When tap water tastes a bit acidic and the smog levels in your city create cause for concern, you are simply experiencing some of the many different kinds of pollution in the world responsible for the detrimental effects on our very basic necessities. In the long run, pollution has the command to seriously affect human health, and is already causing worldwide destruction, including an attack on our precious resources.
The common sources of pollution are also associated with many of the deaths in the world, as corrupted drinking water, harmful air pollution, and soil contamination lead to a higher incidence in wide-ranging cancers, health complications, and sickness. Today, the problem is so prevalent and damaging that pollution prevention has become an increasingly important issue concerning the fate of the world.
What is Pollution?
Pollution occurs when varied substances or energy is introduced into the environment, which results in changes in nature that endanger the welfare of human life, precious resources, ecosystems, and other living things . While pollution is responsible for attacking a wide-range of environmental concerns, the main types generally up for discussion focus on the negative effects on water and air. Additional ways in which natural occurrences and more often human actions that contribute to pollution involves oil, noise, radioactivity, and thermal energy.
The Negative Effects of Pollution
Pollution threatens human health in many different ways, as detrimental air quality has the capability to destroy and kill a variety of organisms on Earth. Ozone pollution wreaks havoc on the respiratory and cardiovascular system, as well as plays a hand in causing chest pain, throat inflammation, and congestion.
Each day, water pollution is thought responsible for close to 14,000 deaths per day, which usually comes in the form of contaminated drinking water is often caused by untreated sewage and mostly affects those living in developing countries.
Pollution caused by oil carries a variety of skin irritations and rashes, while noise pollution aids in increasing hearing loss, stress, high blood pressure, and sleep issues across the world.
The entire natural world also becomes a victim of pollution, as entire ecosystems are affected and sometimes destroyed as a result. Acid rain is known to lessen the pH value in soil that is furthered by an accumulation of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Over time, soil may become unproductive, posing an unsuitable environment for vegatation and crops.
In turn, organisms in the food web are affected, thus setting off a vital environmental chain of events. At the same time, the air may fill with smog and haze, which helps decrease the amount of sunlight plants receive, which is vital in promoting the important process of photosynthesis. Overall, the many different kinds of pollution affect the lives and function of the environment and all living things.
The Different Types of Pollution
In order to better understand the varying kinds of prevention methods available to the public, it is necessary to become familiar with the different types of pollution in the world. Depending on your location, you may heavily experience one or more of the following examples of pollution:
a) Air Pollution:
When chemicals and other substances are released into the atmosphere, the result is air pollution. Some of the common causes of air pollution include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are often emitted by industrial and motor vehicle resources.
b) Water Pollution: The contamination of local bodies and supplies of water is called water pollution, where surface runoff, leaching to groundwater, and deliberate actions of corruption have taken place.
c) Soil Contamination:
When chemicals have reached local stretches of soil as a result of a spill, underground tank leakage, or other means of contamination, safety becomes compromised by the presence of key soil contaminants, such as heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
d) Radioactive Contamination:
Alpha emitters and actinides within the environment are just some of the ways radioactive material adds to issues of pollution.
e) Noise Pollution:
Sometimes, the environment becomes disrupted by the annoying qualities of noise pollution, which involves the high-intensity clamor caused by roadway commotion, aircraft sounds, industrial noise, and the occasional loud radio blaring in the neighborhood. Noise pollution has the ability to affect cardiovascular health, as well as create a wealth of physical imparities .
f) Light Pollution:
A human-created pollution involving light is characterized by an excess or obtrusive amount of light that causes interruption in ecosystems; is responsible for unpleasant health effects, wastes energy, and interferes with astronomical observation. Additional examples of light pollution include over-illumination and light trespass.
g) Visual Pollution:
Sometimes, pollution doesnâ€™t directly affect the health of living things, but simply causes an eyesore regarding the environment. Unattractive visual aspects of a locality are considered an example of visual pollution. Some of the common examples include overhead power lines, weeds, crumbling and/or abandoned buildings, excessive litter, graffiti, utility poles, and unnecessary advertising.
h) Thermal Pollution:
Human influence may also result in a temperature chance in natural bodies of water that can deliver quite a blow to aquatic organisms. Some of the negative effects associated with thermal pollution (which is often caused by power plants), includes a decrease in oxygen supply; increased fish kills; and an overall effect on the composition of various ecosystems.
Contributing Factors of Pollution
While some forms of pollution take place in every worldly destination, the level of intensity and frequency will vary that depends on the specific characteristics and risk factors associated with a particular location. For example, a variety of environmental circumstances have recently led to the increase in ozone pollution in cities, such as Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Knoxville, Tennessee.
Some of the risk factors that influence the level of pollution in a city, includes:
a) Population Numbers:
The larger the city, the higher the risk a population will suffer from increasing levels of pollution. This is why heavily populated regions are prime targets for pollution, especially air pollution, as smog coming from buses, cars, and trucks create a high amount of respiratory disease cases and other medical problems, such as an increase in asthma attacks.
It is believed the estimated cost regarding public health costs pertaining to car and truck pollution costs between $40 billion and $64 billion per year. The cities of New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago have battled an excess of 1 billion dollars in public health costs.
b) Combustion Processes:
A great deal of air pollution comes from the varying burning processes that take place in the world, including the burning of gasoline to power cars and the burning of coal to create heat for buildings. Every time fuel is burning during the combustion process, various pollutants are released in the air .
c) Weather Conditions:
While some weather conditions (such as the wind) helps to lessen the amount of pollutants in the air, other forces, such as rain and snow drive pollutants into the ground, where contaminated runoff finds its way to nearby lakes, rivers, and streams, thus affecting water quality.
d) Use of Fertilizers & Pesticides:
Air, water, and soil pollution is affected by the use of fertilizers and pesticides, which are used to grow better crops, create a more attractive lawn, and boost the growing capacity of a garden. It is the chemicals contained in many commonly used fertilizers and pesticides that increase the risk of many different types of pollution.
How to Prevent Pollution
To make sure the environment stays protected and is able to provide a safe and healthy atmosphere for future generations, it is important that each individual does his or her part in preventing the kind of pollution that humans are most responsible for. Preventing pollution is an easy habit to incorporate within daily actions, as there are plenty of minor and more intense ways to stop pollution, save energy, and reduce waste. Below are a few pollution prevention suggestions to get you started:
Saving energy and modifying wasteful habits is a great way to prevent pollution. There are many different ways to approach this method of pollution prevention, as alternate fuel options, clean fuels, energy efficiency tactics, and fuel economy are just some of the options an individual may look into. To date, great strides have been made in the areas of geothermal energy, hydropower, renewable energy, solar energy, as well as wind power. Also, you can make a conscious effort to conserve energy by turning off televisions, video game systems, computers, VCRs, as well as CD and DVD players, when not in use.
b) Pollution Prevention Programs:
Every state possesses their own set of prevention programs geared towards lessening the damaging effects of pollution on a local and statewide level. This may include a wide-range of recycling methods and options, such as battery recycling centers, composting education, recyclable electronics, glass recycling, onsite and offsite paper recycling, the recycling of plastics, refrigerant recycling, tire salvaging, and used oil recycling .
c) Alternatives in Transportation:
More and more people are preventing pollution by altering the way they travel from point A to point B. Carpooling, utilizing public transportation, purchasing eco-friendly cars, and utilizing electric scooters are just some of the voluntary transportation control measures some people undertake in the United States. Skateboards, biking, and in-line skates are also popular eco-friendly transportation options that also present the additional benefit of healthy exercise. The slightest changes in transportation habits are known to decrease the amount of harmful exhaust that enters the environment.
d) Waste Reduction:
The minimization of waste helps to prevent the growth of the worldwide pollution problem. This may include switching to energy-saving products or minimizing the amount of time you leave your lights on in the house. You may also recycle your juice boxes, newspapers, milk cartons, and tin cans. Some people try bringing home products that use the least amount of packaging, which lowers the amount of waste they are responsible for discarding.
e) Choose Native Landscaping:
When planting trees, shrubs, flowers, and other plants, it is suggested to choose native options, which do not require the need for fertilizers and pesticides.
f) Rain Barrel Collection:
To conserve natural resources, set out a barrel during a heavy rain to collect water that later serves the purpose of watering the garden and other plants. It is quite important to keep the barrel covered to prevent the accumulation of mosquitoes.
g) Yard and Garden Care:
When watering the garden, choose the early morning (when it is cooler), where water is less likely to evaporate. When the need of fertilizer does arise, select a natural approach, such as bone meal or compost, which uses grass clippings, decaying leaves, and organic waste to create a nutrient-rich fertilizer.
h) Just Keep It Down:
When listening to your stereo system, car radio, or portable devices in the open, make sure you keep the volume to accommodating levels to prevent noise pollution in your neighborhood or community. When having get-togethers at your residence, make sure your guests respect your neighbors and keep volume levels under control.