Types of Pollution and Their Impact on the Planet

The presence of harmful materials on our planet is known as pollution. These harmful materials called pollutants can be natural, such as volcanic ash, or man-made, such as garbage, industrial runoff and vehicular emissions. Pollution causes adverse changes in the natural environment through chemical substances or energy such as sound, light or heat. These pollutants harm the environment and living entities as they can enter the food chain and impact the ecological balance.

We are blessed with natural resources, but severe usage of chemical substances and energy is causing several kinds of pollution and harming the planet. Leading causes of pollution in areas like transportation, agriculture, and industries have contaminated the water, soil and air.

While many have learned to live with pollution, some people are trying to find innovative solutions to reverse its effects. However, most of us still don’t understand the seriousness of environmental pollution. Here is a brief introduction to various types of pollution and their effects on the planet.

Types of Pollution

Understanding the types of pollution is crucial in order to mitigate the issues. Pollution occurs in different forms and each has two sources of occurrence – the point and the non-point sources. The point sources can be identified, monitored and controlled easily, while the non-point sources are difficult to control. Now, let’s discuss the types of pollution and how they affect the environment.

Types of Pollution and Their Impact on the Planet

Image: Dainik Bhaskar

Air Pollution

Air pollution is mostly invisible, but sometimes it can be seen from the dark smoke from the exhaust pipes of the factories to the vehicular emissions. Air pollution is everywhere, and we are more or less living in a world surrounded by air pollution. Carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and nitrogen oxides are harmful components generated from various anthropogenic activities that contaminate the atmosphere.

Water Pollution

Water is vital for all living forms. Unfortunately, it is getting polluted with toxic contaminants and harmful particles that are affecting marine and terrestrial life alike. Industrial runoffs, oil spills and plastic pollution are two of the main water contaminants. Sometimes, natural causes such as volcanoes, algae blooms, and animal waste can also lead to water pollution.

Land Pollution

Land pollution is one of the unnoticed sources of pollution, and it is growing incessantly. The increased nature of land pollution is mainly caused due to human activities including the use of pesticides, oil spills and sewage runoffs. These activities pollute the soil and impact several ecosystems. Heavy usage of chemicals in the agricultural field and nuclear practices are some of the responsible components.

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is mostly created by humans and leads to deafness and health issues in thousands of people throughout the world. With the increased population of the earth, the sounds of factories, motor vehicles, traffic, airplanes, mills, and machines are causing noise pollution. It affects humans and other living beings alike.

Effects of Pollution on the Planet

After knowing the types of pollution, it’s time to focus on the effects of pollution. These pollutions are affecting the planet and all its inhabitants. Unless you know the severe effects of environmental pollution, you will not be able to understand the importance of reducing it and how to accomplish this gigantic task.

Half of the human population is still unaware of the actual effects of pollution. Moreover, the people who know about pollutants are deliberately neglecting their effects and continuing their irresponsible “devil may care” attitude. But if left unchecked, these pollutions can ultimately destroy the planet and all life as we know it. Let’s dive into the effects of the abovementioned types of pollution.

Effects of Air Pollution

The effect of air pollution is significantly alarming as it is one of the main causes of global warming. The average temperature of the earth is increasing gradually due to the excessive presence of CO2 and other air pollutants. On the other hand, the acid rain rate is increasing due to the high concentration of hydrogen ions in the air. The toxic air is suffocating millions across the world as the air quality is dipping in major metropolitan cities such as the Indian capital Delhi.

Types of Pollution and Their Effects on the Planet

Image: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Effects of Water Pollution

Water pollution is widespread and is affecting life on both land and oceans. Ocean plastic pollution is killing marine life such as the formation of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, while water-borne diseases are wreaking havoc on the land. Hypertrophication or Eutrophication is another effect of water pollution. The excessive presence of minerals and nutrients in the water body promotes the growth of algae.

Effects of Land Pollution

Land pollution mainly occurs with unsustainable agricultural practices, and overuse of chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides, causing land to lose its nutrients. This contaminates the food for flora and fauna and also harms subterranean fauna or organisms living in the soil. Moreover, toxic dust mixed in the soil can cause lung cancer and other respiratory problems.

Effects of Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is very common and it can cause severe health issues for humans. For instance, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disorders, and hypertension due to high volume among other problems are quite common in residents of high-traffic and industrial regions. Geriatric people and children are the most affected by noise pollution and can cause chronic diseases.

Possible Solution against Environmental Pollution

Are the effects enough to trigger your concern about environmental pollution? Once you are acquainted with pollution types and their effects, it is time to take steps to remedy your lifestyle and reduce these contaminants. Here are a few easy solutions against environmental pollution.

  • Use public transport to reduce air pollution
  • Use renewable energy sources and go green
  • Spread awareness
  • Lean on recyclable products

These are the possible solutions that we can take to help the environment. The world is filled with pollution and we need to keep the planet clean of chemicals and harmful particles in order for life to survive.

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