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Pollution - Types and Causes

Pollution is defined as an undesirable change in physical, chemical or biological...

What is Pollution?
Pollution is defined as an undesirable change in physical, chemical or biological characteristics of air, soil, and soil.

Air Pollution

Any undesirable change in the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of air that exert adverse effects on human beings and other organisms is defined as air pollution.


Causes of air pollution
  1. Smoke from forest fires, volcanic eruptions, etc.

  2. Decomposition of garbage resulting in release of unwanted gases into the atmosphere.

  3. Burning of fossil fuels in automobiles and industries release particulate and air pollutants.

  4. Use of leaded petrol.

  5. Gaseous wastes or particulate by-products of various industries.


Noise Pollution

Noise is defined as undesired high level of sound.


Causes
  1. Loudspeakers and music systems, TV, used for entertainment.

  2. Jet planes and rockets

  3. Social functions

  4. Crackers, detonations

  5. Industrial noises, etc.


Water Pollution

Water pollution is defined as any undesirable change in the physical, chemical and biological properties of water that may affect the human beings and domestic species.


The Government of India has passed the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, to safeguard our water resources.



Soil Pollution

Undesirable changes in soil profile affecting its productivity is called soil pollution.


Causes
  1. Chemical seepage from industries.

  2. Inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, etc.


Harmful effects
  1. Non-target organisms in the soil are killed.

  2. Soil becomes infertile.

  3. Pesticides can result in biomagnification.


Radioactive Pollution

Nuclear energy was assumed to be a natural, non-polluting way of electricity generation till the incidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. It is now considered as the most potent pollutant.


Causes
  1. Leakage of radioactive materials from power plants.

  2. Unsafe disposal of radioactive wastes.


Harmful effects
  1. Radiations from nuclear wastes cause mutations at a very high rate.

  2. In high doses, nuclear radiations are lethal.

  3. In low doses, radiations cause disorders and cancer.