The presence of contaminants
into the Natural Environment
that has harmful or poisonous
effects and causes adverse
change in the Environment, is
Dumping of Polluted Water in
Air Pollution caused by Industries
Types Of Pollution
According to the Worldwide Pollution Control Association,
there are 4 main categories of Pollution. They are :Air Pollution
Sources and Effects of Air
There are many sources of Air Pollution. Naturally, the
sources of Air Pollution are Volcanic Eruptions, Forest Fires,
Dust Storms. But, the main sources of Air Pollution is
Human-made Sources, Smoke and Gases from the Factories
and Thermal Power Plants, Exhaust from Automobiles,
Suspended Particulate Matter from Mining, Power Plants
1. Exhaust from Combustion Engines
While modes of transportation such as cars, ships and planes have
made people’s lives easier, they are also some of the biggest causes of
air pollution. Emissions from vehicular combustion engines contain
gaseous oxide, nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide, all of which
contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. With a thinner ozone
layer, the earth will gradually succumb to sweltering heat.
The melting of the polar ice caps and the rise of sea levels are just
some of the jeopardizing effects of air pollution-induced global
warming. Apart from environmental damage, air pollution also
causes a variety of illnesses such as impaired vision, reduced brain
function, lung cancer, and in some cases, death.
2. Use of Coal and Fossil Fuels
establishments, offices, even homes,
utilize fossil fuels and coals for power or
heat. Even though beneficial, coal and
fossil fuels contribute to air pollution
and smog. They also damage structures
and hasten the oxidation of iron. Add to
that, they can cause harm on plants,
which significantly reduces oxygen
supply on earth.Petroleum releases
carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide into
the air, which, when inhaled, can lead to
illnesses. It also contains hydrocarbons,
which bind to nitrous oxide in the
presence of sunlight to create ozone.
While the ozone layer technically
protects the earth from the ultraviolet
rays of the sun, it also gives way to the
production of smog
3. Fertilizer Dust
Fertilizers are useful for farmers as
they accelerate the growth of crops
and plants. Nonetheless, the
accumulation of fertilizer dust (even
those made from organic ingredients)
can give way to the production of
ammonia and nitrogen oxide, both of
which contribute to global warming
and harmful acid rain. Such pollution
also yields methane, a greenhouse gas.
With the presence of high amounts of
methane in the atmosphere, the heat
that should have been radiated back to
the atmosphere are bounced back to
earth, keeping the earth insulated.
4. Mining Operations
Operations, like mining and truck traffic, are some of the top causes
of air pollution. These activities release carbon monoxide, sulfur
dioxide and nitrous oxide into the air, all of which contribute to
development of smog and various health problems. Apart from these
emissions, gold mines also release mercury particulates to the
atmosphere. In excess amounts, mercury inhalation can lead to
sensation disturbances, muscle weakness, respiratory problems,
certain cancers, even death.
5. Chemical Pesticides
Pesticides are very helpful for farmers as they keep vermin, bacteria,
and fungi that destroy their crops at bay. However, use of pesticides,
especially those made from chemicals, also wreaks air pollution. Air
pollution caused by pesticides can be fatal for animal, birds, even
marine life, especially if the emissions already infiltrate their food
sources. Apart from its
contributory effects on
air pollution, pesticides
Actually damage plant’s
health in the long run.
Incessant use of chemical
pesticides leads to
pollination, which then
results in lower crop
6. Power Lines
Just because power lines don’t emit visible smoke, it does not
mean that they are not among the causes of air pollution. In
fact, high voltage lines, especially those located near polluted
cities, attract air that contains harmful particulates. The
electricity running through the lines results in the charging or
the ionization of the air. When inhaled by humans, ionized air
significantly increases the level free radicals in the body. These
free radicals in the body bring about tissue damage, aging, even
the development of certain cancers.
7. Radioactive Fallout
Radioactive sources yield high amounts of energy, as well as harmful
quantities of sulfur dioxide and several heavy metals into the air. In
highly-industrialized cities, air pollution from radioactive
fallout have been proven to create numerous environmental
concerns, such as defoliation, deformation and undergrowth damage
in trees, to name a few. Apart from its impact on the environment, ,
radioactive air pollution also endangers human health. Perhaps the
most infamous case of radioactive fallout is that of Chernobyl in
Ukraine, wherein the survivors of the nuclear meltdown developed
cancers and a variety of respiratory ailments after inhaling
emissions coming from the nuclear plant.
8. Indoor Pollution
Outdoor air pollution causes
contribute to a number of
contaminants in the
Atmosphere. It should be
noted though that indoor
air pollution also plays a
major role in the worsening
air quality around the world. Urban
infrastructures are usually
afflicted with a condition
Called “Sick Building Syndrome.” In this case, fumes from household
chemicals, VOCs from paint, and other substances get trapped in the
building because of the lack of ventilation. These fumes can cause a
variety of health problems for its homeowners, tenants, or visitors.
Televisions and Computer Screens emit certain harmful rays and
vibrations, which also effects human health.
Sources and Effects of
There are many sources of Water Pollution. There are many
less Natural Sources, but mainly Human-made Sources. The
main problem of Water Pollution is consumption of Polluted
Water causes several diseases in Human Beings and
Animals. The main sources of Water Pollution are Household
Drains and Sewage, Industrial Waste, Offshore Oil Drilling,
1. Domestic Drain and Sewage
Domestic household practices produce wastewater that can cause
pollution of many lakes and rivers. The discharged water has many
soluble and insoluble, organic and inorganic matter. This includes
Detergents, Toxic Metals, Chemicals and even Pathogens. Sewage is
the term used for wastewater that often contains faeces, urine and
laundry waste. Untreated sewage water in areas can contaminate the
environment and cause diseases such as Diarrhea and Typhoid. It is
estimated that about 75%, Domestic Drain and Sewage are the main
pollutants of Water.
2. Industrial Waste
The industrial wastes are the most harmful of all the water
Pollutants, as they contain Toxic Metals like Lead, Mercury, Zinc,
Copper, Chromium and Cadmium. They also contain Toxic NonMetals like Arsenic, Acids, Alkalis, Cellulose Fibers, Coloring and
Bleaching Materials and Petrochemicals. This Pollutants are
discharged continuously in the Water Bodies. The presence of the
Industrial Waste in Water makes it unfit and harmful for Drinking,
Bathing, Cooking, Irrigational Purposes and Industrial Purposes.
Effects of Toxic Metals and Non-Metals released in Industrial Waste
TOXIC METALS AND THEIR
EFFECTS ON HEALTH
TOXIC NON-METALS AND
THEIR EFFECTS ON HEALTH
1. Lead: Damages Nervous System,
Kidneys, Liver and Brains.
1. Arsenic: Liver Cirrhosis, Lung Cancer,
Kidney Damage, Gastrointestinal
Disorder and Skin Problems.
2. Mercury: Abdominal Problems,
Headache, Chest Pain and Diarrhea.
2. Asbestos: Asbestosis, Mesothelioma,
Lung cancer, Intestinal cancer and Liver
3. Zinc: Renal Damage and Vomiting.
3. Nitrates: Eutrophication, Damage to
4. Copper: Hypertension, Dizziness And
4. Oils: It forms a thick layer on the
water surface. This stops marine plants
receiving enough light for
5. Chromium: Cancer, Disorder of Nervous 5. Petrochemicals: This is formed from
gas or petrol and can be toxic to marine
3. Offshore Oil Drilling
The beds of Oceans and Seas have reserves of Mineral Oil and
Natural Gas. In the last 50 years, the pollution of Oceans and Seas
have increased many times. The pollution is mainly due to the loss of
Oil during off-shore exploration, Oil Drilling and Extraction of
Mineral Gas, Oil from underwater pipelines, and Oil Spills from Oil
Tankers. Oil spills make up about 12% of the oil that enters the
ocean. The rest come from shipping travel, drains and dumping. Oil
cannot dissolve in water and forms a thick sludge in the water. This
suffocates fish, it gets stick to the feathers of marine birds, stopping
them from flying and blocks light for photosynthesis of aquatic
Case Study: IXTOC 1 OIL SPILL
It was an oil platform called IXTOC 1 which was in the Gulf of Mexico about 600
miles south of Texas in the Bay of Campeche. The accident occurred June 3, 1979
when a two-mile exploratory well blew out.
The IXTOC 1 accident is considered the world's second worst oil spill with 140
million gallons of oil released into the waters. The worst was the oil spill into the
Persian Gulf as a result of the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq when Iraqi troops opened
the Kuwaiti Oil Field Valves which allowed as much as an estimated 520 million
gallons of crude to flow into the Gulf.
It took nearly 10 months for the responders to stop the oil from flowing in the
IXTOC 1 accident. And the well only about 164 feet of water. That allowed divers to
be sent down to cap the well and stop the flowage of Oil.
3 million barrels
2,800 km (1,100 sq
261 km (162 mi)
4. Agricultural Wastes
The excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers and pesticides is very
harmful for human beings due to high levels of nitrates and
phosphates. They contaminate the water. This nutrients reach the
Water bodies like Lakes and Ponds, and cause “Eutrophication”.
Eutrophication is when the environment becomes enriched with nutrients. Fertilizers
run-off into nearby water bodies cause an increase in nutrient levels. This
causes phytoplankton to grow and reproduce more rapidly, resulting in algal blooms.
This bloom of algae disrupts normal ecosystem functioning and causes many problems.
The algae may use up all the oxygen in the water, leaving none for other marine life.
This results in the death of many aquatic organisms such as Fish. The bloom of algae may
also block sunlight from photosynthetic marine plants under the water surface.
5. Thermal Pollution
Most of the large-scale Industrial Unit, Thermal Power Plants,
Nuclear Power Plants and Oil Refineries are located along the banks
of Rivers. These Industries use large quantities of Fresh Water for
cooling purposes. The hot water is generally discharged in the rivers.
This increases the temperature of the river about 10 °C, and this
leads to thermal pollution of water. The increase in temperature of
river water also decreases the level of dissolved oxygen, resulting in
release of foul and toxic gases.
Sources of Noise Pollution
Sound is essential to
our daily lives,
but noise is not. Noise
is generally used as an
unwanted sound, or
sound which produces
unpleasant effects and
discomfort on the ears.
Sound becomes unwanted when it either interferes with normal activities such
as sleeping, conversation, or disrupts or diminishes one’s quality of life. Not all
noise can be called noise pollution. If it does not happen regularly, it may be
termed as 'Nuisance'
Scientists also believe that its not only humans who are affected. For example,
water animals are subjected to noise by submarines and big ships on the ocean,
and chain-saw operations by timber companies also create extreme noise to
animals in the forests.
The annoyance due to Noise Pollution may not be related to the
intensity of sound. Loud Music may be liked by some people, while
even a feeble sound by irritate a sick person. Noise is mainly a
feature of Modern Society and is a problem of City Dwellers and
Noise (or sound) is measured in the units of decibels and is denoted
by the ‘dB’. Noise which is more than 115 dB is intolerant. The
industrial limit of sound in the industries must be 75 dB according to
the World Health Organization.
Noise is considered as environmental pollution, even though it is
thought to have less damage on humans than water, air or land
pollution. But people who are affected by severe noise pollution
know that it is a massive issue that needs attention.
1. Household Sources
Gadgets like Food Mixer, Grinder, Vacuum Cleaner, Cooler, Air
Conditioners, can be very noisy and injurious to health. Others
include Loud Speakers of Sound Systems and TVs, iPods and Ear
phones. Your neighbor’s dog barking all night everyday at every
shadow it sees, disturbing everyone else in the apartment, is also a
cause of noise pollution.
2. Social Events
Places of Worship, Discos and Parties and other Social Events also
create a lot of noise for the people living in that area. In many market
areas, people sell with loud speakers, others shout out offers and try
to get customers to buy their goods. This is also a cause of Noise
3. Commercial and Industrial Activities
Printing Presses, Manufacturing Industries, Construction Sites,
contribute to noise pollutions in large cities. In many industries, it is
a requirement that people always wear earplugs or noise-proof
gadgets to minimize their exposure to heavy noise.
Aero planes flying over houses close to busy airports like Heathrow
(London) or O'Hare (Chicago) or Mumbai(India), over ground and
underground trains, vehicles on road—these constantly make a lot of
noise and people always struggle to cope with them.
Effects of Noise Pollution
Generally, problems caused by noise pollution include stress related
illnesses, speech interference, hearing loss, sleep disruption, and lost
productivity. Most importantly, there are two major effects are:
The immediate and acute effect of noise pollution to a person, over a
period of time, is impairment of hearing. Prolonged exposure to
impulsive noise to a person will damage their eardrum, which may
result in a permanent hearing.
Effects on general health
Health effects of noise include anxiety and stress reaction and in
extreme cases fright. The physiological manifestations are
headaches, irritability and nervousness, feeling of fatigue and
decreases work efficiency.
Sources and Effects of Soil
During the last 50 years, the human activities such as the use of
Agro-Chemicals, Dumping of Wastes, Urbanization, Industrialization
and many more, have resulted in the degradation of Soil Fertility and
its Composition. Soil Pollution is the decrease in Soil Quality and
Fertility due to the presence of Toxic Chemicals from various
Some of the sources are:
1. Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides
2. Industrial Waste
3. Urban and Commercial Waste
4. Radioactive Sources
1. Agricultural Wastes
Plants on which we depend for food are under attack from insects,
fungi, bacteria, viruses, rodents and other animals. To kill unwanted
populations living on their crops, farmers use pesticides. The
remnants of such pesticides used on pests may get adsorbed by the
soil particles and contaminates soil. The consumption of such crops
causes the pesticides remnants to enter human biological systems,
affecting them adversely. Excessive use of Fertilizers reduces the
fertility of the soil.
2. Industrial Waste
The Industrial Wastes are among the important causes of Soil
Pollution. The Industrial Effluents discharged from the Industries are
disposed by dumping in the Wastelands. The Industrial Waste is
composed of Toxic Organic and Inorganic Chemicals and Heavy
Metals. Most of the Industrial Waste is Non-Biodegradable, and thus
remains in the soil for a longer period. They contaminate the soil,
reduce the fertility of the Soil and change the Chemical Composition
of the soil.
3. Urban and Commercial Waste
Urban activities generate large quantities of city wastes including
several Biodegradable materials (like Vegetables, Animal Wastes,
Papers, Wooden Pieces, Carcasses, Plant Twigs, Leaves, Cloth Wastes
as well as Sweepings) and many non-biodegradable materials (such
as Plastics, Glass, Stone/Cement Pieces). On a rough estimate Indian
cities are producing solid city wastes of 50,000 - 80,000 metric tons
every day. This waste are mostly Non-Biodegradable and don’t
decompose in the Soil. They also harm the Soil Fertility.
4. Radioactive Waste
Ever since man discovered the Nuclear Power , it has been using it to
consummate its need. But, the Nuclear Power has created Nuclear
Waste. This Nuclear Waste is highly radioactive in nature. It can
change the genetics of the Human Beings and the Animals. It emits
certain radiations which damages the soil. If the Nuclear Waste is not
disposed off correctly, then can cause dangerous consequences.