Pollution refers to the presence or introduction of harmful or toxic substances into the environment. It is the process of making the environment pollute the water and the air by adding harmful substances. It is caused mainly due to human-induced factors like – industrialization, deforestation, inefficient waste disposal, etc. In this case, environment refers to all-natural living and non-living things that surround us. Forests, water bodies, air, oceans all constitute our natural environment and, any foreign substance that compromises their purity and longevity is termed as “Pollution”. Pollution could be broadly classified into the following categories –
Air Pollution – This refers to the presence of harmful and poisonous gases present in the environment. Fossil fuel consumption emanating toxic gases like Carbon monoxide, Carbon dioxide, etc is the prime factor contributing to air pollution.
Noise Pollution: This also called sound pollution refers to the presence of unwanted sound in the environment which has harmful effects on the activities of humans and animals. Some of the prime contributors to noise pollution are transportation vehicles, construction works, loud music, etc.
Soil Pollution: This is caused by the introduction of human-made chemicals and pollutants into the soil, making it toxic and reducing yield. The main causes of soil pollution are the use of pesticides by the agriculture industry, industrial waste disposal, littering and improper waste disposal.
Water Pollution: This refers to the contamination of water bodies by human activities. Prime causes leading to water pollution are industrial waste disposal, sewage disposal, and littering. Industrial waste containing harmful and toxic chemicals is poured into water bodies, resulting in their contamination. Also, littering in and around water bodies results in their pollution and makes the water hazardous to use.
Pollution causes an imbalance in the environment. There are numerous human activities that cause these hazards. Most prominent of the activities causing environmental Hazzard are fossil fuel consumption, industrialization, and littering. As per global estimates, fossil fuels account for 80% of world’s energy annually. Also, the burning of fossil fuel produces 21.3 Billion Tonnes of CO2 every year, which is a potent greenhouse gas. Presence of a large amount of CO2 in the environment results in an increased greenhouse effect and hence global warming.