4 Types of Environmental Pollution
What is Environmental Pollution?
Environmental pollution is the introduction of toxic emissions or contaminants into a natural environment that directly causes disorder, instability, destruction or discomfort to the infected ecosystem, including all physical systems or living organisms within the particular environment.
Environmental pollution can take the form of energy, such as heat, light or noise or the introduction of chemical substances. All pollutants are damaging forms of foreign substances or energies; environmental pollution can organically occur through the excess presence of a naturally forming gas or energy.
In most cases, however, environmental pollution is prompted by man-made intervention through the use of machines and carbon-based products.
Forms of Environmental Pollution:
The major forms of environmental pollution are found below, along with their relevant pollutants or causative agents:
This form of environmental pollution refers to the release of chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere Common gaseous air pollutants include: sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (primarily produced by industries and motor vehicles) and chlorofluorocarbons.
This form of environmental pollution refers to astronomical interference, over-illumination and all forms of light trespass.
This form of environmental pollution results from various 20th century activities in atomic physics, such as nuclear weapons research and nuclear power generation, as well as manufacture and deployment-related activities.
A dangerous form of environmental pollution that results from the discharge of wastewater from commercial and industrial waste (occurs intentionally or from oil spills) into surface waters.
Additionally, water pollution occurs from the discharge of untreated domestic sewage and the introduction of various chemical contaminants, such as chlorine, present through the treating of sewage or through the release of waste and contaminants into surface runoff flowing to surface waters.
This process occurs in situations of urban runoff and agricultural runoff, which may introduce various pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Other forms and causes of water pollution include waste disposal and leaching into groundwater sources.
Causes of Environmental Pollution
The aforementioned forms of environmental pollution possess different sources. Air pollution, for instances, comes from both man-made and natural sources.
Although natural air pollution is possible, the increased presence of man-made pollutants, primarily introduced from combustion, mining, construction, agriculture and warfare has placed a greater significance on the dissipation of the environment through human intervention.
As a result of this trend, motor vehicle emissions are one of the leading causes of air pollution and environmental pollution in the United States.
In the realm of air pollution, a complimentary form of environmental pollution known as stationary pollution; these debilitating situations are sparked by chemical plants, coal-fired power plants, petrochemical plants, nuclear waste disposal activities, oil refineries, incinerators, large livestock farms, metals production factories, plastic factories and other heavy industries.
In addition to air pollution, the existence of hazardous waste is a crucial aspect of environmental pollution. Roughly 400 million metric tons of hazardous wastes are generated each year throughout the world; the United States produces 250 million metric tons alone.
Environmental pollution can also arise out of a natural disaster. For example, when a hurricane strikes, negative externalities such as water contamination left from sewage and petrochemical schools from ruptured automobiles or marine crafts are common.
Other forms of environmental pollution include disruptions to soil; common soil contaminants are chlorinated hydrocarbons, heavy metals (such as chromium, lead, cadmium, aviation fuel and gasoline, as well as zinc, arsenic and benzene.
Effects of Environmental Pollution
Environmental pollution has been found to be present widely throughout the world; the effects of such contamination are as follows:
Carbon dioxide emissions perpetuate ocean acidification and the ongoing decrease in the pH of the planet’s oceans as more and more carbon dioxide is dissolved.
The emission of greenhouse gas augments global warming which affects the ecosystem in a variety of ways.
The destruction of species and plant life can contribute debris and biomolecules that irreparably alter soil and chemical compositions of the environment, which leads to a reduction of native species competitiveness.
The presence of smog and haze can reduce the amount of sunlight received by life forms, most notably plant species, whose photosynthesis cycle is altered, leading to the production of tropospheric ozone materials.
The presence of Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides can cause acid rain which diminishes the pH value of soil.