Pollution occurs when toxic contaminants are introduced into the land, air, and water. These contaminants can have negative consequences in our entire ecosystems, affecting humans, plants and animals. Constant exposure to harmful pollutants will result in health problems, especially children and the elderly who are particularly susceptible to these toxins. Over time, harmful human activities can take a toll on our health and the rest of the organisms living on this planet.
Major Types of Pollution
Have you ever wondered why pollution is such a significant problem? Pollution not only affect one aspect of life — it comes in different forms, impacting the air, water and soil. As residents on this planet, we have a responsibility to reduce pollution and protect Earth at all cost. It is essential for us to be familiar with the different types of pollution, what we can do to prevent or reduce it before it can destroy the planet we live on.
- Air Pollution
Air pollutants come in two different types: primary, which is directly emitted from the source of pollution (e.g. smoke produced by factories), and secondary which are formed from the reaction between the primary pollutants and the atmosphere.
There are various ways where we have contributed to the growing problem of air pollution. Take, for example, when we burn fossil fuels, a variety of harmful chemicals are released into the atmosphere. Constant burning of fossil fuel can pollute the air we breathe, causing a direct impact not only on our respiratory system but our overall health, as well.
Effects of Air Pollution
- Breathing in polluted air increases our risk for asthma and other adverse respiratory problems. f
- Scientific studies found out that exposure to ground ozone for six to seven hours can affect our lung function, putting them at risk for respiratory inflammation.
- Unfortunately, air pollutants are mostly made of carcinogenic substances. Living in heavily polluted areas exposes residents to many forms of cancer.
- Coughing and wheezing are common symptoms observed on city folks. People exposed to polluted city air are often found with symptoms like coughing and wheezing.
- Air pollution affects the endocrine, immune, and reproductive systems.
- Breathing in high levels of air pollutants have been linked to high incidents of cardiovascular disease.
- Burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been associated with global warming.
- When toxic chemicals are released into the atmosphere, they settle into plants and water sources. Animals feed and drink on contaminated plants and water, thus poisoning the food chain, including us.
- Water Pollution
Wastewater, sewage, and fertilizers can contribute to nutrient pollution. When high levels of nutrients reach the bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, and seas, it can cause an overgrowth of algae and weed. As a result, it makes the water undrinkable and causes the aquatic life to die due to the depleted level of oxygen.
Applying pesticides and herbicides to crops and residential areas can pollute the soil. Rainwater and runoff water can carry these harmful contaminants to the groundwater and cause pollution. That is why it is highly critical to have the water thoroughly checked for pollutants before drilling a well for water.
Another major cause of water pollution is the improper disposal of industrial waste. This creates primary and secondary pollutants, including oil spills, sulphur, lead, nitrates, mercury, and phosphates.
Additionally, people in developing countries currently dispose of about 70 percent of their garbage directly into the ocean or sea. This practice can give rise to major problems which affect humans, including severe pollution and the deaths of sea creatures.
Effects of Water Pollution
- Drinking contaminated water exposes you to various diseases and parasites (e.g. amoebiasis, diarrhea, hepatitis, encephalitis, stomachaches, vomiting, typhoid, and hookworm).
- Chemical pollutants, such as heavy metals, pesticides, lead, and hydrocarbons, cause reproductive and hormonal problems, damage to nervous systems, liver, and kidneys, and cancer. Mercury exposure has also been linked to heart problems, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and even death.
- Bathing in polluted bodies of water can cause itchy rashes.
- Water pollution affects and contaminates aquatic animals, which is one of our primary sources of food. Reports claimed that eating contaminated shellfish have resulted in significant health issues and death.
- Land Pollution
Land pollution is mainly caused by improper disposal of waste, resulting in the contamination of the soil. Among the most common cause of land pollution are the application of pesticides and herbicides to the earth, improper disposal of waste, and irresponsible exploitation of minerals through mining.
Leaking septic tanks and sewage systems, harmful substances from landfills, and wastewater from industrial plants can leach and pollute the soil. Additionally, rain and flooding can carry and spread pollutants into different locations.
Agricultural activities, such as over-farming and overgrazing, can cause the soil to eventually lose their nutrients and alter its natural structure, which leads to soil degradation.
Effects of Land Pollution
- Among the substantial health consequences that come with land pollution are skin and respiratory problems and various types of cancers.
- We can be exposed to toxic substances through consuming contaminated fruits and vegetables and drinking polluted water. Additionally, pollutants can directly come in contact with our skin.
- Deforestation can contribute to land degradation and soil erosion, and creates harsh conditions that ultimately affect the ecosystem and its habitats. It can also lead to an imbalance in atmospheric conditions, which depletes that level of carbon, which is used by plants in their food production.
How to Reduce Pollution
It is our responsibility to reduce pollution and prevent it from destroying the environment and contaminating our food and water sources. Living in a healthy and clean environment protects humans and wildlife from various diseases and cancers by providing us clean, fresh air to breathe and protection from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
With increasing population numbers, the pollution problem will only get worse unless we are brave enough to do something about it. By working together towards a greener environment, there are many things we can do to keep our planet a safe place to live.
While protecting our environment may seem a long and daunting task, thorough and continuous planning, change in lifestyle and government policies, and environmental awareness can help us achieve our goals. Keep in mind that ignoring the worsening pollution problem can be catastrophic and will potentially end all life forms on this planet. Proper waste management and disposal, implementation of recycling policies, banning of harmful agricultural chemicals, and using safe, renewable energy can dramatically minimize pollution and its effect on our environment and improve the quality of living. Remember that every living life form, humans and animals alike, are entitled to clean air, water, and land.
Reducing Solid Waste through Recycling
Did you know that Mother Earth recycles? For instance, when a plant or animal dies, their bodies eventually become compost materials that support the development and growth of plants, trees, and forests.
When we recycle, we help minimize the effects of pollution by reducing the need to manufacture new materials and cutting back the release of harmful air pollutants from factories. With the worsening impacts of global warming, recycling also moderates the release of greenhouse gases, as well as conserve our natural resources. Lastly, it is also a great and effective way to reduce the volume of trash dumped in landfills.
Since saving our planet starts with ourselves, we need reliable new and used recycling machines. BaleForce Recycling Equipment provides high-quality horizontal balers with easy-to-use controls. Call us at (416) 235-1900 or 1-855-235-1900 or use our contact form to request more information about our recycling equipment.