Environmental pollution

Abstract

Environmental pollution is a major issue, and it has plagued the world for quite a long time. For living organisms to survive there must be an interaction between them and the environment and are quite dependent on each other. They maintain a balance in nature but increased pollution has led to imbalances in the ecosystem. Factors leading to this include increased population, organic matter decay, deforestation, industrialization, pollutants discharge to water bodies, dumping of biodegradable and nonbiodegradable solid and non-solid waste into water bodies and land to mention but few. Environmental pollution can be categorized into water, air, soil and noise pollution. Pollution poses a grave threat to humans, animals, and plants too.  Most of these pollutions are as a result of reckless human activities such as effluent and chemicals discharge to water bodies and the atmosphere. Greatest effects include the release of GHGs causing global warming and contamination of water bodies not considering that air and water are life’s prime necessities. To ensure survival some of the actions taken to mitigate these problems include proper waste disposal systems, increased research in pollution, raising awareness on the matter to educate the public, afforestation programs, encouraging the use of manure than inorganic fertilizers among others.

Public Health Triad and Global Health

Environmental Pollution

Pollution has various facets that include water pollution, air pollution, noise and soil pollution. Environmental pollution can be defined as the unwanted alteration in chemical, physical and biological characteristics of water, soil, and air as a result of factors. Air pollution can be attributed to human activities such as industrialization, increasing populations and urbanization. This involves the release of pollutant gases such as Carbon (IV) Oxide CO2, methane, hydrocarbons (HCs), nitrogen oxides radioactive dust and matter into the atmosphere (Khan & Ghouri, 2011). Most of these gases are highly toxic and cause respiratory complications and even death in severe cases of increased concentrations. Most of these gases such as methane are known as greenhouse gases (GHGs) which are hand in hand related to global warming another menace in this age  (Bose, 2010). Most of these gases come from industries. Indiscriminate cutting of trees has also contributed to increasing levels of GHGs as trees tend to act as sinks and absorb these gases.

Water is one of the life’s prime necessities although it is also a limiting resource. Water pollution renders the limited water accessible unfit for use. When there is any physical, chemical or biological change in water, it is considered polluted and bearing in mind that water is needed on a daily basis this lead to health problems which result to death, long term complications, loss of aquatic diversity and so on (Patterson, Smith & Bellamy, 2013). Presence of pollutants like water-borne disease causing microbes causing diseases like typhoid or cholera which are deadly. Toxic effluents from industries reduce dissolved oxygen concentration in the water killing aquatic animals. Agriculture is also affected as plants die due to the toxins present in the water (Shahidul & Tanaka, 2014).

Soil pollution is also another issue that is affecting the globe and has led to the loss of agricultural land or by rendering it unusable to produce food for the ever growing population. These wastes are usually from industries, improper disposal of waste in cities, overuse of fertilizers, herbicides and other chemicals. Deforestation also contributes to soil pollution since the plants are not available for nutrient recycling. GHGs also cause acid rain which pollutes the soils making them acidic and also the water bodies. This leads to reduced plant growth leading to starvation.

Recommended measures to lessen environmental pollution

The government should formulate policies aimed at recycling and proper waste disposal and raise global awareness towards reducing pollution. Research should also be encouraged to come up with pollution combating techniques and also use that information to educate and create awareness globally. For the industries, they should be driven to adopt water and air recycling techniques such as wet scrubbing and electrostatic precipitation. Automobiles should be properly maintained and comply with current-emission control standards (O’Brien, 2012). In the farms, the use of organic manure should be encouraged and compost of yard waste instead of burning it. Encouraging and support of afforestation and reforestation programs for more trees to filter out the GHGs. Proper sewage treatment should be encouraged before release to the water bodies (O’Brien, 2012).

References

Bose, B. K. (2010). Global warming: Energy, environmental pollution, and the impact of power electronics. IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine, 4(1), 6-17.

Khan, M. A., & Ghouri, A. M. (2011). Environmental pollution: Its effects on life and its remedies.

O’Brien, K. (2012). Global environmental change II: from adaptation to deliberate transformation. Progress in Human Geography, 36(5), 667-676.

Patterson, J. J., Smith, C., & Bellamy, J. (2013). Understanding and enabling capacities for managing the ‘wicked problem ‘of nonpoint source water pollution in catchments: a conceptual framework. Journal of environmental management, 128, 441-452.

Shahidul, I. M., & Tanaka, M. (2014). Impacts of pollution on coastal and marine ecosystems including coastal and marine fisheries and approach for management: a review and synthesis. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 48(7-8), 624-649.

 

 

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