Pollution refers to adverse alteration of the natural phenomena by human beings, animals or natural disasters which may affect life in one way or another negatively. Pollution is a health hazard that can cause detrimental effects to the natural environment we live in. It occurs in different forms like: Air pollution (atmospheric), land pollution, water pollution, light pollution and noise pollution
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Air (atmospheric) pollution
This refers to a situation whereby the atmosphere surrounding us is contaminated by foreign materials of gaseous nature or particulate matter. These particles or gases may be in form of dust, excess carbon-dfioxide, excess sulphur-dioxide, and smoke among many others. All these materials can alter the natural state of atmosphere making it polluted. Dust for instance can cause diseases like asthma and tuber-closis to humans as well a affecting the transportation activities like the volcanic eruptions. A lot of dust in the air makes the rain water that could have been for domestic benefits useless. Diseases like the ones mention above caused by excess dust in the atmosphere makes increases expenses on our budgets and can lead to poverty to many countries in the world.
Excess smoke in the atmosphere can cause choking and some lung problems leading to health complications. Smoke from industries has led to depletion of the ozone layer that shields ultra violet rays from reaching the earth. Ultra violet rays from the sun can cause dangerous diseases like skin cancer to human beings and also affect plants which the primary producers on earth. Gases such as carbon-dioxide and sulphur in excess will not allow the light hits the ground to be reflected back into the atmosphere. This will lead to global warming that has completely altered the way of life on earth at this century. Global warming has caused extreme weather conditions like too much rain leading to floods and also extreme temperatures which have led to desertification. Floods are dangerous to our lives and causes loss of life as it has been witnessed in so many parts of the world. Desertification on the other hand has caused hunger because of lack of rainfall to facilitate plant growth. All these factors are the end results of excess gases in the atmosphere that brings about global warming that causes extreme weather conditions.
Recently a volcanic eruption in Iceland in southern Europe caused major economic losses to so many countries in the world. The eruption paralyzed air transportation which in turn affected many businesses. Tourism activities in and out of Europe were negatively affected because many tourists could not travel. The dust particles that were ejected out of the volcano were believed to affect the planes engines and were likely to cause some mechanical problems that can make the plane to crush leading to loss of life. The particles also reduced visibility to pilots and made navigation quite cumbersome to them.
Too much gases like sulphur in the atmosphere has resulted into acidic rainfall which has corroded so many buildings and also destroying plants. When rainfall (water) combines with sulphur it forms a weak acid known as sulphuric acid that accompanies rain water when it rains. The acid will attack buildings by corroding them.Alot of economic losses are realized when this occurs. Plants will not grow to maturity because of acid rain and will lead to hunger and starvation due to lack of food.
This form of pollution mainly comes as a result of human activities like, uncontrolled waste disposal and industrialization. Disposing of waste in uncontrolled manner leads to a polluted environment. Disposing raw sewage in an open area for example can cause diseases like cholera, typhoid, dysentery and others because it will allow flies to access the sewage and food that we eat at the same time. From an economic perspective, this is also a big blow to the sector because a lot of money will be used in trying to treat the patients. Consequently the outcome is a poor economic growth. A high increase in population is also indirectly or directly contributing to land pollution in the sense that the pressure exerted on the limited land leads to degredation.Also human activities like over grazing causes land pollution because the number of animals kept in a small space will highly degrade the same piece of land by overexploiting it. The result of these is the soil erosion and desertification.
Some big industries in big towns may carelessly dispose dangerous waste like mercury on the environment. The chemicals can affect people indirectly because plants growing in the same area take in the same chemicals. Research has shown that tubers like Cassavas can store these very dangerous chemicals. Other factories can also release chemicals that can cause dangerous diseases like cancer to people nearby if not controlled. Mining activities also contribute to land pollution. Some miners can dig huge holes and fail to fill them up after the activity. The same holes can be dangerous to people around the mining area. Also some minerals like Uranium are of adverse effect to the surrounding community if not carefully handled.
Other human activities like cutting down of trees to create room for settlement has led to pollution through degradation. Due to ever increasing population, natural forests have been destroyed by human beings to give space to rapidly increasing population. Also uncontrolled recreational activities like tourism have led to land pollution especially in parks and reserves where wild animals call home. Tourists may throw plastic bags or polythene backs to the environment hence making the natural habitat for animals uncomfortable for them.
Water pollution is the most dangerous form of pollution. As the saying goes that water is life, then pollution of water means that the entire life on earth is threatened. Water pollution occur in a variety of forms like releasing chemicals into the water from nearby industries or polluting by machines like ships and motor-boats that use water as a means of transport. Water supports different life forms which also supports human life apart from providing us with drinking water. Some animals that live in water like fish is the main aquatic source of food to human beings. When the water is polluted by chemicals like mercury for example, human beings risk the consumption of such chemicals because the fish that we eat contains such chemicals in their bodies. Also when the industries release raw sewage to a nearby water source people in that area risk getting diseases like cholera that threatens life of most people.
Noise pollution is the kind of pollution that affect entirely humans and other animals that are sensitive to hearing. This type of pollution cause disturbance to victims and makes them very uncomfortable. Human beings for instance may not like loud music at night during the time of sleep. Persistent loud music in the surrounding especially at night or any time that silence is paramount is considered to be noise pollution. Noisy industries or factories should be located far away from residential areas to avoid noise pollution. Also in national parks animals may not like noise made by tourists visiting such places and that is why one can sometimes see posters in the entrance to such places that noise is prohibited. Noise in an environmental hazard that can cause health problems to people. Too much noise can make people deaf because of the destruction of eardrums.
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This is brought about by too much light. This type of pollution affects both humans and animals. One can be rendered blind if he or she is exposed to too much light.Ligth is very important in our life but in excess one can be rendered blind. Many of us are able to see because of light but if we do not limit the amount of light we are exposed to, we can be affected negatively in our ability to see. There are varieties of light sources like the sun, electricity mirror reflection and flash lights that help us to see. We need therefore to control the amount of light that we are exposed to in order to avoid light pollution.
The most dangerous type of pollution is water pollution because water is the basis for life. Water provides life to almost every living creature on earth. Even scientific researches show that our bodies are seventy five percent water, and then if water is polluted then we risk the danger of perishing. Plants that manufacture food that we eat depend on water for their growth. This initiates a series of interdependency among life forms that ultimately ends up in humans.
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