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What Is Pollution?

Updated on January 28, 2015

Different Types of Pollution

Air, soil, and water pollution.
Air, soil, and water pollution. | Source

One of the biggest problems of our time is pollution. Pollution is the contamination of the earth's air, water, or soil by harmful substances and waste.

Types of Pollution:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Soil

Let's discuss them each one-by-one, their impacts and some possible solutions.

The Ten Most Polluted Places on Earth

Air Pollution

On a hot summer day, you may notice a brownish-gray haze masking the sky. This is likely caused by air pollution. Air pollution is the contamination of our air by harmful substances such as carbon monoxide and random particles.

One major contaminant is ground-level ozone. Unlike the protective ozone layer in our atmosphere, ground-level ozone is a harmful pollutant that can cause negative health effects. Although this "bad ozone" is an invisible gas, it is an indicator of the severity or presence of smog.

Air pollution can cause health problems including asthma, lung inflammation, skin damage, headaches, burning eyes, and scratchy throats. High concentrations of certain air pollutants are extremely dangerous and can cause severe injury, cancer, or birth defects. The dangers are not just to humans, but also to animals and plants.

Individuals with respiratory problems, people with heart or lung disease, children, elderly residents, athletes, and pregnant women are at high risk for health problems from air pollution. Those who play, work, or exercise outdoors breathe pollutants deeper into their lungs, which can increase the chance of negative health effects. Chemicals and particles in the air also reduce visibility and can damage buildings and monuments.

Water Pollution

Source

Water pollution is any chemical, physical, or biological change in the quality of water that has a harmful effect on any living thing that drinks or uses or lives in it.

There are several types of agents that pollute water. The first are disease-causing agents. These are bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasitic worms that enter sewage system. A second category of water pollutants is oxygen-demanding wastes. These are wastes that can be decomposed by oxygen-requiring bacteria. When large populations of decomposing bacteria are present in water, they deplete the oxygen level which causes other organisms in the water, such as fish, to die. A third class of water pollutants is water-soluble inorganic pollutants, such as acids, salts, and toxic metals. Large quantities of these compounds will make water unfit to drink and will kill aquatic life. Another class of water pollutants are nutrients. These are water-soluble nitrates and phosphates that cause excessive growth of algae and other water plants, which deplete the water's oxygen supply. This kills fish and, when found in drinking water, can kill young children. Water can also be polluted by a number of organic compounds such as oil, plastics, and pesticides. These are harmful to humans and all plants and animals in the water.

A very dangerous category is suspended sediment, because it depletes the water's light absorption and the particles spread dangerous compounds such as pesticides through the water. Finally, water-soluble radioactive compounds can cause cancer, birth defects, and genetic damage and are thus very dangerous water pollutants.

Drinking water safety is often taken for granted in the United States. In recent years, however, environmentalists and the media have called attention to the dangers of ground water pollution and the health risks of lead, chlorine, pesticides, organic chemicals, and various microorganisms that have been found to contaminate our public water supplies. Outbreaks of waterborne diseases are a more common occurrence and have involved entire city populations, sometimes leading to serious complications and even fatalities.

Soil Pollution

Land pollution is the degradation of the earth's land surface through the misuse of the soil by poor agricultural practices, mineral exploitation, industrial waste dumping, and indiscriminate disposal of urban wastes. It includes visible waste and litter as well as pollution of the soil itself.

Soil pollution is mainly due to chemicals in herbicides (weed killers) and pesticides (poisons which kill insects and other invertebrate pests). Litter is waste material dumped in public places such as streets, parks, picnic areas, at bus stops, and near shops.

When waste accumulates it threatens the public health. Waste decays, encourages household pests, and turns urban areas into unsightly, dirty, and unhealthy places to live in.

The following measures can be used to control land pollution:

  • anti-litter campaigns can educate people against littering
  • organic waste can be dumped in places far from residential areas
  • inorganic materials such as metals, glass and plastic, but also paper, can be reclaimed and recycled.

According to Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, human activities have degraded 15% of the earth's non-submerged surface. Farmland area has grown steadily in developing countries, the exact reverse of what has happened in developed countries. A full 23% of usable land has deteriorated so badly that its productivity has suffered.

Some Solutions to Pollution on Earth

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    • profile image

      SPARKLING ANGEL 24 months ago

      YAAR DONT DISCOURAGE HIM BUT HIS OR HER POINT IS CORRECT U CAN CHANGE THE NAME UR WEBSITE CAN ROCK MORE

    • profile image

      YO YO 24 months ago

      premnath see ur website is nice but please change its name to types of pollution i was looking for a long defination for pollution and i cnnot get it though i am happy with this one ttoo write about more pollution types AND WATCH PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO LLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOLLLLLL

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      Aarti 2 years ago

      Nice project and your project will be helpful to student

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      swapnil 2 years ago

      so bad our earth is

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      Rinky 3 years ago

      Pollution's effect are all your helth&environment

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      Neha 3 years ago

      it is very helpful

      Thanks....

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      sonu raj 3 years ago

      Pollution are very dangerous thing.

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      very nic bro .....

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      sharukh 3 years ago

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      Very usefuf

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      shelly 3 years ago

      stick to the point ...........what is pollution............u were useless

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      very good i like it

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      sonia 3 years ago

      some more about pollution,,like defination paragraph etc..but doing good

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      mehul kumar 3 years ago

      Its very helpful

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      mehul kumar 3 years ago

      Its very helpful

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      rishi somani 3 years ago

      thax

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      rishi somani 3 years ago

      this is very nice pollution hub

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      worship the devil (peace, love, and hugs) 666

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      excellent wow .................?

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      the happy girl 3 years ago

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      very goooooood! -kaylas mom

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      i think that there is lots of spelling mistakes

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      Senseless

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      helped me 2 thanks dude

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      himanshi kumar 4 years ago

      it help me for making my science project ov pollution

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      EDWARD ISAAC T. JUMAWAN 4 years ago

      ME TO........................................................................

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      Synhwee 4 years ago

      0

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      Farid Issa 4 years ago

      hello guys, im looking for a good comment. can u tell me the short correct answer what means pollution? i hav it for my H.W tomorrow plz answer

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      no one 4 years ago

      thank you

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      i think... da u shud improve ua writin styl in a bit bettr way!!... da presentatn do lack some kinda expression...

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      Antareep Majumder 5 years ago

      Do not increase pollution.It will affect our lives

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      gadha 5 years ago

      this is waste

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      shimah 5 years ago

      guyz what is pollution.........

    • profile image

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      that's right man.....

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      khushi 5 years ago

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      cool im going to use this for my C.B.A

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      teresa .ammulu@gmail.com 5 years ago

      thanks a lot anna........

    • profile image

      celestine varel 5 years ago

      thnx 4 information

    • profile image

      Catarina 5 years ago

      hello , what is pollution .............

    • profile image

      Tepe 5 years ago

      Top water pollution

    • profile image

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    • profile image

      Killer BHAI 5 years ago

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    • profile image

      madi 5 years ago

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      angela malaki ang puki 5 years ago

      WTF JOKE JOKE.......

    • profile image

      soni infratech pvt ltd 5 years ago

      Thanks a lot...... Premnath

    • profile image

      riya 5 years ago

      all should take this precautions and it is good

    • profile image

      lilly............ 5 years ago

      This is so........ useful for all........................

      Thanks a lot...... Premnath !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      jessi 5 years ago

      thankyou soo much, its helped me a lot and to finish me assignment, thanks guys

    • profile image

      Ekeson 5 years ago

      9z coment ppl gr8 work peace

    • profile image

      KENONA B 5 years ago

      THANKS FOR THE COMMENT I LOVED IT HELPED ME FINISH MY PROJECT

    • profile image

      Premnath 5 years ago

      Thanks for all ur comments guys, will try to correct my mistakes in future...