This assignment describes and illustrates the general information about pollution. Pollution nowadays plays an important role in affecting the environment. It is sad that people are careless about the place where they live and build their community. This project will outline the definition of pollution and the types of different pollutions in the world the causes of pollution, the effects of pollution and the modern awareness.
What is pollution:
Pollution is when water, air or land becomes very dirty. Pollution can come in 4 different types effecting different types of areas in the world. Air pollution effects the air, water pollution effects the water and marine life, land pollution effects the land destroying life and the enviroment and there is also noise pollution that can effect our hearing.We all contribute to pollution in some way or another. Whether it be with a large amount or small amount we can still cause major damage to our health and the enviroment. Although we all contribute to help stop the increase of pollution. Very little people realize that pollution is very harmful because they don't think of the enviroment, themselves and other people and what it can do.Pollution is an important factor to our lives. It involves our society and all other animals. Pollution is gradually destroying our planet and is gradually killing ourselves too. Like air pollution, smog and acid rain is a killer to all of us. It destroys marine life, our own health and destroys historical monuments and statues.
Pollution is the introduction by man into the environment of contaminants that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or damage the environment. Pollution can be in the form of chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light. Pollutants can be naturally occurring substances or energies, but are considered contaminants when in excess of natural levels. Pollution is often categorized into point source and nonpoint source pollution.
Types of pollution
There are 6 (six) types of pollution that are going to be discussed in this site, namely air, water, noise, land, radioactive, and thermal. Please proceed to the following links to learn anyone of them.
Air pollution is indication of disturbances to the composition of compounds in the atmosphere, as it may be summarized as shown:
• excess emission of gases/vapors into atmosphere
• saturation of chemical compounds/particulates
• rate of dissipation < (smaller than) rate of absorption through various cycles (i.e. carbon and nitrogen cycle)
• emergence of new chemical reactions of reactive and non-biodegradable compounds.
Global warming, acid rain, smog, ozone depletion are some effects of air pollution. In relation to this, we may observe the cycle which involves in our daily lives: carbon and nitrogen cycle. These 2 cycles are the most important of all, regulating the composition of carbon and nitrogen of Earth. Imagine the reverse is to happen
Water pollution is contamination of water by foreign matter that deteriorates the quality of the water. Water pollution covers pollutions in liquid forms like ocean pollution and river pollution. As the term applies, liquid pollution occurs in the oceans, lakes, streams, rivers, underground water and bays, in short liquid-containing areas. It involves the release of toxic substances, pathogenic germs, substances that require much oxygen to decompose, easy-soluble substances, radioactivity, etc. that become deposited upon the bottom and their accumulations will interfere with the condition of aquatic ecosystems. For example, the eutrophication: lack of oxygen in a water body caused by excessive algae growths because of enrichment of pollutants.
Revered to as soil pollution,
land pollution involves the following mechanism:
• Deposition of solid waste
• Accumulation of non-biodegradable materials
• Toxification of chemicals into poisons
• Alteration of soil chemical composition (imbalance of chemical equilibrium to soil medium)
By as much, land pollution of this has amass globally, everyday threatening the very foundation and mechanical support of every matter on earth. Statistically, it has been shown that:
• loss of 6 million hectares of land per year
• loss of 24 billion tons of topsoil per year
• loss of minimum 15 million acres prime agricultural land to overuse and mismanagement
• desertification of land results in the lost of 16 million per square miles of world's land surface
This particular pollution is ever increasing with due to the rise in the utilization of heavy duty machineries of industrial facilities and vehicles, synonymous to the increase in the standard of living in most countries. We make sounds practically every seconds of our day, but to the extend it has reached an unfavorable high intensity which had cause many disturbances and irritation to others emotionally that has adverse effects on our daily activities.
Noise levels can be measured by decibel method:
Decibel - one tenth of a bel where one bel represents a difference in level between two intensities I1, I0 where one is ten times greater than the other. Thus, the intensity level is the comparison of one intensity to another and may be expressed:
Intensity level = 10 log10 (I1/I0) (dB)
For instance, the difference between intensities of 10-8 watts/m2 and 10-4 watts/m2, an actual difference of 10,000 units, can be expressed as a difference of 4 bels or 40 decibels.
The 40's was the era where the first nuclear bomb is being developed, and that's why it's called the nuclear era. However, nuclear energy has already researched back since 1900. Nuclear era reached its greatest peak in the world war, by showing its massive ability of destroying things.
Nuclear energy is a form of energy that’s released by the splitting of atoms. Since scientists have found a way to make use of the energy, it has also been used to generate electricity.
Nuclear energy has been recognized as a clean energy because it doesn’t release pollutants such as CO2 to the atmosphere after its reaction that could damage our environment. It's also known that nuclear energy has reduced the amount of greenhouse gas emission, reducing emissions of CO2 for about 500 million metric tons of carbon.
Despite the advantage of nuclear as a clean energy, the big concern is the waste resulted from nuclear reaction, which is a form of pollution, called radioactivity. Radioactivity is a form of radiation (a form of energy that travels through space). Some elements in this world are naturally radioactive while some others are made to be. Radioactivity is emitted when a radioactive element become unstable and begin to decay in the attempt to regain their molecular stability. When an element decays, it emits energy and small particles. If it’s still radioactive, it will repeat the process, until it finally regains its molecular stability and stop decaying. The time that it takes for half way of decaying process is called half-life, and this differs for each radioactive element. It possibly takes up to 4.5 billion years (Uranium 238) and as short as 8 days (Iodine 131). This process constantly remains, not considering external factors such as pressure or temperature. This process is expressed in units called becquerels. One becquerel is equal to one disintegration of nuclei per second.
There are commonly three types of radiation, namely:
• Alpha particles, can be blocked by a piece of paper and human skin.
• Beta particles can penetrate through skin, while can be blocked by some pieces of glass and ****l.
• Gamma rays can penetrate easily to human skin and damage cells on its way through, reaching far, and can only be blocked by a very thick, strong, massive piece of concrete.
This has become an increasing and the most current pollution, owing to the increasing call of globalization everywhere. Heat produced from industries is a major contribution to the pollution, much to the operation of the heavy industries which produces high amount of heat energy. As we will show a summary to the event of this pollution happening:
• Raw materials for productivity (organic and inorganic products)
• Undergo different chemical reactions with several process
• Excess heat energy is produced as a waste product
• Heat is released through into atmosphere (vapor) and riverine system (liquid).
• Increase of temperature of environmental system
Causes of pollution:
What causes pollution? The question takes tour around the world cause the main cause might be the human him self. Surprisingly the one who is worried about the effects of pollution is actually the cause of it. There are several causes of pollution such as:
-municipal water waste and soil waste
The air is shared among all living things. When it is polluted by a factory in Asia, a fire in Australia, a dust storm in Africa, or car emissions in North America, the sharing continues despite the fact that these chemicals and particles have detrimental effects.
Scientists have determined many of the harmful local effects of air pollution. We know, for instance, that air pollution can negatively impact human health and cause coughs, burning eyes, breathing problems, and even death. We know that atmospheric haze or smog reduces visibility and that acid rain from chemical emissions damages property, pollutes water resources, and can harm forests, wildlife, and agriculture.
But what are the regional and global impacts of air pollution? Through large scientific field campaigns such as MILAGRO, scientists are beginning to track its movement from cities into regional and global environments. Their goal is to determine air pollution’s movement and impact on climate and atmospheric composition locally, regionally, and globally.
Is human-produced air pollution and its effects an example of the "Tragedy of the Commons" –– a concept that states that any resource open to everyone will eventually be destroyed? Despite the fact that people are creating much of today’s air pollution, the answer will ultimately depend on how humankind responds to the problem. A lot has been done to improve air quality in recent decades, but we still have a long way to go.
Air Pollution and Human Health
People have no choice but to breathe the air around them. When it is polluted, they breathe in ozone, particles and harmful gases that can hurt their lungs, heart, and overall health. Air pollution can cause coughing, burning eyes, and breathing problems. Fortunately, people usually start to feel better as soon as the air quality improves, but not always.
63 people died in Belgium in 1930, 20 people died in Pennsylvania in 1948, and more than 4,000 died in London in 1952 as a result of severe air pollution. Breathing small amounts of air pollution over many years is also considered dangerous. It may even contribute to life-threatening diseases such as cancer.
The elderly, the young, and those with cardiopulmonary disease, such as asthma or severe bronchitis, are the most vulnerable to air pollution exposure. Children are at greater risk because their lungs are still growing. Also, they play outside and are active. As a result, pound for pound they breathe more outdoor air pollution than most adults.
Although people have no choice but to breathe the air around them, they do have choices that can help them stay healthy. They can choose to stay indoors or be less active on poor air quality days. They can avoid high-traffic and highly industrialized areas whenever possible. They can also choose to support collective efforts and take individual steps that reduce air pollution. Such actions are a positive response to a problem that can literally steal one’s breath away.
Air Pollution and Atmospheric Visibility
Have you ever spent time in a large city? If so, the odds are you’ve seen the sky engulfed in a brownish-yellow or grayish-white haze due to air pollution. Such haze can reduce visibility from miles (kilometers) to yards (meters). Mountains or buildings once in plain sight can suddenly be blocked from view.
Air pollution that reduces visibility is often called haze or smog. The term smog originally meant a mixture of smoke and fog in the air, but today it refers to any mixture of air pollutants that can be seen. Smog typically starts in cities or areas with many people, but because it travels with the wind, it can appear in rural areas as well.
One consequence of smog over any given area is that it can change the area’s climate. Certain dark particles, such as carbon, absorb solar radiation and scatter sunlight, helping produce the characteristic haze that fills the skies over the world’s megacities. This haze reduces the amount of the Sun’s energy reaching the Earth’s surface, sometimes by as much as 35 percent.
A reduction in sunlight may not be the only thing air pollution inhibits. Some research has supported the idea that certain air particles are altering rainfall patterns as well. Although particles in the air form the nucleus that attracts cloud moisture into water droplets, specks of soot or black carbon may be too small to produce raindrops big enough to hit the ground. Since rain flushes pollutants from the atmosphere, visibility could be negatively impacted as a consequence.
Scientific field campaigns such as MILAGRO are one way scientists can research atmospheric processes to prove or disprove such ideas. For now, if rain isn't in the forecast when atmospheric visibility is low and smog is high, than wind is likely your best hope for a return to clear skies.
Air Pollution and Climate Change
Air pollution changes our planet’s climate, but not all types of air pollution have the same effect. There are many different types of air pollution. Some types cause global warming to speed up. Others cause global warming to slow down by creating a temporary cooling effect for a few days or weeks. Read on the learn more about the pollution that causes Earth to warm and the pollution that causes Earth to cool.
Some air pollutants cause more global warming
Air pollution includes greenhouses gases. One of these is carbon dioxide, a common part of the exhaust from cars and trucks. Greenhouse gases cause global warming by trapping heat from the Sun in the Earth’s atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are a natural part of Earth’s atmosphere, but in the last 150 years or so, the amount in our atmosphere has increased. The increase comes from car exhaust and pollutants released from smokestacks at factories and power plants. The increase in greenhouses gases is the cause of most of the global warming that happened over the past century. Scientists predict that much more warming will likely happen during the next century.
Some air pollutants cause temporary global cooling
Cars, trucks, and smokestacks also release tiny particles into the atmosphere. These tiny particles are called aerosols. They can be made of different things such as mineral dust, sulfates, sea salt, or carbon. Some of these tiny particles block a little bit of the Sun’s energy from getting to Earth. Some of these particles get into the atmosphere naturally. They are dust lifted into the atmosphere from deserts, from evaporating droplets from the ocean, released by the smoke from wildfires, and erupting volcanoes. But air pollution released by humans by burning of fossil fuels also adds them to the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for years and cause warming around the world. Computer models indicate that, worldwide, the tiny aerosols cause about half as much cooling as greenhouse gases cause warming.
Air Pollution and Water
Have you heard about rivers, lakes, or streams becoming polluted? Sometimes the pollution comes from trash, oil spills, sewage, fertilizers, or chemicals. However, sometimes the source of water pollution is in the air.
Air pollution can make its way into rivers, lakes, or streams. Several different types of air pollutants are able to waterways. Some fall from the sky as dry particles. Other air pollutants are carried to the ground in raindrops, snowflakes, or fog. Some of these pollutants are listed below. They not only harm water, but also the plant and animal life that depend on water to survive.
Nitrogen is a nutrient that plants need to grow. However, there can be too much of a good thing. Too much nitrogen in a body of water can cause algae to grow very quickly, clogging the waterways, and upsetting the balance of the ecosystem. This is called an algal bloom or “Red Tide.” Algal blooms happen more often now than they did hundreds of years ago. Some algal blooms are toxic. When animals eat the algae they also eat the toxins. Nitrogen compounds in air pollution are partly the cause of algal blooms, and can also contribute to water bodies becoming more acidic.
Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides
When fossil fuels are burned, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the atmosphere. Both of these air pollutants dissolve in water vapor to form acid. The acidic water vapor condenses into clouds and falls eventually as precipitation such as rain or snow. This is known as “acid rain”. It falls to Earth and eventually enters bodies of water making them more acidic. That is a tough environment for some fish and animals, such as frogs, to survive and reproduce within. Acidic waters prevent fish eggs from hatching. In fact, some very acid lakes have no fish at all.
Some types of rocks neutralize acidic water. The acidic water dissolves rocks such as limestone. The limestone is then in the water, and makes the water less acidic. Bodies of water in areas such as the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada are in more danger because rock is primarily granite, which does not neutralize acid rain.
Bad bouts of local pollution helped increase consciousness. PCB dumping in the Hudson River resulted in a ban by the EPA on consumption of its fish in 1974. Long-term dioxin contamination at Love Canal starting in 1947 became a national news story in 1978 and led to the Superfund legislation of 1980. Legal proceedings in the 1990s helped bring to light Chromium-6 releases in California--the champions of whose victims became famous. The pollution of industrial land gave rise to the name brownfield, a term now common in city planning. DDT was banned in most of the developed world after the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.
The development of nuclear science introduced radioactive contamination, which can remain lethally radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Lake Karachay, named by the Worldwatch Institute as the "most polluted spot" on earth, served as a disposal site for the Soviet Union thoroughout the 1950s and 1960s. Second place may go to the to the area of Chelyabinsk U.S.S.R. (see reference below) as the "Most polluted place on the planet".
Nuclear weapons continued to be tested in the Cold War, sometimes near inhabited areas, especially in the earlier stages of their development. The toll on the worst-affected populations and the growth since then in understanding about the critical threat to human health posed by radioactivity has also been a prohibitive complication associated with nuclear power. Though extreme care is practiced in that industry, the potential for disaster suggested by incidents such as those at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl pose a lingering specter of public mistrust. One legacy of nuclear testing before most forms were banned has been significantly raised levels of background radiation.
International catastrophes such as the wreck of the Amoco Cadiz oil tanker off the coast of Brittany in 1978 and the Bhopal disaster in 1984 have demonstrated the universality of such events and the scale on which efforts to address them needed to engage. The borderless nature of the atmosphere and oceans inevitably resulted in the implication of pollution on a planetary level with the issue of global warming. Most recently the term persistent organic pollutant (POP) has come to describe a group of chemicals such as PBDEs and PFCs among others. Though their effects remain somewhat less well understood owing to a lack of experimental data, they have been detected in various ecological habitats far removed from industrial activity such as the Arctic, demonstrating diffusion and bioaccumulation after only a relatively brief period of widespread use.
Growing evidence of local and global pollution and an increasingly informed public over time have given rise to environmentalism and the environmental movement, which generally seek to limit human impact on the environment
Pollution a global threat to the environment http://library.thinkquest.org
What causes pollution http://www.ce.ncsu.edu/undergraduate
Environment protect agency http://www.epa.gov/privatewells
pollution effects on us /