Environmental Pollution

IMPACTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION 14

EnvironmentalPollution

Abstract

Pollutioninvolvestheintroductionof contaminants into thenaturalenvironment,leadingto theadverseimpactsthat significantly affecttheexistenceof human,plantsandanimals.Contaminants taketheformof chemicalssubstances,energy,suchas noise,orotheractionsthat degradetheenvironment.There are five basictypesof pollution,namely, airpollution,waterpollution,soilpollution,noise,andlightpollution.Themostcommontypeof environmental pollution,theAir pollution,is causedby theinjurioussmokeemittedfrom industriesormachines,especiallythoseusingthenon-green sourcesof energy.Othercausesof airpollutionincludetheChlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), greenhousegasses among otherpollutants. Theprimarywaterpollutants includetheuntreated industrialeffluents, urban runoffs, as wellas chemicalsrunoffs from agriculturalfields.Primarypollutants of soilpollutionincludeacidrainsamong othercauses.Theotherformsof environmental pollutionsuchas noiseandlightpollutionare rare,but have significant impacts on human life. Environmentalpollution hasadverseimpactson humanhealthsometimesleadingto death.Additionally, it affectstheexistenceof plantsandanimalsowing to the impacts on the natural habitat. In mostcases,pollutionis as a resultof humanactivitieshencea lucidunderstandingof the adversities of environmental pollutionwill be handyin sensitizingthepublicon environmental protection.

Environmentalpollutionoccurswhentheenvironmentcannot processandneutralizetheintroduced harmfulproducts, without anyfunctionalorstructuraldamageto its system. These harmful products are in most cases introducedto theenvironmentby humanactivitiessuchas burningpetroleumfuelsleading to emissions of poisonousgasses, industrialeffluents among others.Theincreasingadverseeffectsof environmental pollutionon humanhealthare apparentowingto thesignificanceof environmental factorsto humanhealthandwellbeing (Rana, 2011). Environmental pollutionis a global problemand has a highpotential to influencehumanhealthandwellbeingnegatively.Environmental pollutionoccursin densely populated urban-industrial areas,especiallythosein developedcountries,owingto theincreasedindustrialeffluents. In lessdevelopedcountries,morethan eighty percent of waterpollutionresultsfrom agriculturalactivitiessuchas irrigation,unlike in industrialized nationswheremorethan eighty percent of waterandairpollutionarisefrom industrialemissions.Over thelastfew decades, there havebeenincreasingglobal concernsconcerningpublichealthproblemsthat are directlyattributable to exposureto environmental pollution(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).Exposureto environmental pollutionis currently moreintensethan in othertimesowingto theincreasedhumanactivitiesandnaturalforcesthat causeenvironmental pollution.At thepresent,environmental auditin theeconomicsectoris mandatory,seekingto identifyfactorsleadingto environmental pollution,andprovideappropriatemeasureto controlthepollution(Rana,2011).Thispaperexemplifiesthevariousimpactsof environmental pollutionon humanhealthandwellbeing. The paper critically analyzesthevariouscausesof thefive majortypesof environmental pollution,recommendingappropriatepreventivemeasures of combating environmentalpollution.Effectiveprevention of environmental pollution will be essentialinpromoting the attainments of humanhealthandwellbeing.

Rationale

Overtheyears,there havebeenincreasedhealthissuesresultingfrom exposureto environmental pollution.Among these pollution-related health concerns include cancers,cardiovascular diseases,respiratory diseaseand skin relatedhealthproblemssuchas rashesandskinirritations.Others include neurobehavioral disordersand water borne diseasessuch as cholera and bilharzia.Theseincreasedpollutionrelatedhealthadversitiespromptedmy researchon healthimpactsof environmental pollution.Theresearchwill exemplifythevarioustypesandof environmental pollutionand outline the various health impacts of these pollutions.Additionally, the paper will recommend appropriate methods ofpreventing environmental pollution. The research will prove useful inthe preventing environmental pollution, leading to a safe and cleanenvironment.

ResearchQuestions

  • What are the causes of the major types of environmental pollution?

  • What are the impacts of the major types of environmental pollution?

AirPollution

Airpollutionis among themostcommontypesof environmental pollution,andwith themostadverseimpactson humanlife.Airpollutioninvolvestheintroductionof harmfulsubstancesinto theatmosphereleadingto theimbalancein thecompositionof air.Among thechiefairpollutants are thegreenhousegasses, among them Carbon IV Oxide (CO2), methane and Sulphur IVOxide (Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).ThoughalllivingcreaturesexhaleCO2, whichisthenusedby plantsin thephotosynthesis process,its excess productionpollutestheenvironment,causingadverseimpactson humanlives.Excess productionof Carbon IV Oxide comesfrom automobiles,industriesandaircrafts, includinghumanactivitiessuchas burningof fuelslike coalandpetroleum.Researchesevidencethatover thelasthundred andfifty years,there has beena tremendousincreaseof carbonfour Oxide in theatmospheredue to increasedhumanactivities.Anotherdangerousgreenhousegasthat pollutestheenvironmentis Methane, which isemittedfrom animalwastes,Chlorofluorocarbons from aerosols, appellants, andrefrigerants. Fortunately,theuseof Chlorofluorocarbons as appellants andrefrigerants andhavebeenbanneddue to their increasedadversitieson theenvironmentsuchas depletingtheOzone layer(Rana,2011).Sulphur IV Oxide is anothergreenhousegasthat causesdrasticclimatic issues,suchas smog,which is a comprisedof smokeandfog.Smogreducesvisibilityandstimulatestheliningof humannervesandthroatscausingan itchyfeeling(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).

Impacts

Airpollutionhas notableimpactson theenvironment,includingthehuman,plantsandanimals.TheworldHealth Organization (WHO)estimatesthatmorethan two million peoplesufferfrom diseasesandfatalitiesdue to exposureto airpollution.Theairwebreatheis an importantingredientin humanhealthylifeandwellbeing (Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).Unfortunately,airpollutionhas becomea commonfactorespeciallyin thedevelopedcountriesowingto theestablishmentsof industries,which emitdangerousgasses into theatmosphere.Pollutedaircontainshazardouspollutants andcontaminants that threatenhumanexistence.Pollutedairhas hazardouscontents suchas heavymetals,particulate matter,Sulphur IV Oxide, PAHs, ground-level-Ozone, benzene andexcess Carbon IV Oxide. Continuousexposureto airpollutants causesrespiratory diseasesanddisorders,suchas coughing,wheezing,pneumoniaandAsthma. Additionally, theexposurecausescardiovascular diseasesanddisorders,suchas vascular dysfunction, cardiopulmonary diseases,andheartattackamong others. Airpollutionhas increasedhazardousimpactson theenvironment,causingglobal warming due to theincreasinglevels of greenhousegasses in theatmosphere.Researchesattest thatover theyears,thetemperatureover landandoceanshas beenincreasinga factorthat isdirectlyattributedto increasedgreenhousegasses (Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).

Greenhousegasses traptheheatwavesin theearthatmosphere,leadingto increasingglobal temperaturesthat havesignificantly changedtheglobal climatic conditions.Theincreasedglobal temperatureshaveledto melting of snowcoversin theNorthern hemisphereas wellas thereductionof theextentof theArctic sea ice.Additionally, increasedglobal temperatureshaveledto melting of iceglaciers,factorsthat haveledtorisingsea levels. Theincreasingsea levels has hadincreasingadverseimpactson humanlivessuch as flooding’ leading to displacement as theseas takeup landinitiallyoccupiedby thehumans.Additionally, themelting of glaciershasledto increasedflooding, which threatenshumanlivesandexistence(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011). Changesin thecryosphere increasetherisksof reducingwateravailability in the world, since a sixth of theworldpopulationdepend on snowpack andglaciersfortheir watersupply.Additionally, global warming increasestheoceanicheatcontents, leadingto imbalancein theearthheatcontents, leadingto adverseimpactson marinelives.Global warming leadsto oceanacidification, as theoceantakesup morecarbonIV oxide from theatmospheresince itis thenaturalsinkof excess atmosphericcarbonIV oxide. Global warming has adverselyaffectedtheweatherpatterns,changingthelevels of precipitationsandcausingacidic rains,allof which havesignificantly affectedthehuman.Acidrainsare as a resultof themixing of greenhousegasses suchas Nitrogen Dioxide andSulphur IV Oxide with atmosphericmoistureformingnitric acidandsulphuric acidsrespectively(Rana, 2011).Theseacidshaveadverseeffectsevenin their mildforms.Additionally, greenhousegasses depletetheOzone layer,leadingto exposureto ultravioletradiationsfrom thesun,which predisposesindividualsto skincancers,whosedevelopmentsleadsto death(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).

Prevention

Airpollutionis as a resultof humanactivitiessuchas burningof petroleumfuelsin industriesorusingthem to runtheir automobiles.Thepollutionis moreprevalentin industrialized nationsthanin less developed nations,especiallyin the industrialareas.Despite theprevalenceof pollutionin someareasmorethan others, impactsof airpollutionare global, hencetheneedforadoptingappropriatepreventivemeasuresto resolvetheproblem.Accordingto worldhealthorganization,useof lessefficientfuelsandtechnologies anduseof chlorofluorocarbons is among themainairpollutants. Assuch,governmentsshould establishandimplementappropriateenvironmental regulationpoliciesto resolveairpollution(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).One of themosteffectivestrategiesis theuseof clean sourcesof energy,suchas windenergy,hydroelectric energy,andthesolarenergy.Governmentsandinvestors should investin thedevelopmentof moderntechnologies, promotingtheuseof cleanandefficientenergysourcesto eliminate air pollution that results from the use of contemporarysources of energy, such as petroleum. Plantingtrees will also proveaptin thereductionof thegreenhousegasses suchas carbonIV Oxide, since trees and other plantations take up carbon IV Oxidefor photosynthesis. Additionally, regularservicing of automobileswill be aptin reducingtheemissionsof pollutants, therebyreducingairpollution.Reducedairpollutionwill ensurecleanbreathing air,reduceglobal warming andreduceotherpollutants that causeadversehealthconditions,leadingto a healthyglobal population(Rana, 2011).

WaterPollution

Waterpollutionis anybiological,physicalorchemicalchangein thequalityof waterthat adverselyaffectsmarinelivesormakesthewaterunsuitablefordesireduses.Waterpollutionmay be as a resultof naturalfactorssuchas oilseeps, sedimentations from erosionsorpoisonsprings.Conversely, there are numeroushumanactivitiesthat leadto waterpollution.Thepollution-control standardsandcontroldifferentiatesbetween thepointandnonpoint waterpollutionsources,with thepointsourcesreferringto thosepollutants that are introducedto waterfrom a specificlocation,causingpollution.Among thepoint,waterpollutants includefactorydischarge,sewertreatmentplants,powerplantsandoilwells.Thesesourcesare easyto monitorandregulate,since thepointof pollutioncan be identifiedeasily,andtheeffluents can bedivertedandtreatedbefore theyare dischargedinto theenvironment.On theotherhand,non-point waterpollutants diffuseorscatter,havingnodistinctlocationof dischargeinto thewatersource(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).Among thisnonpoint water,pollutants includethedischargeof theconstructionsite,nitrogen compoundsfrom agriculturalfields,contaminatedstormwaterwashedoff from parking lots,andurbanrunoffs.Thenonpoint sourcesof waterpollutionare hardto monitorandregulate,owingto theirregulartiming of specificeventssuchas rainfallsthat flushhighconcentrationof pollutants from thesourceto a watersource.Unlike thepointwaterpollutants that are predictable,thenonpoint waterpollutants are episodicandnon-predictable, hencedifficultiesto regulatethem (Rana, 2011).

Amongthemajorwater,pollutants includepathogens, awidespectrumof chemicals,physicalchangessuchas discolorationandelevatedtemperatures.Whilemanychemicalwaterpollutants suchas calcium sodium, manganese,andIron occurnaturallyin theenvironment.However,increasedaccumulationof thesechemicalsin thewaterhas devastatingimpactson marinelife.Theydepletetheoxygen that is dissolvedin thewatersandcauseturbidity that blocksthe penetrationof light,leadingto lossof marinelives(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).Additionally, increasedchemicalconcentrationchangesthewaterPH levels andincreasestemperaturesreducingtheprimaryproductivityof theenvironment.Increasedlevels of disease-causing pathogens in thewatersmay alsopollutetheenvironment.Pathogens are diseasecausingmicro-organisms andresultfrom theinadequatelytreatedsewagedischarges,orpoorlymanagedsewersystemsthat releaseeffluentto watersources.Theorganicwaterpollutants includedetergents,foodprocessing wastes,andpetroleumproducts,chlorinated solventsthat are denseandnon-aqueous. Otherorganicpollutants includethevolatileorganiccompoundsandagriculturalproductssuchas insecticidesandherbicides. Otherpollutants includeheavymetalsfrom industriesandurbanrunoffs,acidrains,andmicroscopicpollutants referredto as thefloatable (Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).

Impacts

Waterpollutionhas takentollon alllivingthingssince morethan sixty percent of animalspecieslivein waterbodies.Waterpollutioncausesimbalancesin thechemical,physicalandbiologicaltraitsof water,leadingto deathof aquaticlives.Eutrophication blockssunlightfrom penetratingthebottomsof thewaterbodies,denyingtheplanktons therequisitesunlightforphotosynthesis. Additionally, itreducesthedissolved oxygen threateningaquaticlives.Theavailability of cleanandsafedrinking wateris an essentialingredientof humanhealthandwellbeing. Unfortunately,morethan a sixth of theworldpopulationdoesnot haveaccessto cleanandsafedrinking wateras wellas basicsanitation.One of themostdevastatingimpactsof waterpollutionon humansis thewaterborne diseases.Thesediseasesare prevalentin lessdevelopedcountriesowingto lackof safedrinking waterandinadequateornonexistentsanitation(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).Diseasecausingpathogens thrivein thewatersandsubsequentlyconsumedby humans,leadingto humanillhealth.Among theprevalentwaterborne diseasesincludediarrhea, cholera, typhoid, intestinalparasitesdysentery,bilharzia, among others. Thesewaterborne diseasesare particularlydangerousto theyoungchildren,accountingformorethan sixty percent of global childmortalityrates.Thesediseasesare prevalentin lessdevelopednationswherethere is inadequatesafedrinking wateras wellas lessdevelopedsanitationfacilities.Otherillhealthconditionscausedby waterpollutionincludeingestion of dissolved chemicalsleadingto deformities,organfailuresorevendeath.Additionally, waterpollutioncan harmhumanindirectly,through theconsumptionof themarinefoodsourcessuchas fishes,which may haveconsumedtoxicsubstancesin their habitat.Thecontaminated marinefoodproductsmay passon theadverseeffectsto humanconsumers,leadingto physicalandbiologicalconditions,similarto impactsof directcontactwith thepollutant (Rana, 2011).

Anotherwellknownindirectimpactof waterpollutionon thehumanpopulaceis thered tidephenomenon.Thespreadof organicwastesin waterbodiesleadsto increasedproductionof algae in thewaters,mostof which are toxic.Overpopulation of algae in thewatersleadsto their deathandendup takingthedissolvedoxygen as theydecompose,leadingto lossof aquaticlife.Reducedaquaticlifeaffectsthelivelihoodof communitieslivinganddepending on aquaticlife,therebyreducingtheir economicsustainability. Reducedeconomicsustainabilityhas severesocialimplications,leadingto familybreakups a processisreferredto as thered phenomena.Additionally, waterpollutioncan leadto flooding, wherebysolidwastespileup in thewaterways leadingto congestionin thenormalflowof waterin lakes,riversandoceans.Thecongestionforcesthewatersto spillfrom thewaterways onto theareastheyare not meantto, leadingto flooding. Floodingdisplacesthehumanpopulace,leadsto lossof propertyandevenlossof livesin its extremes(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).

Prevention

Asseen,waterpollutionis detrimentalto humansin variedwayshencetheneedto addressboth thecausesandeffectsof thepollution.Thepublicandprivatesectorhavetakenappropriatestepsin preventingfurthercausesof waterpollutionsas wellas repairingthedamages alreadydone.Thebeststrategiesto preventwaterpollutionstartwith usingwatersourcessparingly, includingwaterrecyclingto preventdepletionof theavailablewatersources(Rana,2011). Farmersshould usethebiodegradable agriculturalproducts,to preventtheaccumulationof harmfulchemicalsin thesoilswhich may thenbe washedawayinto watersourcescausingwaterpollution.Thepointwaterpollutioncausesshould beestablishedandtreatedbefore thepollutedwatersare releasedbackinto thewaterbodies.Additionally, governmentsshould takeappropriatestepsin attainingthemillenniumdevelopmentgoals,by ensuringthatallcitizensaccesscleanandsafewaterforconsumption.Thesewill be importantin preventingwaterpollution,therebyreducingtheadverseeffectsof waterpollution,suchas thewaterbornediseases(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).

SoilPollution

Soilpollutioncausescancersandleukemia andcan causesignificantadverseimpactson childdevelopment.Concentratedsoilpollutionaffectsbraindevelopmentandincreasingthepredispositionto neuromuscular blockage, skinrashes,headaches,andnausea(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).Smallmicroorganisms may consumehazardouschemicalsin pollutedsoils,which are thenpassedon to higherlevels of thefoodchain.Theseadverseeffectsare thenpassedon throughout thesystemandmay havesignificantimpactson theanimalshigherabovethefoodchain,suchas thehumanbeings.Soilpollutionis relatedto airandwaterpollutionhencemosteffectsof soilpollutionare similarto theimpactsof airandwaterpollution(Rana,2011).

Lightand Sound Pollution

Lightpollutioninvolvestheintroductionof obtrusiveandmisdirectedartificiallightinto theenvironment.Among theadverseeffectsof lightpollutionincludethedegradationof photic habitat,which negatively impactson theprimary,produces,reducingthephotosynthesis process.Thisreducesfoodsupplynegatively impactingon thewholefoodchain(Humio&amp Tsunoda, 2011).Lightintrusionhas significantimpactsincludingthesuppressionof themelatonin, causingpartialortotalblindness.Increasedlightintrusionhas increasedphysiological effectsandmay at timesleadto stressandevendeath.On theotherhand,soundpollutionmay leadto lossof hearingabilitiesandcausestressrelatedillnesses.Additionally, soundpollutiondisruptssleepingpatternsleadingto insomniaandreducesgeneralhumanproductivity.In extremecases,soundpollutioncausesfrightandotherphysiological disorders(Rana,2011).

Conclusion

Fromtheaforementioned,environmental pollutionhas an increasedadverseimpacton humanlife.Airpollutionpredisposesindividualsto respiratory diseasessuchas pneumonia,wheezing, andasthma. Additionally, airpollutionleadsto cardiovascular disorderssuchas cardiopulmonary diseasesandvascular dysfunction. Increasedgreenhousegasses leadsto global warming, which leadsto melting of glaciersandicepacks.Thisreduceswateravailability, changestheweatherpatternsandcausesfloodsthat leadto lossof livesandproperty.Waterpollutionpredisposesindividualsto waterborne diseasessuchas bilharzia, cholera, typhoid, dysenterydiarrhea among others. Thesewaterborne diseasesleadto lossof millions of lives,especiallyin thelessdevelopedcountriesdue to unavailability of safedrinking wateraswell as propersanitation.Additionally, waterpollutionleadsto thered tidephenomenathat leadsto disruptionsof socialsetupsandcausesfloodsthat destroyproperty,displaceshumansfrom their settlements,sometimesleadingto lossof life.Soilpollutionis morerelatedto waterandairpollutionandhas similareffects,whereassoundpollutionleadsto lossof hearingsenses,insomnia,tiredness, headachesandotherpsychologicaldiseases.On theotherhand,lightpollutionleadsto thelossof sightandotherpsychologicalconditions.Theseadverseimpactsof environmental pollutionon humanlifecallsforincreasedenvironmental protectionstrategiesto protecttheenvironment.Adoptedpoliciesshould involvemeasuresto repairthealreadyinflicteddamageon theenvironment,therebyreducingtheadverseimpactsof environmental pollution.

References

Rana,S. V. S. (2011). Environmentalpollution: Health and Toxicology.Oxford: Alpha Science International Ltd.

Humio,Ming-Ho Yu, and Tsunoda, M .(2011). EnvironmentalToxicology: Biological and Health Effects of Pollutants (3ed).London: CRC Press