Different types Pollution on Earth – 9 types of Pollution

Different types Pollution on Earth – 9 types of Pollution

There are several types of pollution, and while they may come from different sources and have different consequences, understanding the basics about pollution can help environmentally conscious individuals minimize their contribution to these dangers. In total, there are nine recognized sources of pollution in the modern world. These sources of pollution don’t simply have a negative impact on the natural world, but they can have a measurable effect on the health of human beings as well.

Different types Pollution on Earth – 9 types of Pollution

Air Pollution

Air pollution is defined as any contamination of the atmosphere that disturbs the natural composition and chemistry of the air. This can be in the form of particulate matter such as dust or excessive gases like carbon dioxide or other vapors that cannot be effectively removed through natural cycles, such as the carbon cycle or the nitrogen cycle.

Air pollution comes from a wide variety of sources. Some of the most excessive sources include:

Some examples of air pollution include:

  • Exhuast fumes from vehicles
  • The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, or gas
  • Harmful off-gasing from things such as paint, plastic production, and so on
  • Radiation spills or nuclear accidents

Depending on the concentration of air pollutants, several effects can be noticed. Smog increases, higher rain acidity, crop depletion from inadequate oxygen, and higher rates of asthma. Many scientists believe that global warming is also related to increased air pollution.

Air pollution is linked to asthma, allergies and other respiratory illnesses.

Water Pollution

Water pollution involves any contaminated water, whether from chemical, particulate, or bacterial matter that degrades the water’s quality and purity. Water pollution can occur in oceans, rivers, lakes, and underground reservoirs, and as different water sources flow together the pollution can spread.

Causes of water pollution include:

  • Raw sewage running into lake or streams
  • Industrial waste spills contaminating groundwater
  • Radiation spills or nuclear accidents
  • Illegal dumping of substances or items within bodies of water
  • Biological contamination, such as bacteria growth
  • Farm runoff into nearby bodies of water

The effects of water pollution include decreasing the quantity of drinkable water available, lowering water supplies for crop irrigation, and impacting fish and wildlife populations that require water of a certain purity for survival.

Soil Pollution

Soil, or land pollution, is contamination of the soil that prevents natural growth and balance in the land whether it is used for cultivation, habitation, or a wildlife preserve. Some soil pollution, such as the creation of landfills, is deliberate, while much more is accidental and can have widespread effects.

Soil pollution sources include:

  • Hazardous waste and sewage spills
  • Non-sustainable farming practices, such as the heavy use of inorganic pesticides
  • Strip mining, deforestation, and other destructive practices
  • Household dumping and littering

Soil contamination can lead to poor growth and reduced crop yields, loss of wildlife habitat, water and visual pollution, soil erosion, and desertification.

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution refers to undesirable levels of noises caused by human activity that disrupt the standard of living in the affected area. Noise pollution can come from:

  • Traffic
  • Airports
  • Railroads
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Construction or demolition
  • Concerts

Some noise pollution may be temporary while other sources are more permanent. Effects may include hearing loss, wildlife disturbances, and a general degradation of lifestyle.

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Radioactive Pollution

Radioactive pollution is rare but extremely detrimental, and even deadly, when it occurs. Because of its intensity and the difficulty of reversing damage, there are strict government regulations to control radioactive pollution.

Sources of radioactive contamination include:

  • Nuclear power plant accidents or leakage
  • Improper nuclear waste disposal
  • Uranium mining operations

Radiation pollution can cause birth defects, cancer, sterilization, and other health problems for human and wildlife populations. It can also sterilize the soil and contribute to water and air pollution.

Thermal Pollution

Thermal pollution is excess heat that creates undesirable effects over long periods of time. The earth has a natural thermal cycle, but excessive temperature increases can be considered a rare type of pollution with long term effects. Many types of thermal pollution are confined to areas near their source, but multiple sources can have wider impacts over a greater geographic area.

Thermal pollution may be caused by:

  • Power plants
  • Urban sprawl
  • Air pollution particulates that trap heat
  • Deforestation
  • Loss of temperature moderating water supplies

As temperatures increase, mild climatic changes may be observed, and wildlife populations may be unable to recover from swift changes.These kinds of environmental pollution can cause aquatic life to suffer or die due to the increased temperature, can cause discomfort to communities dealing with higher temperatures, and will affect plant-life in and around the area.

Light Pollution

Light pollution is the over illumination of an area that is considered obtrusive. Sources include:

  • Large cities
  • Billboards and advertising
  • Nighttime sporting events and other nighttime entertainment

Light pollution makes it impossible to see stars, therefore interfering with astronomical observation and personal enjoyment. If it is near residential areas, light pollution can also degrade the quality of life for residents.

Light pollution uses more energy (by shining more light up instead of down, meaning you need brighter bulbs for the same amount of light), may affect human health and our sleep cycles, and most importantly, corrupts our kids telescopes and their curiosity.

Visual Pollution

Visual pollution – eyesores – can be caused by other pollution or just by undesirable, unattractive views. It may lower the quality of life in certain areas, or could impact property values and personal enjoyment.

Sources of visual pollution include:

  • Power lines
  • Construction areas
  • Billboards and advertising
  • Neglected areas or objects such as polluted vacant fields or abandoned buildings

While visual pollution has few immediate health or environmental effects, what’s causing the eyesore can have detrimental affects.

Personal Pollution

Personal pollution is the contamination of one’s body and lifestyle with detrimental actions. This may include:

  • Excessive smoking, drinking or drug abuse
  • Emotional or physical abuse
  • Poor living conditions and habits
  • Poor personal attitudes

 

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