Types of pollution
Pollution is the presence of damaging and dangerous substances, mostly a contaminant or toxin, which causes damaging impacts to the living organisms and its surrounding (All-recycling-facts.com, 2011). Pollutions are classified into four major types and they are land pollution, water pollution, sound pollution and air pollution (see Figure 1). The first type of pollution is land pollution. Land pollution occurs when contaminant or toxin is spread and placed on the land. “Land pollution is mainly caused by poor solid waste management practice” (Anand, n.d.). These contaminants compromise of solid waste and soil pollution. Land pollution is mainly about the contamination and degradation of Earth’s land surfaces. Contamination of soil can affect the growth rate of plants and reduce the fertility of soil (Rodger, 2010). Land pollutions can also happen when pesticides, harmful chemicals and waste from industrial factories are released into the soil without control. There have been many cases of land pollution that happened during the past centuries. For example, U.S. Geological Survey (1997) stated that a massive leak from a military fuel storage facility in Hanahan, South Carolina discharged about 80, 000 gallons of kerosene-based jet fuel into the soil. The contaminated soil reached the nearby residential area after 10 years and caused a serious environmental problem to the residents. Other examples include crude oil spill in Bemidji, sewage effluent in Cape Cod and chlorinated solvents in New Jersey (U.S. Geological Survey, 1997). The major factor that caused these incidents to happen is the lack of precaution and awareness. Fuel tanks, crude oils and other contaminants should be kept safe as leakage of these harmful substances can cause the land to be totally uninhabitable in extreme cases. The main source of soil pollution is the use of chemicals in agriculture such as herbicides to kill weed and pesticides to kill insects and other invertebrate pests (Jonathan, 2010). This practice has caused a lot of problems to the nature environment balance and toxic residues that are hazardous to health in the environment. Land pollution can bring forth impacts such as making a place unsightly, retardation in tourism industry, reduction in living conditions of affected area, increase in number of pests and affecting plant growth. Landfill is also one of the causes of land pollution. Landfills are problematic because these disposal sites are usually abandoned or neglected. Hazardous waste is sometimes disposed illegally and in dangerous manner such that health of citizens is deteriorated. Statistics from Land Pollution (n.d.) show that landfill consist of 50% paper, 10% plastic, 6% metal, 1% glass, 13% organic and 20% of miscellaneous. Most of these waste products can be reduced by practicing recycling or reuse. Land pollution is one of the classes of pollution that should be given high priority to reduce and eventually prevent so that a healthy environment can be established. The second common type of pollution is water pollution. Water pollution is a worse scenario where water is adulterated by risky and hazardous substances, causing it to be in a displeasing state. It takes place when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into the soils, rivers, lakes and oceans without proper and enough treatment to eliminate the harmful effluent (What is water pollution, n.d.). Water pollution is on the rise and is going to have a disastrous effect that happens around the globe. In fact this issue has been the second most crucial environmental concern along with air pollution (What is water pollution, n.d.). Lim (2005) reported that the level of pollution in China's rivers and lakes surplus 70%. On the other hand, based on other research, 95% of the samples tested were polluted by raw sewage waste (Lim, 2005). The major factor of water pollution is industrial pollution. When factories and manufacturers dispose...
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