Environmental pollution refers to contamination of environment by various substances that have adverse effects on living and non-living matters.
Types of Environmental pollution:
- Air Pollution
- Water Pollution
- Land Pollution
- Noise Pollution
The air pollution refers to the presence of any unwanted gases, dust particles etc. in the air, that can cause damage to people as well as nature.
Causes of Air Pollution
Some of the common causes of air pollution are:
- Emission of fumes from vehicles.
- Emission of smoke, dust and chemicals from manufacturing plants.
- Emission of gases and dust arising from atomic plants.
- Emission of smoke from oil refineries, burning of trees and plants in forests etc.
Effect of Air Pollution
The Air pollutions has the following effects:
Presence of unwanted gases in air creates serious health problems. It can create diseases like asthma, cough and cold, blindness, hearing loss, skin disease etc. It also causes genetic disorders. In the long run and in extreme cases it can also be fatal.
Visibility and respiratory problems:
Air Pollution creates smog in the winter, which is caused by smoke and dust when they mix with fog. It reduces natural visibility and irritates the eyes and respiratory tract.
Depletion of Ozone layer:
Ozone layer is a protective layer of gases around our earth, which protects us from harmful ultraviolet rays that come from the sun. It gets depleted because of air pollution thus causes genetic defects and skin cancer.
Increase in temperature:
The temperature of the earth increases due to air pollution because whatever heat our earth receives from the sun is not radiated to the atmosphere due to the excessive presence of gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide etc.
Air pollution causes acid rain which means excessive presence of various poisonous gases like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide etc. in the rainwater. This causes lot of damage to vegetation, trees and marine life, buildings and monuments etc.
Water pollution refers to contamination of water due to presence of unwanted and harmful substances thus, making water unfit for use.
Causes of Water Pollution
- Drainage of human excreta into rivers, canals etc.
- Improper sanitation and sewage system.
- Dumping of wastes and effluents by various industrial units into the rivers and canals.
- Drainage of toxic substances like used chemicals and fertilizers into streams and rivers.
- Dumping of garbage, dead bodies etc. into the nearby water sources by households.
Effects of Water Pollution
- It can create health hazards among human beings, animals and birds resulting into diseases like typhoid, jaundice, cholera, gastroentytis etc.
- It can endanger lives of various aquatic species.
- It can lead to scarcity of drinking water .
Land Pollution refers to dumping of useless, unwanted as well as hazardous substances on the land that degrades the quality of soil we use. Our land gets polluted because of the human carelessness towards the soil.
Causes of Land Pollution
- Excessive use of fertilizers, chemicals and pesticides in cultivation.
- Disposal of solid waste of industries, mines and quarries.
- Disposal of solid waste from construction of roads, buildings etc.
- Effluents of some plants which are not absorbed by soil.
- Excessive use of plastic bags, which are non-biodegradable.
- Dumping of non-decomposable wastes from households, hotels and hospitals as well as from industries. These may include combustible items like plastic, cloth, wood etc., and non combustible items like metal, glass, ceramics, cement etc.
Effects of Land Pollution
- Reduces the area of cultivable land.
- Causes health hazards as it contaminates the sources of food.
- Causes damage to the landscape.
- Leads to water and air pollution.
Noise Pollution :
When environment is polluted through excessive noise it is called Noise Pollution. Noise means an unwanted sound that causes irritation.
Causes of Noise Pollution:
It is caused by modern machines and gadgets such as rail engines, loud speakers, generators, aeroplanes, vehicles, machineries, telephones, televisions etc.
Effects of Noise Pollution:
- It initially distorts communication process.
- Prolonged exposure to noise pollution can cause loss of hearing, headache, irritation, high blood pressure, neurological or psychological disorders etc.
Pollution Created by Business
Business causes pollution in the following ways:
(a) Emission of gas and smoke from manufacturing plants.
(b) Use of machines, vehicles etc. contributing to noise pollution;.
(c) Deforestation due to acquisition of forest lands for setting up plants.
(d) Growth of urbanization and industrialization.
(e) Disposal of wastes and effluents into rivers and canals.
(f) Disposal of solid wastes in the open space.
(g) Mining and quarrying activities.
(h) Increasing use of transport.
Role of Business in Pollution Control
Business plays three types of role to control environmental pollution- Preventive, Curative and Awareness.
It means business should take all steps so that no further damage is done to the environment. For this, business must follow the regulations laid down by government to control pollution.
It means business should rectify whatever damage has been done to the environment. In addition, if it is not possible to prevent pollution then simultaneous curative measures can be taken. For example, planting of trees (a forestation programme) .
It means making the employees as well as the general public aware about the causes and consequences of environmental pollution so that they voluntarily try to protect rather than damage the environment . For example, business can undertake public awareness programmes.