong practices of human beings. Meaningless cutting down trees, dumping garbage indiscriminately, manufacturing harmful chemicals, etc have led to land pollution. Land pollution causes soil erosion, deterioration of soil quality and soil fertility, deforestation, global climate change, extinction of bird species, and so on.
Water Pollution: Water is polluted for many reasons like oil spills, toxic waste disposal into rivers and lakes, draining out sewage in water bodies without treatment, and more. All these are dangerous factors that can cause great harm to human beings as well as nature.
Effects of Air Pollution
Air pollution has many effects on the environment and human health. A major air pollutant is carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that results from the incomplete combustion of organic materials. Carbon monoxide causes heart disease, impaired vision, reduced brain function, and breathing problems.
Another major air pollutant is particulate matter or PM. This includes dust, dirt, soot, and smoke from smelting plants, factories, and motor vehicles. The particles are small enough to be breathed deep into the lungs where they damage lung tissue and cause or aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.
Sulfur dioxide is another air pollutant that causes respiratory problems by binding with water to form sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid in high concentrations creates smog that destroys trees and damages materials such as concrete and steel. Sulfuric acid also damages human health by increasing the risk of emphysema and bronchitis.
Nitrogen oxides are formed when nitrogen combines with oxygen at high temperatures during the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, or gas. Nitrogen oxides combine with other compounds to create ozone, which can damage the lungs, cause respiratory problems including asthma attacks, reduce plant growth, and damage materials such as rubber automobile parts, and fabrics.
Effects of Land Pollution
Land pollution is one of the gravest kinds of pollution, we can say. It occurs when the land is affected due to human activities and actions. The waste products that are dumped onto the land by man pollute it. This type of pollution has a very bad impact on our health and the environment.
The following are some major effects of land pollution:
- It affects the fertility of the land, thus making it unfit for cultivation.
- It destroys the food chain, as the flora and fauna get affected.
- It causes harm to the animals and birds, who come in direct contact with the polluted soil.
- It leads to acid rain which damages the plants and makes them incapable to survive on their own.
Effects of Water Pollution
Water pollution can have devastating effects on sea animals and their habitat. When harmful chemicals are introduced into bodies of water, they disrupt the natural balance of marine life, which causes serious problems for marine organisms. Chemicals from landfills seep into bodies of water and kill fish and other organisms by poisoning them or cutting off their oxygen supply.
In addition to killing individual organisms, pollutants can also deplete the food supply of an ecosystem. Contaminated water is unfit for consumption by most animals, which starves them of essential nutrients and eventually kills them.
Populations of fish and other animals that are exposed to polluted water may become unhealthy or completely die out. A reduction in biodiversity can cause a significant imbalance in an ecosystem because the remaining plants and animals must adapt quickly in order to survive. In some instances, entire populations may be wiped out due to their inability to adapt fast enough to changes in their environment.