Pollution has become a major issue over the years. It has caused death, disease, and many health problems. It is a major concern of our world today and not much is being done to prevent it. If not all, a lot of pollution is caused by humans. There are different types like industrial, agricultural, etc. Many people are realizing now the threat that pollution poses to humans.
There are three main types of pollution. They are land, air, and water pollution. Land pollution deals with dumps or other harmful substances. Strip mining, digging, and irrigation are types of land pollution also. They aren’t as harmful to us but they scar and hurt the land. Landfills are a major source of pollution. Most are infested with disease or with animals carrying disease. Many contain harmful chemicals that seep into the land or gasses that cause explosions or fires. Solid and hazardous wastes are found in landfills and dumps. Solid wastes are the most visible form of land pollution. Every year, humans dispose of billions of tons of solid wastes. Most of our disposal methods cause harm to the environment. Hazardous wastes are substances released into the environment that can cause death or harm to people and their surroundings. These wastes are very hard to dispose of and usually contaminate the environment quickly.
Air pollution is a severe problem, especially for the United States. Air pollution is the contamination and harm to the atmosphere by substances like smoke and fuel exhaust. According to the World Health Organization, one-fifth of the population is exposed to hazardous levels of pollutants. Air pollution occurs when pollutants are released into the air and cannot be taken out by its natural process. This upsets the balance of the atmospheres natural cycle.
There are two types of air pollution: indoor and outdoor. Outdoor pollution is the most harmful. Most of it is caused by motor vehicles. Some air pollution also comes from business and industrial processes. For example, many dry cleaning plants remove dirt from clothing with a chemical called perchloroethylene, a hazardous air pollutant. The burning of garbage may discharge smoke and heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, into the atmosphere. Most heavy metals are highly poisonous.
One of the most common types of outdoor air pollution is smog. Smog is a brown, hazy mixture of gases and particles. It develops when certain gases released by the combustion of gasoline and other petroleum products react with sunlight in the atmosphere. This reaction creates hundreds of harmful chemicals that make up smog.
Acid rain is another type of air pollution. It forms when the gases sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides react with water vapor in the air. These harmful gasses come from the burning of natural resources. Acid rain is involved in all three types of pollution. It harms plant growth and vegetation, kills marine life, and harms the air.
Water pollution is the last type. It is the contamination of water by sewage, toxic chemicals, metals, oils, or other substances. Like other pollution, it can kill. Five million people die every year from drinking polluted water. It affects rivers and lakes as well as oceans and ground water. Wastes disposed of into waters can kill all life in that area. Oil spills are the most destructive. Pesticides and other chemicals promote the growth of algae. Algae uses up all of the oxygen and life below it will die. Water pollution comes from businesses, farms, homes, industries, and other sources. It includes sewage, industrial chemicals, agricultural chemicals, and livestock wastes. Another form of water pollution is the clean but heated water discharged by power plants into waterways. This heated water, called thermal pollution, harms fish and aquatic plants by reducing the amount of oxygen in the water.
Over the years, pollution has gotten worse. Humans cause it and aren’t really trying to make it better. Americans especially have misused our resources. The United States is an extremely industrial country. Americans have let the problem get out of hand. Business and factories cause most of the pollution. As we expand and grow, more of us are getting “lazy” and not caring about our world. This is increasing pollution.
To decrease pollution, we should make sure more people care. We should teach more about it and advertise recycling and conservation. If we couldn’t get people to follow we could make laws and regulations. We could set up laws so that it is mandatory to recycle and limited use of motor vehicles. If we could get other countries to join, there could be a major difference in pollution.