The world has witnessed an incredible phase in history with the COVID-19 pandemic. To stop the infection rate of the deadly virus, many countries, states, cities, and nations, enforced quarantines and lockdowns. This meant that the government asked an overwhelming majority of the population to stay at home, besides doctors. Among other things, the reduction in travel activity, work, running businesses, and factories has led to a drastic drop in air pollution. Some densely populated and polluted cities like Wuhan, New Delhi, Seoul, Los Angeles, New York, Rome, and Milan, tasted the low-carbon, fresh air after forever long, long time.
This unexpected turn of events sparked masses of people to wonder about other forms of pollution, and the solution to those forms of pollution. Indeed, not many would be in favor of devastation that a pandemic brings just to enjoy a clean and fresh environment. So, what other ways of pollution control can we adopt to ensure this healthy dream?
In this article, you will learn about the different types of pollution, how they harm us, and the solutions that we can implement as soon as possible to battle their costly effects.
What is Pollution?
Pollution is the presence of or introduction of contaminants or any other substances that may be harmful and even poisonous to the natural environment. In other words, any adverse physical, chemical, or biological change to the natural environment is pollution. Pollution, without exception, always has adverse effects on not only all things natural but manmade things as well. According to a survey, pollution was responsible for killing 9 million people all around the world in 2015.
The things, substances, or elements causing pollution are called pollutants. These components of pollution can occur naturally and can also be foreign. Pollutants can also take the form of energy like light, heat, or noise or chemical substances.
Significant forms of pollutions include:
- Air pollution
- Water pollution
- Vibration and Noise pollution
- Plastic pollution
- Soil contamination and land pollution
- Radioactive contamination
- Light pollution
- Thermal pollution
- Visual pollution
Top 3 Types, Causes, Effects, and Solution of Pollution
Over the years, since their discovery, humanity has realized the significance of the damage pollution has caused Mother Nature. Realizing this, humanity has developed multiple ways for containing pollution.
Some of these are:
1. Air Pollution
Air pollution is when contamination is limited to particles in the air, outdoors and indoors. These contaminants are incredibly harmful living as well as non-living things. The effects of air pollution result in numerous respiratory and heart problems, acid rain, global warming, eutrophication, depletion of the ozone layer, and toxic effects on wildlife.
What Causes Air Pollution?
The natural causes of pollution include wind erosion from tornados, smoke and smog from volcanic eruptions and forest fires, pollen dispersal, evaporation of organic and radioactive compounds. However, even with all the natural causes, none quite pollutes the air like manmade factors. The major contributors to air pollution include the burning of fossil fuels, agricultural activities, harmful exhaust and smoke from industries and factories, mining operations, and other indoor air pollution elements.
Solution for Air Pollution:
Many countries are already in the middle of the war against air pollution and are implementing various solutions to this particular problem. They are continuing to allocate resources to achieve at an innovative solution that we can be implemented on a broader scale in the future. Some solutions currently in practice include:
- Use of public transportation or ridesharing
- Conservation of energy and fossil fuels
- Instead of incinerating, implementation recycling, or reusing
- Integration with other clean energy resources
- Using energy effecting devices onboth personal, governmental and industrial level
2. Water Pollution
Out of all the natural elements, water is perhaps the most easily pollutable because of its solvency. Since most pollutants can easily dissolve in different forms of water bodies, containing the contamination and pollution becomes a challenge, and the damage to marine life is devastating.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 829,000 people die every year due to consuming unsafe drinking water. The same report goes on to state how, by 2025, nearly half of all global population will be living in the water-stressed areas due to a shortage of safe, contamination-free water.
What Causes Water Pollution?
Significant water pollutions contributors are:
- Sewage and wastewater
- Marine dumping
- Industrial waste
- Accidental oil leakage
- Mining activities
- Chemical fertilizers and pesticides
- Acid rain
- Leakage from sewer lines
- Radioactive waste
- Animal waste
- Urban development
- Leakage from landfills
Solutions for Water Pollution:
Some ways through which we can reduce pollution and improve water quality include:
- Responsible use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides
- Minimize storm water runoff
- Filtering runoff water
- Contain spills though absorbents
- Capture floating pollution and dispose of it
3. Land Pollution
Pollution on land is no less than a living nightmare. Land pollution can take place in a variety of forms that can result in destruction or degradation of the earth’s surface. This may be because of human activity both, directly and indirectly. The effects of this type of pollution can be seen in the loss of green cover and real estate since barren lands are turning into giant waste dumping grounds.
What Causes Land Pollution?
- Deforestation and soil erosion
- Overcrowded landfills
- Sewage treatment
- Nuclear waste
- Agricultural, mining and construction activities
Solutions for Land Pollution:
Some simple yet successful solutions to land pollutions include:
- Reduce, recycle and reuse
- Responsible use of fertilizer and pesticides
- Everyday use of biodegradable products
- Improved garbage disposal methods
- Investment in organic gardening
Pollution is a serious issue, and it needs urgent attention.
Among many other forms of pollution, plastic pollution and radioactive contamination have proven to be disastrous and fatal. Since it had gone unchecked, these issues have led to large-scale disasters like global warming and holes in the ozone layer. While this article entails a brief account of only three most prominent forms of pollution, there is a lot more literature available on the subject that detail the extent of the problem. For the sake of all things living on this planet, we cannot afford to ignore these problems and, therefore, must take action as soon as possible.