Pollution

Topics: Pollution, Water, Air pollution Pages: 5 (1523 words) Published: September 17, 2013
We keep our houses clean. We take utmost care of our bedroom, making sure no dust rests on our polished furniture. From walls to carpets, everything in our house is neat and clean and perfectly maintained. Then why do we fail to keep our environment clean; maintenance of which is far more vital as compared to our home? The term pollution means addition of any substance which alters the quality of the environment. Substances which cause pollution or alter the natural quality of the air, water and soil are called pollutants. Hence, pollution may be defined as the ‘contamination of the environment that causes harm to the health and survival of humans and other living organisms’. Therefore, there is a pressing need for all of us to develop and apply more efficient and environmentally suitable strategies for sustainable growth. Pollutants may be classified as solid (heavy metals, fertilizers, plastics, fibres, microorganisms); liquid (solvents, oil, pesticides, insecticides, effluents); gaseous (fumes, hydrocarbons, vapours, oxides of nitrogen and sulphur; carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide). Pollution can be broadly classified into five types:

i. Air pollution
ii. Water pollution
iii. Soil pollution
iv. Noise pollution
v. Radiation pollution
1. Air Pollution:
Air is perhaps the most vital element required for our survival. All living organisms, including human beings, cannot live without air even for a few minutes. Air consists of 78 per cent nitrogen, 21 per cent oxygen and 1 per cent of other gases, out of which carbon dioxide constitutes 0.3 per cent. It is shocking to know that the air we breathe in is full of impurities and is the cause of many diseases and malfunctioning of our system. An air pollutant is a substance present in the atmosphere in concentrations that disturb the natural equilibrium of the atmosphere and produces undesirable effects on humans and environment. There are several types of air pollutants. Some of them are not very harmful but others can be very dangerous and can have serious effects on man and his environment. In addition, pollutants can also be in the form of solid particles, liquid droplets or gases. Solids or liquids with size less than 100 microns that remain suspended in the air are called particulate pollutants, for example dust, smoke, fog, mist, bacteria and fumes. Gases such as CO, NH,, SOz, CO, NO, and H, S are continually released into the atmosphere through natural and chemical activities, are toxic and poisonous. Another classification of air pollutants can be either primary or secondary. The following are the primary pollutants that are emitted directly into the environment and contribute to more than 90 per cent of global air pollution: i. Carbon monoxide (CO)

ii. Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
iii. Hydrocarbons (HXCX)
iv. Sulphur oxides (SOx)
v. Particulates
Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly. Rather, they are formed as a consequence of interaction with primary pollutants, for example photochemical smog, which is a mixture of smoke and fog, sulphuric acid (acid rain), which forms when sulphur dioxide dissolves in rainwater, and nitric acid which forms when nitrogen dioxide dissolves in rainwater. 2. Water Pollution:

We all know water is essential for life. Water covers 71 per cent of earth’s surface and makes up 65 per cent of our bodies. Hence the quality of water is of vital concern for mankind since it is directly linked with human welfare. If water gets polluted, it disturbs the normal uses of water for survival of man, fishes, other aquatic and wildlife as well as for agriculture and industry. Polluted water is the cause of many waterborne diseases and epidemics, which are prevalent in many developing countries. Generally speaking, water pollution is defined as the state of deviation from the pure condition, which affects its normal functions and properties such that it becomes harmful if used by man, animals and aquatic life. Water pollution includes...
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