The Effects of Pollutants on Human Beings and the Environment

Topics: Water pollution, Surface runoff, Eutrophication Pages: 1 (361 words) Published: February 7, 2010
Point—source pollution is generally a single element caused by one main source. An industrial spill into a river would be an example of point—source pollution. Alternatively, nonpoint—source pollution is the result of numerous causes of contaminants that create pollution. These pollutants can travel great distances in the form of runoff or through storm drains. Surface water pollution is the most recognizable form of water contamination. This is the pollution that can be visibly seen floating on the top of the water. While surface water pollution is often in the form of trash it can also be chemically based, such as gasoline or oil slicks floating on the water’s surface. Groundwater pollution refers to the effects of chemicals (such as pesticides) that seep through the ground and enter water sources that originate underground. Well water is groundwater, thus groundwater pollution can be extremely dangerous to the health of humans as well as to the health of the planet. Some types of water pollution are derived from an imbalance within the ecosystem which can be caused by natural and unnatural sources. When an ecosystem is out of balance, oxygen depletion can occur. A water based ecosystem is made up a multitude of living organisms, including microorganisms. A natural balance of “healthy” and “unhealthy” microorganisms keeps the water based ecosystem thriving. When that ecosystem is thrown off balance, the “healthy” microorganisms are outnumbered by the “unhealthy” microorganisms, which cause a depletion of oxygen within the water and releases gasses such as sulfides or ammonia. With a wide variety of types of water pollution, a single action will not be enough to ward off more pollutants. Prevention starts with awareness and continues with a dedicated effort to not only prevent further contamination but also clean up the present pollutants. Everyone from the bosses of large production companies to the cigarette butt flicker has to do their share in order to...
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