When people hear pollution, they generally think of landfills or greenhouse gasses. Whilst these are serious forms of pollution that are affecting our planet, the word pollution goes beyond these common forms. There are actually many different types of pollution out there that affect our planet and its population in their own way. In today’s blog, our environmental consultants have constructed a guide to the different types of pollution that exist and what exactly their effects are on us and our planet.
We’ll start with the most commonly known type. Land pollution is generally garbage and waste that has come from homes or industrial use. The biggest problem with this sort of pollution is that they’re either dumped in landfills, recycled or just left uncheck through people who litter or other reasons. Whilst recycling is fantastic and goes a long way in helping the environment, not everything is recyclable. Landfills are starting to pile up and that’s creating more problems in itself.
Toxins and leachate from all the waste – especially e-waste – gathered in landfills eventually seep into the soil, groundwater and water streams, contaminating them and leading to larger problems for years to come. The larger problems being illness caused by poisoned natural water supplies. If our soil is contaminated, then the food that we grow may not be safe to eat or grow very well.
Land pollution can also affect our oceans and sea life as a lot of garbage finds its way into our natural water bodies and end up not only polluting them but also killing marine life. This is why it is essential to appropriately dispose of rubbish in the correct manner.
This type of pollution that deals with chemicals or sewerage that negatively impacts natural bodies of water. This could be the ocean, groundwater or even our drinking supply. There are various reasons as to why water can become polluted, but the effect it has on us is even greater. Humans need water to survive, so if our drinking water supply is contaminated then that cuts us off from tap water. Tap water in China and some other parts of the world is already undrinkable due to water pollution.
As mentioned above, there is a lot of runoff pollution from land that ends up killing marine life as well. Chemicals are also carried into natural bodies of water through this land garbage and the direct contact helps to spread the contaminants. Sometimes when a power plant or factory discharges hot water after using it to cool their machines, that hot water will go back into the ocean and the sudden temperature change will also kill marine life.
Soil pollution relates to unwanted chemicals and contaminants that are released into the soil such as pesticides, insecticides and other gardening chemicals. These erode and kill the soil making it unsafe to plant things on. The contaminants can also seep into our groundwater supply having a negative effect on the natural water supply. Rain and flooding can enhance the affected area of soil pollution by moving the contaminated soil to other areas.
Fossil fuels and greenhouse gases are two of the biggest forms of air pollution. There are primary and secondary types of air pollution. Primary is emitted from the source directly and secondary occurs when the primary pollution reacts with the source in the atmosphere. This form of pollution is extremely bad for the environment and is the largest contributor to global warming.
Carbon dioxide comes from deforestation, clearing land of agriculture and soil degradation – all of which are caused by humans. The result of these actions is air pollution, which is destroying our planets ozone layer, but also reducing the quality of the air we breathe. Air pollution has been linked to things such as diabetes, Kidney disease and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Noise pollution is anything above 80db. It has been proven that excessive exposure to noise pollution can cause a myriad of problems within humans ranging from stress to cognitive impairment. Large vehicles such as planes and construction sites often emit noise pollution.
This form of pollution affects animals and wildlife quite a lot. Excessive light from highly populated areas and cities can block out the night sky. This can negatively affect certain animals’ migration habits or even how they get around naturally as well as disrupting ecosystems. Sleep cycles are also affected by constant exposure to light when you’re trying to sleep.
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