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Environmental Pollution and Its Effects

One of the greatest problems that the world is facing today is that of environmental pollution, increasing with every passing year and causing grave and irreparable damage to the earth. Environmental pollution consists of five basic types of pollution, namely, air, water, soil, noise and light.

Air pollution is by far the most harmful form of pollution in our environment. Air pollution is cause by the injurious smoke emitted by cars, buses, trucks, trains, and factories, namely sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Even smoke from burning leaves and cigarettes are harmful to the environment causing a lot of damage to man and the atmosphere. Evidence of increasing air pollution is seen in lung cancer, asthma, allergies, and various breathing problems along with severe and irreparable damage to flora and fauna. Even the most natural phenomenon of migratory birds has been hampered, with severe air pollution preventing them from reaching their seasonal metropolitan destinations of centuries.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC),  released from refrigerators, air-conditioners, deodorants and insect repellents cause severe damage to the Earth’s environment.  This gas has slowly damaged the atmosphere and depleted the ozone layer leading to global warming.

Water pollution caused industrial waste products released into lakes, rivers, and other water bodies, has made marine life no longer hospitable. Humans pollute water with large scale disposal of garbage, flowers, ashes and other household waste. In many rural areas one can still find people bathing and cooking in the same water, making it incredibly filthy. Acid rain further adds to water pollution in the water. In addition to these, thermal pollution and the depletion of dissolved oxygen aggravate the already worsened condition of the water bodies. Water pollution can also indirectly occur as an offshoot of soil pollution – through surface runoff and leaching to groundwater.

Noise pollution, soil pollution and light pollution too are the damaging the environment at an alarming rate. Noise pollution include aircraft noise, noise of cars, buses, and trucks, vehicle horns, loudspeakers, and industry noise, as well as high-intensity sonar effects which are extremely harmful for the environment.
Maximum noise pollution occurs due to one of modern science’s best discoveries – the motor vehicle, which is responsible for about ninety percent of all unwanted noise worldwide.

Soil pollution, which can also be called soil contamination, is a result of acid rain, polluted water, fertilizers etc., which leads to bad crops. Soil contamination occurs when chemicals are released by spill or underground storage tank leakage which releases heavy contaminants into the soil. These may include hydrocarbons, heavy metals, MTBE, herbicides, pesticides and chlorinated hydrocarbons.

Light Pollution includes light trespass, over-illumination and astronomical interference.