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Different Types of Pollution
There are nine basic types of environmental pollution, and each one has detrimental affects on wildlife, human habitation, and the quality of life in the affected area.
Air Pollution :Air pollution is defined as any contamination of the atmosphere that disturbs the natural composition and chemistry of the air. This can be in the form of particulate matter such as dust or excessive gases like carbon dioxide or other vapors that cannot be effectively removed through natural cycles, such as the carbon cycle or the nitrogen cycle.
Air pollution comes from a wide variety of sources. Some of the most excessive sources include:
•Vehicle or manufacturing exhaust
•Forest fires, volcanic eruptions, dry soil erosion, and other natural sources
•Building construction or demolition
Depending on the concentration of air pollutants, several effects can be noticed. Smog increases, higher rain acidity, crop depletion from inadequate oxygen, higher rates of asthma, and global warming are all related to increased air pollution.
Water Pollution: Water pollution involves any contaminated water, whether from chemical, particulate, or bacterial matter that degrades the waters quality and purity. Water pollution can occur in oceans, rivers, lakes, and underground reservoirs, and as different water sources flow together the pollution can spread.
Causes of water pollution include:
•Increased sediment from soil erosion
•Improper waste disposal and littering
•Leaching of soil pollution into water supplies
•Organic material decay in water supplies
The effects of water pollution include decreasing the quantity of drinkable water available, lowering water supplies for crop irrigation, and impacting fish and wildlife populations that require water of a certain purity for survival.
Soil Pollution: Soil, or land pollution, is contamination of the soil that prevents natural growth and balance in the land whether it is used for cultivation, habitation, or a wildlife preserve. Some soil pollution, such as the creation of landfills, is deliberate, while much more is accidental and can have widespread effects.
Soil pollution sources include:
•Hazardous waste and sewage spills
•Non-sustainable farming practices, such as the heavy use of inorganic pesticides
•Strip mining, deforestation, and other destructive practices
•Household dumping and littering
Soil contamination can lead to poor growth and reduced crop yields, loss of wildlife habitat, water and visual pollution, soil erosion, and desertification.
Noise Pollution :Noise pollution refers to undesirable levels of noises caused by human activity that disrupt the standard of living in the affected area. Noise pollution can come from:
•Construction or demolition
Some noise pollution may be temporary while other sources are more permanent. Effects may include hearing loss, wildlife disturbances, and a general degradation of lifestyle.
Radioactive Pollution : Radioactive pollution is one of the types of pollution that is rare but extremely detrimental, even deadly, when it occurs. Because of its intensity and the difficulty of reversing damage, there are strict government regulations to control radioactive pollution.
Sources of radioactive contamination include:
•Nuclear power plant accidents or leakage
•Improper nuclear waste disposal
•Uranium mining operations
Radiation pollution can cause birth defects, cancer, sterilization, and other health problems for human and wildlife populations. It can also sterilize the soil and contribute to water and air pollution.
Thermal Pollution : Thermal pollution is excess heat that creates undesirable effects over long periods of time. The earth has a natural thermal cycle, but excessive temperature increases can be considered a rare type of pollution with long term effects. Many types of thermal pollution are confined to areas near their source, but multiple sources can have wider impacts over a greater geographic area.
Thermal pollution may be caused by:
•Air pollution particulates that trap heat
•Loss of temperature moderating water supplies
As temperatures increase, mild climatic changes may be observed, and wildlife populations may be unable to recover from swift changes.