What is Pollution? It’s Facts, Types, Causes, Effect, Control, Government Programs

In this article we will talk about What is Pollution? It’s Facts, Types, Causes, Effect, Control, and various Government Programs going on for Controlling Pollution. I write this for school and college students in 4300 Words. We have included complete information about Pollution in this post.

So, let’s start this informative article on Pollution…

Introduction (What is Pollution?) – 4300 Words

Pollution is a defect arising in natural equilibrium because of the entry of contaminants into the environment. Pollution occur in various areas like air, water, soil, etc. It has a direct adverse effect on living organisms and other indirect effects by damaging the ecosystems.

Also read: Short Essay on Environmental Pollution

How Pollution is a major problem today?

The dangers of pollution today are one of the most severe problems that human societies are facing. In recent decades, increasing pollution has questioned the existence of life.

Every country in the world is worried about the losses incurred by it. Scientists from all over the world continue to publish reports related to pollution and warn us against the danger ahead.

Until today, a few decades ago, it took seriously no pollution problem. It was usual for humans to get resources from nature. However, as the population grew, the exploitation of natural resources increased.

The temperature of the earth is increasing because of pollution. There are many pores in the ozone layer.  Animals and living beings are dying in rivers and oceans. The weather in many countries is changing.

Even not the season of rain, sometimes it is raining, and in time of the rainy season, it does not rain. This is causing enormous damage to agriculture. Himalayan glaciers are melting. Because of that, the possibility of extinction of rivers like Ganges, Yamuna, and Brahmaputra has come.

In such a critical time, it is necessary that all the countries of the world together should curb this problem of pollution. We cannot destroy nature for industries. When life is endangered, then what will be the comfort of life making industries?

More recently, in December 2015, the world’s 196 countries were gathered in Paris to control pollution. Together they have decided that it will not allow the temperature of the earth to grow over two degrees by the present temperature.

Even this was the late but right step in the right direction. If this has to implement, then the Paris session would prove to be a golden hope for humanity. Hopefully, we will take the right steps to protect the environment and save the next generation from the adverse effects of pollution.

The chemical fertilizers are used in agriculture as manure has made the soil barren. The problem of soil pollution has also become severe. There is different pollution, such as water pollution, air pollution, sound pollution, soil pollution, light pollution, thermal pollution, radioactive pollution, and plastic pollution.

So, below we have explained about various types of pollution one by one with their causes, effects and control measures.

Types of Pollution

1. Water pollution

Also – More about Water Pollution

The technological development of the last two hundred years has made the man’s life comfortable. The Industrial Revolution has made the lives of millions of people happy. People are living longer lives because of discoveries of new-new drugs.

Mortality has already decreased considerably. In this way, we find that this industrial revolution era has given us a lot. However, if we look at the surrounding environment, then we know that this progress is also causing poison in our lives. The form of this poison today is pollution spreading all around us.

Even there are many types of pollution – air pollution, water pollution, land pollution, noise pollution, etc. All these forms of pollution are fatal, but the pollution that has affected most of our people is water pollution.

Water pollution refers to the mixture of substances in the water, rivers, lakes, ponds, groundwater, and seawater, which make water ineligible for the use of animals and creatures. It affects every life based on water.

Causes

The principal reason for water pollution is our industry’s byproducts. Chemical trash emanates from the industries and is throwing in rivers and ponds.

This garbage is very poisonous. It also makes the water poisonous — animals living in the river-pond die.

Many animals die by drinking this water, so many people fall sick. Apart from the industry, there are many other factors of water pollution.

Thousands of tons of garbage from our cities and villages are throwing in rivers or oceans. Today, chemical fertilizers and medicines are also being used for agriculture. These are affecting the sources of water.

 Effects

The main reason for seawater being polluting is to meet the water of polluted rivers in the sea. Apart from this, the growing pile of unsuitable plastic is also sown in the sea.

Many times, the fuel of the ships spreads in the ocean due to the accident. This oil spreads far into the sea and makes a layer on the water of the sea. Due to this, many innumerable living creatures die in water.

How to Control Water Pollution?

Water pollution has become a terrible problem for all these reasons. The people who used to drink the water of the rivers and ponds, now it cannot drink.

People are facing the problem of drinking water. Our Government should take immediate steps to solve the problem of water pollution. First, it should prohibit industries and factories that they did not shed their garbage in rivers and ponds.

Do not allow to throw the Industrial garbage in the source of water without properly treating it. Using chemical fertilizers in agriculture should be stopped, and it should encourage organic farming.

Water pollution has now raised the form of emergency. In such a situation, we need urgent steps. If we want our countrymen to get safe drinking water and the source of water is safe for a long time, then we have to take steps for it from today. Further delays in this matter can be fatal.

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2. Air Pollution

Read- More about Air Pollution

Air is an essential source of life. When air is polluted by toxic and harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, we call it air pollution. There are many reasons for air pollution, such as cutting trees, smoke from factories and vehicles,. It causes various diseases like asthma, allergies, breathing problems, etc. So it is crucial to stop it.

Because of pollution today the air of the cities has become so much contaminated that it is difficult for humans to breathe. The smoke coming out of cars and factories is poisoning the air. This is increasing air pollution. In the nation’s capital, Delhi, pollution has crossed the danger level. 

Causes

Emissions from vehicles exhaust hazardous gases and particulates, including hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide. These gases rise to the atmosphere and react with other atmospheric gases, creating even more toxic gases.

Air pollution becomes contaminated by these contaminated substances. Let us tell you that in our atmosphere there is a fixed amount of gas in the fixed ratio, but when some such elements enter our atmosphere, and then the balance of these gases gets spoiled, promoting the problem of air pollution. 

This problem is increasing because of the rapidly growing industrialization, increasing population, indiscriminate deforestation, and excessive use of vehicles.

Effects

Higher levels of air pollution can cause an increased risk of breathing problems, heart attack, wheezing and coughing problems and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Air pollution can also cause a worsening of heart problems, asthma, and other lung complications.

Living beings, humans, and animals suffer from various health problems because of air pollution, including congenital disabilities, reproductive failure, and diseases. Air pollution causes several environmental effects on humans and animals.

How to avoid air pollution?

Uncontrolled harvesting of forests requires stopping. In this work, together with the Government, NGOs, and every human being, they should stop the destruction of forests and take part in the tree planting program.

It should provide prevent the process of urbanization or metropolitan employment and minor industries and other facilities in villages and compact towns only.

Factories require setting away from the urban area. Such technology to be using that most of the smoke is absorbed and it cannot spread the residual substances and gases much in the air.

Proper arrangements of population education should be made so that population growth is prevented from colossal growing. The smokes coming out of the fuel in the vehicles should be adjusted so that at least the smoke gets out.

Using such fuel like CNG, we should advise the Electric vehicles then use of it will be fully oxidized and it will release smoke at least.

It should spread consciousness and awareness among children by incorporating all these things into the study curriculum to disseminate information and losses to it. It should promote publicity through publicity medium such as Doordarshan, Radio.

3. Sound pollution:

Read – More about Soil Pollution

 Sound pollution is also a severe problem. Sound pollution refers to the noise caused by vehicles; motorcycles, DJs, loudspeakers, factories, sirens, etc. Sound pollution causes a loss in the listening power of human beings. Many times it may also have to face problems like mental stress depression. So this is a hazardous problem that needs to be redressed.

 Sound pollution can cause stress, anxiety, headaches, irritability, hearing loss and loss of sleep, resulting in decreased productivity. Oil drills, submarines, and other vessels in the ocean can cause excessive noise that has resulted in injury or death of marine animals, especially whales.

Effects

During a period, we are the effect of noise pollution, and this can easily result in damage to our ears and hearing loss. It can impair hearing forever and also reduces our sensitivity to sounds so that our ears tune unconsciously to regulate the rhythm of our body.

There are various types of diseases and stress related to a heart that can harm you because of blood pressure levels, cardiovascular diseases, and high noises can cause high blood pressure and increases the rate of heartbeats as they affect normal blood flow.

The noise pollution affects people’s health, and nowadays, people are suffering from stress and anxiety and a psychological health problem. It shows its effects like sleep disturbance, constant stress, fatigue, and hypertension issues linked to an excessive level of noise.

Communication problems arise when two people are talking freely, and noise is disturbing, so people do not understand the other person’s communication so it can become a headache for people.

Marine scientists are concerned about the excessive noise used by oil drill rigs, submarines, and other ships traveling in the ocean. Many marine creatures, especially whales, use hearing to find food, communicate, defend themselves, and survive at sea.

Excessive noise causes many injuries and deaths in whales. For example, the sonar effect of a Navy submarine can be heard 290 miles away from the source.

Wildlife faces a lot more problems than humans because noise pollution is more dependent on sound. Animals keep a better sense of hearing than we do since their survival depends on it. The harmful effects of excessive noise start at home. Pets react more aggressively in homes where there is constant noise. 

How to control noise pollution?

Social awareness is essential to prevent and control noise pollution. Not only the Government, but we also should know the harmful effects of noise pollution.

Such transport terminals, industries, airports, and railway terminals should be separated from residential places. Require avoiding the maximum use of sound processing instruments and develop regulations for using the loudspeaker and other devices.

They should encourage the construction of some soundproofing machines in industrial and production installations. Also necessary for residential buildings.

Anti-pollution regulations should lay down strict rules and regulations that they enact and enforce. Prohibit all kinds of firecrackers that are very harmful and creates to pollutions.

In the community’s law, there must be a real silence zone like schools, universities, and hospitals. Make the plantation (trees) absorb sound and reduce pollution in the residential area, and healthier breathing of the body.

4. Soil pollution

Land pollution is the destruction of the land. It also pollutes the soil through the discharge of underground septic tanks, sewage plants, rivers, and oceans. Rain and flooding bring pollutants from other locations. Excess farming and overgrazing the agricultural activities, landfills can leach and contaminate diseases that transmit disease.

Effects of Soil and Land Pollution:

Pollution of land and soil have substantial consequences for humans, animals, micro-organisms, and aquatic life. Contaminated soil can cause various skin problems, respiratory problems, and even different other diseases.

These toxic substances come into direct contact with the human body through the ingestion of fruits and vegetables that have been grown on contaminated soil, being consumed by contaminated drinking water, direct contact with the skin and inhaling polluted air with particles and dust.

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Cutting off trees is the biggest reason when it talks to land degradation and soil erosion. 

How to Control Soil Pollution?

The many steps have been advised to control soil pollution. We would need to use less fertilizer and pesticides if we could adopt the three R: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. That would give us less solid waste.

Reduce the utilization of chemical fertilizers and pesticides: The application of biological fertilizers can reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Natural ways of pest control can also reduce the use of pesticides and thus minimize soil pollution.

Reuse of materials: Materials such as plastics bags, glass containers, paper, fabric, etc. can be reused at the domestic level, rather than being disposed of, reducing substantial waste pollution.

Recycling and recovery of materials: This is a reasonable solution to reduce soil pollution. Materials such as paper, some types of plastics and glass can and are being recycled. This reduces the volume of waste and helps in the conservation of natural resources. For example, recovering one ton of paper can save 16 trees.

Reforestation: Control of soil loss and soil erosion can be prevented by restoring forest and grass cover to devastated lands, soil erosion, and flooding. Rotation of crops or mixed crops can improve the fertility of the land.

Using pesticides should be minimized. Using fertilizers should be judicious. It should improve harvest techniques to prevent weeds from growing. We should select individual wells for waste disposal and Arborization and reforestation

Treatment of Solid Waste: Appropriate methods should be adopted for the management of solid waste disposal. The industrial waste can be treated physically, chemically, and biologically until they are less hazardous.

We must neutralize acid and alkali residues. It must allow the insoluble material if to degrade under controlled conditions before disposal. It should investigate new hazardous waste storage areas, such as the injection into deep wells and more secure landfills.

5. Light Pollution

Light pollution is caused by the extended and unwarranted use of artificial lights at night. This can cause wellbeing issues in human and disrupt natural cycles, including wildlife activities. Sources of light pollution include night sports area, electronic billboards, street, and car lighting, city parks, public places, airports, and residential areas.

Effects of light pollution

Too much light causes eye fatigue and stress, damaging our eyes and diminishing our quality of life. This also causes a decrease in the hormone melatonin that helps us to fall asleep, resulting in restlessness and fatigue.

 In the last few decades, the degree and intensity of artificial lighting at night has increased so much that today no one can deny its negative effect on habitats and species.

There are two distinct terms for describing the effects of light pollution on natural and protected areas: ‘astronomical light pollution,’ which affects the view of the night sky regarded as part of the landscape, and ‘ecological light pollution,’ which alters natural light terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

The dissemination of artificial light in the natural environment has other repercussions less known or less noticeable. Particularly significant is the change in the decline and increase of marine plankton, which affects the marine food chain, or the adverse effects on the population balance of many species, resulting in a disturbance of the consequence to many nocturnal insects and the balance between predator and prey.

Many mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles are photoperiodic, meaning their movement, mating, growth and development, and food cycles regulate by natural light patterns. This pollution can interfere with these natural behaviors and cycles, causing a decrease in wildlife populations.

How to control Light pollution?

Minimize Outdoor Lighting and have Just Where You Need.

Install a complete cutting device – complete cutting devices reduce the chance of light escaping above the horizontal plane – fixing the light focused downward where it requires.

Put outdoor lights on timers- Obviously, this will help those of us who sometimes forget to turn the switch off on the way to bed

Get motion-sensing lighting – we hope you find one that works better and of course this helps to minimize the illumination that does not require to be on all the time

Colored lights can help – using yellow or amber lights can reduce the negative impact of night illumination.

6. Thermal pollution

Thermal pollution occurs because many utilities use water in the process of cooling their machines. It then releases the heated water into the open water source, causing a tendency for surface water to warm up.

Thermal pollution occurs when heated effluent is released in poorly washed systems. In these cases, permanent increases in temperature often occur, which tend to decrease the solubility of the dissolved oxygen.

It releases when heated water into large and well-washed marine systems; there is little or no permanent increase in temperature. There are, however, problems related to the operation of plants that use marine waters in the cooling process.

Evidence shows that seawater corrodes cooling pipes, which are usually built with a copper-nickel alloy called Monel. These metals dissolve readily in the heated seawater and are then released into the marine environment along with the heated effluent. This increases the nickel and copper concentrations in the rivers or ponds.

An increase in the optimal temperature of water by industrial processes (steel factories, electric powerhouses, and atomic plants) can be called thermal pollution. If the system is poorly washed, a permanent temperature increase may occur. 

Many organisms are killed instantly by hot water, resulting in a high mortality rate. It can bring other disturbances into the ecosystem. Fish eggs can hatch early or do not collide. It can alter the diurnal and seasonal behavior and the metabolic responses of organisms.

It can lead to unplanned migration of aquatic animals. The macrophytic population can also be altered. As the temperature is an important limiting factor, a slight increase in temperature in a population can cause serious changes.

What are the Major Steps to Control Thermal Pollution?

To minimize thermal pollution, it should cool hot water before releasing from factories:

  • Use of Cooling Towers
  • Cooling Ponds
  • Spray Ponds
  • Artificial Lakes
  • Some other measures:
  • Use Less Electricity
  • Reduce temperature
  • Reduce the volume of discharge
  • Store and Reuse Heated Water
  • Discharge in Less Vulnerable Zones

7. Radioactive pollution

Nuclear tests are performed by various countries continuously. That resulting pollution is known as radioactive pollution. It is hazardous pollution that leads to the loss of many types of life.

At the time of World War II, it dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It can still see the severe consequences today.

Radioactive pollution or radiation is transferring electromagnetic waves from one place to another. The energy of wavelength is directly proportional to the frequency and inversely proportional to its radiation. 

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Radioactive minerals contain different uranium, thorium, and plutonium emitting energy radiation, causing pollution. Similarly, cosmic rays contain particles of high energy and cause pollution when they reach earth. Radionuclides are present in the atmosphere and divide into smaller parts, emitting radiation and entering the body of living organisms during respiration.

Human-made sources include nuclear power plants, radioactive waste, atomic bomb tests, nuclear explosions, and radioisotopes. Nuclear plants produce much waste that causes pollution, and lately, disposal has become a global problem.

Nuclear radiation has catastrophic effects on human health, such as damage to the fetus, leukemia, permanent physical deformation, burns to the skin and even death if the person comes in contact with severe radiation.

It also releases toxic minerals into the environment, causing pollution. Radiation causes mutations that damage DNA molecules and cause severe deformations in generations to come.

In order to control nuclear damage, it is essential to dispose of nuclear wastes safely and scientifically. The radioactive wastes should be closed in tight containers underground or remote areas and be allowed to decay.

Strict preventive measures should be in place to avoid accidents and safety measures against the accidental release of radioactive elements must be obligatorily implemented at all the plants.

8. Plastic Pollution

Plastic is a non-biodegradable product that has the potential to cause severe damage to the environment. Plastic makes from toxic compounds known to cause disease and, because of its nature, it is not biodegradable.

Normally Plastic is a synthetic polymer that contains many organic and inorganic compounds and is mainly derived from petrochemicals such as olefins. It classifies this into thermoplastics and thermoset polymers. While they are beneficial in many ways, their production and disposal pose a severe threat to all life on earth.

Generally, plastic takes 500 to 1000 years to degrade, although we may never know the actual degradation time. During manufacturing, it emits many dangerous chemicals, which leads to terrible diseases in humans and other animals.

Ethylene oxide, benzene, and xylene are some toxic chemicals present in the plastic. Various additives found, such as phthalates, adipate, and even alkyl phenols, were recognized as toxic materials. Vinyl chloride, used in the manufacture of PVC pipes, is classified as a carcinogen.

Using plastic is one of the leading causes of pollution of land and water. It has been found that as the gradual increase of the industries in various sectors, there is no way to reduce the manufacturing of plastics.

No doubt manufacturing plastics helped to decrease the cost of materials, water-resistance properties, etc. However, a considerable amount of garbage is also produced. According to research, plastic production leads to almost 7 billion tons, which is unimaginable.

It is essential to know how plastic can bring risks to the environment and why it is necessary to recycle the same and to reduce its use compellingly.

What are the Control measures on Plastics pollution?

There are many precautionary ways in which it can control plastic pollution. Below are some practical ways to manage the problem:

Reduce the use of disposable plastic: do not use plastic bags, water bottles, straws, cups, utensils, dry cleaning bags, travel containers and any other plastic items that are used once and then discarded

Plastic Recycling: Recycling is an effective way to control plastic pollution. As the percentage of recycling is low, plastic pollution is still not under control.

Do your part for the community: Participate in beach or river cleaning to improve your environment. Start the change and make it acceptable to people as well.

Stop using plastic cutlery: Say NO to plastic cutlery in restaurants and at home. You can store silverware with you and avoid plastic cutlery whenever you have your meal.

Various Government policies and programs for Pollution control

The Government has taken many control measures to deal with pollution-related issues- Minister for the Environment. Pollution is a cause for concern in cities and towns.

It is caused because of introducing contaminants in the environment viz. , air, water, and soil, etc., that can adverse changes in environmental conditions.  The Government took the main steps to control pollution include:

(i) Notification of the National Environmental Quality Standards;

(ii) Formulation of environmental regulations/statutes.

(iii) Establishment of a monitoring network for ambient air quality assessment.

(iv) Introduction of cleaner / alternative fuels, such as gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG, etc.), ethanol blend, etc.

(v) Promotion of cleaner production processes.

(vi) setup of the national air quality index by the Prime Minister on April 2015.

(vii) Implementation of Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) standards in 63 selected municipalities and universalization of BS-IV until 2017.

(viii) The decision was taken to jump directly from BS-IV to BS-VI fuel standards by 1 April 2020.

(ix) Tax to polluting vehicles and encourage hybrid and electric vehicles.

(x) Comprehensive amendments to various Waste Management Standards, including Municipal Solid Waste, Plastic Waste, Hazardous Wastes, Biomedical Wastes, and Electronic Wastes.

(xi) Notification of the Management Rules for Construction and Demolition Waste.

(xii) Prohibition of leaf burning, biomass, urban solid waste.

(xiii) Promotion of public subway, bus, e-rickshaws, and carpool promotion, Pollution Control, track discipline, vehicle maintenance.

(xiv) Review of existing environmental standards and formulation of new standards for prevention and control of industrial pollution.

(xv) Regular official and ministerial coordination meetings with Delhi and other State Governments.

(xvi) Issuance of instructions under Section 5 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and under Section 18 (1) (b) of the Water (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act 1974 and Air (Prevention and Pollution Control);(1981).

(xvii) Installation of continuous monitoring devices online (24×7) by the primary industries.

(xviii) Elaboration of an action plan for the management of sewage and restoration of water quality in aquatic resources by State Governments.

(xix) Implementation of the National Fluvial Conservation Plan for the reduction of pollution in identified stretches of rivers and conservation activities, including interception and diversion of raw sewage, construction of sewage systems, installation of waste treatment plants low-cost sewage and sanitation facilities, education and awareness, community participation, electric / improved wood crematoria and development of the front of the river.

Conclusion

Pollution needs to be reduced because it is destroying the environment in which we live. This is contaminating our water and food, causing infections and cancers in humans and wildlife, and decimating the air we respire and the atmosphere that defends us from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

It is the responsibility of every individual to protect the environment and with the growing population.

Protecting the environment is a long and scary task, requiring continued planning, government policy, and public and industrial participation. However, the outcome of ignoring the problem will be disastrous and life, as we know, will end.

By reducing waste, implementing recycling policies, banning hazardous agricultural chemicals, and developing safe renewable energy, we can significantly reduce the pollution that entering the environment each year.

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