This is not the first time you’re hearing the word ‘pollution’. You’ve vaguely heard about what it means, but you do not really know what it is, how it affects us, and how it affects our environment. Or do you? Let’s talk about it a bit.
What is Pollution?
According to Wikipedia, pollution is “the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants.
Conserve Energy Future also says, “Pollution occurs when pollutants contaminate the natural surroundings; which brings about changes that affect our normal lifestyles adversely. Pollutants are the key elements or components of pollution which are generally waste materials of different forms. Pollution disturbs our ecosystem and the balance in the environment. With modernization and development in our lives pollution has reached its peak; giving rise to global warming and human illness.”
Types of Pollution
Air pollution – Air pollution is the presence in or introduction into the air of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects.
Harmful gases and tiny particles (like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide) when released into the air pollute the air. The smoke released from burning fuel, from factories and not to forget the motor cars are the major sources of air pollution. Examples of air pollutants are: Carbon monoxide, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particles and Sulfur dioxide.
Air pollution is one of the major cause of cough, asthma and burning eyes that we sometimes develop.
Water pollution – Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). This form of environmental degradation occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.
Dirty water from our house drains through the pipes into river and oceans, dirtying the water. Can you imagine chemicals from factories draining into the river too? And that is the water that we drink. Think about all the diseases that we can get from drinking such water
Land pollution – Land pollution is the degradation of earth’s land surfaces often caused by human activities and its misuse. All the plastic and dirt that you throw on the ground dirties the land and when you don’t maintain the hygiene, then disease prevails.
Land can become polluted by household garbage and by industrial waste. In 2010, Americans produced about 250 million tons (226.8 million kilograms) of garbage, consisting of product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, paint and batteries.
Noise pollution – People who want to listen to head banging rock music, have you thought about your sensitive ears? How much can they take? Not much and the effect is seen within a few years when you can’t hear what people say. You end up becoming deaf. Not to mention other problems like high blood pressure and other diseases that you develop.
What Pollution does to the Environment
What does pollution do to the environment? These;
- Environmental degradation
- Ozone layer depletion
- Infertile land
- Affects health
- Global warming
What you can do to stop Pollution
So, now that you really know about pollution, what can you do to stop it?
Here are few things you can do;
- Use environmentally safe products
- Recycle your used motor oil and filters
- Compost yard trimmings
- Report illegal dumping
- Pick up after your pets
- Dispose trash properly
- Recycle everything you can