There are many types of pollution in this world, most of which are accelerating, as seen through the state of our natural world and the health of individuals in specific countries.
These types of pollution come from many different sources and result in different types of consequences for both the public and the environment.
Knowing the basic information behind these types of pollution can help the public lessen their contribution to the wide variety of dangers that come from pollution creation and use.
There are nine sources of pollution recognized in the world today.
Contributing to pollution that affects the environment has a long list of consequences for our future.
For instance, emissions for vehicles and industries as well as power generators include greenhouse gases that contribute significantly to global warming.
City lives also contribute to environmental pollution in a myriad of ways.
By understanding the source and effect of every type of pollution, as a society, we’ll be able to make a conscious effort in minimizing our contribution and to help create the changes that are needed for a sustainable and thriving environment, one in which we all rely on.
9 Types of Pollution
These days, due to our lifestyles and the way our society operates, pollution is everywhere. While some types of pollution are more obvious, there are a few common types of pollution that may come as a surprise.
While a large portion of our society believes we depend on producing certain types of pollution to continue operating as a society, there’s are many alternatives and solutions that don’t involve environmental or health damage.
All we need to do is get a bit creative.
However, before we do that, we need to get our facts straight. Knowledge is power, and when it comes to reversing the damaging effects we’ve imposed on our world, we’ll need a lot of it.
Air pollution is any type of contamination in our atmosphere that disrupts its natural chemistry.
This can sometimes be in the form of matter such as dust or specific gases such as carbon dioxide, methane or other types of vapors that can’t be removed effectively through the natural cycles of our planet. These cycles include the nitrogen cycle or the carbon cycle.
Air pollution is derived from a wide variety of sources. Some of the most common and excessive sources are:
- Forest fires, dry soil erosion, volcanic eruptions and other natural sources
- Automobile or manufacturing pollution
- Demolition and building construction
Depending on the specific concentration of these air pollutants, many effects can serve as an outcome. Some of these outcomes include:
- High levels of rain acidity
- Increase in smog
- Higher rates of asthma
- Crop depletion from not enough oxygen
Global warming is also related to increased air pollution and stands as one of the most threatening environmental issues humans face today.
Water pollution comes in the form of contaminated water. This can include chemical, bacterial or particulate contamination that degrades the water’s level of purity and quality.
Water pollution can happen anywhere: rivers, oceans, lakes, streams and underground reservoirs. As various water sources come together through the water cycle, this pollution can increase and spread.
Some common causes of water pollution are:
- Improper chemical and other waste disposal and littering
- Surplus of sediment caused by soil erosion
- Soil pollution leaching into our water supplies
- Decay of organic material in water supplies
There are many effects of water pollution. Some of these effects include:
- Decrease in availability of drinkable water
- Lowered crop irrigation water supplies
- Harm to fish and wildlife population that require water for survival
Soil pollution is also known as land pollution, which is soil contamination. This contamination prevents life or natural growth from occurring and disrupts the balance in the land which affects the amount of cultivation, wildlife and habitation.
While some types of pollution such as landfills, is a deliberate type, there are many other types that aren’t deliberate, or at least known to be deliberate. While both forms of land pollution come with a range of effects, the more accidental land pollution occurrences pose more widespread effects.
Sources of soil pollution are:
- Non-sustainable farming practices such as the use of chemical-based pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
- Sewage spills and hazardous waste
- Deforestation, strip mining and other harmful practices
- Littering and household dumping (which also includes using at home chemical-based cleaners)
Soil and land contamination results in reduced crop yield, poor vegetation growth, loss of wildlife, soil erosion, water pollution and desertification.
In a world where our population continues to rise, this is the opposite of what we need to thrive as a species.
Now, this one may be new to some readers. Noise pollution is the amount of undesirable noise level that’s produced by human activity, disrupting the affected area and overall standard of living.
Noise pollution is derived from:
- Manufacturing plants
- Construction or demolition
While some forms of noise pollution can be temporary other sources include much more permanent effects. These effects may result in wildlife disturbances, hearing loss and a lifestyle degradation.
This type of pollution is fairly rare, however, it’s also extremely harmful, and sometimes deadly, when it happens.
Due to the difficulty of reversing this pollution’s damage, along with its intensity, strict government regulations have been emplaced to control this potentially deadly form of pollution.
Radioactive contamination sources include:
- Unsafe nuclear waste disposal
- Accidents or leakage in nuclear power plants
- Mining uranium
Some outcomes of radiation pollution include cancer, serious birth defects and other human health issues and issues with wildlife populations.
It can also contribute to air and water pollution and negatively affect the soil.
This type of pollution involved an excess in heat which produces harmful effects over a long amount of time.
The Earth is equipped with a natural thermal cycle; however, heightened temperature increases may be considered a rare form of pollution that comes with long lasting effects.
Thermal pollution is typically confined to the areas near their specific source, however, a combination of sources can impact a greater area geographically.
Thermal pollution can be a result of:
- Urban sprawl
- Power plants
- Air pollution matter that traps heat
- Temperature drop in moderating water supplies
While this type of pollution isn’t as harmful as the others, brightly lit areas can be seen as obtrusive.
Light pollution is the over illumination of an area that is considered obtrusive. Sources include:
- Large cities
- Billboards and advertising
- Nighttime sporting events and other nighttime entertainment
With light pollution, it’s impossible to view the stars at night. While this may seem like an insignificant issue compared to the rest, the sense of personal enjoyment loss from this can be significant to certain people, also it can interfere with astronomical observation.
Light pollution near residential areas can also lessen the overall quality of life for some civilians.
Visual pollution can be eyesores and is caused by unattractive views or other types of pollution. It can impact personal enjoyment, lower the quality of life for some people and can negatively impact the value of properties.
Some sources of visual pollution are:
- Construction areas
- Power lines
- Advertising and billboards
- Abandoned buildings, polluted vacant fields or other neglected areas
Although visual pollution includes few immediate environment or health effects, the objects or issue that’s causing the eyesore can lead to other detrimental effects.
This type of pollution is caused by the contamination of a human body and lifestyle with negative and harmful action.
These actions may include:
- Emotional or physical abuse
- Smoking, taking drugs or alcohol abuse
- Negative personal attitudes
- Poor habits and living conditions
Personal pollution may be produced by caregivers in some instances, while for others, it may be caused by personal inflictions.
Why is this type of pollution something you should worry about?
The way you treat yourself can affect the world around you in a number of ways, not to mention can affect your overall happiness. By taking positive steps in your life, you’ll be able to eliminate this type of pollution, along with other sources of pollution that come with it.
These steps will naturally result in a more productive and satisfying life for yourself and others around you.
How all These Pollution Types are Connected
Everything is interconnected, including the pollution that we’re surrounded by.
For instance, light pollution needs energy in order to thrive, which means the energy source that’s producing the energy requires more fossil fuels to be burned.
These fossil fuels produce air pollution which then is brought back to Earth in the form of acid rain, creating water pollution.
This water pollution can then lead to soil and land pollution.
...You get the gist of it.
Once you fully understand the different types of pollution, their sources and the myriad of effects they produce, you’ll be able to change your lifestyle in order to fight against these polluted surroundings to create a better life for yourself, and a better planet to live on for every living thing.