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POLLUTIONThe word, pollution means to make dirty. Pollution causes imbalance in theenvironment. Environmental pollution is a serious problem. Nearly 35 percent of Indiastotal land area is subject to serious environmental pollution.Industrialization has led to urbanization, which has added to the pollution problem. Airpollution is the most dangerous form of pollution. land and water pollution haveworsened the situation. Pollution causes several types of harmful disease. We mustcontrol pollution for our survival.The word pollution pollution, has been derived form a Latin word, pollutionem, whichmeans to make dirty. Pollution is the process of making the environment. i.e. the land,water and air dirty by adding harmful substances to it. Pollution causes imbalance in theenvironment. This imbalance has threatened the very survival of life. It is a threat to thewhole world.Environmental pollution is the biggest menace to the human race on this planettoday. It means adding impurity to environment. Environmental pollution is a seriousproblem of the industrialized societies. The industrial development and the GreenRevolution have adversely affected the environment. People have converted the lifesupporting systems of the entire living world into their own resources and have vastlydisturbed the natural ecological balance. Serious degradation and depletion have beencaused thought overuse, misuse and mismanagement of resources to meet the humangreed.Environmental pollution is defined as the unfavorable alteration of our surroundings. It isby product of mans activities through direct or indirect efforts of changes. Thesechanges could be in the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of land, air orwater that harmfully affect human life or any desirable living thing. Human populationexplosion, rapid industrialization, deforestation, unplanned urbanization, scientific andtechnological advancement etc. are the major causes of environmental pollution. Threefourths of the earth consists of water, yet there is is a scarcity of potable water. In India,all the sources of water like rivers, lakes, ponds and wells have been polluted and areunfit for drinking. As a result of the increased use of fertilizers, the rivers, seas andoceans have become contaminated with harmful pollutants. It is estimated that more
than 500 tons of mercury enters the ocean every year. Oil slicks, pollution caused bythe flow of industrial waste, sewage and fertilizer have also threatened the aquatic life.Industrialization has led to urbanization. The migration of rural population to the cities insearch of work has created an unhealthy environment. It has led to overcrowding,establishment of slum areas. Towns and cities are full of smoke, fumes, dirt, dust,rubbish, gases, foul smell and noise. Air, water and land pollution have furtherworsened the very survival of human beings.The environment consists of earth, water, air, plants and animals. If we pollute them,then the existence of man and nature will be hampered.It is true that trees are being cut down rapidly. Our earth is becoming warmer. Ifpollution continues, the day is not far when our earth will be a boiling pan and become adesert. Or it will be covered with sea water causing destruction of mankind.Types of Pollution 1. Air Pollution — 2. Water Pollution — 3. Land Pollution — 4. Noise Pollution — 5. Radio Active PollutionAIR POLLUTIONPure air is always needed for inhaling. If we take pure air, our health improves. On theother hand impure air causes diseases and impairs our health and causes our death.Smoke pollutes the air. It is the root of air pollution. Major Causes of Air Pollution areIndustries ,Automobiles and Domestic fuels -High Proportion of undesirable gases, suchas sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. The smoke which is discharged fromindustries, automobiles and kitchens is the mixture of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide,
methane etc. These are all poisonous gases. These cause lung-cancer, tuberculosisetc. which take a heavy toll of life. The glaring incident is the Bhopal gas leak inDecember 1984. Thousands of the residents of Bhopal died due to lungs problem whichwas caused by methylamine gas from the Union Carbide Plant.The garbage emitting foul smell, the decaying plants and animals also cause airpollution. Hence the doctors advise the patients having lungs trouble to settle in somerural places because the air of villages is pure and free from population.WATER POLLUTION.The water of rivers and seas is being constantly polluted all over the world by variousdangerous chemical and biological wastes. Mills and factories discharge very harmfulwaste waters into many rivers and sea. The water of the Ganges flowing by the side ofboth Varanashi and Calcutta is extremely polluted and contains all sorts of dangerousbacteria. It is really very strange and laughable that large number of the Indians regardthis water as holy. They even drink this water for salvation. There is no doubt that thefish that grow in such waters are poisonous too.Reckless application of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides pollutes the soil.Vegetables and fruits are quite injurious today, because they contain the poison ofinsecticides and pesticides.Land PollutionPollution occurs when people dispose of their waste on the land. The disposal of non-biodegradable and toxic waste in landfills may result in numerous problems.Firstly, when it rains, rain water may seep through the soil and waste, dissolving andcarrying away with it, harmful substances that pollute the soil, groundwater and anynearby streams. Moreover, when the waste in the landfill decomposes under heat andpressure of the soil above, they would release poisonous fumes such as methane.Many buildings in America and Europe are sited on such land. Hence, an excavation ofthe ground may result inn the release of these fumes into the atmosphere, killingpeople, animals and plants nearby. Moreover, the land above the landfill is filled withpockets of gas and this makes the land very unstable. Subsidence may occur at anytime and this makes the land dangerous to live on. examples of such land include:Love Canal, New York, USA
Portsmouth, EnglandMoreover, with a growing population on Earth, land is becoming scarcer and there maynot be enough land to be used as landfills in the future.SOUND POLLUTIONThen comes sound pollution. The harsh sounds of buses, its, mopeds etc. affect ourpower of hearing and causes fart trouble. It has been reported that there are twovillages named Biraspalli and Devadas Palli near Dum Dum airport m Calcutta where alarge number of people have lost their power of hearing. This is because of the frequentsounds of planes coming in and going out of Dum Dum Airport. The evils of soundpollution can be imagined from this example.RADIOACTIVE POLLUTIONThe radioactive pollution is defined as the physical pollution of air, water and theotherradioactive materials. The ability of certain materials to emit the proton, gammarays and electrons by their nuclei is known as theradioactivity. The protons are knownas the alpha particle and the electrons are also known as the beta particle. Thosematerials are known as the radioactive elements. The environmental radiations can befrom different sources and can be natural or manmade.The natural radiations are also known as the background radiations. In this the cosmicrays are involved and reach the surface of earth from space. It includes the radioactiveelements likeradium, uranium, thorium, radon, potassium and carbon. These occur inthe rock, soil and water. The man made radiations include the mining and refining ofplutonium and thorium. This production and explosion of nuclear weapons include thenuclear fuels, power plants and radioactive isotopes.The first atom bomb was exploded in the Japan in the year 1945. It affected theHiroshima and Nagasaki cities. It adversely affected the flora, fauna and humans of thatarea. In spite of these destructions the nuclear race is still going on between differentnations. The nuclear arms are tested with the production of nuclear weapons.
The radioactive elements are produced in the environment and affect other materialsalso. It includes the strontium, radium and iodine. The gases and particles are producedby theradioactive materials. They are carried by the wind and the rain brings down theradioactive particles to the ground which is referred as nuclear fallout. The soil transfersthese radioactive substances to the plants and ultimately they reach the human bodyand cause many side effects. The iodine may affect the white blood cells, bonemarrow, spleen, lymph, skin cancer, sterility, eye and damage to the lung. The strontiumhas the ability to aggregate in the bones and form a bone cancer and leads to tissuedegeneration.The radioactive materials are passed through the land to water and cause an adverseeffect on the aquatic animals. They reach to human through the food chain. The nuclearpower generates a lot of energy which is used to run turbines and produces electricity.The fuel and the coolant produce a large amount of pollution in the environment. Theatomic reactors are also rich in the radioactive materials. There biggest problem is intheir disposal and if they are not properly disposed they can harm the living organisms.If they escape they can cause a hell lot of destruction. The gases escape as a vaporand cause pollution on the land and water. The use of radioactive isotopes ismultipurpose. They are of a great scientific value and they may be present in the wastewater. From these water resources they reach to the human body via food chain. Thepeople who work in power plants have more chances of the exposure to harmfulradiations. The human beings also receive the radiation and radiotherapy from the xrays.Effects of PollutionPollution causes different types diseases. Air pollution causes allergies, asthma, lungcancer and bronchitis. Radioactive pollutants cause respiratory problems, paralysis,cancer, and other diseases. Excessive noise pollution can lead to deafness, anxiety,stress, increase in the rate of heart beat and other health problems. The depletion of theozone layer can also result in skin diseases. If the air we breathe, the water we drinkand the soil which produces our crops, vegetables and fruits, all become more and
more impure, then our chances of good health and longevity will be very less and less.Environment pollution is a serious menace to our existence. 1. Human healthOverview of main health effects on humans from some common types ofpollution.Adverse air quality can kill many organisms including humans. Ozone pollution cancause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain,and congestion. Water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostlydue to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries. Anestimated 700 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet, and 1,000 Indianchildren die of diarrhea every day. Nearly 500 million Chinese lack access to safedrinking water. 656,000 people die prematurely each year in China because of airpollution. In India, air pollution is believed to cause 527,700 fatalities a year.  Studieshave estimated that the number of people killed annually in the US could be over50,000.Oil spills can cause skin irritations and rashes. Noise pollution induces hearingloss, high blood pressure, stress, and sleep disturbance. Mercuryhas been linkedto developmental deficits in children and neurologic symptoms. Older people aremajorly exposed to diseases induced by air pollution. Those with heart or lung disordersare under additional risk. Children and infants are also at serious risk. Lead andother heavy metals have been shown to cause neurological problems. Chemicaland radioactive substances can cause cancer and as well as birth defects. 2. Environment
Pollution has been found to be present widely in the environment. There are a numberof effects of this: Biomagnification describes situations where toxins (such as heavy metals) may pass through trophic levels, becoming exponentially more concentrated in the process. Carbon dioxide emissions cause ocean acidification, the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earths oceans as CO2 becomes dissolved. The emission of greenhouse gases leads to global warming which affects ecosystems in many ways. Invasive species can out compete native species and reduce biodiversity. Invasive plants can contribute debris and biomolecules (allelopathy) that can alter soil and chemical compositions of an environment, often reducing native species competitiveness. Nitrogen oxides are removed from the air by rain and fertilise land which can change the species composition of ecosystems. Smog and haze can reduce the amount of sunlight received by plants to carry out photosynthesis and leads to the production of tropospheric ozone which damages plants. Soil can become infertile and unsuitable for plants. This will affect other organisms in the food web. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides can cause acid rain which lowers the pH value of soil. 3. Environmental health informationThe Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP)  at the UnitedStates National Library of Medicine (NLM) maintains a comprehensive toxicology andenvironmental health web site that includes access to resources produced by TEHIPand by other government agencies and organizations. This web site includes links todatabases, bibliographies, tutorials, and other scientific and consumer-orientedresources. TEHIP also is responsible for the Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET)  anintegrated system of toxicology and environmental health databases that are availablefree of charge on the web.TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) that is part of TOXNET. TOXMAPuses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the UnitedStates Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) Toxics ReleaseInventory and Superfund Basic Research Programs.Pollution Control
Realizing the danger, vigorous efforts should be made. The Anti-pollution law should bestrictly practiced. We must plant trees in large number to absorb impure air and vehiclesshould be made eco-friendly. In order to check water pollution, the sewage and thefactory waste should be properly treated and cleaned before being discharged. Impurewater from industries can be sent back for purification and then it can be used forirrigation purpose. Our government is well aware of the fact and is taking steps to saveenvironment from pollution.Public education and awareness of the relationship between climate change and humanhealth is key to deal with problems more effectively. General awareness is must to saveour planted from destruction. All the nations of the world should work unitedly to controlenvironmental pollution.