Various Type of PollutionSound PollutionNoise, by definition, is unwanted sound. What is pleasant to some ears may be extremelyunpleasant to others, depending on a number of factors. The natural environment containsmany sources of noise - wind, volcanoes, oceans, and animal sounds are all familiarintrusions accepted at various levels. Man-made noises - from machines, automobiles,trains, planes, explosives and firecrackers, etc. - are more contentious. Both kinds ofnoise affect sleep, hearing, communication, as well as mental and physical health.Pollution is a noun derived from the verb pollute, meaning: to foul. It is now increasinglyunderstood that pollution from noise is an important component of air pollution, whichwas previously understood as being limited to material pollution. Noise is an inescapableby-product of the industrial environment, which is increasing with advances inindustrialization and urbanization. Even in non-industrial areas, noise from such activitiesas printing, auto-repair, grinding, affects those living in the immediate surroundings.Noise not only causes irritation or annoyance but also constricts the arteries, andincreases the flow of adrenaline and forces the heart to work faster. Continuous noisecauses an increase in the cholesterol level resulting in permanent constriction of bloodvessels, making one prone to heart attacks and strokes. Health experts are of the opinionthat excessive noise can also lead to neurosis and nervous breakdown.Noise travels through air and hence it is measured in ambient air quality level. Noise ismeasured in decibels. Experts believe that continuous noise levels in excess of 90decibels can cause loss of hearing and irreversible changes in nervous systems. TheWorld Health Organization [WHO] has fixed 45 decibels as the safe noise level for a city.Metropolitan areas in India usually register an average more than 90 decibels; Mumbai israted the third noisiest city in the world, with New Delhi following closely.Waste and Water PollutionWhen toxic substances enter lakes, streams, rivers, oceans, and other water bodies, theyget dissolved or lie suspended in water or get deposited on the bed. This results in thepollution of water whereby the quality of the water deteriorates, affecting aquaticecosystems. Pollutants can also seep down and affect the groundwater deposits.Today, many people dump their garbage into streams, lakes, rivers, and seas, thus makingwater bodies the final resting place of cans, bottles, plastics, and other householdproducts. The various substances that we use for keeping our houses clean add to waterpollution as they contain harmful chemicals. In the past, people mostly used soaps madefrom animal and vegetable fat for all types of washing. But most of today’s cleaningproducts are synthetic detergents and come from the petrochemical industry. Mostdetergents and washing powders contain phosphates, which are used to soften the water
among other things. These and other chemicals contained in washing powders affect thehealth of all forms of life in the water.The effects of water pollution are not only devastating to people but also to animals, fish,and birds. Polluted water is unsuitable for drinking, recreation, agriculture, and industry.It diminishes the aesthetic quality of lakes and rivers. More seriously, contaminated waterdestroys aquatic life and reduces its reproductive ability. Eventually, it is a hazard tohuman health. Nobody can escape the effects of water pollutionAir PollutionOne of the formal definitions of air pollution is as follows – ‘The presence in theatmosphere of one or more contaminants in such quality and for such duration as isinjurious, or tends to be injurious, to human health or welfare, animal or plant life.’ It isthe contamination of air by the discharge of harmful substances. Air pollution can causehealth problems and it can also damage the environment and property. It has causedthinning of the protective ozone layer of the atmosphere, which is leading to climatechange.Modernisation and progress have led to air getting more and more polluted over theyears. Industries, vehicles, increase in the population, and urbanization are some of themajor factors responsible for air pollution. The following industries are among those thatemit a great deal of pollutants into the air: thermal power plants, cement, steel, refineries,petro chemicals, and mines.Air pollution results from a variety of causes, not all of which are within human control.Dust storms in desert areas and smoke from forest fires and grass fires contribute tochemical and particulate pollution of the air. The source of pollution may be in onecountry but the impact of pollution may be felt elsewhere. The discovery of pesticides inAntarctica, where they have never been used, suggests the extent to which aerial transportcan carry pollutants from one place to another.Listed below are the major air pollutants and their sources.Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced by the incompleteburning of carbon-based fuels including petrol, diesel, and wood. It is also produced fromthe combustion of natural and synthetic products such as cigarettes. It lowers the amountof oxygen that enters our blood . It can slow our reflexes and make us confused andsleepy.Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the principle greenhouse gas emitted as a result of humanactivities such as the burning of coal, oil, and natural gases.Chloroflorocarbons (CFC) are gases that are released mainly from air-conditioningsystems and refrigeration. When released into the air, CFCs rise to the stratosphere,
where they come in contact with few other gases, which leads to a reduction of the ozonelayer that protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.Lead is present in petrol, diesel, lead batteries, paints, hair dye products, etc. Lead affectschildren in particular. It can cause nervous system damage and digestive problems and, insome cases, cause cancer.Ozone occur naturally in the upper layers of the atmosphere. This important gas shieldsthe earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. However, at the ground level, it is apollutant with highly toxic effects. Vehicles and industries are the major source ofground-level ozone emissions. Ozone makes our eyes itch, burn, and water. It lowers ourresistance to colds and pneumonia.Nitrogen oxide (Nox) causes smog and acid rain. It is produced from burning fuelsincluding petrol, diesel, and coal. Nitrogen oxides can make children susceptible torespiratory diseases in winters.Suspended particulate matter (SPM) consists of solids in the air in the form of smoke,dust, and vapour that can remain suspended for extended periods and is also the mainsource of haze which reduces visibility. The finer of these particles, when breathed in canlodge in our lungs and cause lung damage and respiratory problems.Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a gas produced from burning coal, mainly in thermal powerplants. Some industrial processes, such as production of paper and smelting of metals,produce sulphur dioxide. It is a major contributor to smog and acid rain. Sulfur dioxidecan lead to lung diseases.Chemical PollutionIn some parts of the world, the bodies of whales and dolphins washing ashore are sohighly contaminated that they qualify as toxic waste and have to be specially disposed of.There are many different sources of chemical pollution, including: • domestic sewage • industrial discharges • seepage from waste sites • atmospheric fallout • domestic run-off • accidents and spills at sea • operational discharges from oil rigs • mining discharges and • agricultural run-off.However, the chemicals that are probably of most concern for everyone are the persistentpollutants: those substances that enter marine food chains and are eventually passed along
the chain to the marine top predators in increasing amounts.Persistent pollutants includepesticides, such as DDT, and industrial chemicals, most famously the PCBs.