Global Environmental Problem- POLLUTION

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Pollution is a problem because human beings in an ever increasingly populated and industrialized world, are upsetting the environment in which they live. Scientists maintain that one of humanity’s greatest errors has been to equate growth with advancement. Now “growth” industries are looked on with suspicion in case their side effects damage the environment and disrupt the relationship of different forms of life. The problem if pollution has become very serious today. Man has interfered too much with nature. Air, water, soil, and earth all are polluted.

The growing population makes increasing demands on the world’s fixed supply of air, water, and land. This rise in population is accompanied by the desire of more and more people for a better standard of living.  Therefore greater demands for electricity, water, and other natural resources. 

Ecologists are of the opinion that we are so determined to process a new machine or appliance or increase the yield of crops that we forget the fact that life depends on a lot of microorganisms working efficiently. The major factors causing environmental pollution are human-generated – fossil fuels production and combustion pollute the air, use of pesticides pollutes the soil, littering of plastic pollutes the oceans and water bodies, deforestation leads to air pollution, etc. Natural resources on the planet are limited but the factors polluting them are many. There is a global need to take immediate adequate measures towards the restoration and preservation of natural resources before they get damaged up to the point of no return.

Until recently in humanity’s history, where pollution has existed, it has been primarily a local problem. The industrialization of society, the introduction of motorized vehicles,  and the explosion of the human population, however, have caused a phenomenal growth in the production of goods and services. The indiscriminate discharge of untreated industrial and domestic wastes into waterways, the spewing of thousands of tons of particulates and airborne gases into the atmosphere and so on.

For this reason, governments worldwide are taking drastic steps to control global warming, water pollution, land pollution, air pollution, and noise pollution. 

WATER POLLUTION  

Water Pollution

The addition of harmful substances to water which causes its physical, chemical and biological properties to change is known as water pollution. Toxic substances from oil refineries, atomic plants, factories are drained into rivers. Thus the river water is polluted and the fish and other water animals die. Water pollution is one of the world’s largest problems that we are facing today. Water pollution doesn’t only threaten humans; it threatens plants and animals as well as sea creatures. 

The substances that pollute water are known as water pollutants. Sewage, toxic substances, silt, etc. are examples of water pollutants. This process ranges from the simple addition of dissolved or suspended solids to discharge of the most harmful and toxic pollutants such as pesticides, heavy metals, and other chemical substances. 

Few causes of water pollution :

Improper Sewage Disposal: In some not-so-developed countries, the sewage is not treated but quickly dumped into the sea or water bodies. This is VERY dangerous because they contaminate the environment and water bodies.

Pesticides: Use of chemicals and pesticides by farmers to increase their crop production end up in rivers and lakes harming us as well the marine life. It also affects our entire food chain.

Oil Spills: According to research studies,  the oil that enters the ocean is due to tanker accidents while 70% of it comes from people pouring down oil on the land and routine shipping.

Prevention :

  • Industries would have to reduce and treat their wastewater before disposal.
  • Construct proper sanitary landfill sites.
  •  Dispose of unwanted paints or oils carefully.
  •  Never throw rubbish away anyhow. Always look for the correct waste bin.

THERMAL POLLUTION

Thermal Pollution

Thermal pollution is referred to the change in the ambient temperature of water due to degradation of water quality by the industrial process, sewage wastes and thermal power plants waste being dumped in water bodies.

Waste undergoes chemical reaction generating heat, which is released partly into the atmosphere apart into the water bodies. The discharge of heated water into a waterway often causes ecological imbalance, sometimes resulting in major fish kills near the discharge source. 

Few causes of thermal pollution :

  • Deforestation.
  • Soil erosion.
  • Use of fossil fuels by power plants.

Prevention :

  • Supervision over the industries and factories over the amount of pollution i.e toxic substances and smoke released.
  • The industries should treat and cool the toxic substances before releasing into the water bodies.
  • Cooling towers which enable heat transfer into the atmosphere by evaporation is another excellent alternative.

LAND POLLUTION 

Land Pollution

The destruction and degradation of land surfaces primarily due to human activities are called land pollution. It actually happens when waste is not disposed of properly, urban and industrial wastes are disposed of anywhere, minerals are exploited badly and improper use of soil by inadequate agricultural properties. When the proper disposal of toxic wastes, excreta, the agricultural residue is not made, land pollution takes place.

Sources of land pollution are waterlogging, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, industrial wastes, domestic wastes, and biochemical wastes. A soil is polluted when it contains an abnormal concentration of chemical compounds potentially dangerous to human health, plants or animals.

Few causes of land pollution :

Industrial sources: These include paints, chemicals, metals and aluminum, plastics and so on that are produces in the process of manufacturing goods.

Oil Refineries: When crude oil is refined into usable petrol, gas or diesel, there are by-products that end up as waste.

Mining: The exploitation of mining is also a huge cause of land pollution. The surface is exposed to erosion which destroys the quality of the land.

Prevention :

  • Recycling of plastic wastes
  • Ban on deforestation
  •  Encouraging plantation programs.

NOISE POLLUTION 

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is pollution caused by excessive production of sound. When you listen to a song keeping the volume optimum it appears as music to you but if you increase it’s volume too much the. It becomes noise and causes noise pollution. Any sound which exceeds the certain limit is noise pollution. The roaring of vehicles, thundering machines, and music systems cause noise pollution.

There are various sources of noises around us like the honking of vehicles, noise from the loudspeakers, etc. Noise pollution can have various side effects like headache,  nausea, migraine, hearing impairment,  cardiovascular problem and can also cause some serious stress.

Few causes of noise pollution :

  • Road traffic noise
  • Noise from railroads
  •  Construction noise

Prevention :

  • Ban on the use of high volume loudspeakers.
  •  Ban on crackers producing a loud sound.
  •  Planting trees on roadsides will reduce noise because they act as a sound absorber.

Air Pollution

Air pollution occurs when substances like harmful gases, dust, fumes or odor are present in excessive amount in the air. Various pollutants which are harmful to our health and comfort or which could cause damage to plants and animals may be present in the air. The six major types of pollutants are carbon monoxide,  hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, particulates, sulfur dioxide, and photochemical oxidants. We along with other living beings pollute the air. The smoke coming out of the factories, mills, workshops,  engines, and from various other machinery pollute the air.  The air pollution may cause lung cancer, asthma, and other harmful diseases.

 

 It is typically separated into two categories: outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution can be reduced by making sure that a building is well-ventilated and cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of agents like dust and mold.  

Few causes of air pollution :

Emissions from industries and vehicles: We observe lots of smoke and fumes coming out of these industrial plants and our very own vehicles. Waste incinerators, manufacturing industries, and power plants emit high levels of carbon monoxide, organic compounds, and chemicals into the air. This happens almost everywhere that people live. 

Burning Fossil Fuels: After the industrial age, transportation has become a key part of our lives. Cars and heavy-duty trucks, trains, shipping vessels, and airplanes all burn lots of fossil fuels to work

Home Cooking: The energy used in cooking may have come from energy plants, which causes to produce a lot of smoke in our very own kitchens.

Prevention :

Car manufacturing companies are also building more energy efficient cars, which pollute less than before.

2. Plant more trees wherever and whenever you can as plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

3. Use energy (light, water, boiler, geyser) wisely. This is because lots of fossil fuels are burned to generate electricity.

POLLUTION CONTROL 

pollution

Pollution control is the management of waste materials in order to minimize the effects of pollutants on people and the environment.   The quality of human health and of the natural environment depends on adequate pollution control. If it is not taken under control, it may affect the whole planet to a great extent in the future and will also pose a question of human survival.

Pollution control is an important term used specifically in environmental management. Control of emissions and effluents into the air, water or soil. Waste products from consumption, heating, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, transportation, and other human activities will degrade the environment.

Fundamentals of prevention and control of pollution:

Recycling: Change waste materials into completely new products. Reduce the consumption of various fresh and raw materials and reduce energy usage.

Reusing: Conventional reuse where the item is used again for the same function. By taking useful products and exchanging them,  without reprocessing, reuse help save time, money,  energy and resources

Waste minimizing: It is a process of elimination amount of waste produced in the Society.  

 Preventing: Pollution prevention reduces the amount of pollution generated by a process, whether it is consumer consumption driving or industrial production

Compost: Compost is an organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as fertilizer and soil amendment.

Pollutants can be removed from waste flows to reduce emissions to air and water may be disposed of by burial or storage on land, practices that pose potential hazards.

The fourth approach changing a manufacturing process of activity in order to produce less pollution which may involve either the production of fewer residuals, by means of an improved process, or the separation and the reuse of materials from the waste stream. This method of pollution control and waste disposal increase is considered one of the most efficient. 

GREENHOUSE EFFECT:

 pollution

The term “Greenhouse Effect” has been derived from a phenomenon that occurs in a greenhouse. A greenhouse is a glass house used to grow plants in winter. In a greenhouse, the sun’s heat can come in but cannot go out. The trapped heat warms the greenhouse. This trapped heat helps in the controlled growth of plants. If there were no greenhouse gases to trap the sun’s radiation the earth would be a very cold place where we would not survive. This trapping of heat to keep the earth warm is called the greenhouse effect.

The human-generated greenhouse gas emissions have distributed the natural balance and have lead to an increase in the temperature in our surroundings.

The greenhouse effect is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is responsible for heating of earth’s surface and atmosphere. Earth’s surface re-emits heat in the form of infrared radiation but part of this does not escape into space as atmospheric gases absorb a major part of it. Major greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, CFC’s, etc.

Impacts of Global Warming:

  1. Changes in earth’s temperature.
  2. Changes in rainfall patterns.
  3. Coral Bleaching
  4. Melting of ice caps and glaciers
  5. Spread of diseases
  6. The rise in sea level

TYPES OF POLLUTION :

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