The technological and scientific developments in
the recent years have made our lives smooth and
comfortable on earth. However, at the same time
these innovations have caused several adverse
impacts on our environment which include global
warming, unfavourable climatic change, increased
natural disasters, diseases and epidemics, etc.
All these events are gradually killing our
beautiful planet. The prime reason for all these
adverse events is the environmental pollution.
Pollution can be referred to as the contamination of the natural resources of the earth that are crucial for human survival. Unplanned scientific and technological developments, deforestation, rapid urbanisation, increased use of fossil fuels, increased number of vehicles, etc. have caused pollution of the environment.
The elements of pollution or the pollutants are waste materials or foreign substances that are created as by-products as a result of reckless human activities. They pollute the natural resources of the earth like water, air or soil, etc. These pollutants include poisonous gases (SO2, CO2, CO, NO, NO2), deposited matters (dust, grit, smog), halogens (iodine, bromine, chlorine), agrochemicals (insecticide, herbicides, pesticides), photochemical oxidants (photochemical smog, ozone, peroxyacetyl nitrate, nitrogen oxides), noise, organic compounds from industries (acetic acid, ether, benzene), radioactive materials (thorium, radium), some solid wastes (garbage, ash), etc. The concentration, chemical nature and long persistence of these pollutants can jeopardise the balance of the ecosystem for many years.
Different types of pollution
Environmental pollution can be of four different types, which include air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution and noise pollution. Any type of pollution in our environment disrupts the natural life cycle. This ultimately causes health disorders, insecurity and discomfort in the lives of all the living beings.
Air pollution is mostly caused by the smoke emitted from automobiles, release of poisonous gases from the industrial sector, factories and nuclear experiments. Nuclear experiments discharge lots of poisonous gases, harmful chemicals and dust into the atmosphere which again falls back to the earth through acid rains. Acid rains cause severe diseases in the humans and can destroy crops too.
Soil pollution is caused by the use of fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers, insecticides and other organic compounds in the farmlands. These harmful chemicals get into our bodies when we consume foods that are grown in the soil where these chemicals are used.
Water pollution is caused by the dumping of industrial waste, domestic sewage and detergents into the rivers, lakes and oceans. It is also caused by the flow of harmful chemicals effluents like insecticides, pesticides, herbicides from the farmlands into the water bodies. Fishes and other marine creatures die as a result of the water contamination, thereby affecting the livelihood of many people. Drinking contaminated water can lead to serious health disorders in the humans as well.
Noise pollution is caused from unfavourable noises generated by vehicles, heavy machinery, TV, speakers, radio, etc. Noise pollution can cause deafness or other hearing problems in the humans.
Steps to control Environmental pollution
There is no one fixed way to control all the four types of pollution. Different measures have to be adopted to prevent the four forms of environmental pollution.
Air pollution can be prevented by adopting the following steps:
Planting more trees.
Using clean, renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, geothermal and tidal.
Regularly checking the pollution levels in automobiles' exhaust emission.
Setting up industries far away from residential areas.
Using devices for filtering smoke in chimneys of powerhouses and factories.
Soil pollution can be checked by resorting to the following measures:
Using limited amounts of pesticides and fertilizers.
Adopting proper solid waste disposal methods such as sanitary landfill.
Avoiding polythene bags.
Water pollution can be prevented by adopting the following measures:
Recycling the reusable products instead of just dumping them into the water bodies. For instance, biogas can be generated from city waste.
Incorporating adequate and proper industrial waste and sewage treatments in sewage treatment plants, before dumping them into the water bodies.
Noise pollution can be reduced by the following ways:
Planting trees and plants in residential areas and along the roads curtail noise pollution as they absorb sound.
Creating silence zones near hospitals, schools, colleges, places of worship, etc.
Locating the air, bus and railway terminals and different noise producing industries away from the residential areas.
Construction of soundproof rooms for noisy machines in factories and industries.
Banning the use of horns with jarring sounds, noisy trucks, motorbikes with damaged exhaust pipes, etc.
Human beings are regarded as the most intelligent living species on earth. With greater intelligence comes greater responsibility. So as responsible species of the planet let us not misuse the resources of nature and interfere with the nature's law of ecological balance. Instead, let us appreciate every element that exists in our environment and work cohesively to preserve it for our future generations. In this way we can reduce the environmental pollution.