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Environmental Pollution Essay

7013 words - 29 pages

Contemporary Environmental Issues

Environmental Science Senior Secondary Course


Developmental activities such as construction, transportation and manufacturing not only deplete the natural resources but also produce large amount of wastes that leads to pollution of air, water, soil, and oceans; global warming and acid rains. Untreated or improperly treated waste is a major cause of pollution of rivers and environmental degradation causing ill health and loss of crop productivity. In this lesson you will study about the major causes of pollution, their effects on our environment and the various measures that can be taken to control such ...view middle of the document...

The agents which cause environmental pollution are called pollutants. A pollutants may be defined as a physical, chemical or biological substance unintentionally released into the environment which is directly or indirectly harmful to humans and other living organisms.

Contemporary Environmental Issues


Pollution may be of the following types: • • • • • • Air pollution Noise pollution Water pollution Soil pollution Thermal pollution Radiation pollution

Air pollution is a result of industrial and certain domestic activity. An ever increasing use of fossil fuels in power plants, industries, transportation, mining, construction of buildings, stone quarries had led to air pollution. Air pollution may be defined as the presence of any solid, liquid or gaseous substance including noise and radioactive radiation in the atmosphere in such concentration that may be directly and indirectly injurious to humans or other living organisms, plants, property or interferes with the normal environmental processes. Air pollutants are of two types (1) suspended particulate matter, and (2) gaseous pollutants like carbon dioxide (CO2), NOx etc. Some of the major air pollutants, their sources and effects are given in table 10.1. Table 10.1: Particulate air pollutants, their sources and effects
Pollutant Suspended particulate matter/dust Sources Smoke from domestic, industrial and vehicular soot Effects Depends on specific composition Reduces sunlight and visibility, increases corrosion, Pneumoconiosis, asthma, cancer, and other lung diseases. Settles down on vegetation, houses. Adds to the suspended participate matter (SPM) in the air. Leachates contain harmful material

Fly ash

Part of smoke released from chimneys of factories and power plants


Contemporary Environmental Issues 10.3.1 Particulate pollutants

Environmental Science Senior Secondary Course


Particulate matter suspended in air are dust and soot released from the industrial chimneys. Their size ranges from 0.001 to 500 µm in diameter. Particles less than 10µm float and move freely with the air current. Particles which are more than 10µm in diameter settle down. Particles less than 0.02 µm form persisent aerosols. Major source of SPM (suspended particulate matter) are vehicles, power plants, construction activities, oil refinery, railway yard, market place, industries, etc. • Fly ash Fly ash is ejected mostly by thermal power plants as by products of coal burning operations. Fly ash pollutes air and water and may cause heavy metal pollution in water bodies. Fly ash affects vegetation as a result of its direct deposition on leaf surfaces or indirectly through its deposition on soil. Fly ash is now being used for making bricks and as a land fill material. • Lead and other metals particles Tetraethyl lead (TEL) is used as an anti-knock agent in petrol for smooth and easy running of vehicles. The...

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