INTRODUCTIONWhat is pollution?Pollution is the contaminated, impure,unwanted material of physically and biologically that causes discomfort or harmto the human body or any other living organism.
It can damage the environmentin form of chemical substance or energy such as noise, heat or light. Due toexcess of natural levels substance pollution can be caused which can damage theland, water and atmosphere.What isenvironmental pollution?Since the industrial revolution took place inthe 19th century, the environmental pollution has started to increasesubstantially. Environmental pollution occurs when the environment itself isunable to destroy the harmful human activity by-products. It is a problem facedin both developed as well as the countries undergoing development.
But sincethe start of the industrial revolution a vast number of resources have beenexploited within a few hundred years, with all the waste going into theenvironment, significant amount of damage can be noticed in our surroundings,causing disruption in the natural process of rehabilitation of naturalresources. Urbanization and rapid growth of population isperpetually putting greater demands for planet’s natural resources and it is beingstretched to its maximum limits.Types ofEnvironmental PollutionSeveral types of Environmental Pollutioncausing harm to the human, plants, animals can be identified. But the maintypes are listed below: 1. AirPollution2.
Land/Soil Pollution3. WaterPollution4. LightPollution5.
NoisePollution SOURCES OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTIONAirPollutionWhat is Air Pollution and its causes Air pollution is referred to asthe release of harmful particulars into the air irrespective it is indoors oroutdoors. The alteration to the atmosphere in terms of physically, biologicallyor chemically in the air can be termed as air pollution. There are differenttypes of air pollution, some are visible and some are invisible. Furthermore,there are two types of air pollutants, primary and secondary. The pollutantsthat are a direct outcome of a course is called primary pollutants, for examplechemicals like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, released from the factories.Secondary pollutants are caused by the inter blending and reactions of primarypollutants, for example smog. Sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide andcarbon monoxide react with water particles in the air, this can cause acid rainmainly due to air pollution.
Natural causes of air pollution are volcanos,forest fire and dust storms. Dust and dirt lifted from the ground is anothersource of air pollution. The largest cause of air pollution in urban cities is the poisonous,odorless and colorless gas that is created from burning of fossil fuel like coal,petroleum and natural gas. Fumes released by cars, buses, trucks, coal operatedtrains, heavy artilleries (agriculture based machineries), airplanes, ships andmotorcycles also play a vital role in increasing the levels of pollutants inthe air. Exhaust from factories and industries, agricultural activities,burning of fossil fuels, mining operations, indoor air pollution(Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFs) released byrefrigerators, deep freezer and aerosol sprays are also known reasons for airpollution. A classic example for this kind of pollution is the M. A.
Jinnah roadlocated in Karachi, such that it has be listed as the most health hazardinfrastructure of Karachi in article by DAWN published on 31st October2001. Yet little or nothing has been done on institutional level to reduce itsadverse effects, the hospitals near by are filled up with smog generated by allforms of transportation. Effects of Air PollutionIrritation in throat, nose, lungs and eyes can be caused by air pollution.Breathing problems and other health issues like emphysema and asthma can beaggravated. Cardiovascular diseases may increase by frequent exposure topolluted air. People working-out outdoors are also easily prone to diseases dueto heavy and fast breathing during exercising. Trees, crops, marine animals arealso profoundly damaged by the acid rain produced by air pollution.
Hence heartaffected people, children, older people are extremely sensitive to airpollution. It can cause diseases, allergies or in extreme cases it may evencause deaths of human or other living organisms like animals or food crops.Global warming, is a direct effect of air pollution such that the smog trapsthe ultra violet radiations causing the increase in earth’s temperature. Ozonelayer that protects the earth from harmful rays is now depleting due to thepresences of CFCs and HCFCs, which can cause skin and eye related problems.Land/ SoilPollutionWhat is Land Pollution and its causes:It can betermed as the degradation or annihilation of the land, which may be as a director indirect result of anthropogenic activities. We are unable to see theeffects but the deposition of solids or liquids wasted material on the land orunder the ground that contaminate the soil and the underground water are themain cause of land pollution. It is one of the serious concerns.
Waste materialthat causes land pollution can be categorized as the garbage of food materialslike poultry and vegetables; dry material like paper, glass, textile, plasticobjects etc. Deforestationsand soil erosions, cutting down of trees in order to provide wood for humanactivities such as building houses, burning wood in winters or clearing spacefor urbanization. However, what is not realized is that these forests are oursafeguards against floods and heavy rainfalls, without them the nearbycivilization can be wiped out. Moreover, when they are cut down it becomes easyfor the rain or flood to cause soil erosion as the roots of the trees preventsthe same. Agricultural activities, increased population results in overused ofagricultural land in order to meet the food demand, this can also cause loss offertile land due to over use of land.
Overcrowded landfills: Over populationalso results in large waste lands crowded with human byproducts of humans suchas aluminums, plastics, papers, clothes and woods, which are also termed as non-biodegradablecompounds (products that do not break down in the environment naturally).Industrialization,the industrial revolution has brought a high influx of finish products, whichmakes the lives of people easy in the short run. In the long run the wasteproducts are in higher magnitude then the output such that the waste such aswood, bricks, metal and plastic is visible to us. Nuclear waste, the hugeamount of waste produced by plants as a result of fusion and fission, which aredumped underneath the earth’s surface. Sewage treatment, leftover solid wastefrom the treatment is relocated to a landfill site are also main causes of landPollution. Effects of Land PollutionAnotherform of land pollution is soil pollution, in which the upper layer of the soilis damaged.
Agriculture products such as chemical fertilizers and pest controlswhen used in heavy quantities can lead to land pollution, such that thefertility of the agricultural land can be lost because of it. Directly orindirectly land pollution also affects the climate changes. Contaminated landwith chemical toxics, pesticides can lead to skin problem such as skin cancerand effects the human respiratory system also. Through foods and vegetablestoxic chemicals enter our body which are gown in polluted land. Landfills thatkeep growing around the city and when burned which pollutes the air as well asland.
Wildlife is also suffering and has been suffering for the past decade.Human activities that creates non-biodegradable garbage is also a pollutingfactor of lands hence forcing the wildlife to die or move away from region theyhave been living due to which many species of animals have become extinct. Acidrain discharges chemicals on trees and plants which decompose of them causingland pollution. It also effects a country’s economic growth; the landfill makesit unattractive to the tourist.WaterPollutionWhat is water pollution and its causesTwo thirdof the earth surface is covered with water including lakes, rivers, seas, oceanas well as underground water and the remaining one third is land. As thepopulation is growing, the water resources are being pressurized. Exceededchemical from medical, industrial and household waste found in water maycause water pollution and harm human health and environment. Under waterspecies and plants are also being affected.
Agriculture crops which are high exposedto fertilizers, when washed out, due to rain or watering of plants, into therivers and lakes which pollutes the water highly. Disposing of sewage waste isalso affecting our marine life, Karachi being a prime example of the drainagesystem setup by the Defence Housing Authority (D.H.A), such that the byproductsare released into the Arabian Sea. Another major factor for the destruction ofour seas is the oil spills. Effects of Water PollutionA largevariety of diseases can be caused by water pollution.
Since we are drinkingpolluted water, bathing and showering in it, swimming in polluted water, breathingpolluted water, sitting next to chemically effected water, consume polluted washedfood and meat. Stomach aches to deadly diseases can be affect by drinkingcontaminated water. When the oil is spilled in the ocean, due to its light weightit floats on the surface of the water, which results in difficulty for themarine life to breath and causing death eventually. Such species includes seaotters, fish, shell fish and also sea birds. Plastic materials arenon-biodegradable substance which is not only causes water pollution but isalso aesthetically unappealing to human eye.
LightPollutionWhat is light pollution and its causesAlsoknown as photo pollution, light pollution is the excessive misuse of artificialoutdoor lighting. Excessive or mismanaged light washes out the view of theuniverse, alters the colour and contrast of the nighttime sky, eclipses, whichresults increase effects of effecting the human life and wild life. Whentalking about light pollution it is said that man made light is changing theenvironments natural light.
There are plants and animals that depend on thenatural night light but due to manmade lights the night illuminated iscompromised hence it is important to maintain natural lights. Five main types of light pollution areover illumination, this means lights are left turned on and even street lampswhich not adjusted according to day light saving causes light pollution. Secondis the glare, it is when the intensity of the light is very strong causingdisruption visually, for example, glaring headlights in the night.
Lightclutter, it is when the objects around us are emitting a lot of bright light andall at once, for example street lights combined with billboards, headlights andother sources. When the light is directly emitted in the atmosphere causing upthe sky to brighten up is known as sky glow, which may prohibit us from stargazing, and also it can create issues for nocturnal animals as they use moonlight for navigation and lastly, light trespass, as the name suggest, when one’slight shines over the others and others shine over yours, creates a flood oflights, which can be unwanted at many instances. The main causes of lightpollution are poor planning, irresponsible use and over population. Effects of Light PollutionAlsoknown as luminous pollution, have many harmful effects not only to our naturalresources by also to all living creatures around us, either directly orindirectly. Wildanimals’ life patterns can be highly affected such as their feeding, sleeping,migration and mating cycles. Nocturnal animals and other mammals such as bats,raccoons and deer can face difficulties when fending for their food. Birds suchas owls and hawks use moonlight and starlight to hunt and migration, howeverdue to pollution it can cause visual impairment. Female turtles lay their eggson a dark beach however due to illuminated beach it risks the exposer of thenest to the surrounding animals such as dogs, which increases the chances ofthe hatchlings been eaten by predators.
NoisePollutionWhat is noise pollution and its causes.Regularlyexposed to elevated sound that may lead to adverse hearing effects for human orother living creatures is known as noise pollution. Sounds and noises areexplained as unnatural in either volume or in their production. The environmentbecomes such that is difficult to escape the noise. Noise pollution cannot beeasily measured, because its depends on the context of the sound and the effecton the person hearing. Some loud music can be joyful for someone and torturefor another.
The types of noise pollution are so universal (omnipresent)nowadays that one often fails to even notice them anymore. Common examples arestreet traffic sounds from vehicles such as cars, buses, ambulances, policesirens and bikes. The sound of drilling or heavy machinery operation atconstruction sites; industrial sounds like generators, compressor, mills, fans etc.;trains passing by and air planes while landing and taking off, are allconsidered a form of sound pollution. Noises from household sounds such hastelevision sets, radio, music playing on stereos or computers, vacuum cleaners,washing machines, lawnmowers, dishwashers, fan, coolers, juicer, blenders etc.
,noise pollution can also be caused by the noise made in events such likeloudspeakers, fireworks, firecrackers etc. It is also caused by explosions, gunfires etc. Effects of Noise PollutionNoisepollution can be harmful to health in various ways such as it can elevate bloodlevels for a longer period of time causing hypertension. Sleeping disorder,constant stress, fatigueness are also caused by noise pollution. Listening toloud music in your headphones or loud drilling noise in your surroundings,heavy traffic on regular basis can lead to loss of hearing. Constant sharp noisecan give severe headaches and can disturb a person emotionally. Loud noise can causedifficulty among people when communicating.
Along with humans, wildlife alsofaces problems due to noise pollution as they have a sharp sense of hearingwhich enables their habitual activities such as mating calls, hunting theirpreys and migration. SOLUTIONSAlthoughmankind has become proactive to prevent further damage to our environment,however reversing the current depleted situation would require years before achange can be noticed. An important factor to consider here is that everythingon earth is interrelated, such that the all living organisms help in creatingfossil fuels and use them as well, therefore it is important to understand thatwe cannot survive without them.
The quicker we our to take our stand on eliminatingpollution and its adverse reactions the quicker the healing process of ourearth and its resources can begin. Followingare the recommendations to increase the longevity of our natural resources andthe environment.To reducethe carbon footprint each individual needs to reduce their waste products, suchas walking or taking bicycles to nearby places. Using catalytic convertors forthe cars (used to convert carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide) or use a hybridcar all together; carpooling and use of public transportation is also anefficient way to conserve energy. An individual should ensure conserving energyby turning off lights when not in use, electrical appliances and computers.
Adopting three Rs of solid wastemanagement i.e. reduce, reuse and recycle is also important. Also, papers,plastic, cans, glass and biodegradable items should be deposed of separately toinsure the three Rs of solid wastemanagement.
Awarenessprograms should be launched by local bodies to ensure others are aware of theirby-products and the steps they can take individually to prevent pollution.Drainage system should not be released in the ocean. Moreover, the industrialareas should be relocated from the residential areas. Solid waste should beproperly disposed of in the landfills. Go greencampaign should be introduced in every organization ensuring paperlessenvironment, which in turn will save a lot of forest, also avoiding soilerosions.
Afforestation, planting of native trees would boost the oxygen levelsin turn it will ensure the low levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Thegovernment should also limit the carbon emissions of the companies and alsoenforce catalytic convertors. Moreover, the oil spills should be heavilycontrolled such that taxes should be levied on the spiller.
Dumping of wasteproducts such as plastics and metals should be completely banned. Instead offertilizers to ensure crop yield, manure should be used. Use ofaerosol sprays should be banned completely this would reduce the emissions ofCFCs and HCFCs.
Lighting throughout the city should be better planned in orderto ensure energy is not being wasted, for example during day light saving thestreet lamps should also be ensured is running according to the needs ofothers. However, in Pakistan, the issue of illuminous pollution will not arise inthe near future since we barely have any street lighting anywhere except ourcapital, Islamabad. All other cities are poorly managed when it comes to publicdomain which include lighting of the streets. Loud noises should be controlledinternally and externally to ensure well-being of the surrounding organisms.
Renewableenergy resources such as wind, solar and hydraulic resources should be utilizedto create electricity instead of non-renewable resources such as coal, fossilfuels and methane as they leave a bigger carbon foot print then the formerresources. Pakistan is known for its geographical location that can allow it toharvest the renewable resources all that are listed above. The vast agriculturallands are ideal place to set up turbines that allow wind to generateelectricity, furthermore, our days in summers and winters are longer comparedto countries in the northern and southern hemisphere, making it ideal for us toset up solar panels. The advance researches have allowed the solar panels to betechnological developed in order to store electricity in their battery whichcan be later used at night, at the same time providing necessary electricityduring the day time.
The only issue that has been highlighted is that it is expensiveinvestmentCONCLUSIONAlthoughmuch is being done to avoid further degradation of the environmental pollution,due to the vast nature of the problem, there is no easy and quick solution. Itis important to identify and keep a close control over the pollution. Eachindividual and each societal structure has to ensure their efforts to reducethe further degradation, this would bring about a chain effect, such that inthe long run improving of atmosphere would be witnessed. It is important foreach and every one to understand the consequences if little or nothing is doneto save the atmosphere. The developed and the developing nations need to workhand in hand to bring about the improvement needed on climate, also governmentneeds to be greatly involved in flood risk assessment and management, this willensure the safety of the people living near agricultural lands such as Punjaband Sindh where flooding during monsoon season is common.
Drainage systems needto be properly set up and not directed towards the sea, which includes plantinga proper sewerage treatment plant. We as a country and as a society need tothink about our future generations to come and not be caught up in the momentwe are living in.