What are Causes of Pollution ?
Pollution & What are Causes of Pollution?
Pollution defines as a change in the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of air, water, or land that can be harmful to human life and other animals, living conditions, industrial processes, and cultural assets. Pollution can be caused by natural or man-made factors. The agents that create pollution are known as pollutants.
What are Causes of Pollution
Pollutants are by-products of man’s action. The important pollutants are summarized below:
Soot, smoke, tar or dust & domestic wastes.
NO2, CO, SO2, halogens (chlorine, bromine & iodine).
Lead, zinc, iron & chromium.
Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides & fertilizers.
Ozone, NO2, aldehydes, ethylene, photochemical smog, & proxy acetyl nitrate are all examples of Photochemical pollutants.
Radiation pollutants—Radioactive substances & radioactive fall-outs of the nuclear test.
Classification of Pollutants
Regarding natural disposal, pollutants are categorized into two types:
These are contaminants that disintegrate slowly as a result of natural biological processes. Inorganic compounds such as salts (chlorides), metallic oxides, waste-producing materials, and items such as aluminum cans, mercuric salts, and even DDT fall into this category. These are continuing to build up in the environment.
These include domestic sewage that easily decomposes under natural processes & can be rapidly decomposed by natural/ artificial methods. When considerable concentrations of these are amassed, the rate of deposition outpaces the rate of disposal breakdown, causing serious difficulties. Pollutants are classified into two categories based on how long they last after being released into the environment:
These chemicals include those that are emitted directly from recognized sources. Sulfur compounds, such as SO2, SO3, and H2S, are formed by the oxidation of fuel.
- Carbon compounds: Oxides of carbon (CO+CO2) & hydrocarbons.
- Nitrogen compounds: NO2& NH3.
- Halogen compounds: Hydrochloride HCl & hydrogen Fluoride HF.
- Particles of different size & substances: These are found suspended in the air.
Metals, charcoal, tar, pollen, fungi, bacteria, silicates, and other small particles with diameters less than 100u are more prevalent.
The secondary pollutants are created when the main pollutants are combined. in the atmosphere. In bright sunlight, a photochemical reaction occurs between nitrogen oxides; oxygen & waste hydrocarbons from the gasoline that forms peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) & ozone (O3), Both of them are toxic components of smog & cause smarting eyes & lung damage.
Smog is a dark and dense layer of fog formed by smoke and chemical pollutants.
The Individual’s Role in Pollution Prevention
Which are the most viable, efficient & economical ways to eliminate pollution problems?
We very often see people blaming the public & government sectors to control pollution through controlling market mechanisms & government blaming people to avoid & check pollution.
Who would control whom? Many ecologists & environmental scientists believe that pollution problems can be overcome by using market mechanisms to reduce pollution rather than rigid rules & regulations. However, on the other hand, man should identify & gear up his own potential to curb down pollution. The man could accomplish this by recognizing his own involvement in pollution reduction on a personal level. Environmental awareness, education, and enlightenment make this feasible.
Ways & means by which pollution problems that can be greatly reduced at the individual level are:
- Individuals should decide to consume the optimum amount of resources in order to live a comfortable life. Because excessive resource consumption is in some way related to pollution problems & hazards (natural & anthropogenic both).
- Waste disposal at the individual level should be minimized to the greatest extent possible, as waste destruction by any means pollutes the environment.
- Maintenance of vehicles should remain proper as to avoid the introduction of harmful gases & other pollutants in to the atmosphere.
- Generators & other household gadgets that add to the pollution of the environment should be kept well maintained.
- Chemical fertilizers, such as DDT should be used sparingly to avoid water pollution.
- Timely disposal of waste to prevent decomposition of household refuge as to check foul odors & spread of disease by insects, flies & other pathogenic bacteria.
- To avoid thermal pollution of water bodies, industrialists should ensure that treated water from plant units is properly disposed of. They should also set up a water treatment plant to prevent harmful materials from flowing into the system.
- Organic solvents should be disposed of in the main drains as little as possible at car service locations.
- To avoid noise pollution, music fans should listen to and run their music systems at maximum volume.