The term pollution refers to any substance that negatively impacts the environment or organisms that live within the affected environment. The 5 major types include Air, Water, Soil, Light, and Noise pollution.
- Air Pollution: It refers to the release of pollutants like toxic gases, biological molecules, and particulate matter into the atmosphere. The pollutants can be derived from several sources including both natural processes and human activity. Volcanic eruptions, limnic eruptions, automobile, and industrial effluents, etc., are some examples of air contamination sources. Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, aerosol sprays, etc., are some examples of air pollutants. Such pollution can be highly detrimental to the health and well-being of all life forms on earth.
- Water Pollution: It is one of the most harmful types of pollution. It can have extremely disastrous consequences for all living beings using contaminated water. A major volume of all the pollutants produced on land end up in water bodies. Toxic wastes released by industries, pathogens released in sewage, harmful chemicals present in agricultural runoffs, etc., are some of the top water pollutants. The contamination of water can lead to epidemics and even pandemics that can wipe out the population of an entire species or even more than one species. Thus, water pollution has a highly adverse impact on the environment, society, and economy of a place.
- Soil Contamination: It refers to the degradation of land due to the presence of chemicals or other man-made substances in the soil. The xenobiotic substances alter the natural composition of soil and affect it negatively. These can drastically impact life directly or indirectly. For instance, any toxic chemicals present in the soil will get absorbed by the plants. Since plants are producers in an environment, it gets passed up through the food chain. Compared to the other types of pollution, the effects of soil contamination are a little more obscured, but their implications are very noticeable.
Some of the common causes of soil contamination are:
- Improper industrial waste disposal.
- Oil Spills.
- Mining activities.
- Intensive farming and fertilizers and pesticides.
- Industrial accidents.