19 Jan How does pollution affect environment?
Environmental pollution is the unfavorable alteration of our surroundings, wholly or largely as a byproduct of man’s actions. It’s a product of direct or indirect effects of the changes in the energy pattern, radiation levels, and chemical and physical constitution and abundance of organisms.
Environmental pollution is a global problem and is common to both developed as well as developing countries, which attracts the attention of human beings for its severe long-term consequences.
The decline in environmental quality as a consequence of pollution is evidenced by loss of vegetation, biological diversity, excessive amounts of harmful chemicals in the ambient atmosphere, and growing risks of environmental accidents and threats to life support systems.
Pollution is viewed from different angles by different people but is commonly agreed to be the outcome of urban-industrial and technological revolution and speedy exploitation of natural resources, increased rate of exchange of matter and energy, and ever-increasing industrial wastes, urban effluents, and consumer goods.
Holdgate (1979) defined environmental pollution as the introduction by man, into the environment, of substances or energy liable to cause interference with legitimate uses of environment. Singh (1991) has defined pollution in a very simple manner, i.e., “Disequilibrium condition from equilibrium condition in any system.” This definition may be applied to all types of pollution ranging from physical to economic, political, social, and religious. Over the past couple of decades, various sources of pollution were identified that altered the composition of water, air, and soil of the environment.
The substances that cause pollution are known as pollutants. A pollutant can be any chemical (toxic metal, radionuclides, organophosphorus compounds, gases) or geochemical substance (dust, sediment), biological organism or product, or physical substance (heat, radiation, sound wave) that is released intentionally or inadvertently by man into the environment with actual or potential adverse, harmful, unpleasant, or inconvenient effects. Such undesirable effects may be direct (affecting man) or indirect, being mediated via resource organisms or climate change.