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Pollution is when something is added to the environment that is harmful or poisonous to living things. Smoke in the air from factories is a type of pollution as it is bad for the lungs when breathed in. Sewage in drinking water is another type of pollution, as it can make people ill because it contains germs and viruses. People living next to a building site where there is too much noise can become sick as they cannot sleep.

Air pollution[change | change source]

Air pollution is caused by harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide carbon monoxide and very small particles of carbon. It is also caused by the smoke and harmful gases released by the fires that make vehicles and factories go. Use of coal, wood and kerosene as fuels for fire also causes air pollution. Air pollution may cause breathing problems such as asthma or other health problems. It also causes diseases like cancer.

Air pollution causes global warming and acid rain. It results in increased temperatures, erratic rains and drought worldwide. This makes it difficult for the living organisms to survive.

Water pollution[change | change source]

Water pollution is the presence of harmful materials in water, such as sewage, dissolved metals, waste from farms and factories and crude oil spilled from shipwrecked tankers. The three main substances that pollute water are nitrates from fertilizers, sewage and detergents.[1]

Activities such as bathing and washing clothes near lakes, ponds or rivers add nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous into the water bodies.This leads to excessive growth of algae on the surface of water. It blocks the penetration of sunlight and air, thus reducing oxygen.

Pollution causes harm to organisms living in water and can also harm people's health. In extreme cases it may cause problems such as cancer.[2]

Noise pollution[change | change source]

Noise pollution (also known as sound pollution) is noises in the environment that are harmful to humans and animals. When excessive noise is produced, it causes noise pollution. They include the sound of vehicles, loud speakers, etc. Noise pollution can cause ear problems or even permanent deafness, especially to older people.

Soil pollution or Land pollution[change | change source]

Soil pollution(also known as land pollution) is when man-made chemicals, such as hydrocarbons, heavy metals, solvents, get into the soil. These chemicals come from industrial activities and from bad waste disposal. Soil pollution may cause health risks. The chemicals can produce harmful vapors, or they can contaminate water supplies underneath the polluted soil.

Plastic pollution[change | change source]

Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic products in the environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, or humans.

Thermal Pollution[change | change source]

Luminescent objects such as bulbs give out both light and heat. Too many light sources increase the temperature of the environment. This is called Thermal Pollution.

References[change | change source]

  1. Fullick, Ann (2011). Edexcel IGCSE Biology revision guide. Pearson Education. p. 63. ISBN 9780435046767.
  2. Spill in China underlines environmental concerns March 2, 2013 The New York Times