In today’s world, our natural environment is threatened by multiple sources, ranging from deforestation to recreational hunting. Arguably, though, the greatest threat out of them all is the pollution caused by man. This is largely due to the different types of pollution being emitted from human activities, with each one affecting a different part of our planet.
Types Of Pollution
Primarily, there are seven types of pollution:
Each type of pollution threatens the environment in a unique way.
Air pollution contaminates the air we breathe. This can lead to lung cancer, respiratory infections, and heart disease. When chemical substances such as carbon monoxide and chlorofluorocarbons are released into the air, they destroy the ozone layer, which allows harmful ultra-violet rays to enter the Earth’s atmosphere.
The contamination of our water is one of the most fatal forms of pollution, with up to 8 million people dying annually due to interaction with polluted water. Diseases spread by means of water pollution include diarrheal diseases, dysentery and typhoid. Animals are also affected. There are several incidences of sea-life consuming plastic materials left in the oceans and choking on them. Metals such as lead and zinc poison the water fish swim in and result in their death in masses.
The presence of excessive amounts of light can be harmful to humans. In large cities which are well-lit, too much exposure can lead to the straining of eyes. This can damage your eye-sight and cause headaches.
Thermal pollution is problematic for the entire Earth. Industrial activities conducted by man release heat into the environment that tampers with the globe’s temperature. This results in ice-caps melting and the rise of sea levels, severe storms in coastal areas, and longer and harsher droughts in dry areas.
Soil pollution is another worrying form of pollution. Harmful chemicals absorbed by the soil such as lead, mercury and excess salt can make it difficult for plants to survive. Exposure to contaminated soil can lead to skin cancer and chronic diseases.
Sound pollution is caused by activities such as construction work, the honking of cars, and over-populated crowds. The affects aren’t as severe as those of other forms of pollution, but should still be taken into account. Ear aches can be caused and people tend to become irritated and easily angered.
Lastly, is radioactive pollution. Radioactive waste can alter the human body in horrific ways. Babies born in areas with high levels of radioactive tend to be born with deformities in their anatomy. Cancer is another major effect of radioactivity.
The harmful effects of pollution are huge, with humans, animals and the Earth as a whole suffering. It leads to millions of deaths and the distortion of nature. This is why the presence of pollution is a matter not taken lightly and is why scientists all over the world are working for ways to prevent its deadly affects.