We are polluting the environment in many different ways. Most of us know the three major types of pollution – air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution. In this article we are going to talk about seven different types of pollution that our environment is facing every day from different sources.
Adding pollution to the environment has many consequences for the future. For example, emission from industries, automobiles and power generators contain greenhouse gases that could cause global warming. Our city lives also pollute the environment in different ways and understanding each type of pollution would help conscious individuals minimize its contributions and help make the changes needed for a sustainable environment.
7 Types of environmental pollution
Our modern civilization relies heavily on fossil fuels as a source of energy to power our modern facilities. Burning fossil fuels along with other sources of pollution not only impacts our globe negatively but also has an effect on our health and wellbeing.
Most people can name the basic types of pollution such as air, water, soil, noise, etc. but do you know all different sources through which we are polluting the environment? Below is a list of different kinds of pollutions and how they impact our environment.
The urban air is constantly being polluted with gases from burning fossil fuels and exhaust fumes from automobiles, factories, power generators and also harmful fumes from chemicals such as paint, plastic and toxic spills. All these elements tend to disturb the natural composition of air and make it harmful for our health. Keeping the air quality at a safe level is one of the major challenges faced by modern urban communities today.
Natural water resources such as lakes, rivers, groundwater, and oceans are polluted through runoff from factories, farm lands, chemical spills, car exhaust, raw sewage, industrial waste, and household garbage being washed away by rain and mixed with water resources.
“When we dispose of our household garbage, we often do not take necessary precautions, especially when disposing hazardous materials, such as car batteries, appliances, electronics, or oil. Farmers also need to be aware of the chemicals they use, because it may runoff and contaminate nearby bodies of water. “
High concentration of toxic elements in soil can pose a high risk for human health and also to the ecosystem. A large number of organic and inorganic chemicals and waste from industries, farms, construction sites, automobiles and households can contribute to soil pollution.
“The main soil pollution causes are the human activities (i.e., the accumulation of those chemicals in soil at levels of health risk is due to human activities such as accidental leaks and spills, dumping, manufacturing processes, etc.)” – environmentalpollutioncenters.org
Living in noisy conditions may cause far reaching health hazards that many of us are aware of. Apart from the immediate consequences of noise, the disruption of peace, high levels of unwanted noise can also be annoying, causing headaches, insomnia, hearing loss, and may also disrupt the standard of living in the affected area.
Although radioactivity in chemicals is relatively rare, it could have a devastating consequence on our health. Exposure to radioactivity can be deadly with often irreversible effects on the environment. Nuclear power plant accidents, leakage, and improper practices such as improper nuclear waste disposal and uranium mining are the main causes of radioactive pollution. There are strict government regulations to control radioactive pollution, and you should take extra precautions when coming across such areas where a nuclear power plant project is located.
Our cities are often polluted with signs, advertisements and overly illuminated billboard lights that are often unattractive causing an eyesore. Visual pollution can also lower or degrade living standards lifestyle, and property values.
Excessive amount of heat and trapped heat in the earth’s atmosphere can cause undesirable consequences to our ecosystem. When earth’s natural thermal cycles are disrupted over a long period of time there often is a rise in forest fires, melting of polar ice caps and sea level rise changes. It can also affect wind and ocean currents which may lead to more hazards to our health and ecosystem.
All types of pollution are undesirable and lead to health hazards. They are also linked with our lifestyle and wellbeing in so many ways. For example light pollution is linked with energy consumption which would mean electric power plants would have to burn more fossils fuels. Burning of fossil fuels contribute to air pollution, which has immediate health effects.
Understanding and reducing the cycle of pollution is the first step for us to start living a better life and improve our standard of living as citizens of this world. We can all make a few adjustments in our lifestyle and make this planet a lot better for all of us.
Hope you will join us to help combating all types of pollution around the world. Learn more about Environmental Professionals Network.
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Learn more about pollution and global warming from our huddle guest Dr Robert W. Howarth
Dr.Howarth is a Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University
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