Pollution is the introduction of a contaminant into a natural environment, usually by humans. While most people think of pollution as chemical waste dumped into rivers, or factories spewing toxins into the air, it can also include light pollution or sound pollution. These are example of pollutions such as air pollution, water pollution and land pollution. Firstly, the air pollution is the accumulation in the atmosphere of substances that, in sufficient concentrations, endanger human health or produce other measured effects on living matter and other materials.
Among the major sources of pollution are power and heat generation, the burning of solid wastes, industrial processes, and, especially, transportation. The six major types of pollutants are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, particulates, sulfur dioxide, and photochemical oxidants. These are examples of air pollution; * Tobacco Smoke Tobacco smoke is one of the major forms of pollution in buildings. It is not only the smoker who is infected, but everyone who inhales the polluted air. There is a very strong connection between smoking and lung cancer.
Bronchitis is common among smokers and unborn babies of mothers who smoke also suffer from the harmful effects of smoking. * Exhaust Gases of Vehicles Pollution from exhaust gases of vehicles is responsible for 60% of all air pollution and in cities up to 80%. There is a large variety of harmful chemicals present in these gases, with lead being one of the most dangerous. * Combustion of Coal The combustion of coal without special precautions can have serious consequences. If winds do not blow away the poisonous gases, they can have fatal effects and may lead to death. * Acid rain
Acid rain is the term for pollution caused when sulfur and nitrogen dioxides combine with atmospheric moisture to produce highly acidic rain, snow, hail, or fog. The acid eats into the stone, brick and metal articles and pollutes water sources. Coal in South Africa is rich in sulphur and the power stations in the Mpumalanga Province could be responsible for acid rain over other areas of our country. Moreover, another example of pollution is water pollution. Water pollution is the introduction into fresh or ocean waters of chemical, physical, or biological material that degrades the quality of the water and affects the organisms living in it.
This process ranges from simple addition of dissolved or suspended solids to discharge of the most insidious and persistent toxic pollutants (such as pesticides, heavy metals, and no degradable, bio accumulative, chemical compounds). These are examples of water pollution * Industrial affluent Water is discharged from after having been used in production processes. This waste water may contain acids, alkalis, salts, poisons, oils and in some cases harmful bacteria. * Mining and Agricultural Wastes Mines, especially gold and coal mines, are responsible for large quantities of acid water.
Agricultural pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides may wash into rivers and stagnant water bodies. * Sewage Disposal and Domestic Wastes Sewage as well as domestic and farm wastes were often allowed to pollute rivers and dams. Lastly is the land pollution. Land pollution is the degradation of the Earth’s land surface through misuse of the soil by poor agricultural practices, mineral exploitation, industrial waste dumping, and indiscriminate disposal of urban wastes. It includes visible waste and litter as well as pollution of the soil itself.
Examples of Land Pollution; * Soil Pollution Soil pollution is mainly due to chemicals in herbicides (weed killers) and pesticides (poisons which kill insects and other invertebrate pests). Litter is waste material dumped in public places such as streets, parks, picnic areas, at bus stops and near shops. * Waste Disposal The accumulation of waste threatens the health of people in residential areas. Waste decays, encourages household pests and turns urban areas into unsightly, dirty and unhealthy places to live in.